Skip navigation

State Authorization

  • As of June 30, 2017

    All States require post-secondary educational institutions to be legally authorized to provide post-secondary educational instruction in their states. Many of these state laws and regulations also apply to online, distance and correspondence educational instruction offered in that state. As such, Saint Francis University and its online/distance educations programs must be authorized in certain states prior to offering those courses or programs to students residing in those states. Likewise, many states require post-secondary educational institutions to be legally authorized to offer activities such as internships, clinical or fieldwork experiences in their state. Saint Francis University is in a continuous process to monitor regulations in states and territories in which it "operates."

    Distance Education Programs:

    Distance education program availability varies by state. Prospective out-of-state students should consult the State Authorization Status List to determine their eligibility for admission to our online programs. Admission into a program is granted at the time of initial acceptance into the program and is dependent on program availability in the state where the student is physically located at the time of admission. If a student moves to a state other than the state where the student was physically present when admitted into the program, continuation within the program will depend on the availability of the program within the new state where the student is physically present. It is the student's responsibility to notify the institution of a change in physical presence.  

    State Regulations and NC-SARA:SARA Approved Logo

    Saint Francis University has been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to participate in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) welcomed the University to officially join the initiative effective January 1, 2017. SARA is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. As a SARA-approved institution, Saint Francis University is authorized to offer online courses to residents in each state that is part of the agreement without having to get approval from each state individually. This agreement includes on-the-ground activities such as internship, clinical or fieldwork experiences that occur in other SARA states for students enrolled in the University's distance education or campus-based academic programs (with some limitation). Additional information regarding SARA can be found at NC-SARA.

    Current and prospective students should consult the State Authorization Status List for specific information regarding state authorization to find out which SFU online programs are available in their state or whether opportunities for internships, clinical or fieldwork experiences are permitted.    

    Field Placements (internships, clinical and field experiences):

    Students presently enrolled in our on-campus or online programs that wish to complete an activity such as an internship, clinical or fieldwork experience should consult the program coordinator before initializing any contact with a business or agency outside of Pennsylvania. Experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, clinical or field experiences are permitted in SARA states provided that: 1) The University has already obtained all the necessary professional and licensure approvals necessary (if any) to conduct the learning opportunity in that state; and 2) Only 10 students in the same academic program from each institution are physically present simultaneously at a single field placement site, unless a higher number is approved by the University's SARA portal entity, the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Students should consult the State Authorization Status List to determine whether the University is authorized in that state for field placements. 

    International internship, clinical or fieldwork sites may be permitted only in countries where the University has proper authorization. Program coordinators should seek guidance through the Office of the Provost.

    Professional Licensure:

    Saint Francis University does not guarantee that programs which fulfill Pennsylvania licensure requirements will satisfy the criteria of professional licensure boards in other states or territories. Students from outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who are considering a program of study that may lead to professional licensure should contact the appropriate licensing agency in their state of residence before beginning a course of study. Eligibility for licensure and/or certification may involve more than successful degree completion. For contact information, see:

    Complaint Resolution:

    See Student Complaint Resolution

    Questions on State Authorization may be directed to (814) 472-3199.