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International Partnerships

Types of International Agreements

The Ohio State University believes international agreements should build on the academic standing of the two collaborating universities. The collaboration should enhance each institution’s competitive advantage in the discipline as well as their international standing, while nurturing outstanding research that leads faculty and students to rigorous scholarly and professional training in an international setting.

The types of international agreements that The Ohio State University enters into include:

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

MOU declares an intent to explore opportunities to collaborate in areas that would be mutually beneficial to each institution. MOUs may lead to more specific activities and goals, which could then be expressed in the form of an MOA.

  • Expresses an intent to explore a closer relationship with an institution
  • Publicly records the mutual interest to collaborate
  • Provides a symbolic foundation for the institutional relationship
  • Contains no financial commitments

Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)

MOA provides a strategic advantage to Ohio State as umbrella agreements for concrete and specific activities of importance.

  • Carries out the strategic international goals of Ohio State and provides diplomatic framework for institutional relationships
  • Codifies a partnership involving significant collaboration and is a legally binding document
  • Specifies activities, resources, outcomes, obligations and limitations by each partner
  • Contains specific financial obligations (specifically on the part of the Ohio State partner)
  • Includes Student Exchange Agreements and Cooperative Degree Programs

International Cooperative Graduate Degree Agreement

An International Cooperative Graduate Degree Agreement (ICGDA) is an overarching academic agreement offered collaboratively by Ohio State and one or more non-U.S. higher education institutions leading to the award of one or more degrees issued by one or both of the institutions involved in the collaboration. ICGDAs include combined graduate bachelor’s/master’s degrees (i.e., 3+2 programs), dual degrees (i.e., dual PhD or dual master’s degree), and Ohio State PhD degrees. Note that Ohio State does not award joint degrees, defined as a single degree jointly offered and jointly awarded by more than one institution.

The Ohio State University Graduate School facilitates the establishment of all International Cooperative Graduate Degree Agreements. The establishment process is integrated into and follows the Graduate School’s existing process for the creation of new or revision of existing Ohio State graduate programs. 

Faculty members interested in pursuing an ICGDA are to first contact the Office of International Affairs to conduct a Risk Assessment. This consists of: (1) International Affairs completing the Visual Compliance Restricted Party (VCRP) screening, and (2) the faculty member completing the Qualtrics Risk Self-Assessment Survey. The Office of International Affairs will consult with the Office of Research Integrity and Compliance as needed, and will provide the Graduate School with necessary information to proceed accordingly. 

For more information and procedures, please visit Proposing New International Dual Degrees.

Student Exchange Agreement

Student exchanges are recognized as a valuable opportunity for making the educational experience truly international by enrolling Ohio State students in programs abroad and in return enabling their international counterparts to attend Ohio State and benefit from our programs, while at the same time bringing international diversity to our student body.

  • Two complementary mobility programs: education abroad programs for Ohio State students and recruitment of international students to Ohio State
  • Students pay tuition to their home institution only
  • Exchanges are reciprocal and must be balanced for academic as well as budgetary reasons
  • An SEA contract involves an Ohio State unit sending students on an education abroad experience as well as welcoming the international partner institution’s students to join their program at Ohio State

Note: If there is an interest to provide Ohio State students an education abroad experience without expecting return registration by international students, please review the guidelines to establish a traditional Ohio State education abroad program.

Customized Experiential Educational Agreement

Customized agreements typically involve one or more Ohio State student engaged in an internship, externship, research placement or other individualized experience with a foreign institution or company. In some cases, the foreign institution or company will request that Ohio State sign an agreement as a prerequisite to the student’s participation.

  • May contain complex terms concerning intellectual property, dispute resolution, or use of trademarks and logos that can substantially complicate the university approval proces
  • It is important to plan in advance to determine whether the university can actually sign the relevant agreement requested by the foreign organization

Fee for Service Agreement

Fee for service agreements involve a foreign institution or company paying for services provided by Ohio State. Fee for service agreements are often the most complex agreements from a legal standpoint even when the monetary amounts are small. They require submission of a detailed budget for review and approval of the senior financial officer in the initiating college or unit.

Most often, the payments are fees for one of the following:

  • Learning experiences in the United States provided to students or employees of a foreign institution or company
  • Learning programs in the foreign country, distance education, or possibly research services

These agreements may implicate:

  • Export controls
  • Intellectual property concerns
  • Trademark and logo usage
  • Foreign tax laws on revenue-generating programs
  • Dispute resolution