Washington State University

Revised 1-14
International Programs

International Memorandums of Understanding and Agreements

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Global participation by faculty, students, staff, and other relevant constituencies is essential to the mission of the University for achieving a world-class environment for research, education, the arts, and engagement. Providing a broad spectrum for international experience, bridging language and cultural differences, fostering collaborative research, and recruiting the best undergraduate and graduate students and visitors in a research university can be accomplished by successful global partnerships.

Through international Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) and International Agreements (IAs), the University can foster a network of students, faculty, alumni, teaching and research colleagues, sponsors, and leaders with shared commitments to cultural understanding and academic activities that benefit WSU, the state of Washington, the nation, and the globe. For a detailed description of agreement types see the International Programs website at:



The Office of International Programs (IP) facilitates and coordinates international MOUs and IAs for the University.

IP should be consulted in advance of any international MOU or IA being drafted, agreed upon, or signed.

Contact Information

International Programs
Bryan Hall 206
Mail code: 5121
Telephone: 509-335-2541
E-mail: ip.admin@wsu.edu
Website: http://ip.wsu.edu/


International Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs)

An international MOUis intended to be a general nonbinding statement of a plan to cooperate and explore collaborative international activities between WSU and a partner university, institution, or organization.

An international MOU may not contain financial or other binding obligations or commit resources.

An international MOU must identify the contracting parties and purpose, and be signed by authorized signatories. Authorized signatories are usually the president or provost of the university or institution and an administrator of corresponding rank at the partner organization.

The international MOU provides a simple format to enter into a general nonbinding agreement and serves as the foundation for more detailed agreements on specific activities.

International Agreements (IAs)

An IA is a legally-binding contract that commits WSU and the partner organization to provide specific services or activities. An IA should build upon the framework established by an international MOU and further the vision expressed in the MOU. The IA must be signed by a WSU administrator with the appropriate contracting authority. (See 10.10.)

NOTE: Depending on the nature or scope of a program, IP routes an IA to other relevant University offices for review and approval, including, but not limited to, the Office of Research Operations and Support (OROS), the Office of Finance and Administration, or the Budget Office. See below.


Examples of activities documented by IAs include, but are not limited to:

Required Details

An IA must contain details pertaining to the parties' contractual relationship, including, but not limited to, the following:


Refer below for approval requirements for IAs.


This section (10.42) does not apply to the following agreement types.

Business Contracts

Contracts within the authority of the Office of Finance and Administration are not processed by International Programs. Refer to 10.11 to process such agreements.

Non-Internationally-Related Research and Scholarly Activity Agreements

Non-internationally-related research and scholarly activity agreements are processed through OROS. Refer to Chapter 40 to process such agreements.


If departments/units receive a proposed agreement from an international university, institution, or organization, it is the chair or faculty's responsibility to determine whether the agreement is in the best interest of the department and college. If so, the department must work with IP to determine whether the terms of the agreement are consistent with the laws and policies governing University contracts.

The department must obtain approval from the applicable dean for the proposed agreement. See below regarding approvals.

If the proposed agreement does not meet all the requirements of law and policy and is not determined to be in the overall best interest of the University, it must be modified to meet University requirements.


Each agreement with an international university, institution, or organization or for an international program must include certain standard information presented in an approved format.

Each agreement must identify contact persons or units at WSU and at the collaborating international organization with responsibility for conduct of the proposed activities.

IP provides established and approved standardized agreement templates for the University. Refer to the following link for current templates:


Check Existing Agreements

IP maintains a list of current agreements. Refer to this list before beginning work on an international agreement. To view the current list, contact the IP office, or go to:


Retention of Agreements

The Controller's Office retains the originals of all IAs.


Consider each of the following criteria when evaluating international MOUs or IAs for establishment and/or approval:


Obtain college/departmental/institutional approval for the international MOU or IA on the Internal Approval Form. This form is for WSU internal use only. For complete internal approval and routing information contact IP by e-mail at:


The signatures of the regional campus chancellor (when appropriate), dean, chair (director), and contact person are required. Seek approval from the college financial officer when appropriate.

If the agreement covers more than one college, obtain approval for each college. See also "Additional Approvals" below. Allow at least two weeks for completion of the final University approval process. Processing time varies depending on the type of the agreement, the need for additional negotiations, and/or routing of documents for signatures.

Curriculum Transfer

If curriculum transfer credit is involved, include a table of transfer equivalencies approved by the appropriate university entity. A curriculum transfer agreement allows the student to transfer a defined set of courses and credits between an academic program at one institution to a program at another institution.

IA Approvals by Activity

Refer to the table below to determine approval for specific activities. Note that IP routes certain agreements to OROS, the Office of Finance and Administration, and/or the Budget Office, and other appropriate offices as necessary. (See below for possible additional review and approval.) Contact IP with questions.

Activity President Provost IP OROS Finance
Budget Office
Student exchanges using standard template        
Unusual student exchanges      
Faculty exchanges   X*  
English language training using standard template        
Unusual English language training     X
Group-led study abroad    
Externally-funded international research and development grants/contracts   X X X  
Memorandums of Understanding      
International recruiting agent agreements    
Sponsored student exchanges      

✓ Required Approval
X Possible Approval (Contact  IP for further clarification)
* If extramural funding is involved in the exchange or internship.

Additional Approvals

In addition to required approvals listed above, IP may require prior approval from one or more of the following offices, as applicable:

Final WSU Approval

After the Vice Provost of IP approves the agreement, IP determines appropriate final University reviews and approvals.

The President or his or her designee authorizes international MOUs. The Provost or his or her designee authorizes IAs.