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:

Clemson University has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

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 are designed to prepare students to apply for licensure or certification in South Carolina. These include face-to-face, online, and hybrid programs. Completion of a Clemson University program may or may not lead to licensure or certification in other states.

    Clemson University makes every effort to ensure information about educational requirements for licensure 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, residence requirements, training, etc. As such, Clemson University does not guarantee completion of an academic program will automatically lead to a licensure or certification.

    If you are planning to pursue professional licensure or certification in a state other than South Carolina, it is strongly recommended that you contact the appropriate licensing entity in that state to seek information and guidance regarding licensure or certification requirements PRIOR to beginning an academic program. It is also imperative that you notify your program and check licensure or certification requirements if you relocate to a new state while enrolled in a program.

    For your convenience, please check on the licensing requirements for the state where you will seek employment. Links to state professional associations or licensing authorities are provided for each program.

    In addition, if your program leads to a professional license or certification, authorization may be required from the state professional licensing board prior to beginning a clinical or field experience in that state. Check here or with your program's internship or clinical coordinator prior to beginning an internship or field experience in another state. 

    If you have trouble finding the requirements for a specific state, please contact the program's advisor or email for assistance.

  • 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 (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, masters, education specialist, and doctorate degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Clemson 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 (

Additional Information

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