State Authorization - Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Skip to Main Content

2024 Minneapolis Graduate Commencement information and livestream
First year students submit deposit here


State Authorization Information

State Authorization for Online and Distance Education

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is obligated to comply with federal and state law regarding the delivery of distance education.

State Reciprocity

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota has been approved by the state of Minnesota to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. As a SARA participant, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is authorized to offer distance education to persons residing in other SARA-member states and districts.

SARA also covers certain educational activities that take place in other states, such as field or clinical experiences, practica, student teaching, and internships, as long as these experiences meet SARA criteria and do not trigger “physical presence” within a state. An overview of SARA’s physical presence standard and criteria for on-the-ground experiences can be found in the SARA Manual.

Non-SARA States and Territories

An overview of Saint Mary’s ability to offer online programs and other activities in states and territories that are not members of SARA is below.

  • California: Saint Mary’s may offer distance education programs to CA residents. Because Saint Mary’s does not meet the definition of physical presence in CA, field/clinical experiences, practica, student teaching, and internships are allowed.
  • Federated States of Micronesia: The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) has no regulations, policies, or laws that restrict US institutions providing distance education, including online courses, to citizens of FSM.
  • Republic of the Marshall Islands: There are no regulations or rules in the Republic of the Marshall Islands regarding the authorization of distance education programs.

Information is currently unavailable for the following: American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of Palau. This site will be updated as information becomes available.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

Students considering an academic program as a pathway to professional licensure or certification in any field should be aware that State Reciprocity for distance education has no effect on professional licensing or certification requirements. Only a very small number of Saint Mary’s distance education programs are designed to prepare students to meet state or professional licensing or certification requirements. For additional information about Saint Mary’s programs and Professional Licensure visit our Professional Licensure Disclosures and Resources page.

Student Complaints

If you have a question, concern, or complaint about your online education experience, please consult Saint Mary’s Student Complaint Policy and Procedure.

Connect With Us

Tracy Lehnertz, M.A. 
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness
Institutional Effectiveness
OFFICE: 507-457-1694; 128 Saint Mary’s Hall