Planning an International Collaboration

Faculty developing an international collaboration involving a graduate degree or certificate program should reach clarity around the questions below as part of initial planning. Initial planning must include discussions with unit leadership (chair/dean/chancellor).

Once initial planning is complete, program proposers follow the Guidelines for New International Collaborations. This process includes submitting the International Agreement Proposal Form to the Office of Global Affairs and contacting the Graduate School’s Office of Academic Affairs and Planning ( Early contact with the Office of Academic Affairs & Planning is essential for successful program development.

Key considerations when planning international collaborations for UW graduate programs


  • Alignment with existing degree programs and requirements.
    1. Does the program match existing UW degree program requirements or is this a new/modified degree, degree option, or certificate? See Creating/Modifying Programs.
    2. Any student receiving a UW degree must fulfill all UW degree requirements, but some requirements may be fulfilled by approved work at another institution. Is there overlap in academic content between the UW and international program?
      • If yes, what activity (coursework, research) from the international institution will be recognized towards UW degree requirements?
      • If yes, how will any recognized activity from international institution be integrated into the UW program (e.g., waiver of credits, fulfillment of competency requirements)?
      • If yes, how will the program assure equivalency in course content and expectations?
    3. How is this program distinct from existing programs with regard to student audience, admissions criteria, or program demand?
  • Faculty oversight and staff resources
    1. What UW faculty will oversee the program and how will the UW program assure appropriate student oversight and mentoring?
    2. What faculty and staff resources will be required and how will these be supported?
    3. What additional institutional support or infrastructure will be needed?
    4. How will ongoing coordination with the partner institution be structured at the faculty and staff level?


  • Tuition, fees, and budget
    1. Will program be self-supporting through fees or will regular tuition be charged?
  • Student flow, including application and graduation
    1. When will students apply to the UW program, and how does this align with admission to the international program?
    2. When will students be granted the degree from each institution (after completion of each set degree requirements, or will all degrees be withheld until completion of both programs)?
    3. Will students be enrolled as UW students throughout the program? If not, what is the sequencing?
    4. How many students will be accommodated per year?
  • Student Visas. Discussions may include Graduate Enrollment Management Services and International Student Services.
  • Financial Aid. Discussions may include Office of Student Financial Aid.