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Norfolk State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Norfolk State University also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Norfolk State University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

State Authorization

Accordingto the U.S. Department of Education, "state authorization is a longstanding requirement in the Higher Education Act that requires institutions to be authorized in the state in which they are located as a condition for eligibility to receive Title IV federal financial aid.”

Norfolk State University is approved as an institutional participant in National Council State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), which allows online delivery of distance education to other member states. The University continues to monitor developments in the relevant laws in every state. If authorization or licensure is necessary or becomes necessary, NSU will obtain the necessary approvals.

Currently, the only U.S. state not participating in NC-SARA is California. The California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education does not regulate out-of-state public institutions; therefore, approval for Norfolk State University to offer distance education activities is not required.

Professional Licensure Disclosures

NSU's educational programs that lead to licensure or certifications are designed to meet Virginia's licensure/certification requirements and prepare students to apply for licensure exams in states outside of Virginia. Each state and territory may have different professional licensure and certification requirements. Other states may require individuals to obtain additional coursework, additional fieldwork, background checks, the passage of additional state licensing exams, additional fees, or other requirements. Students with questions about whether a program will lead to licensure in their state can explore the Licensure Disclosure Directory.

Student Complaint Process

Pursuant to the United States Department of Education’s Program Integrity Rule, the University is required to provide all prospective and current students with the contact information of the state agency or agencies that handle complaints against postsecondary education institutions offering distance learning within that state. Students are encouraged to use Norfolk State University’s Student Complaint Process prior to filing a complaint with a state agency. Students residing in Virginia who have exhausted all internal avenues may submit a Student Complaint Form to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), the Commonwealth’s coordinating body for higher education. The form and more details on the formal SCHEV student complaint procedure can be found on the SCHEV Student Complaints web page.

If additional information is needed, the student may access the complaint contacts for each state or the  NC-SARA student complaint process.

Students are held responsible for the information contained in the University Undergraduate and Graduate Academic catalogs. Failure to read and comply with university regulations will not exempt students from penalties they may incur.

A complete list of policies can be found in the University Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog or online in the NSU Policy Library.

Quality Matters

Quality Matters (QM) is an inter-institutional organization that sets baseline research-based standards to ensure quality design for online and hybrid courses.  Norfolk State University is committed to implementing the Quality Matters Standards for the design of online and/or hybrid courses. To maintain quality assurance, all online and hybrid courses will be evaluated using the Quality Matters (QM) Rubric. For additional information, please see Quality Matters at NSU. 

Online Learning Consortium

Norfolk State University is a member of the Online Learning Consortium (OLC). The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) is a collaborative community dedicated to advancing quality digital teaching and learning experiences for the modern learner – anyone, anywhere, anytime.