State Authorization

UWM participates in SARA, the State Authorization Reciprocity Network. Our participation means that UWM can enroll online students who reside in states throughout the nation. SARA replaced a confusing array of state-level statutes. Online program administrators need to know the following information:

  1. The process for student complaints outlined in SARA (see below)
  2. Programs that require internships, practica, clinical experiences, or professional licensure (typically the case for program in licensed professions such as Nursing, Education, or Social Work) will likely need to meet additional state regulatory/statutory requirements. Contact Cheryl Andres, UWM’s State Authorization Manager, for more information. Note that entering a market when we do not have full approval to be there puts the institution at risk.


SARA Overview

Pursuant to Wis. Stats. Ch. 39.85, et. al, the State of Wisconsin is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) through the Midwestern Higher Education Compact which regulates the manner in which participating institutions may offer distance learning education to students who reside in other states.  UWM is a participating institution in MSARA.

The terms and conditions of SARA can be found at

If a student has a complaint that involves distance learning education offered under the terms and conditions of SARA, the student must file a complaint with the institution first to seek resolution (contact the Dean of Students Office (;  414-229-4632; or the Office of the Provost at 414-229-3203; If no resolution is reached, then the student may file a complaint with the Wisconsin Distance Learning Authorization Board (DLAB) through the following State Authorization Reciprocity Complaint Process at the following link: or by email to  For purposes of this process, a complaint shall be defined as a formal assertion in writing that the terms of this agreement, or of laws, standards or regulations incorporated by the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements Policies and Standards have been violated by the institution operating under the terms of SARA.

Additional information can be found at

Professional Licensure