State Authorization for Faculty and Staff

State authorization generates many questions for students, faculty and staff. This page is dedicated to providing information and addressing common state authorization questions and concerns for faculty and staff at USF. As a program director, program administrator, student advisor, clinical coordinator, basically any staff person or faculty member who works to provide USF distance learning activities to students in a state outside of California, your participation in this collective compliance effort is necessary and appreciated.

How State Authorization is Organized at USF

The Office of Assessment and Accreditation Support (OAAS) oversees the maintenance of state authorizations. This includes annual reporting, review of state regulations, monitoring student locations (together with program administrators and students), and answering questions from prospective students, current students, and faculty and staff regarding enrollment eligibility, USF's state authorization statuses, and state regulations.

The Council of Deans approves USF's state authorization activities, including its effort to expand its state authorizations. Katie Hoffman coordinates state authorizations for the Office of Assessment and Accreditation Support. Please email for questions regarding state authorization.

Two Main Things to Know About State Authorization

Faculty and Staff should know two main things when it comes to state authorizations:

  • Know the states where USF can conduct educational activities. You can know this by frequently checking the USF State Authorization and Professional Licensure Map (coming soon) and the USF Online Programs and State Authorization Status page and by subscribing to the USF State Authorization listserv for updates. Please contact to be added to the listserv.
  • Know where students are located. This is important for two reasons. First, knowing where a student is located will enable USF to provide optimal support to that student; students may have different needs based on their location. Second, each state independently regulates educational activities that occur in-state, which may affect a student's enrollment and licensing eligibility. Please see the Determining Student Location in Online Programs policy.

How Faculty and Staff Interact with State Authorization

Enrollment eligibility

Can we enroll this student in our online program? USF's state authorization status affects a student's enrollment eligibility. Before enrolling a student, check the USF State Authorization and Professional Licensure Map (coming soon) and the USF Online Programs and State Authorization Status page Please email your enrollment questions to

conducting educational Activities outside of CAlifornia

Per states' regulations, USF is required to obtain approval from a state agency and possibly from a state's licensing board before conducting any educational activities in that state. Educational activities include: offering distance education or conducting online courses, advertising in local media, marketing and recruiting, employing faculty, and conducting experiential learning. Experiential learning refers to activities that are part of a program's curriculum and that are conducted in person or on-ground. Types of on-ground or experiential learning include: fieldwork, clinicals, externships, internships, clerkships, practicums, rotations, independent studies, study away, mentoring, advising, or proctoring.

marketing and recruiting

Marketing and recruiting activities are often regulated in a state. Before embarking on a marketing campaign or recruiting in a state, please email for questions related to marketing and recruiting.

professional licensure Programs

In addition to complying with state authorizations, USF is responsible for seeking approval by a state licensing board, if required, in a state where the professional license-related activities occur for online and face-to-face programs. These activities include distance education and on-ground educational activities such as clinicals, fieldwork, and practicums. 

The University of San Francisco is required to provide disclosures for programs, regardless of modality, which are intended to lead to professional licensure or certification. Please visit our page on Professional Licensure and Certification Disclosures.

Please advise current and prospective students to seek guidance from the appropriate licensing board in the state where they are located (or where they may plan to practice) before they begin the academic program that leads to professional licensure or certification.