In order to select the top HVAC degree programs in the country, we took a few different factors into consideration including the degree options available, third-party accreditation, and certification or exam preparation.
Degree Offered (rather than certificate) The most common degree awarded to HVAC students is that of an Associate of Applied Science. However, not every HVAC program prepares students to obtain a degree at all, instead offering much shorter certificate programs. This list includes only degree programs - either AAS or Bachelor's Degrees - for those who are serious about pursuing a career and willing to put in the requisite hours in the classroom and in the field.
Accreditation (HVAC excellence, PAHRA) When a school obtains accreditation, it means it has been evaluated by a third-party association or organization with some type of expertise in higher education. Every program on this list has obtained accreditation from either HVAC Excellence or the Partnership for Air-conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Accreditation. Both of these organizations only offer accreditation to HVAC or HVAC/R programs and do so using a combination of self-evaluation and peer review.
Certifications Preparation While HVAC licensing requirements can vary from state to state and even among municipalities, there are some certifications that cross state boundaries. Higher consideration was given to those programs that specify they prepare students for such things as local licensing or national EPA certification under section 608 of the Clean Air Act.