edu domain meant for the world,restricted to US

Do we have educational institutes in United States Only ?

Just recently I wanted to know the registration procedure for an .edu domain. I was more than amazed to get the details of the procedure and got to know that mostly the registration of .edu domain is restricted on the basis of geography.

Edu Domain for educational institutions restricted for US
Edu Domain restricted for US

What is an edu domain ?

The .edu domain is one of the seven original top-level subdivisions of the Internet Domain Name System (DNS). The .edu domain is intended for accredited post-secondary educational U.S. institutions. It is managed under the authority of the United States Department of Commerce. Source: Educause

In the words of a layman, just the way we have

In very similar manner, .edu is meant for Educational institutions, however, this is the domain limited to registration for US institutes Or Institutes who are recognized by US rating authorities.

“The .edu domain was originally intended for educational institutions anywhere in the world, when it was launched in 1985”

However, in 2001 the US Department of Commerce made Educause, the registrar of this domain extension. Since, this valueable extension became exclusive to institutes in United States.

Educational institutions elsewhere, CAN still get the domain registered, however the procedure and investment is tedious.

The following are the requirements as per Educause FAQ:

Eligibility for a .edu domain name is limited to postsecondary U.S. institutions that are institutionally accredited, i.e., the entire institution and not just particular programs, by agencies on the U.S. Department of Education’s list of Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies.

Some institutes in India, have managed to get the edu domain, e.g. This must be after managing to get the accreditation.

Education, is universal and ICANN being an entity serving the internet for the benefit of mankind, how can such a domain be exclusive to US only ?

I do understand that NOT having such an extention would not make any big difference, however, when the original intent of launching this extension was being global, why these restrictions ?

Just the way we have .COOP extension which is available for any registered Cooperative without any geographical restrictions.

People all over are voicing to Educause here, not sure when will they make it available to the global institutions.


14 responses to “edu domain meant for the world,restricted to US”

  1. Artful Dodger Avatar
    Artful Dodger

    We’re stuck with which is not only longer but a lot of websites that require a student email address don’t accept it, they only accept .edu.

  2. There is a very big difference between .edu and .coop. .coop was a sponsored gTLD that was launched under the auspices of ICANN (as the then and current holder of the IANA contract). .edu however predates the creation of ICANN and has always had a policy that in effect limited it to mostly US based institutions. As a result of this a number of ccTLDs, especially the earlier more established ones, oragnised a second level domain specifically for academic institutions;,, or Changing these policies is definitely do-able from a technical perspective, but achieving this from a political point of view is almost certainly infeasible.

    1. Naushad Avatar

      You will surely not receive this reply, however, you must be aware that Both the domains were sTLD. Yes it was launched long back when ICANN didnt exist and IANA was the authority, but you should not ignore the real intention for launching this domain and there is the political restriction was applied by US by restricting the domain.

  3. What about .gov? 🙂

    1. Naushad Avatar

      .gov’s intended purpose was for US Gov, so its fine. However, this specific domain ext was initially launched for the globe and not just US.

  4. Well – my german university seems to be an exception than.

    1. Naushad Avatar

      Alex, you are lucky :), your university reserved the domain long before the policy was changed “Domain record activated: 08-Jun-1999”

  5. Relvin Sanders Avatar
    Relvin Sanders

    By omitting the widely-known fact that the Internet was developed and grew out of very American interests, you leave the opportunity for everyone to say “oh, there’s no incentive for the Americans to give it up” … This is one example of Americans having the infrastructure early before everyone else and then settling into assuming that the rest of the world doesn’t need it years later.

    I graduated from an institution that was outside the United States and had an .edu domain. At times, we actually had trouble with some conferences who didn’t accept the “implied American” email address as a valid one.

    It can go both ways. Are you going to rally that the Russian military should have their own .mil addresses and that the Chinese should have too? Where does the line get drawn?

    1. Naushad Avatar

      Well, Educause’s mission statement says

      Transforming Education Through Information Technologies

      and, Internet is not the Property of United States, but a global resource. Indian and other armed forces are already using other domains extensions.

      The line gets drawn when US says that it Does not Own the Internet 🙂

  6. Govt. Educational institutions such as IITs and NITs have domain, while some other institutions have theirs in … I seriously didn’t realize edu was for US only until I read this article. Thanks for the info 🙂

    1. Naushad Avatar

      Yeah, Gaurav, thanks to ERNET

  7. Just a small note, but it’s Educause, not Educase.

    1. Naushad Avatar

      Thanks, ill correct the typo.

  8. Md Rabby Hasan Avatar
    Md Rabby Hasan

    Wow… Thanks for share it.. I need more..

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