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SARA Basics

Managed by the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) establishes a process that supports national efforts to increase educational attainment by making state authorization of postsecondary institutions more efficient, effective, and uniform with regard to necessary and reasonable standards of practice across states; more effective in dealing with quality and integrity issues; and less costly for states and institutions and, thereby, the students they serve.

Through SARA, the University is authorized to offer distance education programs in other member states without additional regulatory authorization from that state.  In addition, SARA provides limited authorization to place students in supervised field experiences in other member states without additional regulatory authorization from that state. Please visit the NC-SARA homepage for more information about the purpose of the organization.  

UVA is required to monitor activity that occurs outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia to ensure adherence with SARA requirements, including obtaining additional approvals from other states when the activity exceeds SARA thresholds.  

All SARA monitoring is based on the students' physical location when participating in the activity offered by UVA, and not the student's official place of residence. 

States/Territories Covered Under SARA

SARA Does Not Address

  • Professional licensing board approval for programs leading to licensing: nursing, teacher education, psychology, etc.
  • Online offerings provided free and beyond the scope of current regulation of the degree programs of accredited academic institutions (free, non-credit MOOCs, etc.)
  • Non-credit instruction