Developing Collaborative Degrees

Although University of Georgia does not have specific policy for initiating international collaborative degrees, the university does have a number of Academic Affairs policy statements related to dual and joint degrees, as well as distance education (see links below).  Because international collaborative programs require additional planning, organization, and oversight, general information and guidelines on initiating these arrangements is given below. Please also refer to the Types of Partnerships section of this website for definitions of collaborative degree program types.

Establishing a Collaborative Degree Program at UGA

The establishment of an international collaborative degrees involves the support of numerous offices on campus and therefore represents a major institutional commitment.  We therefore suggest that proposing departments/colleges to follow three steps, and we recommend ample time allowances for necessary planning, vetting, and approvals (est. 15-18 mos.). 

1. Preliminary Approvals/Consultations 
The faculty member interested in establishing a collaborative degree should begin by informing their department head (and/or Dean of the college) about this interest.  If the academic unit is willing to explore this further, the faculty member and department/college representatives should share their ideas with representatives from the following offices to get their initial input.

2. Development of the Academic Program 
The department/college proposing the collaborative degree program needs to prepare a document that sets out the following:

  • Curriculum:  Courses, credit hours, language requirements, residency requirements, transfer hours, etc.
  • Students: Admission criteria, GPA requirements, time limits for completion, consequences of falling out of good standing, etc.
  • Administration:  Method for handling registration, financial aid, visas, housing, advising, pre-departure orientations, roles/responsibility of program coordinator, advisory boards/committees, approval processes for program changes, etc.
  • Responsibility-sharing:  Marketing, Administration, Technology, other financial considerations.
  • Program Assessment: Evaluation process, frequency.

3. Development of an Agreement that outlines the program and establishes the responsibilities related to the program.  
The final step is the development of a formal agreement for establishing the collaborative degree program.  The document created in #2 above will serve as the basis for this agreement. The International Partnerships unit within the Office of International Education will oversee the agreement creation and negotiation after all the planning, review, and internal UGA approvals have been completed.

The establishment of an international collaborative degree may ultimately require approvals from the following units:
1.  Department and College (faculty should vote on this as they would for any other new degree program)
2.  Graduate School (for graduate degrees)
3.  Office of Academic Planning (OAP will make the determination of SACSCOC approval is necessary)
4.  Office of International Education (OIE will vet international partner)
5.  University Council
6.  Provost/President
7.  SACSCOC (as deemed necessary by OAP)
8.  Board of Regents (for some degree programs)

Relevant Resources

UGA Academic Affairs Policies

SACSCOC Policy Statements