Eligibility

Please note: The .edu Cooperative Agreement allows registrants that registered .edu domain names prior to the Agreement taking effect October 29, 2001, to retain those registrations regardless of whether the registrants meet the current .edu eligibility requirements, so long as they renew their registrations and otherwise follow domain policy (e.g., the ban on transferring a .edu domain name to a different institution or organization).

Therefore, do not infer that your institution or organization is eligible for .edu registration because a similar institution or organization holds a .edu domain name. Please carefully review the .edu eligibility requirements to ensure that your institution or organization qualifies for .edu domain name registration.

Institutional Eligibility

Per the terms of the .edu Cooperative Agreement, institutions applying to register a .edu domain name or seeking to renew a .edu domain name registration that was approved on or after October 29, 2001, must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  1. They must be U.S.-based postsecondary institutions. This means that they must be postsecondary institutions located within the United States (including U.S. territories and possessions); be licensed, chartered, or incorporated within the United States (including U.S. territories and possessions); or otherwise be officially recognized as a U.S. postsecondary institution by a U.S. state or federal government agency (including U.S. territories and possessions).
    1. If an institution is not based in the United States per this definition, it is not eligible for .edu domain name registration.
    2. If you have questions about how this definition may apply to your institution, please send an email to [email protected] with the details.
  2. They must have institutional accreditation from an institutional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Only U.S.-based postsecondary institutions holding institutional accreditation from one of the agencies on the U.S. Department of Education's list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies are eligible for .edu domain name registration.
    1. Nationally recognized accrediting agencies include both "Regional Institutional Accrediting Agencies" and "National Institutional and Specialized Accrediting Bodies" recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
    2. It is important to note that institutional accreditation—meaning accreditation that covers the school, college, or university as a freestanding institution in its own right, not as a program, branch campus, or component part of an institution—is required for .edu eligibility.
      1. Programmatic or branch campus accreditation is not sufficient for .edu eligibility.
      2. If your law school, business school, medical school, theological school or seminary, or other form of specialized school or college is not an independent, freestanding institution accredited as such, it does not qualify to register its own .edu domain name.
      3. Per the terms of the .edu Cooperative Agreement, EDUCAUSE may only register one .edu domain name per eligible institution. If EDUCAUSE registered a .edu domain name for a school or college that held specialized or programmatic accreditation but was not a freestanding institution accredited as such, then it would be violating the terms of the Cooperative Agreement by essentially registering more than one .edu domain name for the institution of which the school or college is a part.
    3. Preliminary or provisional accreditation status is also insufficient to meet the .edu eligibility requirements. An institution must hold full, complete, and unequivocal institutional accreditation at the time of its registration application or renewal to qualify for .edu registration.
    4. Finally, it is important to recognize that some accrediting agencies only accredit institutions, some only accredit academic programs, and some accredit both. (For example, the list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies identifies programmatic accreditors who are authorized to accredit “freestanding, single purpose institutions in addition to [accrediting] specialized programs at larger institutions” with an asterisk.) Applicants for .edu registration should confirm that they hold institutional accreditation from their accreditor and that their accreditor is on the list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies before submitting their application.

System/District Office Eligibility

University system offices, state coordinating offices or boards, community college district offices, or equivalent entities located within the United States having as their principal activity the management and governance of a collection of "Accredited Institutions" that themselves meet the eligibility criteria for .edu. Each entity, in order to qualify under this category, must be commissioned, established, or recognized by a state, local, or national government to perform this management and governance activity.

Association/Consortium Eligibility

Non-profit entities are eligible to register one .edu domain if the vast majority of their members are colleges, universities, and other relevant educational organizations, provided that at least 75 percent of their institutional members are themselves currently eligible for a .edu domain. Entities whose members are primarily individuals are not eligible for .edu domains. Eligible associations or consortia must be institutional membership organizations with memberships predominantly comprised of institutions that are themselves eligible for .edu registration.

Check Domain Name Availability

If your organization meets the eligibility criteria for the type of application you plan to submit, then use our look up tool to see if the domain name you want is available. Please remember, though, that .edu domain names (other than grandfathered registrations) must reasonably represent the name of the registrant institution or organization. Generic names are not allowed, and .edu domain names may not be deployed to identify any organization other than the registrant institution or organization. Intentionally deploying a .edu domain name for an institution or organization other than the registrant entity would constitute a violation of domain policy and may lead to the termination of the domain name registration.

Changes to eligibility policy

The policies that govern .edu domain name eligibility and management are reviewed periodically by the .edu Policy Board. The Policy Board can recommend changes in .edu policy for acceptance by the US Department of Commerce. To suggest policy changes, or to submit comments on policy changes suggested by others, Contact Us.

For further information please see our Frequently Asked Questions.