Academic Compliance

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Academic Compliance

University of Mississippi Medical Center is authorized in all states listed as National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) states as an institutional participant (see the NC-SARA directory web page). All states are participants in the NC-SARA reciprocity agreement other than California as are US Protectorates U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The other inhabited US Protectorates (i.e., American Samoa, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands) are not members of NC-SARA. Both Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands are sovereign states in free association with the United States and are not members of NC-SARA.

State authorization information

The University of Mississippi Medical Center may need to be legally authorized to serve students in certain states outside of Mississippi. Please review the State Authorization Compliance Table (PDF) to determine if the University of Mississippi Medical Center is currently able to admit students from your state or place students in an experiential activity outside of Mississippi.

If you have any questions about admissions, refer to the UMMC online application portal.

If you have any questions about experiential placements, contact Kenneth Heard (

State authorizations

To provide education to students residing in other states, which constitutes operating in another, higher education institutions must comply with the laws and regulation of each of the states in which students are located while completing distance education. Distance education includes online as well as supervised field experiences including clinicals, internships, externships, and practicum. Per Section 1. Definitions of the National Council of State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, operate means:

31. "Operate" means: activities conducted by an institution in support of offering distance education degree or non-degree courses or programs, and non-credit bearing courses in a state, including but not limited to instruction, marketing recruiting, tutoring, supervised field experiences, experiential learning placements, out-of-state learning placements and other student support services.

In addition to being authorized directly or operating pursuant to a reciprocity agreement, an institution must also check with the state professional licensing boards to see if any program that they are offering that involves distance education requires reprove before a supervised field experience is conduct and leads to licensure in the state the students is located or where they complete their supervised field experience.

Physical presence*

Whether a higher education institution engages in an action that triggers “physical presence” varies based on the laws of each specific state. Among the activities considered in determining if physical presence is triggered are:

  • hosting short-term, face-to-face, seminars or conferences where students meet in person
  • experiential learning within the jurisdiction (field experience, clinical, internship, externships, practicum) organized by the institution
  • owning property within a state
  • recruiting done in an organized manner, consistently, and on-the-ground either by employees or agents of the institution
  • entering into contracts/agreements with an in-state institution or in-state entity to provide services for students (i.e., library, gym, computer centers, etc.)
  • requiring a student to take a proctored exam at a location or with an entity in the state selected by the institution
  • advertising in local media sources viewed by residents of the state
  • hiring online faculty who live in the state
  • employing mentors, tutors, or preceptors in the state to aid individual students who are residents of the state
  • Courses offered by instructors not residing in Mississippi cannot include face-to-face meetings with students in those other states.
  • The way in which physical presence is defined is different based on the state and would need to be considered in any state in which an institution is authorized so as to abide by the physical presence limitations.
  • Institutional participants to NC-SARA have specific physical presence considerations that must be considered, which are further specified in the NC-SARA section of this page.

If physical presence is triggered, the institution must become authorized in that state.

*State physical presence triggers apply if an institution that is an NC-SARA member exceeds their permitted physical presence in a state based on the NC-SARA guidelines (see NC-SARA paragraph below).


  • If the activities of an institution do not create a “physical presence”, an exception may apply allowing the institution to provide education to students in the state without becoming authorized with the state based on their lack of physical presence.
    • The following list represents the types of scenarios that create exceptions, though exceptions vary on a state-by-state basis:
      • Religious organizations
      • Organizations accredited by an agency approved by the Department of Education
      • Non-degree granting programs
    • Please review the list of states below for more information concerning the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s compliance with this regulation and to obtain the contact information for the appropriate agency in the state where you reside.
    • We are evaluating and working to comply with the various requirements and are updating this page as additional information is received.


  • National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), commonly known as SARA.
  • SARA represents a reciprocity agreement in which member states agree to grant each other the right to provide online education in other member states subject to agreed upon limitations.
  • Currently, 49 states are members of SARA:
    • For a list of SARA states, please see the SARA States and Institution Page.
    • In states who are not participating in SARA at this time, the institution must look at the state-specific statutes.
    • Mississippi became a member of NC-SARA on 1/1/16.
    • UMMC applied for and was accepted as a member of SARA on 3/28/16.
    • UMMC is now able to offer distance education (both online and limited field experiences) to students in any SARA State as well as advertising and recruiting as long as we do not engage in any of the following activities within member states:
      • Create a physical location for students to receive synchronous or asynchronous instruction;
      • Require students to physically meet in a location for instructional purposes more than twice per full-term (quarter or semester) course for a total of more than six hours;
      • Establish an administrative office;
      • Provide information to students for the purpose of enrolling students, or providing students support services from a physical site operated by or on behalf of the institution in the state;
      • Offer a “short course” that requires more than 20 contact hours in one six-month period;
      • Provide office space to instructional or non-instructional staff;
      • Maintain a mailing address or phone exchange in state;
      • Carry out field study or field research located at a field station, research station, or other physical site at which a faculty member or other institutional employee or contractor supervisors or otherwise directs two or more students in an activity exceeding the allowable short course length set forth in section 5.10(a)(5) and which either bears academic credit or is a requirement for a course or program.

National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA)

NC-SARA Approved Institution. National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. MHEC, NEBHT, SREB, WICHE.The University of Mississippi Medical Center is approved by the Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).

NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postseason distance education. Visit the NC-SARA website to learn more.