State Authorization

For Distance Education

Last updated: June 8, 2024

UWest offers two distance education programs: Master of Arts in Buddhist Spiritual Care (MABSC) and the Professional MBA. We encourage all out-of-state distance-learning applicants and students of these programs to read the following carefully.


State Authorization

The US Department of Education requires institutions offering online or distance learning programs to be authorized by each state in which the institution enrolls students (if such authorization is required by the state).

UWest is in the process of complying with regulations pursuant to state authorization, including applying for and maintaining approval or exemption status for our online offerings in other states.

UWest would greatly prefer to offer online programs to all students across the country, however, some states have enacted regulations that make it prohibitive for us to do so.


California’s Relationship to SARA

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) were established in 2013 by higher education stakeholders including state regulators and education leaders, accreditors, the U.S. Department of Education, and institutions. SARA is intended to streamline regulations around distance education programs.

However, California remains the only state not a member of SARA, which means that California-based institutions, like UWest, are not eligible to participate in the reciprocity agreements and instead must comply with individual applicable state laws in which they would like to enroll students.


States in Which UWest Complies

Below is the list of states from which UWest may enroll online students:

  • California
  • Louisiana
  • Ohio
  • Texas


UWest cannot enroll online or distance students in states or US territories that are not listed above. Similarly, UWest cannot offer federal financial aid for online/distance education programs to students who reside in unauthorized states.

If you are from a state that is not currently authorized, please contact an enrollment advisor at so we can provide information about whether we might pursue compliance with your state.


Notice to Current Students Who Relocate

If, while enrolled in an online program with UWest, you relocate to a state in which we are not in compliance, you may lose eligibility to remain enrolled in your course of study.
Please speak with your program chair if you anticipate relocating while you are completing your degree.
Prospective students who have not yet enrolled should consider this regulation prior to applying, especially if there is a possibility of relocating to a restricted state prior to program completion.


State of California Complaint Procedure

In the event a student or stakeholder believes UWest’s administrative processes or educational programs are compromised and are not up to the required minimum standards, they may notify the State of California, Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). Individuals may file a complaint by visiting: or contacting:

Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education
P.O. Box 980818
West Sacramento, CA 95798-0818

1747 North Market Blvd., Suite 225
Sacramento, CA 95834
Phone: (888) 370-7589
Fax: (916) 263-1897