Propose an International Partnership

International Partnership Agreement Proposal Form

To promote international cooperation in teaching, research, and student, faculty, and staff mobility, the Division of Global Engagement facilitates the development of international agreements for partnership between UC Santa Cruz and universities, foreign government agencies, and non-profit organizations operating outside of the U.S. UC Santa Cruz faculty, departments and divisions may act as sponsors and propose partnership agreements. Partnership sponsors should become familiar with UC Santa Cruz policies and procedures before committing to any form of international partnership.

This procedure is designed for faculty members interested in implementing a collaboration with an international institutional partner for which a formal agreement would help support or benefit the collaboration but which do not involve the commitment of university resources or binding contract provisions for purposes of protecting or utilizing intellectual property.

The Division of Global Engagement will assist partnership sponsors by discussing types of agreements and guiding the development of an agreement. Please contact George Sabo, Director of Global Initiatives at with any questions if you are interested in proposing and sponsoring an international agreement.

Average Processing Timelines

  • When UC Santa Cruz agreement templates are used with minimal changes to terms: 2 to 4 weeks
  • When partner templates are used or changes to UC Santa Cruz templates are proposed: 6 to 20 weeks

Proposal and Approval Process

Step 1
  • Contact Director of Global Initiatives, George Sabo, to determine if there are already existing agreements with the proposed international institution(s).
  • Discuss the initiative with your department chair and dean to confirm their support and learn about any applicable departmental/divisional/school policies for international collaborations.
Step 2
  • Submit an International Partnership Agreement Proposal form via DocuSign. This form is routed first to the faculty sponsor of the partnership for completion, then forwarded to the department chair/director and dean designated on the form, for their review and signature.
  • Any relevant documentation that will be helpful for review of your proposal, such as draft agreements or supporting documents provided by the proposed international collaborating institution, may be forwarded by separate email to George Sabo,
  • It is strongly encouraged to use UC Santa Cruz agreement templates. The use of alternate formats will significantly increase the time required for the review and conclusion of an agreement. There is currently a limited set of approved agreement templates. For copies of currently approved templates, contact George Sabo,
  • Proposals will be reviewed upon receipt and responded to within 5 to 10 business days.
  • Some types of agreements have additional requirements that may necessitate further consultation with various campus stakeholders as part of the approval process. In such cases, Global Engagement will provide additional instructions to the sponsor. 
Step 3
  • The Division of Global Engagement will review the draft agreement, coordinate any additional content reviews with relevant stakeholders (if necessary), and return a draft agreement to the agreement sponsor using a UC Santa Cruz agreement template approved by the UC Santa Cruz Office of Campus Counsel.
  • The agreement sponsor will share the draft agreement with the collaborating institution, which may propose edits. If proposed edits are not acceptable, negotiation of the relevant terms will occur.
  • Any changes to UC Santa Cruz agreement templates should be clearly marked in the draft agreement and must be approved by Global Engagement, in coordination with Office of the Campus Counsel as needed, before signing.
Step 4
  • Following approval of the final draft, the institutional authorities named in the agreement print and sign two original copies of the agreement (or more, if specified).
  • Scanned copies of original signatures in PDF or Word document files may be considered originals so long as all signatures appear on a single document, or the partner institution requests otherwise.
  • One copy of the fully executed agreement remains with the partner institution; the other is held by Global Engagement with a copy to the sponsoring faculty/department.
Step 5
  • The agreement sponsor will send a scanned copy of the fully executed agreement via email to Global Engagement at The document will be added to the UC Santa Cruz Global Engagement International Agreements database.

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 DegreeProgram: 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.