State Authorization

State authorization allows Clemson University the ability offer online programs to students who live outside of South Carolina or enroll students in learning placements that will take place outside of South Carolina (such as internships, clinicals, practicums, and student teaching), Clemson University must meet all of the regulatory requirements of the state where the activity will take place.

What is the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA)?


The National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA) is a national initiative that increases student access to distance education courses and programs while maintaining compliance with state regulations. Institutions participating in NC-SARA can offer educational opportunities in all NC-SARA member states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. To learn more about NC-SARA and member states, visit:

In July 2016, South Carolina became a member of NC-SARA. In August 2016, the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) approved Clemson University as a NC-SARA institution.

NC-SARA membership, however, does not grant reciprocity or exempt us from state professional licensing board requirements. As a result, licensing requirements in South Carolina may not be recognized as sufficient to obtain a license or participate in learning placements requiring or leading to licensure in any other state. For more information, see the section on Professional Licensure below.

Check the status of available programs, courses, and learning placements by state!

  • Professional Licensure/Certifications Disclosures

    Clemson University programs currently lead to the recommendation of licensure or certification in the state of South Carolina. For students outside of South Carolina interested in academic programs or courses that lead to professional licensure or certifications offered by Clemson University, licensure requirements can be found here.

    It is imperative you understand the regulations for your state PRIOR to enrolling in any academic program or course. For your convenience, please check on the licensing requirements for the state where you will seek employment.

    If you experience difficulty finding the requirements for a specific state, please contact the program's advisor or email for help.

  • Learning Placements (internships, CO-OP, clinicals, practicums, student teaching or other applied experiences)

    Learning placement courses provide students with valuable practical experience that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Learning placement programs may fall into several categories: internships, cooperative education programs, clinical experiences, student teaching, practicums, or other applied experiences. Under some circumstances, students may earn academic credit for such experiences.

    If you are an F1 or J1 international student and you will receive compensation, please consult with International Services ( for information on obtaining work authorization for your learning placement opportunity.

    Students participating in learning placements outside of South Carolina should verify the activity is authorized in the state prior to committing to the placement. State details can be found here. Some courses require the completion of a Learning Placement Information Form

    Learning Placement Information Form
  • International Students

    Clemson University works to provide global access to its online programs. It is the student's responsibility to understand current circumstances or special requirements of whether the online degree selected will be recognized in the country of residence; how the collection of student data may be used in your country; and, whether you will be subject to additional withholding taxes in addition to the price of tuition.

    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 whether a Clemson University degree is recognized when seeking licensure or certification.

  • Policy for Student Complaints and Grievances

    Students who have a complaint against Clemson University should first file a complaint with the institution by following the institution's complaint process.

    If Clemson University does not resolve the complaint, students who reside in an NC-SARA member state may file a complaint with the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. The SCCHE will only consider complaints that were previously unresolved by the University.

    For additional information about complaint policies, click here and select the state where you are physically located while taking courses.
  • Faculty/Staff

    State authorization applies to any university activity that occurs outside of South Carolina, and can include activities such as recruiting, advertising, internships/practicums, co-ops, clinical placements or student teaching.

    State authorization regulations apply to all out-of-state university activities, regardless of a program's availability online or on-campus.

    Regulations on out-of-state activities vary from state to state, and from program to program. While some states require any activity conducted by an out-of-state institution grounds to seek authorization, many states apply conditional rules, known as "physical presence triggers."

    As with most state authorization issues, these triggers are dependent on the type of program, duration of activity, state of residence for the student, and other factors that must be evaluated individually to determine whether authorization will be required.

    Please verify authorization prior to all out-of-state activities. Regulations and requirements can change quickly, and The Office of Institutional Effectiveness can provide you with the most current information.


Clemson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at the following address and/or phone number for questions about Clemson University Accreditation.

Commission on Colleges
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia 30033-409

Additional Information

Clemson University
Office of Institutional Effectiveness
E-203 Martin Hall
Clemson, SC 29634
Phone: 864-656-8092