State Authorizations for Distance Education

The United States Department of Education regulation 34 C.F.R. §600.9(c) requires institutions to meet any state requirements to legally offer postsecondary distance or correspondence education in states where they are not physically located. The authorization requirements, as well as application processes, vary significantly from state to state.


NOTICE: The State of Florida joined the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) in August 2017 and the University of Miami filed an application to become a SARA institution in October 2017. Approval is currently pending.

The OAA is responsible for securing and tracking state authorizations for distance education for the University of Miami. Below is a summary of our current status. Please note that this information does not apply to internships. If your UM program plans to offer internships or field experiences outside the State of Florida, please contact our office for more information.

State authorization rules are quite complicated and continually changing based on each state legislature's activities. While the OAA has access to information on some rules regarding state authorizations, it is the responsibility of each school and program to ensure that it is in compliance with any state regulations related to its educational activities outside the State of Florida within the US. Please contact our office if you need assistance.

Below is a quick list of the states in which the University is currently authorized to or restricted from offering online courses and programs. A full list is available on the Student Complaints website.


Alaska Alabama
Connecticut Arkansas
Indiana District of Columbia
Michigan Georgia
New York Iowa
North Dakota Maryland
Pennsylvania Minnesota
Tennessee Oregon
West Virginia Wisconsin


In addition to distance education, some states require authorization for other educational activities that these states view as "operating within the state." For example, some states require state authorization for anything constituting a "physical presence" within the state. Examples of activities that might constitute a "physical presence" in another state: 

  • Hosting short-term, face-to-face, seminars or conferences in the state where students meet in person
  • Permitting a student to complete an internship, externship, field experience or clinical practicum in another state
  • Maintaining a physical location in the state used for instruction activity


For more information or questions on state authorization, contact Patty Murphy.