Agreement Types

General Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

  • A non-binding agreement establishing affiliation between institutions.
  • Does not, in and of itself, commit specific university funds or resources; separate binding agreements should be established to pursue specific areas of collaboration such as student exchange, research collaborations, dual degrees, etc.
  • Aspirational in nature, but formalizes an institutional commitment to exploring the viability of a variety of collaborative academic activities. 
  • Often serves as an initial “umbrella” agreement under which separate binding agreements may be developed subsequently to facilitate more specific activities, projects, or programs. 
  • May also be requested in order to provide proof of a formal institutional relationship, for the purpose of supporting the pursuit of joint funding opportunities, research projects, etc.

Student Exchange Agreement

  • A binding agreement that commits university resources (i.e., staff time, tuition waivers, campus services, etc.) 
  • Allows for a balanced exchange of students between institutions. Students from one institution may study at the other for a limited duration (1-3 quarters) while paying their home institution’s tuition, and receive a reciprocal waiver of tuition at the host institution.
  • Outlines institutional accreditation, and establishes provisions for program implementation, including financial and immigration matters, and mutual recognition of academic credit.

Research, Technical or Scientific Cooperation MOU

  • Details responsibilities and implementation procedures for faculty, researcher, or administrator exchange between institutions
  • Must detail approved financial and logistical implications

Graduate Studies Agreement

  • Involves graduate students, typically pursuing research with a host institution abroad
  • Must be developed in coordination with the student’s home department chair and/or graduate advisor

Collaborative Degree Program Agreements

  • A binding agreement, designed jointly by faculty at UC Santa Cruz and a partner institution, establishing a framework for students to study at each institution, generally leading to the award of multiple qualifications. 
  • May outline specific provisions for admission, course equivalencies, credit transfer, etc.
  • Implementations for this type of agreement can vary but typical models include:
    • Concurrent Degree Program: a student works simultaneously on a bachelor’s at one institution and a master’s degree from the other, with some agreed-upon amount of coursework being counted toward both degrees
    • Consecutive Degree Program: Two degrees at two levels (usually bachelor’s and master’s) are awarded consecutively by two institutions, based on each institution’s requirements
    • Double/Dual (or multiple) Degree Program: Two (or more) institutions each confer a degree of equivalent levels
    • Joint Degree Program: One qualification (degree) awarded together by two or more institutions.