Institutional Membership

Eligibility and Scope

Institutions eligible to apply for Membership include independent theatre schools, colleges, universities, two year institutions, and institutions offering graduate work only. Institutions may be degree- and/or non-degree-granting.

For further information, see “Basic Criteria for Membership” in the NAST Handbook, Standards for Accreditation I.A. and I.B.

Definitions of Institutional Membership and Membership Categories

Institutional Membership signifies accreditation. There are two types of institutional membership:

  • Associate Membership is granted to baccalaureate and/or graduate degree-granting institutions, community/junior colleges, and non-degree-granting institutions applying for the first time that meet all curricular standards and all other applicable standards of the Association, and which are developing in areas related to purposes or operations. Accreditation with Associate Membership is valid for up to five years. At the end of this period, such institutions will be required to demonstrate substantial progress in areas under development and to satisfy all criteria for Membership in the Association.
  • Membership is granted to institutions meeting all of the standards of the Association. Institutions approved for Membership are granted five year periods of accreditation. At the end of five years, such institutions are expected to apply for renewal of Membership. Institutions approved for renewal of Membership are granted ten year periods of accreditation.

When certain criteria are met, NAST reviews community education divisions of collegiate-level programs. These are undertaken on the same schedule as reviews for the collegiate theatre unit(s), unless an institution specifically requests a different schedule. More detail is found in the NAST document Procedures for Institutions.

For more information about institutional membership categories, see the Bylaws, published in the NAST Handbook. The standards for all types of institutional Membership are published in the NAST Handbook and any current addenda.

Review Periods and Cycles

  • After Associate Member and/or original Membership is granted, reevaluation is scheduled in five years.
  • After the first five-year period of Membership, institutions are reviewed for continuation on a ten-year cycle.
  • All member institutions are responsible for annual reports and for obtaining Commission approval for new curricula or substantive changes during periods between regular accreditation reviews.
  • The designated Commission has the authority to require a partial or a full reexamination at any time upon prior notice to the institution.