New Jersey Statutes & Regulations
Regarding Academic Degrees
N.J.S.A. 18A:3-15.1. Deceptive diploma practices
A person shall not with the intent to deceive buy, sell, make or
alter, give, issue, obtain or attempt to obtain any diploma or
other document purporting to confer any academic degree, or which
certifies the completion in whole or in part of any course of
study in any institution of higher education.
L. 1986, c. 87, s. 1, eff. Aug. 14, 1986.
NJ.S.A. 18A:3-15.2. Use of fraudulent degree
A person or other legal entity shall not use, or attempt
to use, in connection with any business, trade, profession or occupation
any academic degree or certification of degree or degree credit,
including but not limited to a transcript of course work, which
has been fraudulently issued, obtained, forged or altered. A person
shall not, with intent to deceive, falsely represent himself as
having received any such degree or credential.
L. 1986, c. 87, s. 2, eff. Aug. 14, 1986.
N.J.S.A. 18A:3-15.3. Letter designation restricted
A person shall not append to his name any letters in the
same form designated by the Commission on Higher Education as entitled
to the protection accorded to an academic degree unless the person
has received from a duly authorized institution of higher education
the degree or certificate for which the letters are registered.
For the purposes of this section, a duly authorized institution
of higher education means an in-State institution licensed by the
Commission on Higher Education or an out-of-State institution licensed
by the appropriate state agency and regionally accredited or seeking
accreditation by the appropriate accrediting body recognized by
the Council on Postsecondary Education* or the United States Department
L.1986,c.87,s.3; amended 1994,c.48,s.36.
*- The Council for Higher
Education Accreditation is the successor entity to the Council
on Postsecondary Education referred to above. For
a list of recognized regional accrediting
bodies, please scroll to the bottom of this page or click here.
N.J.S.A. 18A:3-15.5. Civil penalty
Any person who violates any provision of this act is liable
to a civil penalty of $1,000.00 for each offense, which shall be
collected pursuant to the provisions of "the penalty enforcement
law," N.J.S. 2A:58-1 et seq.
L. 1986, c. 87, s. 5, eff. Aug. 14, 1986.
P.L. 2010, Chapter 13, enacted May 6, 2010
1. In order for a board of education to provide to an employee tuition
assistance for coursework taken at an institution of higher education
or additional compensation upon the acquisition of additional
academic credits or completion of a degree program at an institution of higher education:
a. The institution shall be a duly authorized institution
of higher education as defined in section 3 of P.L.1986,
b. The employee shall obtain approval from the superintendent of
schools prior to enrollment in any course for which tuition assistance
is sought. In the event that the superintendent denies the approval,
the employee may appeal the denial to the board of education. In
the case of a superintendent, the approval shall be obtained from
the board of education; and
c. The tuition assistance or additional compensation shall be
provided only for a course or degree related to the employee’s
current or future job responsibilities.
2. Nothing in this act shall be construed to limit
the authority of a board of education to establish
more stringent requirements for the provision of tuition
assistance or additional compensation than the requirements
set forth in section 1 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).
3. This act shall take effect on July 1 of the school year
next following the date of enactment, except that
this act shall not be deemed to impair an obligation
set forth in a collective negotiations agreement
or an individual contract of employment in effect on the effective date.
Rules - Subchapter 8
Fraudulent Academic Degrees
9A:1-8.1 Protected degree designations for earned degrees
(a) No person shall use or append to his or her name any academic
designation, letters, derivatives thereof, or other designations
as evidence of having earned an academic degree unless
a duly authorized institution of higher education as defined
in Section 3 of P.L.1986, c.87 (N.J.S.A. 18A:3-15.3) conferred
1. In states without a licensing requirement for institutions
of higher education, a duly authorized institution of higher education is one that is
regionally accredited or accredited by the appropriate
accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Secretary of
Education or one that is seeking such accreditation.
2. Regarding institutions located outside of the U.S. or its
possessions, a duly authorized institution of higher education is one that is recognized
by the appropriate body in the particular country
provided that the institution’s
requirements for awarding degrees are generally
equivalent to those accepted in the U.S. by an accrediting
body recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
9A:1-8.2 Honorary degrees
Any person who has received an honorary degree shall follow the
academic degree or the letters used to abbreviate
such a degree with the word “Honorary” or “Hon.” in parenthesis
when representing himself or herself as having received such
a degree or credential.
of Education Rules
teacher certification, the regulations of the New Jersey Department
of Education generally require a baccalaureate
degree from a regionally accredited institution
of higher education. Visit the NJ Department of Education
Licensure and Credentials web
page on this topic.
U.S. Dept. of Education Listing of Postsecondary Educational Institutions
and Programs Accredited by Accrediting Agencies and State Approval
Agencies Recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
Higher Education Accreditation Database
of Institutions Accredited By Recognized United States Accrediting
* Please note that institutions without recognized
accreditation may claim accreditation from a body with a name similar
to a legitimate one.
Accreditation & "Diploma