Exemption Process

Higher education institutions offering only online courses and programs are not required to obtain State of Maine authorization if the institution that offers them has no physical presence in the State. “Physical presence” is defined in Maine Department of Education Rule Chapter 149 as having “any person assisting the institution in any way from within Maine. This includes (a) maintaining an office or mailing address in the State or (b) conducting any part of the instructional program or support activities from within the State. Specifically this includes: solicitation of potential students, enrollment of students, providing student services, student mentoring and instruction of students.”

An institution wishing to offer online courses in Maine must fill out a survey online, and Department staff will respond to that survey with a letter of exemption, a request for additional information or a determination that the institution has a physical presence in the State and must obtain authorization to offer those courses.