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The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with North America and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
In most Canadian provinces university charters are in the form of Acts (e.g. York University Act). "The Royal Military College of Canada Degrees Act" of 1959 enables the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario to offer degrees in Arts, Science, and Engineering at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
- Algoma University Act, 2008, S.O. 2008, c. 13
- Ontario College of Art and Design University Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 8, Sched. E 2
- University of Ontario Institute of Technology Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 8, Sched. O 2 
In the United States, American University, Gallaudet University, Georgetown University, Howard University, and George Washington University are the only Congressionally-chartered universities, due to their location within the US's federal district. Georgetown University has the honor of being the first federally-chartered institution of higher education in the United States when President James Madison signed the university's charter into law on March 1, 1815.
The United States service (military) academies are not chartered as they are agencies of the federal government itself.
Other universities are chartered by the colonial governments or by state legislatures.