State Regulation

The University of Minnesota, like all higher education institutions, is required to obtain authorization to serve students outside of Minnesota, whether they are taking online classes or going to other states for clinicals, student teaching, internships, or other field experiences. Each state has its own set of rules and its own agency for granting authorization.

In early 2015, the University's five campuses joined a nationwide program called the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). Under the terms of SARA, the U can teach students online and send students for field experiences in any state that is part of SARA. Not all states have joined.

Information for Campuses, Colleges, and Academic Units

Applications for state authorization are handled system-wide by the Center for Educational Innovation in the Provost's Office on the Twin Cities campus, but there are things every campus, college, and unit should be aware of.

  • The following activities are not covered by SARA. Please inform CEI (elearn@umn.edu) if your unit:
    • sends more than 10 students to the same location in another state for internships, student teaching, practica, or other field experiences, whether they are part of an online/blended program or a face-to-face program
    • requires an online student to take a proctored exam outside of Minnesota
    • offers short-term academic credit seminars in other states
    • employs an online instructor who lives in another state 
    • employs an on-the-ground recruiter in another state
    • establishes a physical office or mailing address in another state
  • There are several non-SARA states that monitor field work of any kind. The term "field work" encompasses internships, externships, clinicals, practica, student teaching, or any similar on-the-ground experience that is required as part of a course or program. Departments that want to send students to these states should contact elearn@umn.edu:
    • Delaware
    • District of Columbia
    • Florida
    • Kentucky
    • New York
    • North Carolina
    • Utah
  • Almost all states have additional requirements for professional programs leading to licensure (i.e., nursing, education). It is the responsibility of the individual college or program to make sure these requirements are met.
  • All of the University of Minnesota's online and blended programs should be listed on the University of Minnesota Online website. If your college offers an online or blended program that is not listed, please contact elearn@umn.edu.