JTS was granted a charter to operate as a school of higher education by the Board of Regents of the State of New York in 1902. The original charter established the major programs of study that persist to this day at JTS, allowing the institution to grant graduate-level degrees in a wide range of Jewish studies fields and to train Jewish rabbis, cantors, and teachers. The JTS undergraduate division was subsequently established and approved by state regulatory bodies in 1909, and later developed into the Joint Program with Columbia University in 1953 and the Double Degree Program with Barnard College in 1979. 

JTS maintains ongoing compliance with all state and federal regulatory bodies, including the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). JTS compliance with NYSED standards was audited and re-affirmed in 2023. NYSED maintains a list of state-approved degree programs at JTS that can be found here.

JTS has been accredited with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) since 1954, with accredited status re-affirmed at each subsequent decennial evaluation, including during the most recent evaluation in 2016. MSCHE has since moved to an eight-year evaluation cycle, with the next JTS reaccreditation evaluation to take place in AY 2024-2025. More information regarding Middle States Standards and Requirements of Affiliation can be found on the MSCHE website

The Center for Pastoral Education at JTS maintains its own additional accreditation through the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). For comprehensive information about accreditation in Clinical Pastoral Education, consult the ACPE website.


The NYSED Office of College and University Evaluation maintains a process for complaints that concern educational programs or practices of degree-granting institutions subject to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, with the exceptions noted below: 

  • The Office does not handle anonymous complaints. 
  • The Office does not intervene in matters concerning an individual’s grades or examination results, as these are the prerogative of the college’s faculty. 
  • The Office does not handle complaints concerning actions that occurred more than five years ago.  
  • The Office does not intervene in matters that are or have been in litigation. 

More information about filing a complaint with NYSED can be found here.

MSCHE also maintains a review process for complaints about substantive matters that are related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. More information on filing a complaint with the Commission may be found in the policies document library maintained by MSCHE.

Inquiries may also be directed to: 

Middle States Commission on Higher Education 
3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2680 
Phone: (267) 284-5000 


Questions relating to accreditation and licensing may be directed to the JTS Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO), Dr. Brian Smollett, at [email protected]. Inquiries may also be directed to Dr. Jeffrey Kress, Provost, at [email protected]