UMD: A Globally Connected University

Types of Global Partnerships


UMD is very interested in developing deep relationships with its global partners, involving several types of collaboration alongside each other. UMD also encourages relationships that include multiple units at UMD and the global partner. The Office of International Affairs maintains a searchable list of current and past UMD international academic agreements where you can learn about existing UMD’s connections and those you might like to expand.

Here are some of the ways to expand a UMD global partnership beyond a simple MOU:

  • Student exchanges allow students at each institution to take classes, as non-degree students, at the other institution on a short-term basis (a semester or an academic year). Exchange students pay tuition to their home institution, some limited fees, room and board costs, travel costs, and other incidental and personal expenses.
  • Faculty exchanges allow teaching and research personnel at one institution to carry out their duties at the other institution under conditions similar to those at their home institution.  Contents can include provisions for salary sharing, housing swaps, travel expenses, and more.
  • Joint research can come in a variety of forms, including the establishment and/or sharing of laboratory facilities and other resources, short-term student and staff exchanges between institutions, and more.
  • There are several types of joint academic programming. For example, it is possible to arrange for formal, joint supervision of a student’s graduate work between a UMD department and an international peer. (This sort of arrangement is sometimes called a co-tutelle.) UMD departments can also establish jointly taught courses with international partners or joint degree programs. Another type of agreement allows students from one institution to transfer to another, and complete their degree there (a “2+2” or agreement, or some other combo).

To expand a global partnership in one of these directions, follow the process for establishing a general MOU.  One major difference is that you will need to include other UMD stakeholding offices in that process from the beginning

  • If you plan to propose a student exchange program, you need to meet with Education Abroad's Exchange Coordinator Kelsey Prima immediately, to negotiate and administer the exchange.
  • If your proposed agreement involves graduate students and/or programming, the Graduate School must approve it.  Contact  Dr. Jason Farman, Associate Dean to start the process.
  • Likewise, programs involving research funding and facilities need the approval of the Division of Research. Contact Adam Grant to start the process.

Make these contacts early and often, and the whole process will go more smoothly.  Here's a Decision Tree for International Academic Agreements, in case you are unsure who you need to contact.

Once you, your UMD stakeholders, and your international partner have agreed on the final text of your programmatic agreements, send that final document and your original proposal form to the Office of International Affairs, which will route it for needed formal approvals and signature.

For further information and advice on expanding a UMD global partnership, contact Joe Scholten, OIA associate director.