New University-Wide State Authorization Policy

The state authorization team is currently developing a new university-wide state authorization policy to better define the role colleges and units play in state authorization at The Ohio State University. The reason? State authorization needs a better handle on all activities taking place outside of Ohio in order to accurately report to regulatory agencies and obtain approvals in states where Ohio State is not authorized.

What is state authorization and how does it apply to my work?

Ohio State is required to obtain state authorization approvals from higher education regulatory agencies (and from governmental regulatory authorities outside of the U.S.) to enable Ohio State to offer educational or other activities that trigger “physical presence”, including certificates, non-degree seeking students, and continuing education. Physical presence is defined by each state, and can include:

  • Location where the student is receiving her or his education
  • Experiential learning opportunities (ex. internships, externships, field experiences, clinicals, etc.)
  • Property in the state (ex. servers or administrative offices)
  • Advertising (ex. print, billboard, direct mail, internet, radio, television or other medium)
  • Recruiting (ex. college visits, job fairs, athletic recruiting)
  • Third party agreements/contracts (ex. library, gym, computer centers, proctored exams, etc.)

Why are we developing a state authorization policy?

Traditionally, state authorization worked closely with our all online degree programs in order to allow students from across the country to enroll in Ohio State Online. However, the introduction of a new state authorization policy means that state authorization will expand beyond distance education. The policy is being developed to:  

  • Expand the scope for the state authorization team within the Office of Distance Education and eLearning, a dedicated area that will continue coordinating state/territory authorization requirements for all university out-of-state activities

  • Define roles and responsibilities for units across the university
  • Allow Ohio State students to sit for licensure after completion of their program
  • Facilitate aggregate enrollment reporting to necessary stakeholders
  • Reduce institutional risk and ensure Ohio State activities are in full compliance with applicable laws

The draft policy will be sent out to university staff for feedback starting Friday, May 13, and is also available for viewing at The Office of University Compliance and Integrity. Staff will have until June 10 to submit comments to

How will the State Authorization Policy impact your area? 

Email the state authorization team ( to attend one of our educational sessions or register online for a webinar to learn more about how the new policy will impact you. Dates, times and locations are listed below: 

  • 9:00 – 10:00 a.m., Thursday, May 19 – Thompson Library, room 204

  • 10:00 – 11:00 a.m., Monday, May 23 – Online
  • 9:00 – 10:00 a.m., Thursday, May 26 – Thompson Library, room 204
  • 11:00 – 12:00 p.m., Monday, May 31 – Online
  • 9:00 – 10:00 a.m., Thursday, June 2 – Thompson Library, room 204
  • 9:00 – 10:00 a.m., Thursday, June 9 – Thompson Library, room 204 

For more information, check out the state authorization website