Get State Approval To Open A University in Arizona: Short Guide

If you're looking to open a university in Arizona, you'll need to get state approval first. However,  the process can be confusing and overwhelming. To make the process as smooth as possible, you need to understand the requirements and procedures of the state agency responsible for approving universities.  In this guide, we'll walk you through all the steps involved in getting your university approved by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education

Understanding the Process and Requirements For State Approval

Before you begin, it's important to understand the requirements and procedures set by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education (ASBPPE). This board is responsible for approving universities in the state, ensuring that they are in compliance with all necessary regulations. 

The application process for getting your university state-approved involves the following steps:

  1. Submit An Application Through The E-Licensing System
  2. Request a General Information Packet from the State Board Staff
  3. Submit a Letter of Intent (LOI)
  4. Submit An Application Packet (Or Proceed If Exempt)

Let's go over each step in more detail.

Step 1: Submit An Application Through The E-Licensing System

The first step in getting state approval for your university is to submit an application through the State of Arizona's e-Licensing system. 

After completing your registration via, log in with your email address to access the dashboard. Once you’re on this screen, you can start applying for a license. You can also use the dashboard to get an update on the status of your application.

Step 2: Request A General Information Packet From The State Board Staff

Next, you need to contact the State Board Staff and request a General Information Packet. 

You can contact the State Board Staff by sending an email to

The General Information Packet will contain all the information you need to know about getting your university approved in Arizona. It also includes the "Application Letter of Intent" form which you'll need to fill out and submit to the State Board office for review.

If you need other resources and information not found in the General Information Packet, you can visit the State Board’s resource page.

Step 3: Submit A Letter Of Intent (LOI)

Fill out the "Application Letter of Intent" form included in the General Information Packet you received from the State Board Staff. Then submit the completed form to the State Board office via

The State Board will then review the document and then decide whether or not licensure is required. Generally, this process should take around 10 days.

Step 4: Submit An Application Packet (Or Proceed If Exempt)

After reviewing the information on your Letter of Intent, the State Board Staff will decide the following:

  • If licensure is needed, the State Board will send you an application packet tailored to your programs and accreditation status
  • If licensure is not needed, the State Board will send you a letter to confirm that your proposed activities are not subject to their jurisdiction.

If Licensure Is Needed

If State Board Staff has determined that licensure is required, you will receive an application packet which includes all forms necessary to apply for a license. You won’t find this application packet on their website. 

This application packet will vary based on the programs offered at your proposed institution and whether or not it is accredited. 

As an applicant, you must submit the application to the Board along with:

  • An application fee of $100
  • A financial statement outlining your proposed business plan
  • Curriculum outlines
  • Evidence of good standing with local agencies
  • Letters from responsible officials in the county where you plan on opening your university
  • And other materials as requested

To see the full list of requirements, refer to the following resource

You will have 60 days (unless granted an extension) to complete and submit the application packet, along with the relevant supporting documents. 

Once you have submitted the application packet, it will take the SBPPE an average of 30 days (or even less if your institution is already accredited) to review your application and send a response. 

To ensure a successful application, make sure that all forms are filled out correctly.  Additionally, you should keep all evidence of compliance with state regulations on hand so that they can easily refer to it during the review process. 

If Licensure Is Not Needed

If licensure is not required based upon the State Board's exemptions specified in the statute, you could then proceed with your plans to open a university in Arizona without submitting additional paperwork or waiting for approval from the State Board.

Closing Words

Getting state approval for opening a university in Arizona is an involved process, but if you follow the steps outlined above and submit all of the relevant documents to the State Board staff in a timely manner, your application should be approved sooner than you might expect.

You can make the process even smoother and stress-free by following these tips:

• Do extensive research beforehand so that you know exactly what documents are needed for state approval

• Follow all instructions closely when submitting additional paperwork

• Remain organized so that no important details are overlooked

• Be patient – remember that it takes time for applications to be processed 

• Contact someone from the State Board if you have any concerns or need clarification about something related to your application.

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