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State Authorization Compliance

Federal and state regulations require that all institutions of higher education comply with existing state laws regarding distance learning. As these regulations are continuously evolving, East Carolina University makes every effort to maintain compliance where feasible. ECU has developed a network of universities, state regulators, and public interest groups to make the most informed decisions about compliance issues. ECU works with the regulatory agencies in each state and US Territories to seek authorizations, exemptions or permissions to continue to offer distance education programs, courses and certificate programs to residents who wish to enroll in our distance learning education programs.

  • Federal and State Regulations on 'State Authorization' of Distance Education

    The State Authorization Regulation Chapter 34, + 600.9(c) "If an institution is offering postsecondary education through distance or correspondence education to students in a State in which it is not physically located or in which it is otherwise subject to State jurisdiction as determined by the State, the institution must meet any State requirements for it to be legally offering distance or correspondence education in that State. An institution must be able to document to the Secretary the State's approval upon request."

    Federal and State Regulations on 'State Authorization' of Distance Education

  • State Authorization for Distance Education Programs and Students

    All U.S. States require post-secondary educational institutions to be legally authorized to provide post-secondary educational instruction in their states. Many of these state laws and regulations also apply to online, distance and correspondence educational instruction offered in that state. As such, East Carolina University and its online/distance educations programs must be authorized in certain states prior to offering those courses or programs to students residing in those states. The purpose of this policy is to create a ECU process to comply with any state authorization requirements applicable to ECU online/distance education programs.

  • Important Note to Residents outside North Carolina

    Admission of applicants outside the State of North Carolina to an online degree, certificate or individual online course offered by East Carolina University, is dependent on ECU's ability to secure authorization from the applicant's state of residence, if such authorization is required.

    Due to evolving changes in higher education regulations, ECU will no longer be able to offer distance education online programs or courses for students residing in District of Columbia (DC), Kentucky, Minnesota, Oregon, or Utah. We are also unable to offer distance education online programs or courses that have experiential learning activities to students residing in Ohio, except for those taking courses to pursue ECU's Nursing - MSN - Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program and Nursing - CNS - Clinical Nurse Specialist. ECU continues to work with state authorities to allow students in these states who are currently enrolled in an ECU online or certificate program to complete their degree.

    Additionally, students enrolled in programs or courses that require internships or supervised clinical placements will be unable to complete these activities in the state listed.

    Because authorization is an evolving area, please check this site again for the latest statement from ECU.

    For questions or concerns specific to the state authorization process, contact us at

  • Contact Information for Filing Complaints

    Pursuant to 34 CFR § 668.43(b) (Code of Federal Regulations), an institution of higher education must "provide its students... with contact information for filing complaints with its accreditor and with its State approval or licensing entity and any other relevant State official or agency that would appropriately handle a student's complaint."

    For more information about filing a complaint, visit the Student Complaint Process webpage.

  • Professional Licensure Disclosure Statement

    All ECU academic programs prepare students to sit for applicable licensure in North Carolina. In order to comply with U.S. Department of Education regulations regarding distance education and professional licensure ECU is required to make the following disclosure with respect to professional licensure outside the state of North Carolina. ECU cannot confirm whether a particular program meets requirements for professional licensure outside of the State of North Carolina. Please contact applicable licensure board(s) in any state you may want to pursue licensure prior to beginning the academic program in order to determine whether the program meets licensure requirements. It is the studentâ€,s responsibility to confirm program eligibility for licensure in any state outside North Carolina.

    Visit the Professional Licensing Boards webpage.