California Private Postsecondary Education Act Of 2009

Viet Nguyen

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California Governor Schwarzenegger signed this week the Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009. You can read the legislative analysis and the full text here:

This bill has some religious content.

Article 4. Exemptions



(e) (1) An institution owned, controlled, and operated and

maintained by a religious organization lawfully operating as a

nonprofit religious corporation pursuant to Part 4 (commencing with

Section 9110) of Division 2 of Title 1 of the Corporations Code, that

meets all of the following requirements:

(A) The instruction is limited to the principles of that religious

organization, or to courses offered pursuant to Section 2789 of

Business and Professions Code.

(B) The diploma or degree is limited to evidence of completion of

that education.

(2) An institution operating under this subdivision shall offer

degrees and diplomas only in the beliefs and practices of the church,

religious denomination, or religious organization.

(3) An institution operating under this subdivision shall not

award degrees in any area of physical science.

(4) Any degree or diploma granted under this subdivision shall

contain on its face, in the written description of the title of the

degree being conferred, a reference to the theological or religious

aspect of the degree's subject area.

(5) A degree awarded under this subdivision shall reflect the

nature of the degree title, such as "associate of religious studies,"

"bachelor of religious studies," "master of divinity," or "doctor of


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I think the point was that California is one of the growing list of states that recognize religious degrees as legitimate. Many archaic state laws treat degrees from religious schools and/or non-traditional schools under "Diploma Mill" laws where mere possession of a degree from an unaccredited institution as a felony under the Statute of Frauds. For example, in Oregon, an Attorney licensed by another state who earned his law degree from a "non-accredited" i.e. mail-order/online school but passed (for example)the California Bar Exam could be prosecuted by the state of Oregon for having his degree in his luggage. (This has happened) This gives recognition to the concept that online degrees are as valid as a degree earned by sitting in a classroom all day.

In other words "Online is as good as in person" :smart:

Sound familiar? :D

We need a ULC logo smiley.

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  • 11 months later...

This law is really just a repeat of thier previous law that sundowned a few years ago.

Hi there,

How can I find out what the legal treatment of a ULC degree is in the state of Texas? Mainly I am interested if it is leagal for me to use Dr or Phd with my name in my marketing and advertising with the ULC Phd in Religion degree. Thanks for your thoughts and help./

Best Regards,


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