The self-study is the document submitted by a program to apply for accreditation and the self-study instructions provide the information needed to complete the document. The self-study instructions can be found on the Program Review page of this website.

Contact the Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation for additional self-study information. The first several pages of the self-study instructions contain specific instructions for completing the document. Some of the most common questions and answers are presented below.

How many students must be enrolled in a program in order to apply for accreditation?
The Accreditation Guidelines and Principles (G&P) stipulate that programs must have a sufficient number of students to ensure opportunities for meaningful peer interaction, support and socialization.  Implementing Regulation D1-1 provides guidance on this issue. Programs are encouraged to review the G&P and Implementing Regulations in detail and contact the Office with further questions.
How long should a program be operating before it applies for accreditation?
The G&P stipulate that the program must have an identifiable body of students at different levels of matriculation, per Implementing Regulation D1-1. The program should also be able to demonstrate that it is meeting its goals, objectives, and expected competencies. Programs are encouraged to review the G&P and Implementing Regulations in detail and contact the Office with further questions on this issue.
Which self-study instructions should I use?

Programs should use the self-study instructions for the year during which they will be site visited. This means that accredited programs assigned self-study due dates prior to September 1 should use the current year’s self-study instructions. Accredited programs assigned a self-study due date of September 1 (or later, in the event of a delay), should use the upcoming year’s self-study instructions.

Applicant programs may submit self-studies at any time. These programs should follow the guidelines above and determine which self-study instructions to use based upon the year of the expected site visit.

If you have questions about which instructions to use based upon your anticipated submission date, please contact the Accreditation Office.

What is the easiest way to complete the self-study?

You can download the appropriate self-study instructions from the accreditation website in either Word or PDF format. The Word version will allow you to save the document onto your own computer and type directly on the instructions. If your computer does not support Word, then you may download the PDF document. However, the PDF document will not allow you to type directly onto it, and you may need to recreate some of the information in the self-study instructions.

Each set of instructions contains prompts taken directly from the G&P. You may remove the prompts in the instructions before sending your self-study, but please be sure you have addressed each item. Programs are required to respond to every prompt in order to demonstrate that they are meeting each provision of the G&P. Programs missing information will be required to provide a response prior to their site visit.

What signatures are required on the transmittal page?
The CoA requires that the transmittal page be signed by the program director, the head of the department or unit in which the program is located, the dean of the college in which the program is located (for doctoral programs) and the chief executive officer of the institution in which the program is located (president, CEO, executive director, etc.). The signed transmittal page indicates that those parties with authority over the program have approved the contents of the self-study, and the signature of the chief executive officer serves as an invitation for the CoA to conduct a site visit. These parties will also receive copies of the CoA decision letter.
I am having trouble keeping the abbreviated curriculum vitae under two pages.
The CoA requires that all curriculum vitae are provided in the two-page, abbreviated format as available in the self-study instructions. Do not exceed this limit. Please answer all items and only list selected publications, presentations, etc. for each faculty/staff member.
What is the minimum/maximum number of pages of the self-study?
A doctoral program’s self-study should not exceed 35 pages. This does not include tables, appendices or accompanying documents. The new self-study format for internships will cause programs to exceed the page limit. Internship and postdoctoral residency programs are asked to strike a balance between being complete and concise in their self-studies. The CoA does not require a minimum number of pages.
What font size should be used in the self-study?
Typeface should be no smaller than 12 point for the self-study text.
Can the self-study be submitted online?
Currently, programs cannot submit a self-study electronically. The Office is in the process of developing a system that will store all program information electronically and allow for electronic submission of documents. This system will be password-protected and allow programs to access their own information.
What fees are due at the time of submission? Is the application fee refundable if we withdraw or a site visit is not authorized?

What fees are due at the time of submission? Is the application fee refundable if we withdraw or a site visit is not authorized? Application fees are for the initial application/self-study only.

Application Fee Schedule (Effective Sept. 1, 2012)

Doctoral Programs (1-50 Students)


Doctoral Programs (51+ Students)


Internship Programs


Postdoctoral Residency Programs


Fees can be paid by check (made out to the APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation) or by credit card (call the office to use this option).

The application fee is not refundable, regardless of the CoA’s decision concerning a site visit or the awarding of accreditation. Programs withdrawing their applications from consideration will also not receive a refund.

How soon should we submit the self-study to ensure that we have our site visit by a particular date?
Applicant programs may submit their self-studies at any time, but it is impossible to predict the outcome of the review. Applicant programs are not guaranteed that a site visit will be authorized or that the program will be accredited. When the self-study is submitted, it will undergo a preliminary review by the staff. At that point, a site visit may be authorized, additional information may be requested, or the self-study may go to the CoA for review at their next meeting. At any point in the process, the CoA may ask the program to answer additional questions. The Office cannot predict whether or how soon a site visit will be granted.
Should I send the self-study in a binder?
All self-studies are placed in identical brown accordion files by staff immediately upon receipt in the office. They will be removed from large 3-ring binders, as we do not have the storage space to accommodate them. Staff may be able to leave self-studies in plastic coil, spiral or tape binding, provided the items fit into the brown accordion files. It is perfectly acceptable to submit your documents with a rubber band holding them together.
How many copies of the self-study should I submit?
Applicant programs should submit four (4) copies of the self-study and its appendices. Programs that are already accredited should submit three (3) copies of the self-study and its appendices. Please note that these copies are for office use only — they are not sent to the site visitors. Programs are advised to make several additional copies of the self-study for their own records and to send to the site visitors when it comes time to set up the visit.
Where do I mail the self-study?

Programs may mail each copy of the the self-study with appropriate appendices to:

APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First St. NE
Washington, DC 20002