Each of the export control regimes provides for university education to be conducted outside their control — but each takes a slightly different approach. 

The practical effect is that most university courses are clearly excluded from export controls, and that the information released in the courses is considered to be publicly available, and so excluded from the controls. To be sure that a course dealing with advanced or sensitive technology qualifies for educational exclusion, first determine which export control regime has jurisdiction over the course’s technology, and then apply the criteria for that regime.

The EAR provides that educational information released by instruction in catalog courses and associated teaching laboratories of academic institutions (with some encryption exceptions) is not subject to the EAR [EAR §734.3(b)(3)(iii) ].

  • This is broad and unambiguous (except encryption technology, which can be complicated) 
  • The EAR education exclusion does not extend to the release of information in research labs not associated with catalog courses.

The ITAR provides that information concerning general scientific, mathematical or engineering principles commonly taught in schools, colleges and universities, is not included in the definition of technical data subject to the ITAR [§120.10(a)(5)].

  • This is less broad (specified areas, “principles” rather than “information”) and more ambiguous (“general”, “commonly taught”) than the EAR exclusion.

The Assistance to Foreign Atomic Energy Activities considers information available in public libraries, public reading rooms, public document rooms, public archives, or public data banks, or in university courses to be public information not subject to its controls [10 CFR 810.3]. 

If you have any questions, please contact David Quimby, Export Control Officer, Office of Sponsored Programs, at 3-2822, via e-mail at, or stop by NE18-966.