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Professional Licensure and Certification Disclosures

Professional Licensure Disclosures

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To see the list of programs leading to licensure organized by college, please click on the button below.




For information about NC-SARA and state authorization, see the SARA web page

For information about different avenues for filing complaints related to USM enrollment, see the Complaints Web Page

For frequently asked questions, see the Frequently Asked Questions page


For a list of professional licensing boards created by national organizations, check the following resources:

Council on Licensure Enforcement and Regulation webpage

NC-SARA Licensure Directory for Counseling, Nursing, Psychology, Social Work and Teacher Education

US Department of Education Professional Licensure Page




The University of Southern Mississippi offers several programs leading to professional licensure or certification within the State of Mississippi. States vary in what professions they require to be licensed and how licensure functions. Some states require an individual to graduate from an approved program while others require an individual to meet certification requirements of a national organization. A specific amount of training can also be required as well as passage of an exam based on a state requisite exam score.

For purposes of the disclosures, per §34 CFR 668.43 (a)(5)(v) (requiring public disclosures), §34 CFR 668.43(c) (requiring direct disclosures), and per NC-SARA Rule 5.2 (which requires institutions participating in NC-SARA to comply with federal regulations requiring professional licensure disclosures), the term professional licensure will be used to cover all programs (traditional, online, hybrid) that are:

  • designed to meet educational requirements for a specific license (licensure and state certification) and are required for employment in an occupation, or
  • are marketed or advertised to meet those requirements

Licensure is a state-specific determination made by state professional licensing boards based on state-determined criteria.

Certification constitutes a state certification, rather than a certification by any other public or private entity. 

The rules applicable to a licensure application are the rules and regulations that are in place at the time the student applies for licensure.


Many careers require you to meet specific licensing, training as well as other requirements.

State Authority.  Licensure requires are governed by the states, not by the Federal government, and the criteria for licensure vary significantly from state to state.

Regulatory State Boards or National Entities. Each state has professional licensing boards in place to regulate the criteria that need to be met to qualify for licensure within a state.  Some professions are regulated by profession specific national entities. 

Approved to Lead to Licensure in Mississippi

The programs at The University of Southern Mississippi have been designed to meet relevant requirements for programs in the State of Mississippi.

Types of Licensure Requirements

Licensure requirements may include

  • educational or degree requirements
  • state-specific course content
  • additional state required supervised field experience hours
  • professional examinations
  • background checks
  • work experience
  • character and fitness qualifications
  • fingerprinting
  • drug screening,
  • residency or citizenship requirements
  • and
  • other requirements.  


Typically, state licensing boards will have added requirements including among other requirements, a criminal background check, specialized courses, certain age of applicant, experience, citizenship requirements, added fees, and specifically the following types of requirements based on the field in one is being licensed:

  • Engineering- most states require additional years of experience following graduation for candidates who apply for licensure with an Applied Technology, B.S. (which is only accepted in a few states) or an Engineering Technology, B.S. or an Industrial Engineering Technology, B.S. Typically, this would be an additional four years of experience for a total of eight years of professional experience, instead of the four years required for those who graduate with an Engineering degree.
  • Medical Laboratory Science-Only some states (California, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, and West Virginia) require licensure.  Those states require academic and clinical prerequisites as well as passage of the ASCP (American Society for Clinical Pathology) national certification exam.  Mississippi does not currently require licensing of Medical Laboratory Scientist.   See the ASCP page for additional information for the certification exam.
  • Nursing- Mississippi is part of the enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (e-NLC) along with the following states:  Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. For additional information about the e-NLC see the following website: e-NLC Implementation.
  • Social Work- passing scores on the examination from the Assocation of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exams based on type of license.  Information as to state requirements is listed on the ASWB website-
  • Teaching- additional coursework (i.e. a state history and state culture course), and distinct test scores on the Praxis in 46 of the 50 states [Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Michigan do not require the Praxis]. Those seeking a license as an administrator may need to have a specific number of years of experience. There may be additional qualifications and/or disqualifications (including relative to criminal history of licensure applicants) applicable in order to work as a teacher with any local, state or federal entity.

International Licensure

Other countries and their licensure boards and licensing and certification entities may have specific requirements for a program to lead to professional licensure or certification.  It is the responsibility of the students to determine whether or not completion of their program of choice will fulfill any educational requirements for professional licensure in their country. Keep in mind that additional requirements for licensure unrelated to education may apply, and students should reach out to the appropriate licensing agency/board within their country to obtain assistance in making a final determination.

Applicable Licensing Requirements

Licensure rules can change at any time.  Although a program may meet the educational licensure or certification requirements originally, requirements may and often do change.  Therefore, the student should check with the licensure board or certifying entity throughout their enrollment to ensure that their program still meets the requirements.

At the time that the student applies for licensure or certification, the licensure board or certifying entity will apply the rules that are in place at the time they are processing the licensure or certification application.

Relocating During The Course

Relocating while enrolled could adversely impact if a student can continue in the program,  meet state eligibility requirements, and/or obtain federal financial aid funding. If you are considering relocating, please check with your program prior to doing so.


