The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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State Authorization for Distance Education Programs


UMass Amherst accepts students from all 50 states into online programs and classes.  Some restrictions may apply to programs related to professional licensures (e.g., nursing). For details, check the program websites.

State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA):  The University of Massachusetts Amherst operates distance education classes and programs for out-of-state students under the terms and provisions of SARA.  Please see the SARA website for a list of participating states and territories.

California Students:  The state of California allows all public institutions to offer distance education to its residents.

Nursing Programs Only:  The UMass Amherst College of Nursing is authorized to accept applications or enrollments for online degree or certificate programs from residents of most states.  There are some restrictions, please check with the College of Nursing for the most recent updates.

Academic Grievance Procedures  

The students, faculty and administration of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst recognize the need to provide an orderly process for the resolution of academic grievances. The following Grievance Procedures have therefore been created to meet this need: 

  • UMass Amherst Academic RegulationsGrading disputes brought by graduate students should be addressed under the University's Academic Grievance Procedures outlined in the UMass Amherst Academic Regulations.  This procedure applies to all undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and all courses offered by the Amherst campus, including courses offered by the Division of Continuing Education and online courses.  
  • Graduate School Academic Grievance Procedure: Disputes brought by graduate students for very serious academic matters not otherwise covered by other University policies and procedures, shall follow the Graduate School Grievance Procedure.

Additional Information for Distance Education students in SARA member states outside Massachusetts:

In accordance with the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), if a person bringing a complaint is not satisfied with the outcome of the institutional process for handling complaints, the complaint (except for complaints about grades or student conduct violations) may be appealed, within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made, to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education which is the SARA portal for Massachusetts SARA member institutions.  Complaint forms are available at  The resolution of the complaint by the institution’s home state SARA portal entity, through its SARA complaint resolution process, will be final.