What are Provost Contracts?

Academic program agreements are contracts between the University and another institution or organization to establish a joint educational program, a collaborative academic relationship such as a student exchange, or a research activity unrelated to sponsored research.  These agreements are processed and signed by the Provost’s Office in coordination either with Financial Operations or, in the case of research-related agreements, the Office of Sponsored Programs. For more information on Academic Program Agreements, please refer to the Policy FIN-035: Academic Approval and Signature Authority for Academic Program Agreements.

The Provost’s Office has established guidelines for review, documentation and signature of common types of academic program agreements. Please note that these agreements require a letter of support from the Dean of the sponsoring University school or academic unit.

Broadly speaking, academic program agreements can be divided into three major categories:

  1. International agreements which are managed through the International Studies Office
  2. Domestic academic program agreements which are managed by the Provost’s and Financial Operations offices. 
  3. Research-related academic program agreements which are managed by the Provost’s Office and the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Below are some common academic program agreements. This list is not exhaustive, however, as any agreement that establishes a substantial academic relationship between the University and another entity is considered an academic program agreement. If uncertain as to whether a particular agreement qualifies, please consult either this office or the Provost’s Office.

International Agreements
General Agreements for Cooperation and Exchange

General agreements for cooperation and exchange (sometimes titled “General Memorandum of Understanding”) are initial statements of a willingness to collaborate in one or more academic activities, but without binding obligations upon either institution other than a commitment to working collegially in furtherance of the stated objectives. General agreements usually stipulate that specific collaborative activities will require subsequent agreements.

Template General Agreement

Student Exchange Accounts

Student exchange agreements make it possible for University students to study at another institution of higher education while also permitting students from that institution to study at the University. Pursuant to Virginia Code § 23.1-611, exchange programs must provide for an equal exchange of students over a three-year period.

Template Student Exchange Agreement

Visiting Student Scholar Agreements

Visiting student scholar agreements are appropriate when a student will be visiting UVA for a term of months (i.e. longer than a temporary visit) to perform research or take part in scholarly activities but will not be enrolled in courses and thus not technically a UVA student.

Template Visiting Student Scholar Agreement

Study Abroad Agreements

Study abroad agreements include any agreements pertaining to University programs conducted in a foreign country, or to University students attending a program in a foreign country administered by a third party.   Examples include agreements where the University contracts with a third party to provide program services abroad for University students, and agreements which permit students from other U.S. schools to attend a University study abroad program.

Academic Agreements:
Course Sharing Agreements

Typically entered into reciprocally by two or more institutions, course sharing agreements set forth the procedures for administering the registration of students from one participating institution in the on-line courses offered by one or more other participating institutions. 

Articulation Agreements

An articulation agreement is an arrangement between two institutions that permits a student to apply credits earned in specific programs at one institution toward advanced standing, entry or transfer into a specific program at another institution.

Dual Degree Agreements

Dual degree agreements set forth the terms and conditions for administration of a specified curriculum conducted in coordination by two or more educational institutions.  These arrangements entitle students to receive two or more degrees for completion of a single concurrent curriculum taught in part by each participating institution.

Research Activity Agreements:

Research activity agreements are processed by the Provost’s Office in coordination with the Office of Sponsored Programs.  These agreements are signed by the vice president for research and the assistant vice president for research administration. Research activity agreements provide for the possibility of collaborative research activities between the University and one or more other institutions or organizations. If such research collaborations are approved as part of normal sponsored programs activities (overseen by the Office of Sponsored Programs), they do not require an additional research activity agreement.