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State Reciprocity

Managing your out-of-state educational experience

William & Mary offers opportunities for students to receive instruction when they are outside of Virginia. This may occur when students are taking W&M courses online from another U.S. State, U.S. Territory or the District of Columbia (we'll refer to these as "states"). Instruction includes coursework, as well as internships, practicums, or other such supervised learning activities. 

State Authorization

NC-SARA sealWilliam & Mary has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).

What is NC-SARA?

W&M must have authorization to operate and offer instruction in another state. In most cases, authorization is secured through participation in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). SARA is an agreement among member states, districts, and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate postsecondary distance education. A National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) collaborates with regional groups to manage SARA. Virginia is approved for membership through the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). Once approved for membership in SARA, states invite institutions to participate. In Virginia, institutions apply for membership in SARA through the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). 

Institutions that are approved by their state, may provide distance education in other SARA member states without obtaining further authorizations or approvals. As of now, all states participate in SARA, with the exception of California. The California Education Code excludes public institutions from having to seek approval to operate in California.

Licensure & Certification

When an educational program (degree or certificate) could lead to professional licensure or certification, W&M notifies prospective and enrolled students about whether W&M’s program curriculum would fulfil educational requirements in each U.S. state:


A collaborative team from across the university monitors and manages procedures regarding state reciprocity for learning experiences outside of Virginia. Under the direction of the Vice Provost for Academic & International Affairs, this team provides reciprocity data and relevant disclosures to prospective students and the W&M community.

Additional Resources

For current and future students in William & Mary's online programs and courses.