State Authorization

State Authorization
States have regulations pertaining to online instruction for residents of their states, as well as other academic functions institutions may be conducting in their states.  These regulations apply to online learning, distance education, correspondence courses, and other activities that are, but not limited to, internships, field studies, clinicals, advertising, recruitment, third party agreements, and faculty employment. Regulations are widely varied from state-to-state, and Murray State University is actively engaged in the process of procuring authorizations in states where current or future MSU students reside.  For more information about State Authorization, please visit:
This map indicates the states where Murray State University is currently authorized in and/or exempt in its current activities.
SA Mat 31816

Map current as of 3/18/2016

If you are a student interested in enrolling a distance education course or program, or faculty engaged in academic functions that may require state authorization, please contact the Distance Education Coordinator (, or the State Authorization Coordinator ( to inquire about compliance.  

Attention Out-of-State Students!  Those who are enrolled in any type of program that leads to licensure and are located in a state other than Kentucky must contact their state and the licensing board related to their program to ensure that their state will recognize a degree earned from Murray State University. 

Currently, under our membership in the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), and our inclusion in the SREBs Electronic Campus Regional Reciprocity Agreement (SECRRA), our online programs are approved in several states by reciprocity.  Please refer to SREB’s website to view the states currently in SECRRA,, or the Distance Education Coordinator, for more information.
In early 2016, Kentucky passed legislation to join the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA).  SARA has established national standards for interstate offerings of online learning, distance education, and other academic functions such as internships and field studies for states within the membership. 

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) establishes a state-level reciprocity process that will support the nation in its efforts to increase the educational attainment of its people by making state authorization: more efficient, effective, and uniform in regard to necessary and reasonable standards of practice that could span states; more effective in dealing with quality and integrity issues that have arisen in some online/ distance education offerings; and less costly for states and institutions and, thereby, the students they serve. From

Currently, there are 36 member states in SARA, and Kentucky’s membership, and subsequent membership by Murray State University is progressing.  To view the states currently in SARA, Please continue to monitor this webpage for updates on Murray State University’s progress towards joining SARA. 

Student Complaints and Distance Learning
Distance Learning students should first attempt to resolve complaints by reviewing and using the policies in place in the Murray State University Student Life Handbook, If the issue cannot be resolved internally, students can file a complaint in their state of residence by referring to this list of state agency resources. As a last resort, if the issue cannot be resolved internally at MSU, and cannot be resolved with the student’s state agency, a complaint can be filed with MSU’s accrediting body,

Out-of-State Experiential Learning

Any activity that occurs in another state and leads to university credit has the potential to trigger physical presence. (This includes internships, practica, clinicals, field trips, etc.) In that case, Murray State University must seek authorization for activities that are happening in that state. Generally, the main factor states use in determining if an experiential learning activity triggers physical presence is if it is credit bearing.  However, those are not the only identifiers states use, and each state’s regulations vary greatly from state to state. Please contact our office to ensure that all out-of-state activities are compliant and answer the following questions: 

  • Is the activity leading to credit either now or in the future?
  • Did the student or Murray State University arrange the activity?
  • Is a site employee providing student oversight and being paid as a preceptor?
  • Is the student’s program online or on-campus?
  • What is the name and location (city and state) of the organization where the student is doing the activity?
  • Does the program lead to licensure? (We must seek authorization through the licensing board. SARA does not cover these programs.)


Janeen Winters
State Authorization Specialist
Regional Academic Outreach
209 IT Building
Murray State University
Murray, KY 42071
(270) 809-3662