Education at OHSU

Out-of-State Authorization

OHSU, through the State of Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), is a participant in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). Oregon is currently one of 49 states which have joined the council. California is the only state which is not a member of NC-SARA. A complete listing of participating states and institutions can be found on the NC-SARA website.

States join NC-SARA. Institutions within states need to apply for approval from their state governmental portal agency. The decision to participate in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is left up to the specific institution and not all institutions in each participating state are members of SARA. SARA institutions must be accredited by an accrediting body "recognized" by the U.S. Department of Education and whose scope of authority, as specified by the Department, includes distance education. OHSU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

SARA establishes comparable national standards for the interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. The goal of SARA is to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. All participating institutions must agree to operate under the Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education developed by the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC).

Higher Education Coordinating Commission - visit website

National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements - visit website

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities - visit website

Distance education and online courses

Participation in SARA allows accepted out-of-state students to take on-line courses from other SARA states. Students from states that are not SARA members are not eligible for Title IV funding and not able to take on-line courses unless OHSU is granted approval to operate or determined to be exempt from the student's home state. Currently California is the only state not to join SARA but California has granted state institutions exempt status.

The state of California is now accepting complaints from residents regarding public and non-profit institutions through the state's Department of Consumer Affairs. A link to California's complaint process can be found below at Complaint Process by following the link and selecting California.

Clinical experiences

Institutions in non-SARA States or non-participating institutions must seek approval from HECC to send students to Oregon to participate in clinical or residency experiences.

Clinical experiences and internships are also addressed in the SARA participation. SARA member institutions can accept students from other SARA member institutions. Under the Unified State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (3.4.3):

    Experiential learning opportunities, such as a clinical, practicum, residency, or internship, provided that:

    • The institution has already obtained all the necessary professional and licensure approvals necessary (if any) to conduct the learning opportunity in the state, and
    • Only 10 students in the same academic program from each institution are physically present simultaneously at a single field placement site unless a higher number is approved by the host state's portal agency.


    NC-SARA and the four regional compacts that administer SARA have an expectation, set forth in the reciprocity agreement, that any institution that offers courses or programs potentially leading to professional licensure must keep all students informed as to whether such offerings actually meet state licensing requirements. Having regional and specialized accreditation, OHSU's educational programs have the academic rigor to prepare students for licensure exams.  For specific state licensure qualifications, because the requirements have the potential to change frequently and because states may have additional expectations (i.e. residency requirements, age limitations, language proficiency, background checks, fingerprint requests, insurance coverage, and fee payments), students should inquire with that state's appropriate agency to ensure all requirements are met.

    OHSU provides a state-by-state licensure grid to assist in determining if OHSU's programs meet, do not meet, or if the institution is unable to determine licensure requirements. See this out-of-state licensure document for more information.  OHSU's Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program also provides a state-by-state grid on licensure per APA requirements on its website. 

    Contact information for professional organizations provides helpful information regarding licensure on a state-by-state basis and students should determine whether they meet all the requirements for licensure in the state where the student wants to practice.:

    NC-SARA provides some additional information and resources for students regarding licensure on their webpage under professional licensure, which includes a professional licensure directory that contains contact information for the most common programs that are intended to lead to licensure.

    Per the SARA Policy Manual, section 5.2, because of potential requirement changes and additional expectations beyond educational criteria, OHSU is unable to determine whether a program will meet all state professional licensure requirements for all states at the time the individual will take the licensure exam.  

    OHSU's programs prepare students to take licensure tests or exams in the State of Oregon. Students who plan to practice their profession outside Oregon, need to familiarize themselves with licensure requirements in the state they would like to practice. Students who plan to practice outside of Oregon, after they graduate, should set up a meeting with their program director to ensure that they meet any additional requirements. Additional information on licensure is provided in the program Student Handbook.

    Liability insurance

    OHSU is required by statute to cover its students with liability insurance.  OHSU does not require its students to carry their own liability insurance and OHSU can provide proof of liability for out of state rotations.  However, there are a few jurisdictions that we may look at with more scrutiny based on historic practices of high jury verdicts or being unfavorable to defendants.

    These locations currently are:

    • California
    • New York
    • Florida
    • Cook County, Illinois
    • Philadelphia, PA
    • Louisiana

    These locations change frequently so please check with Risk Management (503-494-7189) if you are considering sending a student to one of these regions.

    Complaint process

    If an online student has a complaint against the institution, as a SARA participant, the SARA complaint process should be followed.  A student has the right to file a complaint with:

    • Students should attempt to resolve any grievances they may have with OHSU first.  Students should follow OHSU's Student Grievance and Appeal - Policy 02-30-055 and additional information on complaints can be found on the OHSU Registrar's webpage under Student Consumer Information as well as reviewing the program's student handbook.

    • Should attempts to resolve these problems with appropriate school officials fail, or should the online student be dissatisfied with the final outcome of the college complaint process, then the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), can respond to a formal complaint.  Online students may contact the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, 3225 25th St. SE, Salem, OR 97302 or by sending an email to  Students may also access the HECC Complaints web page for information at

    • Online students can visit the complaints page at NC-SARA’s website:

    • All parties may also contact the institution's accreditation body, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and file a complaint in compliance with NWCCU's complaint policy at: 

      A student may appeal to their home state consumer protection agency – find a state consumer protection agency on

    NC-SARA does not accept grade appeals or conduct complaints.

    Refund schedule

    OHSU's refund schedule can be found on the Tuition and Fees webpage.

    Tuition and fees - read more

    For any additional questions or concerns, please contact Robert Halstead.

    Email Robert Halstead