It matters where you live when taking an online course.

Are you currently enrolled or do you plan to enroll in an online course at the University of South Dakota (USD)?
Will you live outside South Dakota while you are participating in online classes offered by the University of South Dakota (USD)?

If the answer to both questions is "yes" you are entitled to certain protections, and USD is required to comply with certain consumer protection laws, in the state in which you live while taking USD courses. Colleges and Universities who offer certain services to students who will be in another state when taking a program or a course whether online or in person (internship, clinical rotation, practicums, field experience, etc.) must meet certain state regulations and protections from fraudulent activity.  This permission process is called "State Authorization."

State Authorization

USD has and/or will apply for state authorization, when necessary, from those states where it conducts activities such as delivery of online courses, placement for field experiences (internships, clinical rotations, practicums, etc.), academic and athletic recruiting, marketing, etc.

South Dakota is a member state of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and USD is a SARA institutional member. As such, the University of South Dakota is authorized to deliver online education and perform certain educational activities in each of the 47 member states of the reciprocity agreement. The Agreement also requires specific permission to perform certain educational activities in another state, US Territory, on an Indian Reservation, or in some countries other than the United States.

Authorization by State

Course and program availability varies by state. Admission into a program is granted at the time of initial acceptance into the program and is dependent on program availability in the state where the student is physically located at the time of admission. If a student moves to a different state after admission to the program, continuation within the program will depend on the availability of the program within the new state where the student is physically present. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the institution of a change in physical presence. Whether military personnel stationed outside the state of South Dakota may enroll or continue in a USD distance education program or not is based on where military personnel are stationed.

In order to ensure that any educational programs and activities you are considering outside of South Dakota have authorization, and to be sure you are able to pursue these opportunities, please contact the Division of Continuing & Distance Education at 800-233-7937 or by e-mail at

Courses or Programs Leading to Professional Licensure or Certification

The University of South Dakota at this time cannot confirm whether any particular course or program meets requirements for professional licensure or certification in states other than South Dakota. If you are planning to apply for licensure/certification in a state other than South Dakota after completion of your program, contact that state's appropriate licensing board to determine whether the USD program meets licensure/certification requirements in that state. If you need assistance finding contact information for your state, or if you need additional information regarding professional licensure/certification, please contact us toll-free at 800.233.7937 or by e-mail at

USD is working to comply with these requirements and will provide up-to-date information as it becomes available.

Courses or Programs Leading to Professional Licensure or Certification

Student Complaints

Complaints and Concerns

Distance Education Complaints and Concerns

Notification of Complaint Process for Program Integrity

Consumer Protection Laws

Contact Information For Students Residing In States Other Than South Dakota Who Have Complaints Relating Specifically To Distance Learning Or Correspondence Education

Refund Policy

Refund Policy and Requirements for Withdrawal and Return of Federal Financial Aid

Complete Withdrawal Form (Use if dropping courses within the 100% refund period)

Petition for Late Drop Withdrawal Form (Use if dropping courses after the 100% refund period)

Adverse Actions:

As of February 7, 2017, the University of South Dakota has no previous, current, nor pending adverse actions related to distance education that has been taken by an accreditation agency or state entity within the last five years.