New Degree-Granting Institutions

Information for Institutions Interested in Applying for Initial Approval as an In-State Degree-Granting Institution


Under the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 13B.02.02.06, an “In-State institution “ means a degree-granting institution whose primary campus is in Maryland and whose authority to grant degrees is conferred by Maryland. There are two stages that a prospective institution shall complete before the Secretary of Higher Education may grant institutional approval to operate. The application process may take up to six months after the receipt by the Maryland Higher Education Commission of a completed Stage One and Stage Two application. The prospective institution shall complete the first stage before it may start the second stage.

For the current Code of Maryland Regulations please visit


In the Stage One Application the prospective institution will demonstrate that there is a compelling regional or statewide need and demand to initiate its proposed programs. It will also demonstrate that it has adequate financial resources to establish and maintain an institution of higher education.

Upon submission of the application, it will be distributed to all Maryland higher educational institutions for a thirty-day comment period. Prior to making a final decision, the Secretary will consider all comments and objections received and may ask the applicant to respond with additional information. If the Stage One proposal is approved, the institution will then proceed to complete and submit a follow-up, Stage Two Application.

Stage One Application:    

For an Electronic Copy (MS-Word)
For a PDF Copy (PDF)​​


In the Stage Two Application the institution demonstrates that it is in compliance with the Minimum Requirements for In-State Degree-Granting Institutions. Specifically, this includes the following areas: (1) Organization and Administration, (2) Mission and Goals, (3) Admissions, (3) Graduation Requirements, (4) Faculty, (5) Library and Learning Resources, (6) Student Services and Activities, (7) Facilities, (8) Finances, and (9) Catalog and Other Publications. The institution will also provide the required financial guarantee and proof of insurance.

If the Secretary is satisfied that the documentation submitted in the application satisfies the requirements of Stage Two, the Secretary will appoint an evaluation team to conduct an on-site evaluation visit to the institution in order to verify that the prospective institution complies with the regulations.

Stage Two Application:     

For an Electronic Copy (MS-Word)
For an PDF Copy (PDF)​​

For further information please contact:

Office of Academic Affairs
Maryland Higher Education Commission
6 N. Liberty Street, 10th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201