The establishment of an international collaborative degree such as a dual, joint or consecutive degree, involves the support of numerous offices on campus along with the home department and college. It requires review and approval from these units as well as compliance with University of Georgia, Board of Regents and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) policies. It also obviously will require approval from the partner institution with a potentially comparable level of simultaneous review. Finally, collaborative degree programs need to be formalized in a contract between the participating institutions. In general, a joint degree requires additional review and approval not required for dual and consecutive degrees.
Although the University of Georgia does not have a formalized process for initiating international collaborative degrees, this section outlines the major steps needed to move forward with a collaborative degree. Please also refer to the Types of Partnerships page for background information on collaborative degrees.
Since collaborative degrees represent an institutional commitment requiring a significant amount of time and labor, faculty interested in such collaboration should reach out initially to their department heads and deans to gage support for the project. UGA faculty should also ask their colleagues at the partner institution to do the same. This inquiry should include a thorough cost-benefit analysis of the collaborative degree as well as a candid assessment of the level of support and buy-in at each institution.
Proposal for a Collaborative Degree
If the initial assessment is promising, the faculty member proposing the collaborative degree program should prepare a proposal in accord with UGA Academic Affairs Policy Statement 16. It should also addresses the following considerations:
- General terms including the initial duration of program/agreement, the accreditation status of both partners
- Application and admission process including deadlines, academic criteria for acceptance, and the disposition of students only accepted into one program
- Curriculum/program structure including the student timeline/degree track, credit hours, transfer credit policy, courses or course equivalencies, language of instruction, requirements beyond standard coursework (internship, thesis, etc.), and graduation requirements
- Student participation including the minimum and maximum participation numbers, student conduct and disciplinary process, and student responsibilities
- Program administration including program coordination/coordinator at each university, program funding, student advising and support, orientation, marketing responsibilities, program benchmarks and assessment, and provisions for early termination of program and disposition of students
These are the primary units that will need to advise on potential collaborative degrees at UGA and should formally approve of the proposed degree and agreement:
- Home Department
- Home College
- Office of International Education
- Office of Academic Planning
- Graduate School (for graduate degrees)
- Office of Curriculum Systems (for undergraduate degrees)
- Office of Legal Affairs
In addition, potential degrees may need to be reviewed and approved the evaluated by the University Council, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of the President along with the Board of Regents and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Faculty members considering collaborative degrees should familiarize themselves with SACS policies and in particular the policy Agreements involving Joint and Dual Awards.
Collaborative Degree Negotiation and Execution
Once a sufficiently detailed proposal has been vetted at each university, the International Partnerships unit in Office of International Education can coordinate the drafting, negotiation and execution of a collaborative degree agreement in consultation with Legal Affairs. This agreement will be subject to approval from the UGA units identified above as well as the partner institution. Collaborative degree agreements should be signed by the President or Provost.