Types of Collaboration

Collaborative education programs

Collaborative education programs can offer student recruitment opportunities, increase IU’s visibility in other countries and with international institutions of higher education, and foster faculty research collaboration. Academic units at IU may consider any of the following to diversify their international engagements. 

Degree-granting collaborative education programs

Academic units may structure opportunities for students at international institutions of higher education to earn a degree at Indiana University.

Dual and joint degrees pose reputational risks to IU and, therefore, must be carefully considered. Such degrees are approved only with primary partners of IU or with leading peer institutions that have parallel strengths in a particular field of study. These programs involve a two-way flow of students, meaning that they are open to students from both IU and the partnering institution, and require substantial collaboration between faculty members. Joint degrees involve collaboration by an IU academic unit and a partner institution to offer a degree program that neither would have the resources to offer without combining expertise and instruction; upon completion of a joint degree program, both institutions' names appear on the diploma. Joint degrees are considered new degrees and must be approved by the Board of Trustees. Because of their complexity and the time commitment required for their development and approval, joint degrees are rarely considered by IU academic units.

Cooperative education programs, or facilitated transfer programs, are designed to make the transfer process easier for international students who are interested in earning a degree at IU. A student's home institution, at its discretion, may accept the credits that the student earns at IU and confer a separate degree. These programs may be done with existing partners of IU or in affiliation with a non-partner institution.

Types of cooperative education (transfer) programs

Undergraduate transfer
Students complete one or two years at their home institution and transfer to IU for completion of an undergraduate degree. Students must complete at least 50 percent of all credit hours required for a degree while in residence at IU.
Undergraduate-master's 3+2
Students complete three years at their home institution and transfer to IU for completion of a master's degree. The home institution may count specified courses at IU toward a student’s undergraduate degree.
Undergraduate-master's 4+1
Students transfer graduate level credits to IU completed in the fourth year at their home institution and finish the remaining credits for a master’s degree at IU. Best option for professional master’s programs.

Other types of collaborative education programs

  • Visiting student programs: Students from an international university spend a semester or academic year at IU as full-time non-degree seeking students or as participants in special short-term programs (for credit or non-credit). Student must be admitted to IU and meet all admissions standards, including English language proficiency. The international university may be affiliated with IU solely for the purposes of the visiting student program or may be an existing partner.
  • Summer research experience: Undergraduate students from a partner institution come to IU, typically after their third year, for a research experience, ranging from a six-week summer to a full semester placement, in a lab setting (commonly in the hard sciences, though not limited to those disciplines). Departments and/or labs at IU may provide funding for the participating students, or alternatively, require registration in research/internship credit.
  • Certificate programs: Academic units at IU may collaborate with international institutions or organizations for the purpose of offering an existing certificate or designing a new one.
  • Micro-credentials: Academic units at IU may offer more targeted “bite size” chunks of supplemental education in collaboration with international institutions or organizations that address an identified skills or knowledge gap in a particular profession or field. Micro-credentials may be stackable, and they may include work-based or experiential learning models.

Learn how to propose a new program

Create an agreement