Exemptions and Permissions

Under certain circumstances, a private postsecondary institution may be granted an exemption from Coordinating Board oversight or permission which allows its agents to conduct certain activities in Texas. Entities which are not degree-granting private postsecondary institutions may also apply for permission to use certain protected terms.

Exemptions and Permissions

Religious Exemption

THECB does not regulate private postsecondary institutions which offer degrees only in religious disciplines. Religious institutions may request and be granted a religious exemption.

If the religious institution also offers non-religious discipline degrees, it must apply for a Certificate of Authority or a Certificate of Authorization.

Distance Education Exemption

An out-of-state institution does not need to receive permission from the Coordinating Board to offer distance education to Texas residents if it is accredited to offer degrees by an accrediting agency recognized by the Coordinating Board or by the US Department of Education or approved by a Texas state agency which authorizes the school’s graduates to take a professional or career and technical state licensing examination administered by that agency.

If an out-of-state institution offering distance education also has a physical presence in Texas, it must apply for a Certificate of Authorization in order to offer degrees or courses leading to degrees, including clinicals or internships. If an out-of-state institution has a physical presence, it must have Coordinating Board-recognized accreditation.

Institutions operating under a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) should consult their SARA state representative: National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements

Operation on Military Base (Federal Land) Exemption

An institution operating on land in Texas over which the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction is exempt from Coordinating Board oversight if the institution limits its educational activities to the confines of the federal land and to the military or civilian employees and their dependents who work or live on that land. These activities include the recruitment of students; advertising of the postsecondary educational institution or its programs or courses; and providing degree programs or courses leading to degrees on the federal land.

If an institution recruits students, advertises the institution or its programs or courses, or provides degree programs or courses leading to degrees on land over which the federal government does not have exclusive jurisdiction, the institution shall be subject to compliance with all applicable Coordinating Board rules.

Protected Term Permission

For authorization to use the name “college,” “university,” “school of medicine,” “medical school,” “health science center,” “school of law,” “law school,” or “law center” in the name of a corporation, association, or partnership, you must have either degree-granting authority or a letter from The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board granting permission to use the term.

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Registered Agent Registration

A certificate of registration is needed for any agent of a postsecondary educational institution that does not have a Certificate of Authorization or a Certificate of Authority.

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Exemptions and Permissions

Inquiries regarding exemptions and permissions should be directed to Cathie Maeyaert.

Email Cathie Maeyaert