FERPA Guidelines for Researchers

If you have received IRB approval or Exemption Determination from The Pennsylvania State University Institutional Review Board or Office for Research Protections to conduct research involving data from student education records, please be informed that student education records are protected by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Access to these records requires your compliance to the provisions of the regulation.

Approval to use student data in your research is contingent on your agreement that you will:

  1. Use the information only for purposes of your approved research project. Any new use of the information requires new approval.
  2. Provide adequate protection for the information to ensure that it is not compromised or subject to unauthorized access.
  3. Ensure that no one outside the research team has access to the information.

It is strongly urged that you take advantage of the FERPA tutorial available through the Learning Resource Network to improve your understanding of this federal regulation governing privacy of student education records. Instructions for accessing the FERPA tutorial are on the Registrar's website.

If you have additional questions regarding FERPA regulations, please contact the Office of the University Registrar.