Dual Degree Programs

Arizona International supports faculty members at the University of Arizona who are interested in establishing an international dual degree program at the undergraduate or graduate level allowing students to study at the main campus in Tucson.

A dual degree agreement is a binding, legal contract that formalizes the terms of academic collaboration between the UA and the international partner institution. The partner institutions involved review each other’s curriculum in the desired degree program and determine an appropriate plan of study that involves taking coursework at both institutions.

Program dual degrees are established between two academic departments and are open to multiple students. Individual dual degrees are also developed between two academic departments, but are only applicable to the student named in the agreement.

Throughout the program development process, coursework is evaluated by both institutions and mapped in advance, making it easier for students to pursue the degree and transfer credit. Dual degree agreements should outline a unique and constructive new venture that reflects an institutional priority and firm commitment from the academic units involved.

Please click on the links below for more information on how to establish either a program or individual dual degree. Contact (520) 621-1900 or intl-partnerships@arizona.edu for more information about developing an international dual degree collaboration.

1. What is the difference between an individual dual degree, a program dual degree, and a joint degree and which ones are available at the UA?

International dual degree programs: A study program collaboratively offered by the UA and one or more non-U.S. higher education institutions leading to the award of a UA degree and one or more degrees issued separately by each of the institutions involved in the program.

Students earn two degrees: one from each university. A significant amount of overlap in coursework is allowed. The UA offers two types of dual degrees and individual dual degrees.

Program Dual Degree: An agreement at the program level for dual degrees that is open to any student.

Individual Dual Degree: An agreement for an individual student.

Joint Degree: Students earn only ONE degree, which is awarded jointly by both universities.

2. How do I make sure the partner institution meets the necessary accreditation requirements?

Arizona International works with the participating academic department, Academic Affairs, and the UA Graduate College to make that determination.

3. What information do I need to collect to begin the development process?

The partner institution, type of degree involved, information on curriculum, sponsoring academic department, and the overall project goal is a helpful starting point. For program dual degrees, each agreement is slightly different and is drafted based on its specific requirements, and sample drafts are available upon request. For individual dual degrees, the faculty sponsor should complete the individual dual degree template that UA Global can provide.

5. How many credits can be transferred to the UA as part of the dual degree?

This is negotiated, but in general, as a minimum, the student must meet all UA requirements and 50-percent of UA credit requirements.

6. Who evaluates the proposed transfer courses?

The Graduate College along with the academic department.

7. How long does the program development process take?

The process can take up to several months depending on the structure of the desired program and the response from the partner abroad. It is preferable that the interested departments outline a proposed plan and set an initial meeting with Arizona Global to discuss the proposal in order to move through the program development process efficiently.

8. When a student wants to participate in the program, at what point do they apply to each institution?

As soon as the student plans to be part of a dual degree program, but acceptance is not guaranteed.

9. What should I do if a student meets all admissions requirements, but still needs further English language preparation?

The student may be eligible for conditional admission.

10. What type of immigration document will be issued for incoming international dual degree students?

Students will be issued Form I-20 and will apply for the F1 visa valid for the period of time physically attending the UA. Break in physical presence at the UA will result in new document being issued for subsequent term(s).

11. Can an international student work at the UA or in the Tucson community as part of the dual degree program?

International students in F1 status are eligible to work on campus up to 20 hours per week during school term.

12. Will UA students who participate in the dual degree program and spend a semester or year abroad be able to maintain enrollment at the UA while they are studying at the partner institution?

UA students who spend a semester or year abroad as part of an official dual degree program will be able to maintain active enrollment at the UA through the office of UA Study Abroad. Students will be enrolled in study abroad or “SA” units while abroad, and will then transfer credit back to the UA upon completion of their studies abroad. There is a fee for this service that will be charged directly to the student’s bursar account.

13. Can my department offer distance courses as part of the dual degree program?

As a college, UAOnline is charged with helping UA Colleges and Departments offer distance courses as part of a dual degree program. Distance courses can be incorporated into international dual degree programs. This can be further discussed during the development phase.

14. Can my department offer part of the dual degree program off-cycle?

Yes, a department may offer part of a dual degree program off-cycle. This can be further discussed in the development phase.

15. What if the partner institution has different legal requirements for drafting an agreement?

There is usually not a problem including the necessary language for both institutions and their legal representatives. All agreements are reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel at the University of Arizona. If problems arise, they will be negotiated and handled on a case-by-case basis.

16. Who is responsible for administering the program outlined in the agreement?

The sponsoring academic unit is primarily responsible for communication with the partner institution for promotion of the program abroad and facilitating an easy transition to the University of Arizona. The UA Graduate College and or International Admissions will process the transfer student admissions applications and International Student Services – within UA Global – will assist with producing the appropriate immigration documents, providing new international student orientation, and advising on immigration matters while the student is at the University of Arizona.

17. How long will the agreement remain valid?

All dual degrees should have a fixed period of validity. Arizona Global recommends five years as the initial period of validity for program dual degrees. Individual dual degrees will be valid for the time it takes for the student to complete the proposed dual degree program. For program dual degrees, it should be stated in the agreement that it will be evaluated prior to the end date to determine whether it will be renewed. Arizona Global will monitor the expiration of all agreements and will send a notice to individual academic units in advance of the expiration date.

18. Should there be a foreign language version of the agreement?

University of Arizona departments should be sensitive to providing an opportunity for the other institution to produce a second-language version of the agreement, which should be equivalent to the English language version. It is the responsibility of the initiating academic/administrative unit to work with the partner institution in order to provide appropriate translations of agreements.

19. Who needs to approve and sign the agreement?

The principal University of Arizona contact signs the Routing and Approval Sheet and then obtains the signatures of the reporting Department Head or Director and the responsible Dean. The Routing and Approval Sheet is then directed to Arizona Global order to continue the vetting process. Once the necessary approvals are received, the agreement is sent to Arizona International for final review and preparation for signature. An electronic version of the transfer articulation agreement in each language in which it exists must also be sent to intl-partnerships@arizona.edu so original documents can be printed.

If the dual degree agreement meets legal and contractual requirements, Arizona International will approve and complete the routing process by sending it to the academic units, administrative units, and the Provost for final review and signature.