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Types of International Agreements at OHIO

The following is a list of the most frequently used agreements. There might be times when a plan for a collaborative project does not fit into any of the pre-approved templates. In addition, if the intent of the proposed agreement is not captured by OHIO’s templates or if the partner institution has a required format for agreements, it is possible to develop an agreement different from the template. All agreements will go to the Office of Legal Affairs for review as part of the internal approval process. Contact the Office of Global Affairs ( to discuss options.

Agreements Managed by UIC/Global Agreement Review Committee (GARC)

The Global Agreement Review Committee (GARC), a UIC subcommittee, serves to review and process all types of agreements on behalf of the university. GARC determines whether the proposed agreement integrates, represents, and supports the global strategy goals and best interests of the University.

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Letter of Intent (LOI)

A Letter of Intent (LOI) is a non-binding document that allows an OHIO academic or administrative unit to establish that there is sufficient interest to pursue collaboration in the future or continue exploratory discussions and consultations between an academic or administrative unit at OHIO and one or more partner universities. These are usually very general and serve as an agreement to start discussions and identify future endeavors. Typically, a LOI could be developed at the conclusion of a first visit or following an initial series of discussions. Under the LOI, the academic or administrative units are able to run a one-time or small-scale pilot program. The LOI does not require the signature of the University President. The LOI should be signed by the Unit Head(s) (i.e., dean, chair, or director) and the Vice Provost for Global Affairs and International Studies (VPGAIS)

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Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a non-binding institutional acknowledgement of intent to cooperate and explore collaborative activities between OHIO and a partner institution. An MOU is designed to show that there are specific university-wide intentions made by both institutions that are mutually beneficial, necessary and consistent with the strategic plan. MOUs are institution-wide and formally recognized. An MOU is signed by the University President.

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Activity Agreement (AA)

An Activity Agreement is a legally binding contract that commits OHIO and the partner institution(s) to provide specific services or activities. An MOU is executed before the process of negotiation and the development of an Activity Agreement. An Activity Agreement outlines the details of the specific collaborative programs and projects. It is created by an academic or administrative unit at OHIO. Activity Agreements are executed with partner institutions for programs or projects, such as faculty exchange, research collaboration, non-degree visiting student/faculty programs, conferences, and other collaborations. Individual separate agreements will be executed for double degrees and student exchanges. All Activity Agreements are reviewed by the Office of Legal Affairs. The Activity Agreements should be signed by the Unit Head(s) and VPGAIS, except in cases where partner protocol dictates approval at a higher level on behalf of the institution. The GARC may recommend adjustments to agreements.

Items to address when planning an activity agreement include, but are not limited to:

  • Health insurance
  • Admissions procedures
  • Visa requirements
  • Transfer of credit and enrollment processes
  • Academic appointments of visiting faculty and students
  • Access to financial support (internal and external sources of support, resources available at the partner institution, etc.)
  • Language requirements and testing
  • Intellectual property
  • Other procedural and institutional considerations

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Reciprocal Student Exchange Agreement (RSEA)

A Reciprocal Student Exchange Agreement is used when OHIO and a partner institution of similar academic standing agree to a formal exchange of students at the undergraduate and/or graduate level. This agreement outlines the responsibilities of the institutions as well as the responsibilities of the students. Students enroll at and pay tuition and fees to their home institution while studying at the host institution. Since instructional fees are covered for incoming students and collected from outbound students, it is expected that the total number of incoming semesters be reciprocal to the number of outbound semesters over a mutually agreed number of years. A RSEA is signed by the President.

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Dual/Double/Joint Degree Agreement (DDA)

A Dual/Double/Joint Degree Agreement is used when OHIO and a partner institution of similar academic standing agree to a formal collaborative degree program (either undergraduate or graduate). The terms such as “dual degree”, “double degree”, or “joint degree” are used differently by different institutions without a clear consensus on the definition among US institutions. OHIO follows the definitions offered by the Council of Graduate Schools as below:

  • Dual or Double Degree Program: Students study at two or more institutions and upon completion of the program receive a separate diploma from each of the participating institutions.
  • Joint Degree Program: Students study at two or more institutions and upon completion of the program receive a single diploma representing work completed at two or more institutions. (This diploma may be “double-sealed” or “double-badged,” containing names and official seals of all institutions in the international collaborative arrangement, or may be issued by the home institution, with that institution’s seal only and accompanied by a transcript, certificate, or other document indicating the student’s participation in the international collaborative program.)

A DDA outlines the responsibilities of the institutions as well as the responsibilities of the students and is signed by the President.

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Agreements Managed by Other Units and Not Under GARC’s Purview

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Study Abroad

Study Abroad and Domestic Study Away Program Proposal review and approvals are managed by the Study Away Committee (SAC), a subcommittee of the UIC. If there is an interest in developing a study abroad program, please refer to the information available at or contact

Service Contracts

A service contract is utilized when a department or faculty member is providing services to an external party for payment. There is not an assumption of ongoing relations and the work is deemed ‘work for hire’ with no registered students. An example of a service contract is a faculty member being paid to provide training for a group of instructors at another university. It will not be ongoing nor is there an assumption of a continuing relationship once the work is complete. For these types of documents, GARC does not need to be involved unless the contract includes student involvement.

If there are registered students either in non-degree or degree programs included in a Service Contract, GARC must be involved to review and approve the necessary policy and procedure (such as FERPA requirement).

Sponsored Research Agreements and Non-Disclosure Agreements

Sponsored Research Agreements and Non-Disclosure Agreements are managed by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity. Questions about sponsored research agreements and other contractual documents related to acceptance of external funding should be directed to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) Service Center at 740-597-6777. For Non-Disclosure Agreements also known as NDAs, MDA’s and Confidentiality Agreements, contact the Technology Transfer Office at