Facebook Pixel for Advertising Data

State Authorization for Online Education


All U.S. states require post-secondary educational institutions to be legally authorized to provide post-secondary educational instruction in their states. MSU wants to provide online education programs and courses to students in all states and territories. To facilitate this endeavor for out-of-state students, MSU participates in "the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), an agreement among member states, districts, and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary online education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts." Mississippi is a member of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).

The state of Mississippi became a member of SARA on January 1, 2016. Mississippi State University received approval from the Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation (MCCA) to participate in SARA on July 27, 2016. MCCA is recognized by SREB as the State Portal Entity for Mississippi.

Colleges or universities in a SARA state only need their home state authorization to offer online education to any other SARA member state. Not every state has joined SARA, but most have. A current list of member states can be found at the NC-SARA website.

State authorization rules are subject to change. Please check back to this site for more information concerning MSU and authorization of states for online education courses.

Professional Licensure

SARA approval does not extend to programs that lead to professional licensure. If you live outside the state of Mississippi and are considering a program that leads to licensure, then you should contact the appropriate licensing board in your home state before you apply to MSU. While every attempt is made to stay abreast of the laws in each state, it is the student's responsibility to contact the appropriate licensing board in his or her home state to confirm whether or not the MSU program will meet the state's licensure requirements.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

This disclosure is only for students who are enrolling in a program that requires them to obtain a professional license or certification for employment in a state where they plan to practice.

The Department of Education requires schools who participate in federal student aid programs to notify students enrolled in a licensing program as to which states recognize the degree program at Mississippi State University as meeting its requirements, states that do not meet its requirements, and states where a determination has not been made.

Please follow this link to find this information about your degree program.

Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid if you have questions.


Mississippi State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctoral degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Mississippi State 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 (www.sacscoc.org).

Online Education Complaint Process

For MSU's Out-of-State Students

If you have a complaint about an online education program offered at MSU, concerning allegations of dishonest or fraudulent activity, including the provision of false or misleading information, you will need to contact the Center for Distance Education at ask@online.msstate.edu or 662.325.3473, or you may contact the Dean of Students to file the complaint. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, the Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation (MCCA) will investigate and attempt to resolve the allegations. Students must follow MSU's process before contacting MCCA.

Complaints regarding student grades or student conduct violations are governed entirely by MSU policy. MSU students with an academic concern are encouraged to contact MSU's Dean of Students.

You can also further your complaint with the appropriate agency in the state where you reside. Please click on your state for the contact form.