Teaching and Controlled Topics

Most course content is already in the public domain (i.e., it is published elsewhere) and therefore does not fall under export control regulations. 


Teaching Potentially Controlled Topics

Occasionally professors run into export restrictions when teaching or working with graduate students. If you have foreign nationals in your classroom and you use real-world and cutting-edge examples to explain your concepts, it might be a deemed export of technical information. Examples might be:

  • Sharing blueprints of a new satellite design that is export-controlled technology
  • Teaching about a new biotechnology process that is covered by a confidentiality agreement

When working on research projects associated with confidentiality agreements or using export controlled technology, you should not be sharing that information in your classroom or with your students. Please treat it confidentially.

Software Use in Class

When using downloaded software in a class, be sure to read all license agreements because clicking "yes." These agreements often contain export control restrictions. Consider other software options such as an educational version, which does not contain export controlled information and is suitable for classroom use.

Dissertation/Thesis Research

Research related to a student’s graduation requirements is not considered part of your teaching under the regulations and could be subject to export regulations. 

Consider the following:

  1. Will the project be restricted in any way so the results will not qualify as fundamental research?
  2. Does the student need access to/use of ITAR or CCL controlled technology (including cryptography) to perform the research?
  3. Does the research produce a tangible product (other than related manuscripts) that could be ITAR or CCL controlled?

If you answer YES to any of the above, consult the export control office. If you answer NO to all three questions, the project should be fine as regards export regulations. 

However, you also should consider the research topic. While the student may be allowed to work on a project dealing with export controlled information, the results would not be considered fundamental research. Export regulations could then prevent publication of the results, even in a student dissertation. If this happens, work with your department and the graduate school to assist the student in meeting graduation requirements. 


Topic Specific Restrictions

Foreign nationals face some restrictions when studying topics related to upper level science and technology.

If you are worried that your content might fall into a restricted area, please discuss the situation with our export control office.