Mercyhurst University has been approved as a participating institution in SARA for state authorization of distance education.

Due to new federal regulations, any institution offering distance education programs and practicum experiences in states other than their own must receive authorization or be a SARA approved institution.

Pennsylvania is a SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement) member state, and Mercyhurst University is a SARA member institution. SARA establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education programs and courses amongst member states.

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is a national initiative to provide more access to online courses while maintaining compliance standards with state regulatory agencies. SARA is intended to make it easier for students to participate in online programs offered by authorized postsecondary institutions that are located outside of a student's home state.

SARA is governed by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). To learn more about SARA, please visit the NC-SARA website.

Please note: SARA does not deal with professional licensing board approval for programs leading to state licensure. See the information below to learn more.

Professional Licensure

Mercyhurst University is approved to offer programs that may lead to licensure or certification in Pennsylvania. However, licensing requirements vary from state to state. Mercyhurst University cannot confirm that our programs meet the specific requirements for licensure or certification in any other state.

If you are considering an online academic program that leads to a professional license in your state, it is highly recommended you contact the appropriate licensing agency in your home state before beginning an academic program outside your state. SARA does not provide reciprocity for state professional licensing requirements. It is the student's responsibility to contact the appropriate licensing board in their home state to confirm whether a Mercyhurst University program will meet the requirements for licensure in that state.

For a list of professional licensure contact information, please visit our State Accreditation webpage.


Mercyhurst University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. For information regarding accreditation, please visit our Accreditation webpage.