NC-SARA & State Authorization

Augusta University (AU) has taken steps to protect its students and operations by participation in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA is a national initiative to provide more access to programs and courses while maintaining compliance standards with state regulatory agencies.

As a NC-SARA approved institution, AU is authorized to offer our online programs to students living in SARA states/territories. AU activity in California is currently exempt from authorization by the state approving agency.

To offer online programs to students who live outside of Georgia, or to enroll students in field experiences that will take place outside of Georgia (such as internships, clinicals, practicums, student teaching), Augusta University must meet all of the regulatory requirements of the state where the activity will take place. Academic programs will send notice to students when they determine that the programs academic curriculum no longer meet the licensure or accreditation standards within their state or declared location.

For programs related to licensed professions (i.e. Teacher Education, Education Leadership, and Allied Health) the university must also meet the requirements of the state licensing board before the program can be offered in that state. See the section below on Professional Licensure Program Authorization for more information on our ability to offer those programs.   

NC-SARA Video  

Physical Location

If you will be living internationally, or have any questions about the information on this page, please contact the office of The Vice Provost for Instruction 706-721-3256.

If you are expecting a change in your physical location, contact the Registrar's office as soon as you know the anticipated location(s).  Physical presence in a location where we do not meet state regulatory requirements can negatively impact our ability to offer you federal financial aid, military tuition assistance, or your continuation with in the program.  These restrictions extend to courses taken online over the summer, and to internships, clinicals or other forms of field experiences if they are conducted outside of an approved state.  Students are responsible for providing accurate and updated information about their physical presence to the institution.

Early notification allows the institution to minimize, but may not prevent, the possibility of program delays. 


Augusta University seeks to resolve concerns and complaints in a fair and prompt manner. Students located in other NC-SARA states who have a complaint may submit their concerns to the appropriate department. Complaints about grades or student conduct should be submitted to the university and may not be appealed to the SARA portal agency. Before pursuing external options, exhaust all internal avenues of complaint resolution by first completing the Augusta University Complaint Form.

If a complaint cannot be resolved after exhausting Augusta University’s procedure described above, the student may file a complaint with the following agencies:

Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (GNPEC)

Address: 2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 220 Tucker, GA 30084
Phone: 770-414-2644

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Address: 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033
Phone: (404) 679-4500
Visit the Complaints Against Institutions: Information Sheet and Form to inform SACSCOC of the complaint.

Contact Us

Vice Provost for Instruction


About the Vice Provost

Accreditation and Approval

Augusta University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Augusta University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC's website.

Augusta University is an institutional participant in The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) initiative. With this membership, Augusta University programs are available to students who reside in all the 49 member states.

States and Territories Chart

Augusta University may also offer courses or programs to students located in states that have not joined SARA.

The California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education does not regulate out-of-state public institutions. Therefore, Bureau approval for Augusta to offer educational activities in California is not required.

Augusta University distance education programs have no previous, current, or pending adverse actions initiated by any state agencies within the past five calendar years.

Augusta University distance education programs have no previous, current, or pending adverse actions initiated by any accrediting agencies within the past five calendar years.

The Augusta University Refund Policy follows the University System of Georgia Board of Regents policy in the USG Policy Manual 7.3.5.

Students who matriculate online from their state of residence may be governed by refund policies mandated by the particular state in question. Please contact The Business Office for more information.

State authorization regulations do not apply to students accessing courses or programs while located outside of the United States. While we carefully track issues related to international authorization and licensure, it is a student’s responsibility to understand requirements related to whether Augusta University degree will be recognized in a country other than the United States, how the collection of student data may be used in another country, and whether withholding taxes (in addition to the price of tuition) will apply. Some countries may not formally recognize foreign online degrees, which may have implications for students who later seek to enroll in other educational programs, or for those who seek employment with that country’s government or other employers requiring specific credentials.

International students considering an academic program that leads to a professional license should first confirm with the appropriate professional licensing board in their country of residence or the country where they intend to work as to whether an Augusta University degree will be recognized when seeking licensure or certification.

