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Frequently Asked Questions/Glossary of Terms


Frequently Asked Questions

An international agreement is a written document establishing a partnership. The major types are a Memorandum of Agreement, Memorandum of Understanding, or a Reciprocal Educational Exchange Program agreement. The study abroad college international agreements representative and Global Partnerships Services (tlacy[at]tamu.edu), are responsible for the routing, documenting and tracking of Texas A&M agreements with international institutions.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is a specific agreement involving financial arrangements, institutional obligations, or specifies the terms of academic programs. MOAs are used to establish such elements as collaborative degree programs, reciprocal exchange programs, joint research centers, or research projects where funds or other resources are committed. There are several established types, some of which have templates; for all others, PPO can provide recently approved samples.

The agreement types described below do not cover all possible collaborations, however, they provide a good starting point. At the meeting with the college representative/PPO, the current template samples can be reviewed and a determination made as to which template to use. PPO can work with the ICC to develop a draft document that applies to the specific collaboration. In addition, PPO can draw language from other approved agreements that may fit programmatic needs and to expedite the review process.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a general agreement that lists areas of possible joint activities, without creating financial obligations or committing resources.  This type of agreement can also serve as a “letter of intent”, sometimes requested by foreign partners.  While this template establishes a formal relationship between TAMU and the institution abroad, it does not authorize specific actions. The purpose of an MOU is to acknowledge a formal, ongoing, strategic, long-term relationship between institutions. An MOU does not express a binding commitment to any specific activity, but rather a serious intention to explore. MOU’s are not encouraged unless there is clear intent to implement an actual project of exchange and/or other academic activities in the near future, where the execution of the MOU will foster that action. The MOU establishes a framework for exploring collaboration, and it identifies institutional concerns such as consistency with accreditation principles, compliance with immigration and export control requirements, as well as intellectual property ownership. These agreements are not usually renewed and are expected to be replaced by specific agreements. However, the agreement initiator may request a renewal of an exploratory agreement providing rationale for a continued collaboration with the partner university.

A justification statement is required by the university to begin the routing for university level signatures. The justification for an agreement is to ensure it meets the goals of the college, department/ and/or university. This justification should include the following:

  • Background and introductory information including past collaboration

  • Proposed areas of cooperation

  • Administration or faculty member that is championing the agreement signature

  • Information that the foreign institution is accredited with a proven record of scholastic excellence
  • Numbers of past students exchanged, if applicable
  • All other relevant considerations

Texas A&M University currently uses the following MOU's:

Reciprocal Educational Exchange Programs (REEP)
A REEP is a non-degree seeking program that allows students to attend a foreign university while paying tuition and fees to the home institution. In a very broad sense, REEP documents provide TAMU students (registration and fees are paid at Texas A&M) opportunities to take courses or pursue research at a foreign university, then students from that university (who pay tuition and fees at their home) are allowed to matriculate here, without paying TAMU registration and certain fees. The regulations for this type of program are governed by the State of Texas. Reciprocity is required, and parity must be achieved over a five-year period. For additional information on this type of program contact the Study Abroad Programs Office at 845-0544. Click here for more information on REEPs.

Supervised Direct Enrollment
Texas A&M will work with a partnering institution to develop programs where a constant flow of TAMU students will be able to study as a group at the foreign partner’s school while gaining credit at Texas A&M through the transfer of course credits. Click here for more information on Supervised Direct Enrollment.

Faculty Exchange
This program is designed to increase faculty collaboration through research and may be amended by the facilitator of the document to outline intellectual property rights and establish research goals.

Dual Degree Program
A Dual Degree Program allows a degree seeking student to do part of their degree requirements at Texas A&M and the remaining requirements at a foreign institution.  The student will obtain a bachelor’s degree from both institutions.  All requirements must be laid out in this Academic Program Agreement and all tuition and subsequent fees are the responsibility of the student. Click here for more information on Dual Degree Programs.

Joint Degree Program
Degrees granted in conjunction with another accredited university. Coursework from both institutions count toward the degree and both institution names appear on the degree. Click here for more information on Joint Degree Programs.

If an international agreement involves proprietary rights over potentially copyrightable or patentable material, then those rights should be prepared in consultation with the Office of the Vice President for Research outside the parameters of an International Agreement.  

If exchanges of faculty or students are proposed, be aware that certain U.S. immigration rules apply to visiting scholars and students. For more information on student immigration issues contact the International Student Services Office at (979) 845-1825. Information on faculty/scholar immigration issues are obtainable from the Faculty and Scholar Immigration Services office at (979) 862-1719. 

These are acronyms as listed below:

THECB - Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board - The state governing body that oversees state regulations for public higher education in Texas.

AOC - Academic Operations Council at TAMU - Undergraduate deans of the colleges who create and oversee undergraduate procedures & policies.

SACSCOC - Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges - Their mission is to assure educational quality and works to improve the effectiveness of member institutions. It is the regional body for the accreditation of the Southern states' higher education, degree-granting institutions.

GOC - Graduate Operations Committee at TAMU - Graduate deans of the colleges who coordinate on broad policy issues related to graduate students.



International Agreement Review & Renewal/Termination Process

Creating Student Programs Abroad