Established Massachusetts-based Independent institutions of higher education seeking new degree authority or name changes after 1943 must submit an application to the Board of Higher Education (BHE).
Independent institutions must submit an application and necessary fee to the BHE. 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 BHE for investigation of the institution, its faculty, equipment, courses of study, financial organization, leadership, and other relevant facts.
Before submitting an application, institutions are advised to review protocols, procedures and regulations on this page, and contained in 610 CMR 2.00 and are strongly encouraged to contact Department of Higher Education (DHE) staff to discuss processes and procedures.
Note: All application materials should be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not mail program review applications to the DHE unless instructed to do so by DHE staff.
Pursuant to the 2014 Program Review Policy, Massachusetts-based independent institutions that for the six consecutive years prior to the application have: (1) been accredited without sanction by the New England Commission of Higher Education, (2) maintained a physical presence in Massachusetts and (3) been operated continuously by the same governing entity are able to seek approval for new degree programs through either Notice of Intent for closely related programs or expedited external reviews for those that are not.
Massachusetts independent institutions that are not accredited, accredited with sanction by the New England Commission of Higher Education, accredited by another regional or national accrediting agency, or that have not maintained a physical presence in Massachusetts or been operated continuously by the same governing entity for the past six years are required to submit a full application and necessary fee to DHE program review staff.
As outlined in 610 CMR 2.06, the review process includes the submission of an application and necessary fee, an evaluation by outside experts who are formed into a visiting committee and submit a report to the DHE, the institution’s written response to the report of the visiting committee, a public notice and comment period, and a vote by the BHE
When an independent institution seeks authority to retitle an existing, authorized degree, the institution is required to submit an application and necessary fee to DHE program review staff.
When an independent institution seeks authority to change its name from that in its existing charter, the institution is required to submit an application and necessary fee to DHE program review staff.