International Chart

  1. Can I complete field experience in a state other than Georgia? Yes, Augusta University is authorized to place students in field experiences in all U.S. states and territories. There are limitations on the number of students that can be placed at a placement facility at one time in SARA states, and there are additional requirements in Colorado. Additionally, Augusta University is required to report on our out-of-state field placements annually. Your college will need to be informed of the state where you are completing a field experience.
  2. After completing a program that leads to licensure in Georgia, can I seek professional licensure in another state? Please review Professional Licensure Program Authorization below.
  3. I live outside the United States. Can I enroll in a Augusta University online program? Please contact the Office of Admissions for more information.
  4. I am an international student enrolled in a traditional program in Georgia. Can I enroll in online courses, or switch to a 100% online program while living in Georgia? Augusta University works to provide global access to its online programs. While Augusta University Online carefully tracks issues related to international authorization, we advise students to understand regulations and requirements related to online programs in their country of residence. This includes whether the country will recognize an online degree, if there are additional withholding taxes (in addition to tuition) in your country, and whether the program meets any license or certification requirements in your country.
  5. I am an international student enrolled in a traditional program in Georgia. Can I enroll in online courses, or switch to a 100% online program while living in Georgia? There may be restrictions on the number of online credit hours that an international student may count toward a full course of study each semester. Please contact the Office of Admissions or the Registrar’s Office for more information.
  1. Doesn’t state authorization only apply to online programs? State authorization applies to all for-credit, out-of-state educational activities, including online courses or programs, and out-of-state field experiences such as internships, clinicals, and practicums.
  2. Why does it matter? In order to offer educational opportunities to students outside Georgia, Augusta University must comply with state and federal authorization laws. Federal regulations require an institution to be authorized in every state where a student resides in order for the institution to participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Requiring authorization of distance education programs also protects students as consumers. Authorization laws help to ensure a student is not investing in a program that is not legitimate or a program that does not lead to the license or credential the student was expecting.
  3. Does SARA cover professional licensing board authorizations in other states? SARA does not cover professional licensing board approvals. If your program leads to licensure, authorization may be required from the licensing board in another state before you participate in a field experience in that state.
  4. What kind of information does the State Authorization Team need from my college/school/department? As a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), which provides a voluntary regional approach to state authorization of postsecondary distance education, Mason is required to report to NC-SARA the enrollments of out-of-state online students and Out-of-State Learning Placements (OOSLP) of both on-ground and online students. 
    Augusta’s Office of Institutional Reporting maintains data regarding out-of-state online student populations for the first of these reports. For the second report, i.e., OOSLP, we will reach out to each of the colleges/schools annually for assistance in gathering data for the OOSLP report.
    NC-SARA has established the following criteria for OOSLP reporting:
    The Placement started in the most recently ended calendar year
    The Placement is outside of the home state of the SARA institution (i.e, outside of Georgia)
    The Placement involved the physical presence of the student at the out-of-state location(s)
    One of more of the following is true:
    a. The Placement is an activity required for degree completion
    b. The Placement is an activity required for professional licensure
    c. The Placement is offered for credit
    d. The placement is offered for a fee
    Additional caveats:
    Short courses and field trips are NOT to be included in the placements. 
    Internships and placements that are fully online and where the student is not physically present in another state are not reported; the institution does not report a virtual learning placement.
    Count EACH Learning placement. If a student engaged in multiple out-of-state learning placements, please include that student for EACH placement.
  5. What other considerations should we keep in mind? Programs of study that typically require additional licensure or certification to practice in the field may require us to gain programmatic authorization within a state before we are authorized to serve residents. Additionally, these programs may need to review their curriculum to determine if it aligns with licensure requirements in other states. If your department’s program does not fit licensure requirements in another state, you should refrain from enrolling students in that state. The most common fields listed by states as requiring programmatic approval/licensure are: nursing, social work, psychology, and education. Some states list engineering and allied health programs, as well. As Augusta University continues to develop and launch new online programs and course offerings, collaborations between departments and coordinators will help us identify potential authorization triggers while maintaining our good faith compliance efforts and growing our programs.

Professional Licensure Program Authorization

AU makes every effort to ensure information about educational requirements for licensure and/or certification is current; however, state requirements may change. Separate from educational requirements, state licensure boards may require applicants to complete professional examinations, background checks, years of professional experience, jurisprudence exams, training, etc. If you are planning to pursue professional licensure or certification in a state other than Georgia, it is strongly recommended that you contact the appropriate licensing entity in that state to seek information and guidance regarding licensure or certification requirements before beginning an academic program.

Review the programs below to see if the program you’re interested in meets the educational requirements for licensing/certification in your home state (or state where you intend to work). If Augusta University has not determined whether completion of a licensure program meets educational requirements for licensure or certification in a state, you should contact the state licensing entity to determine whether completion of the Augusta University licensure program meets educational requirements for licensure in the state.