Authorization, Licensure, and Complaints
Indiana University is required under federal regulations to publish disclosures related to state authorization, professional licensure and certification requirements, and student complaint procedures.
Indiana University is committed to providing an exceptional educational experience that is transparent, efficient, stimulating, and fair. The Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct is IU’s way of ensuring that the rights of students are protected and respected. If you feel your rights as defined in the Code have been violated by a member of IU's online community, you may file a grievance. If at all possible, the IU Office of Online Education would like the opportunity to work with you to resolve the problem. Please fill out this form, and a member of our staff will contact you as quickly as possible. If you have spoken with the Office of Online Education and would like additional information, please continue reading. Indiana University has established procedures for students to follow when they believe that their rights as defined in the Code have been violated by a member of the IU community. The local campus offices of the dean of students, affirmative action, and faculty affairs, as appropriate, will assist students in addressing their grievances. All campuses of Indiana University are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. This level of accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. If—after following the procedures outlined in the Code—you believe that your complaint has not been properly addressed, you may file your grievance in accordance with the following:
If you live in the state of Indiana, follow the procedures outlined on the website of the Office of the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs for filing a complaint. Additionally, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE), can hear certain higher education complaints. Please note that ICHE cannot review complaints related to course grades, academic sanctions, or discipline and conduct matters. ICHE’s authority to hear complaints and instructions for filing a complaint are described here.
If you live outside of the state of Indiana but reside in a state that has joined the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), please follow the procedures detailed in the next section. The Office of Online Education has indicated SARA member states parenthetically in the list of states below. However, new states may have joined since this page has last been updated. For the most recent list of SARA member states, please visit the SARA website linked above.
Additionally, if you live outside the state of Indiana, you may wish to file a consumer complaint with the appropriate agency or office in your state of residence. You will find contact information for agencies that hear complaints against institutions of higher education in each state provided for you below.
Complaint Process for Students Residing in SARA States
Complaints arising from distance education courses offered to students in other SARA states come under the terms of Indiana University’s agreement with SARA. If you are a resident of Indiana, you should follow the complaint procedures for “in-state students" listed above. SARA consumer protection provisions require Indiana’s SARA portal agency, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE), to investigate and resolve allegations of dishonest or fraudulent activity by a provider, including the provision of false or misleading information. Additionally, SARA policies provide for the investigation and resolution of complaints that an institution is operating a course or program contrary to practices set forth in the C-RAC Guidelines (see "Quality of Online Courses and Programs" section above) in such a way that a student is harmed. The ICHE complaint process can be viewed here. While the final resolution of complaints rests with ICHE, nothing precludes the student’s home state from also working to resolve the complaint, preferably through that state’s SARA portal agency. Students who wish to bring forward a complaint are advised to read the full SARA Consumer Protection Policy beginning on page 8.
Military Service Members, Veterans, Military Family
If you are an active military service member, a veteran, or a family member of a current military service member or a veteran, your complaint may be eligible for review before the Department of Defense (DoD). For more details on this process, please click here.
Complaint Process by State
For instructions on how to file a complaint within your home state, click on your state below. States marked with an asterisk* are SARA members, and students residing in these states should consult the SARA complaint process described above.
- American Samoa
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- North Mariana Islands
- Rhode Island
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- West Virginia
Out-of-state institutions of higher education are required by state and federal law to obtain state-specific authorizations, where necessary, before offering distance education to out-of-state students. IU Online programs are available to students nationwide. However, individual program requirements, such as supervised field experiences, may not be available in all states.
All IU Online programs are currently authorized or exempt from seeking authorization in all states and territories. This authorization is sustained through the continued membership of all IU campuses in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), which now includes 48 states and the District of Columbia as state members. Indiana University is exempt from seeking authorization to offer online programs (and can therefore legally offer these programs) in the two non-SARA member states, California and Massachusetts, and all non-SARA territories, American Samoa, Guam, and Puerto Rico. Exemptions are based on Indiana University’s status as a public, nonprofit institution, with accredited programs, and a lack of activity that would establish a “physical presence” as defined by state law.
However, please note that obtaining legal authorization to offer programs in a state is a distinct process from obtaining recognition or approval from state licensing bodies that regulate certain professions, such as teaching or nursing. It is therefore possible that certain programs related to state-licensed professions are being offered in a state but will not satisfy the sometimes unique educational requirements for becoming licensed in that same state. More information about licensure is provided in the next section.
Requirements for licensure and certification vary by profession and by state, and the Office of Online Education cannot confirm whether individual programs meet licensure requirements in individual states. To determine whether your program meets licensure requirements in your state as well as for all other questions pertaining to licensure, such as whether there are additional costs, examinations, or interviews will be required, please call or email the listed contact for your program.
You may also wish to check with the appropriate licensing body in your state. The Council on Licensure, Enforcement, and Regulation (CLEAR) has compiled this list of licensing boards by jurisdiction and profession, which should not be considered exhaustive.