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University Advancement Website Standards

Website Standards Compliance

University Advancement (UA) websites use modern design and implementation practices to be accessible to the widest possible audience. UA websites are validated against the W3C standards, helping to ensure consistent rendering across different devices, operating systems, and web browsers.


In order to make sure websites are available to the widest possible audience, UA conforms to MSU's Web Accessibility Policy. Adherance to the policy ensures sites are accessible via screen readers and other accessibility devices, as well as improving overall usability and search engine optimization. The MSU Accessibility Policy currently requires WCAG 2.0 AA compliance.

Technologies are fluid and ever-changing. Similarly, the approach UA takes to maintaining website content must keep pace with these technologies. As a part of UA's ongoing commitment to supply quality, interactive and informed content, any and all websites within UA are, at minimum, subject to an annual compliance review. This review covers identifying and mitigating significant items within the scope of website accessibility and usability. Vendors creating content under the UA umbrella understand this commitment and comply with UA's review policy, including but not limited to self-review and mitigation of identified concerns.

Reporting Accessibility Barriers

MSU and UA are committed to providing accessible, usable and aesthetically pleasing designs of websites and applications. Users experiencing difficulties utilizing content within any property UA has created can report barriers to the UA Web Team.


UA websites satisfy MSU Web Standards set by University Communications in order to maintain a consistent MSU brand. UA also follows related guidance from the MSU Brand Studio in order to reflect the Spartan community while supporting the overall University strategic plan.


MSU forbids the use of individual unit logos. Units are directed to use MSU Logos and Marks instead, helping UA to leverage MSU's world-class brand.


UA collects data through digital properties in accordance to the Privacy & Data Use Statement. As one of many layers of protection, UA requires the use of HTTPS upon all related digital properties to ensure the privacy and integrity of data being transmitted.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard

UA maintains strict PCI DSS and SAQ-A compliance for handling of all financial transactions conducted in person, by mail, telephone, fax, or online.

Sensitive Data

MSU's Institutional Data Policy applies to all members of the University community. As such, UA only stores and uses necessary data related to University purposes in a secure manner. Public disclosure of sensitive data is strictly prohibited.

Usability, Performance, and Best Practices

In order to provide the most usable websites possible, UA also checks each site against an internal list of usability guidelines and other best practices.