Domestic agreements with non-VCU institutions

Agreements with other domestic institutions allow VCU units to leverage resources, develop faculty collaborations and expand educational opportunities. The Office of the Provost works closely with units across the university to coordinate, review and maintain an inventory of agreements that connect to the academic enterprise.


The purpose of this meeting is to review a series of questions to determine the terms of the agreement and next steps.

The terms of the agreement determine the duration of this step, which can vary from 1 month to 1-2 years. The finalization process can involve discussions, development, revisions and/or approvals, including but not limited to:

  • Curriculum
  • Bulletin
  • Enrollment and financial aid
  • Student tracking plan
  • Terms of review/renewal
  • Budget model implications
  • University Council

Academic Affairs coordinates the signature process with the support of the VCU academic units. Copies are provided and an archive is maintained.

No agreement shall be executed or implemented until all required notifications and approvals are secured. Notifications and approvals may be internal or external (e.g., SACSCOC; SCHEV, as designated by policy).

Types of agreements

The following are the most common types of arrangements between VCU academic programs and programs at other domestic institutions. See the VCU Bulletin for additional information on both undergraduate degree definitions and graduate degree definitions.

A non-binding “handshake” agreement that confirms the intention of VCU and the partner institution to develop collaborative activities in different academic or research areas, but that does not make commitments to specific activities or involve a commitment of University resources. Specific activities must be implemented through separate specific agreements that require approval by authorized officials.

This type of agreement often serves as an “umbrella agreement,” which lays the foundation for subsequent specific agreements.

Dual degree programs allow students to concurrently pursue study in two graduate or professional programs and receive two separate program completion credentials (diplomas). Students must meet all curricular requirements of both degrees and meet VCU’s residency requirement for the relevant degree program. Additional information can be found at the VCU Bulletin's undergraduate degree definitions and graduate degree definitions webpages.

Joint degree programs consist of a single degree and curriculum that is delivered through a partnership between VCU and one or more regionally accredited domestic institutions. Students receive a single diploma bearing the names, seals and signatures of each of the participating institutions.

Review, revision, renewal and termination

Agreements are typically reviewed every three years, though the review and revision process varies between types of agreements. A statement of review and revision is included in each approved agreement. The agreement review/renewal process should include a close re-examination of the curricula to ensure the renewed agreement reflects updates made since the original signing date.

Prior to terminating any agreement, the Office of the Provost will explore potential SCHEV and SACSCOC implications. For example, these implications may include teach-out plans and teach-out agreements in accordance with SACSCOC substantive change policy.

Contact us

Please direct questions via email to Dr. Andrew Arroyo, interim assistant vice provost for academic programs & policy, at