Massachusetts is a program approval state, which means that all institutions that are located in Massachusetts and authorized to operate by the Board of Higher Education (BHE) must have each program reviewed by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) for compliance with the BHE’s degree-granting regulations (610 CMR 2.00). However, please be advised that there are exceptions to this rule, and as a result, not all programs which will be offered by Massachusetts institutions authorized to operate pursuant to the terms of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) have been reviewed by the DHE for such compliance. Specifically, the BHE does not review and approve programs in the following instances:
That the BHE has not reviewed and approved certain programs offered by authorized institutions does not necessarily mean that those programs are problematic or of a lesser quality than those that the BHE has reviewed and approved. It means that such programs are exempt from the BHE’s program approval process, and as such the BHE cannot attest that the program meets the requirements set forth in 610 CMR 2.00. Any student complaints received by the DHE involving exempt programs will be carefully reviewed by the DHE, will be addressed consistent with the complaint resolution process set forth in 610 CMR 12.00, and, if necessary, will also be forwarded to other relevant state oversight entities for appropriate review.