State Authorizations for Distance Education

The United States Department of Education regulation 34 C.F.R. §600.9(c) requires institutions to meet any state requirements to legally offer postsecondary distance or correspondence education in states where they are not physically located. The authorization requirements, as well as application processes, vary significantly from state to state.

The OAA is responsible for securing and tracking state authorizations for distance education for the University of Miami.  The University is currently authorized to offer distance education in the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • North Dakota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

NOTE: These approvals do not include permission to offer an internship in conjunction with a distance education program. If you plan to offer an internship or field experience outside the state of Florida within the US in conjunction with a distance education program, please contact our office for more information.

Please contact our Compliance Specialist at 305-284-9431 should you have questions regarding the ability of the University of Miami to offer distance education in your state.

State Restrictions for Distance Education

The OAA is also responsible for monitoring states in which the University cannot offer distance education programs. All University of Miami college-level distance education courses and programs are restricted in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Oregon
  • Wisconsin

In addition, the M.S.N. degree program in Nursing Informatics is restricted outside the State of Florida.

Other State Authorizations

The OAA is responsible for securing and monitoring state authorizations to offer online programs outside of Florida. However, in addition to distance education, some states require authorization for other educational activities that these states may view as “operating within the state.” For example, some states require state authorization for anything constituting a “physical presence” within the state. Unfortunately, each state defines physical presence in different ways. Examples of educational activities outside an institution’s home state that might constitute a “physical presence” include:

  • Hosting short-term, face-to-face, seminars or conferences in the state where students meet in person;
  • Permitting a student to complete an internship, externship, field experience, or clinical practicum organized by the University; and
  • Maintaining a physical location in the state used for instruction activity.

State authorization rules are quite complicated and continually changing based on each state legislature’s activities. While the OAA has access to information on some rules regarding state authorizations, it is the responsibility of each school or program to ensure that it is in compliance with any state regulations relating to its educational activities (other than online programs) outside the state of Florida within the US. The staff in the OAA is available for consultation purposes if you need assistance or guidance in this process.

For more information on the requirements of each state, you can search the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO) State Authorization Surveys website:

For further information about state authorization for distance education, please contact:

Ms. Gisela Dominguez
Compliance Specialist
Telephone 305-284-9431

Information about the University of Miami’s accreditation and appropriate contacts to help resolve student complaints are found on our home page: Office of Assessment and Accreditation.

Revised March 23, 2017