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Non-New York State Authorization and Distance Education

State Authorization refers to the regulation of both (1) distance education courses and programs offered to residents of a particular state by an institution based in another state, and (2) various non-distance activities within a particular state by institutions outside of that state.

For approval of distance education programs in New York State, access instructions for instituting new programs or program changes. 


The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is a voluntary agreement among its member states and U.S. territories that establishes one set of national standards and regulations for offering postsecondary distance education courses and programs. SARA is administered by four regional educational compacts and overseen by NC-SARA.


New York University (NYU) is a SARA participating member institution and is authorized pursuant to SARA to enroll students in online courses and field experiences (up to ten students per site) in the SARA states and territories listed below.  However, please note that certain programs leading to professional licensure may be subject to additional state professional licensing requirements, which are not covered by SARA.  For more information about these requirements, please see [LINK].


Current SARA Member States, District & Territories
Alabama Maine Oklahoma
Alaska Maryland Oregon
Arizona Michigan Pennsylvania
Arkansas Minnesota Rhode Island
Colorado Mississippi South Carolina
Connecticut Missouri South Dakota
Delaware Montana Tennessee
District of Columbia Nebraska Texas
Florida Nevada Utah
Hawaii New Hampshire Vermont
Idaho New Jersey Virginia
Illinois New Mexico Washington
Indiana New York West Virginia
Iowa North Carolina Wisconsin
Kansas North Dakota Wyoming
Kentucky Ohio Virgin Islands


NYU is also able to enroll students in online courses in California and Massachusetts.  Should a school wish to place a student in a non-classroom experience in either California, Massachusetts, and the US territories (other than Virgin Islands, please contact the Multi-State Authorization Compliance Officer at


Distance education is defined as a system and a process that connects learners with providers via distributed learning resources. While distance learning takes a wide variety of forms, all distance learning is characterized by: a separation of place and/or time between instructor and learner, among learners, and/or between learners and learning resources. If your school offers courses or programs in the form of distance education to students who do not reside within New York State while completing their studies, the information that follows will apply to you. 

In addition, State Authorization may apply to you if your school or program has activity in the following categories: 

  • Non-classroom experiences,
  • Marketing/advertising/recruitment, 
  • Proctoring,
  • Distance Education, 
  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs), and
  • Faculty residing outside of New York State

Depending upon on the nature or level of activity, each of the categories below can serve to constitute what a state might consider a physical presence within its borders by an out-of-state institution, whether or not related to a distance education program, and thus will necessitate state authorization. 

Each individual state has created its own set of standards and guidelines with respect to educational activities within its borders by out-of-state institutions. 

If your school or program meets or plans activities with respect to distance education courses or programs or non-distance education program offerings which will meet any of the following categories as defined below, please contact Lina Janusas, Multistate Auhtorization Compliance Officer, Office of Academic Program Review and Assessment, at or (212) 998-2093.