Many professions in the United States have state-level licensing requirements: to be employed in that occupation or profession in that state, you must obtain a license, certificate, certification, or other endorsement (on this page, we’ll use the term “license” to refer to all of these). The requirements vary from state to state, both in whether a license is required and what you must do to obtain one.

License components can include:

  • Education requirements, such as requiring a certain degree, specific courses, continuing education, etc.
  • Tests, exams, or other demonstration of skills/expertise
  • Practical experience requirements, such as internships or practicums
  • Application fees or other costs

We have provided information below about the educational components that our programs may fulfill. However, we also highly recommend that students also independently investigate the licensing requirements for their chosen profession before beginning any academic program, whether at WOU or elsewhere. 

  • Review the licensing information for the applicable program(s).
    • This information for WOU programs is listed below, and we encourage you to connect directly with the program you are interested in to discuss requirements for the state you plan to work in after graduation.
    • For other colleges and universities, try searching their website for “professional licensure” or “state authorization.” All colleges and universities that offer federal financial aid are required to provide this information to prospective and current students.
  • Contact the appropriate licensing agency in the U.S. state or territory you plan to work.
    • Go to the main website for the state or territory and search for the profession you are interested in. Be sure to search for multiple terms (e.g., “lawyer,” “attorney,” and “counselor at law”). The agency names often include words such as board, license or licensing, profession, accreditation, council, etc.
    • This will enable you to obtain the most up-to-date information about licensure requirements and confirm how an academic program fits those requirements.
  • It may be necessary for you to contact the licensing agency directly to find out if an academic program will meet the educational requirements of that license.
  • After choosing and beginning a program, we recommended that you continue to regularly check the licensing agency requirements, in case of changes that affect your plans. If there is a professional organization or group in that state for people in that profession, joining that group can be an easy way to hear about changes in advance, as well as getting connected to the professional community that you will be a part of. Most professional organizations will allow students to join for a minimal fee.

If you have questions or would like additional assistance with finding licensing information, please reach out to the program that you are interested in: we’re happy to help!

This information is provided in compliance with 34 CFR §668.43 and the requirements for participation in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA).


State Authorization

Beverly West | 503-838-8796 | e-mail: