State Authorization for Degree-Granting Institutions

Welcome to the Montana State Authorization website. Click on the links below to learn more about our application process, to view authorized institutions, or to learn more about the MUS complaint process.

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and Montana

In August of 2014, Montana was approved as a SARA state by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

Currently, the following Montana institutions are official SARA institutional participants:

  • Miles Community College
  • Montana State University - Billings
  • Montana State University - Bozeman
  • Montana State University - Northern
  • Montana Tech of the University of Montana
  • The University of Montana - Missoula
  • The University of Montana - Western

Authorize Your Institution in Montana

SARA Institutions

Participating SARA institutions: please inform our Compliance Agent of your SARA status if you are a new member.

Non-SARA Institutions

The following document explains Montana's requirements for authorizing postsecondary institutions to offer degree programs in the state.

Authorization Requirements

The following document explains Montana's requirements for applying for a certificate of authority in order to transact business in the state as well as the penalities for not complying. All out-of-state private institutions (for-profit or non-profit) must apply for a certificate of authority. Any contract, such as authorization to offer post-secondary degree programs, between the state of Montana, an agency of the state, or a political subdivision of the state and a foreign corporation that has failed to obtain a certificate of authority, as required under Montana Code Annotated 35-1-1026, is voidable by the state, the contracting state agency, or the contracting political subdivision.

SoS Certificate of Authority

The following FAQ answers commonly asked questions about Montana state authorization regarding physical presence, fees, annual reporting, business entity triggers, practicums and internships.

Frequently Asked Questions

After reviewing the requirements and policies, fill out the applicable form, save it, and email it to the Montana State Authorization Compliance Agent.

State Authorization Application - Public Institutions, Non-SARA Members
State Authorization Application - For-profit/non-profit Institutions, Non-SARA Members

View Institutions Authorized in Montana

Search our directory of authorized institutions.

Alphabetical institution list:   A - D  E - L  M - R  S - U  V - Z  View All

Participating SARA institutions only: SARA Members.

Learn More About Consumer Protection

Click here to review the U.S. Department of Education’s information on diploma mills and their guidance on how to determine if the online institution you are considering enrolling in is a legitimate educational institution.


Academic Program Integrity: File a Complaint

Click here to review the Montana University System complaint process, including how to file a complaint for an institution within the MUS system and how to file a complaint for an institution that is not part of the MUS, but is operating in Montana.


Click here to contact the Montana State Authorization Compliance Agent.


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Montana University System • Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
2500 Broadway Street • PO Box 203201 • Helena, MT 59620-3201 • 406-444-6570

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