Students intending to practice a licensed profession outside of Mississippi who plan to enroll in any University of Southern Mississippi education course(s), degree and/or certificate program leading to advanced licensure need to understand that the state that they are going to be working in will likely have specific requirements in terms of additional courses that are needed to become licensed in their state.  We encourage students to communicate with the appropriate licensing agency to seek information and additional guidance prior to and throughout their collegiate journey as indicated below:

Initial Communication with Licensing Entity

Prior to applying to a program as well as prior to being accepted to a program, students are responsible for verifying that the program meets all requirements for licensure/certification once they complete the program.  This can be done by reaching out to the professional licensing board or licensing/certification entity overseeing the profession. 

USM has created a list of such entities and divided them under the college that oversees a particular program:

College of Arts and Sciences

College of Business and Economic Development

College of Education and Human Sciences

College of Nursing and Health Professions


Ongoing Communications with Licensing Entity

Requirements for licensing and certification may change over time.  To determine if a program will lead to licensure/certification in a state, students should contact the appropriate licensing agency and/or organization for the latest information.


State Authorization

  • USM is a participating institution of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA) which allows us to provide distance learning programs and coursework to residents of states other than Mississippi.
  • NC-SARA membership, however, does not grant reciprocity or exempt our students from state professional licensing requirements.
  • As a result, satisfying licensing requirements in Mississippi may not be  sufficient to obtain a license in any other state.  


Per 34 CFR 668.43 (c)(3)(ii), institutions must provide the Department of Education with the institutional determination of where the student is located upon request. To achieve this an institution must establish policies or procedures to consistently determine where students are located. Institutions must determine where a student is located both at the time of enrollment in an institution and after receiving information provided by the student indicating that the student's location has changed during their enrollment. 

USM collects location information from students as part of the registration process wherein students are asked to provide their physical location.  Each semester students must update their location information.


  • Relocating during the course of a program to another state may impact if the student can remain in the program, meet the state licensure requirements and/or continue to receive financial aid funding.
  • Prior to considering relocation, please contact your program to discuss authorization and licensure eligibility requirements.
  • Based on state specific rules and regulation in place at the time an individual submits their application for licensure, each state professional licensing board may have distinct requirements in place.

Potential Changes in Licensure/Certification Requirements

  • Students who plan to pursue licensure or certification outside of the State of Mississippi should be aware that requirements for professional licensure/certification can vary drastically by state, and these requirements can change frequently and often without notice.
  • While a program may originally meet the educational requirements for licensure/certification, changes in requirements could impact the program’s ability to meet any new educational requirements.
  • Students should always check with their state licensing board to confirm licensure requirements.


  • The University of Southern Mississippi is able to offer distance education (online and supervised field experiences) in states that are NC-SARA member states through our membership in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).
  • Should you relocate while taking a distance program to a place in which we are not authorized to provide distance education, negative consequences may occur including, but not limited to, the loss of eligibility for certain forms of financial aid (including, but not limited to, Title IV financial aid eligibility, loan repayment or deferment, and/or veteran’s benefits), and/or in the inability to complete the academic program.
  • Each state professional licensing board has distinct standards. Therefore, relocation may adversely affect your ability to become licensed.  See our SARA page for a list of locations within which we can offer distance education. 
  • Should you have any questions regarding state authorization, please email stateauthorizationFREEMississippi
  • To determine the impact of relocation on financial aid, students should consult with the Financial Services Office and/or the Center for Military Veterans, Services Members and Families located at 3503 Morningside Drive Hattiesburg, MS 39406 to determine the impact of a change in location.

Background Checks

Students who are pursuing degrees that lead to professional licensure or (state) certification, and/or who will be participating in clinical placements, internships, or practica through their degree program should be aware that their host facility may require any or all of the following:

  • criminal background check
  • fingerprinting or
  • drug screening

In such situations, each student is responsible for obtaining and paying for the background check or other screening process and for delivering required documentation to the facility.


Although the University will make reasonable efforts to place admitted students in field experiences and internships, it will be up to the host facility to determine whether a student will be allowed to work at that facility.

Impact of Criminal Record on Licensure

  • Students should be aware that a criminal record may jeopardize licensure by the state certification body.
  • Students may consult the certification body corresponding to their intended occupation for more details.
  • Successful completion of a program of study at the University of Southern Mississippi does not guarantee licensure, certification or employment in the relevant occupation.


34 CFR 668.43 (a)(5)(v) - General Disclosures

If a program is designed to meet educational requirements for a specific professional license or certification that is required for employment in an occupation, or is advertised as meeting such requirements, the institution must make the following information readily available to enrolled or prospective students.

(A) A list of all States for which the institution has determined that its curriculum meets the State educational requirements for licensure or certification;  or

(B) A list of all States for which the institution has determined that its curriculum does not meet the State educational requirements for licensure or certification). (this is effective 7/1/2024)

34 CFR 668.43 (c) - Direct Disclosures

Prior to enrollment, direct disclosure is made if the program does not meet the educational requirements. The Department expects that the institution will provide this disclosure before a student signs an enrollment agreement, or in the event that an institution does not provide an enrollment agreement, before the student makes a financial commitment to the institution.

If the student is enrolled in a program and the institution makes a determination that the program does not meet educational requirements for the state in which the student is located or the state to which the student has indicated they will relocate, the institution shall notify the student within 14 calendar days of discovering that the program does not meet the educational requirements.



The University of Southern Mississippi does not guarantee nor confirm that any program that fulfills Mississippi licensure requirements will satisfy the professional licensure boards standards/requirements in other states or territories. If you are a student applying to/admitted to a program that leads to professional licensure and intend to practice outside of the State of Mississippi, please contact the appropriate licensing agency in your state of residence before beginning a course of study.