Memorandum of Understanding
Global Partnerships – School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
SEBS has several international partnerships ranging from research collaboration to student mobility programming. These partnerships typically require an agreement, or memorandum of understanding, to support the intellectual property and mobility of our students, faculty, and staff. These agreements range from study abroad programs for students, exchanges for faculty and students, faculty and graduate student research collaboration, 2+2 or 3+2 degree programs, and more.
Any SEBS staff or faculty member interested in pursuing an international collaboration with the intention of signing a memorandum of understanding should contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The role of SEBS Office of Global Engagement:
- Facilitate legal review of all agreements
- Maintain database of all current partnerships
- Facilitate partnership negotiations in conjunction with or on behalf of the departments
- Negotiate renewals for degree-oriented agreements
- Recruit students to participate in degree-oriented programs
- Partner with University administrators for cross university collaborations and strategic growth efforts
Types of International Partners
General Cooperation Agreement
The General Cooperation Agreement is a general statement of two parties of an intent to cooperate with the understanding that the parties will sign further agreements regarding specific collaborations.
Student Mobility, Study Abroad, and Student Exchange Programs
- This category refers to programs ranging in length from a few weeks to an entire year through which students further their educational objectives in a foreign country.
- Inclusive of multiple types of programming (traditional exchange, service learning, faculty-led, internships, etc.)
- Must be completed in conjunction with Rutgers Global-Study Abroad
- Predominately for undergraduate education with few exceptions
- Exchanges at the graduate level (study, research, and/or teaching) should involve deans of the appropriate school(s) and faculty as well as the relevant graduate school deans in both the execution and signing of any agreement involving graduate-level activity
- Typically inclusive of:
- Teaching short courses
- Collaborative research
- Short visits for visiting lectures or other activities not inclusive of full short courses
- This category also allows for training courses run at the departmental or school level
- This training can either be Rutgers staff and faculty providing training for international partners OR for international partners to provide training and internationalization at Rutgers
- These agreements can be bimodal and/or reciprocal
- Engagement of partnership can happen at Rutgers, at the partner institution, or both
- These partnerships are meant to increase Rutgers’ research capacity by creating international networks through strategic research partnerships
- Inclusive of:
- Graduate student participation in international research collaboration
- Multi-disciplinary faculty research collaboration (similar to faculty exchange)
- Government level research or capacity building grants
- For research that includes intellectual property rights, human or animal participation, import and export of research materials, and/or other legal or jurisdictionally sensitive subject matter should also include conversations with Rutgers Office of Research and Economic Development and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
Double Degree Programs (and other credit-sharing arrangements)
The establishment of an international collaborative degree program, such as double degrees, involves the support of numerous offices on campus and therefore represents a major institutional commitment. Such programs may involve developing new courses and may require approval of a new degree. For that reason, the SEBS Office of Global Engagement and Rutgers Global Partnerships team should be included from the start. A collaborative academic program can take various forms and may involve one academic department or multiple schools. Some of the potential formats are as follows:
- Rutgers and another institution are listed on one diploma and jointly award one degree.
- These degrees can be administratively difficult to create because they may require approvals at the highest levels of both awarding institutions and their accrediting agencies.
- In the case of international partnerships, such arrangements are especially difficult. Consequently, joint degrees are rarely created.
Double Degrees/Dual Degrees:
- Each institution grants its own degree to the same student.
- The degrees may be at the same level (i.e. bachelor’s degrees at each institution) or at different levels (e.g. the student receives an associate’s degree from an international institution and a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers, or the student receives a bachelor’s degree from the international institution and a master’s degree from Rutgers University).
- Double degrees involve recognition and transfer of credits between the institutions and come in a wide variety of configurations depending on the number of credits completed at each institution. Inclusive of:
- 2+2: Typically an undergraduate degree with two years of study at one institution accepted for advanced standing at Rutgers or the other institution toward a degree. Students will be receiving two diplomas, one from their home institution and one from Rutgers.
- 3+1: Under this arrangement, students spend 3 years at a partner institution and one year at Rutgers. They will receive a diploma from their home institution.
- 4+1 or 3+2: In these five-year programs, students spend three or four years at a partner institution and one or two years at Rutgers respectively. Typically this leads to an undergraduate degree from a partner institution and a master’s degree from Rutgers.
- SEBS Examples
Credit Transfer Arrangements:
Some agreements permit the acceptance of a specific number of credits between two institutions that apply the credits to their own degrees. A certificate program reflecting the completion of the credits at the institution not granting the degree may be part of the arrangement.
International Development or Technical Assistance Program
Faculty or departments may work with research centers, universities, foreign corporations, or governments abroad on projects that supply applied expertise. Such programs may involve government funding.
For more information on partnership guidelines, please visit the Rutgers Global-Partnerships website.