NASM is an association of approximately 653 schools of music, primarily at the collegiate level, but also including postsecondary non-degree-granting schools of music. It is the national accrediting agency for music and music-related disciplines. The Association also provides information to the public. It produces statistical research, provides professional development for leaders of music schools, and engages in policy analysis.
The NASM Handbook, in conjunction with any current addenda, contains standards and guidelines used by the NASM Commissions on Accreditation to make decisions about accredited institutional Membership. Applicant institutions must demonstrate, through the review process, attention to and compliance with all applicable standards.