The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is a voluntary pact among states, districts, and territories in the United States. Its purpose is to establish consistent national standards for offering postsecondary distance education courses and programs across state lines. The goal is to simplify the process of enrolling in online courses for credit from educational institutions located in other states. SARA is managed by a national council called NC-SARA and is operated through four regional education compacts.

The state of North Carolina is part of SARA through its affiliation with the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). Duke University is an active member of SARA and has the authorization to provide distance education courses and programs to all participating states and territories.

To ensure compliance with the various federal and state regulations governing distance education, the Office of the Provost collaborates with its partners across the campus. Each U.S. state has its own set of laws and regulations overseeing educational providers operating within its jurisdiction, with different criteria for when an educational provider becomes subject to regulation.

Consequently, the Office of the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs coordinates Duke University's efforts among campus partners and relevant government agencies, where authorization is required, to meet the requirements of distance education regulations. If you have questions about distance education regulations at Duke, you can contact Evan Widney, the Manager of Accreditation, at Evan.Widney@duke.edu or by phone at 919-684-8690. You can also find more information on compliance programs administered throughout the University community by visiting Duke's Office of Audit, Risk, and Compliance website.

Federal regulations require that institutions provide both current and prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with the educational institution, with its accrediting body and the appropriate state agency for handling complaints in the state where a student is located. Should you have a complaint, the following options are available to you:


Student Complaints

Duke University Policies and Procedures

Federal regulations require Duke to provide current and prospective students with the contact information for filing complaints with appropriate state agencies and other regulatory entities. Contact information for these regulatory agencies is included in the subsequent sections; SACSCOC and SARA North Carolina and Other State Entities.

Duke is committed to providing learning environments in which complaints arising out of on-campus and distance-based programs are responded to promptly and with maximum protection to the parties. Procedures for resolving grievances internally are outlined below.

As a first step, all students should initially seek resolution to their complaints by notifying the relevant department chair or program director in their area of study. Concerns may often be resolved to the student’s satisfaction after meeting and communicating with the department chair or program director. Students whose complaints remain unresolved at this level are encouraged to contact the Dean of the school in which he/she is enrolled at the following:

•    Trinity College of Arts and Sciences (phone: 919-684-4863)
•    Pratt School of Engineering (phone: 919-660-5389)
•    School of Nursing (phone: 919-684-9444)
•    School of Medicine (phone: 919-684-2455)
•    School of Law (phone: 919-613-7001)
•    Divinity School (phone: 919-660-3434)
•    Sanford School of Public Policy (phone: 919-613-7309)
•    Nicholas School of the Environment (phone: 919-613-8135)
•    Graduate School (phone: 919-681-1560)
•    Fuqua School of Business (phone: 919-660-7822)

If a student finds at any point their grievance is unable to be, or has not been, sufficiently resolved through the above process they are encouraged to utilize the centralized reporting channels established by Duke University.

The Office of Institutional Equity at Duke oversees and administers policies and procedures for complaints and concerns. Any current or prospective students wishing to submit a complaint or grievance against the university at any point is strongly encouraged to use the Office of Institutional Equity’s Report An Incident form

The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards at Duke was established to investigate and resolve alleged violations of internal university policies in accordance with the Duke Community Standard in Practice, including issues of academic integrity. Any current or prospective students wishing to submit a Duke Community Standard related violation at any point is strongly encouraged to use the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards Incident Referral form. 

Those with questions pertaining to the student complaint process, or complaints that remain unresolved through the above procedures, are encouraged to contact the Office of the Provost, 220 Allen Building, Box 90005, Durham, North Carolina 27708 or (919) 684-0731 for additional information and/or guidance.



Students whose complaints remain unresolved through the internal process overseen by the University may contact Duke’s accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or by phone at (404) 679-4500 in accordance with SACSCOC complaint procedures


SARA North Carolina and Other State Entities

Duke University is a participating institution in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) administered by SARA North Carolina. Students may file a complaint via the process and form established by SARA North Carolina at P.O. Box 41349 Raleigh, NC 27629 or by phone at (919) 549-8614, ext. 4667 and email at information@saranc.org

In addition to the grievance procedures set forth by SARA North Carolina, students may a file a complaint with the state in which they are residing and receiving instruction provided by Duke. 

Furthermore, students may file a complaint with the North Carolina Department of Justice via this form. Residents of the State of North Carolina may call the Department at (877) 566-7226 while individuals residing outside the State of North Carolina may contact the Department at (919) 716-6000.  Individuals that wish to contact the Department in Spanish are encouraged to call the Department at (919) 716-0058.
Please also use the following address to mail complaints to the Department:

Consumer Protection Division
Attorney General’s Office
Mail Service Center 9001
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001 

Professional Licensure Programs

School of Nursing

Students interested in enrolling in programs leading to professional licensure at the School of Nursing are highly encouraged to visit a webpage established by Duke for more information about these compliance issues that are of particular concern to the field of nursing.  Students may also contact Nora Harrington, Director of Recruitment and Admissions for the Duke University School of Nursing at 307 Trent Drive, Durham, North Carolina or (877)415-3853 for more information about these considerations.  In addition, students may contact the Board of Nursing in their state for inquiries regarding nursing education and the School of Nursing's status with these regulatory agencies.

Additional Professional Licensing Boards

In accordance with NC-Sara and SARA North Carolina requirements, please find contact information for additional Professional Licensing Boards, by state, corresponding with relevant educational programs offered by the following Duke University entities:

School of Medicine

Physician Assistant Program

Department of Physical Therapy

Duke University School of Law

Program in Education



Prospective and current students should keep in mind that licensing requirements vary by state and that relocating during the course of a program to another state could impact whether a student can continue in the program, meet the eligibility requirements of that state, and/or receive financial aid funding. If students are considering relocating, they should contact their program to check for licensure eligibility requirements.

International Students

Prior to enrolling in any program at Duke University, prospective students living and/or working outside of the United States should confirm with the appropriate certifying agency whether successful completion of any degree program at Duke University will meet the credentialing requirements of the country in which they intend to seek employment, as to certain types of employment or for advanced/specialized educational programs.


State Authorization Resources

U.S. Department of Education


National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements

SARA North Carolina

National Council of State Boards of Nursing


Molly Goldwasser:
Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
Email: molly.goldwasser@duke.edu
Phone: 919-684-0731