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Higher Education Coordination Commission

Office of Degree Authorization Forms and Procedures, Out-of-state

Many students take advantage of distance education, including distance education offered by out-of-state institutions, to meet their goals. Both in-state and out-of-state degree-granting postsecondary institutions that offer academic programs for Oregon students must be approved by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC). If you are a representative of an out-of-state degree-granting institution offering academic programs to students in Oregon, you will find necessary forms and procedures on this page.

The HECC authorizes out-of-state institutions to offer distance education in Oregon either through the Office of Degree Authorization (ODA) or through the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). This page includes the requirements and procedures for ODA authorization.

New Applications for Out-of-State Institutions

Oregon law requires degree-granting institutions based in other states to obtain approval from the Office of Degree Authorization prior to offering degree programs or credit to Oregon residents, or to participate in an approved interstate reciprocity agreement, such as SARA.

Oregon law also requires degree-granting institutions to obtain a Surety Bond or Letter of Credit (LOC) for the Oregon students enrolled. 

Institutional Program Approval

Repeal Exclusionary Rule: A school based outside of Oregon may not offer any educational credit or degree within Oregon without obtaining approval from the ODA. Programs with or without placement (such as a practical placement, clinical placement, or internship—to name a few examples) all require authorization from the HECC ODA. The exclusionary rule granting some online programs an exemption was repealed in 2015.

Forms for Out-of-State Institutions Applying for Approval to Offer Degrees Online 

Application for Authorization: To apply for authorization of online programs with placement and/or without placement

Additional Onsite Application: An additional attachment to the Application for Authorization, to be used when a school is applying for more than one online program with placement

Program List: Worksheet to enter programs and identify cost

Application for Practicum Placements Only: For authorization of non-online programs based in another state that place residents in Oregon on a recurring basis

W-9 form: Establishes the Higher Education Coordinating Commission as a vendor


Out-of-state schools must comply with the rules and procedures of the home state regulatory agency. The ODA will work with the regulatory agency to ensure a smooth teach-out or transfer plan for students as appropriate, tuition refunds, and the transfer of student academic records to a responsible custodian upon closure.

Surety Bonds and Letters of Credit

Oregon statute requires degree-granting institutions operating in or from Oregon to submit a Surety Bond or Letter of Credit (LOC). This requirement applies to institutions regulated by the Office of Degree Authorization. See the procedures below.