New Degree Authority

Independent institutions of higher education (for-profit, non-profit and out-of-state institutions seeking to operate in Massachusetts) seeking new degree authority or name changes after 1943 must submit a petition to the Board of Higher Education for new or initial authority.

Application Process

Independent institutions must submit a proposal, necessary fee, and petition to the Board of Higher Education. In addition, the Articles of Amendment/Organization or Foreign Corporation Certificate must also be filed be with the Secretary of the Commonwealth, which is then referred to the Board of Higher Education for investigation of the institution, its faculty, equipment, courses of study, financial organization, leadership, and other relevant facts.

Streamlined Program Review Policy for Massachusetts Institutions

On May 6, 2014, the Board of Higher Education (BHE) voted to institute a new streamlined process for review and approval of new academic programs offered by Massachusetts independent institutions that meet certain criteria. The new policy significantly reduces the time and cost of program approval for eligible institutions, while still meeting the BHE’s legislative mandate to ensure minimal quality standards. The policy provides for two paths to approval:

Out-of-State Online/Hybrid Program Approval

Thank you for your interest in Massachusetts degree granting authority specific to out-of-state institutions enrolling Massachusetts residents in online/hybrid programs and courses. The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education is undertaking the process of updating its regulations regarding the approval of such programs and courses at this time. The new regulations are anticipated to be available by July 1, 2015.

Please complete the Out-of-State Institution Inquiry and Department staff will contact you as more information becomes available.

For additional information, please contact: approvalquery@bhe.mass.edu