Initial Degree-Granting Authority for New Institutions

Independent institutions of higher education seeking initial authority to incorporate in and offer degrees and credit bearing courses in Massachusetts must submit an application to the Board of Higher Education (BHE).

Application Process

As outlined in 610 CMR 2.06, the review process includes the submission of an application and necessary fee; an evaluation by a Visiting Committee formed of outside experts that reviews the submission, conducts a site visit, and submits a report to the Department of Higher Education (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.

In addition, Articles of Organization 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 DHE staff to discuss processes and procedures.

Note: All application materials should be submitted via email to Please do not mail program review applications to the DHE unless instructed to do so by DHE staff.

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