Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (Geisinger Commonwealth), like most other colleges and universities, participates in accreditation and other programs where peer organizations evaluate programs and operations to assist the college in continuous improvement. In addition, Geisinger Commonwealth has undergone an application and review process by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to be given “degree granting authority” by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Degree granting authority is a distinct privilege and is completely separate from incorporation as an educational institution. Such authority is subject to regulation by individual states. Accreditation is a separate process and ensures that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. Accrediting agencies, which are private educational associations of regional or national scope, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met.

The first step in these processes for Geisinger Commonwealth was to receive degree-granting authority from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). This authority was received in April, 2008 and allowed the College to accept students for the Masters of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) and Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree programs.

Geisinger Commonwealth received “preliminary” accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in October 2008. In June of 2012, Geisinger Commonwealth received “provisional” accreditation.  In July 2014, Geisinger Commonwealth received full accreditation by the LCME. This certifies that Geisinger Commonwealth’s MD degree meets national standards for structure and function.

In June 2014, The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) granted Geisinger Commonwealth full accreditation. To earn and maintain full accreditation, colleges and universities must demonstrate to colleagues from peer institutions that they meet or surpass mutually agreed-upon standards.

Geisinger Commonwealth has also been approved by the United States Department of Education for participation in the Title IV Federal Direct Student Loan Program. Access to this simple interest, government guaranteed, no collateral loan program allows students a much more desirable fixed interest rate for school loans and repayment is delayed until six months after leaving school or graduating.

Updated July 2014