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Academic Program Approval: Independent and Out-Of-State Institutions

The Board of Higher Education serves a role of consumer protection and licensing for the approval of academic programs as independent institutions. The Board of Higher Education's authority and procedures apply to institutions of higher education chartered after 1943 and/or institutions that changed their charters after 1943.

Independent institutions of higher education are not licensed by the Board; rather they are granted the authority to award degrees in accordance with the Code of Massachusetts Regulations.

What's New

Questionnaire for Online/Hybrid Programs

Out-of-state institutions interested in offering online/hybrid programs in Massachusetts, please start with the DHE’s new questionnaire, found here.

By completing the questionnaire, you will be provided with information about whether or not the institution’s degree program requires approval, how to apply for approval, and who to contact at the Department if you should require additional information.

Amendments to Regulations for Independent Institutions

On November 4, 2010, the Board of Higher Education approved amendments to 610 CMR 2:00: Degree-Granting Regulations for Independent Institutions of Higher Education, changing the standard for "university" status from a minimum offering of graduate programs in two professional fields and doctoral programs in two fields to, now, graduate programs in four distinct professional fields of study. Amending the 610 CMR definition of “university” places independent-sector institutions on equal footing with new nomenclature for Massachusetts’ public state universities, which until October 2010 were called state colleges.


Related Links
Academic program approval for public institutions
Independent and out-of-state institutions under Board of Higher Education purview

610CMR: 2:00 Degree-Granting Regulations for Independent Institutions of Higher Education


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