Articulation & Cooperative Academic Arrangements

Articulation & Cooperative Academic Arrangements are mutually beneficial partnerships between colleges and universities. Developed to align coursework between institutions, these agreements benefit students by facilitating a seamless transition from another institution to TWU.

Institutions or internal departments wishing to develop new agreements or needing to update existing agreements should follow the procedures outlined below or contact the Office of Curriculum and Strategic Initiatives at 940-898-2947.

Please carefully review and follow the Articulation and Cooperative Academic Agreement Information. These are the steps and procedures for developing, maintaining, and evaluating all articulation/cooperative academic agreements overseen by the Office of Curriculum and Strategic Initiatives.

Parties wanting to establish or update international agreements should contact the office of International Affairs (940-898-3338 or

Common Use Definitions

Academic Transfer Pathway: a set of identified courses within an associate’s degree at a partner community college that are applicable towards a specific baccalaureate degree at Texas Woman’s University. It ensures a seamless transfer of academic credit.

Articulation Agreements: also known as transfer partnerships, are commonly used to formalize transfer relationships by stating the purpose of the arrangements between institutions. Articulation agreements typically are long-form agreements designed to formalize transfer agreements between institutions. Focus on academic professes and policies that guide transfer, such as credit transfer between schools. Can include reverse transfer provisions and other student benefits like admissions guarantees.

Common Course Numbering Systems: provide a foundational way to improve the efficacy of transfer agreements. When a state or system adopts a common course numbering system, this requires the institutions within the system to identify their course offerings using a similar schema and naming convention.

Dual Degree Agreement: an agreement by two or more institutions whereby students study at two or more institutions and each institution grants a separate academic award bearing only its name, seal, and signature.

Joint Degree Agreement:  an agreement by two or more institutions whereby students study at two or more institutions and the institutions grant a single academic award bearing the names, seals, and signatures of each of the participating institutions.

Joint/Dual Enrollment: is when a student is enrolled in more than one institution at the same time. Enrollment agreements are often accompanied by consortium agreements for financial aid purposes, but the consortium agreement will live outside of the articulation and transfer agreement and is not a requirement for two institutions to agree on joint enrollment.

Memorandum of Understanding: Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) are typically more transactional in nature, focusing on specific outcomes or responsibilities between parties. Some institutions, however, will use the MOU to establish a partnership, and leave articulation agreements to cover the academic components of transfer.

Program to Program: are widely used to align community college associate degrees with comparable bachelor’s degree options. These agreements detail how specific courses match up with and count towards major requirements, general education/core requirements, and electives. In most cases, comparable associate and bachelor’s programs exist at both institutions, facilitating the alignment of degrees (e.g., Business to Business, Criminal Justice to Criminal Justice).

Reverse Transfer: a process that allows students to transfer credits back to a previously attended institution to complete a degree even after leaving that institution.

Transfer Guides: also known as Course-to-Course agreements or Course Equivalency Agreements. These agreements focus on academic coursework. In these agreements, institutions determine how individual courses match (or are equivalent to) each other in terms of content, learning outcomes, relevance, and value, and typically exclude admissions guarantees and related benefits.

*Adapted from AACRAO and SACSOC

Common Transfer Programs Partnerships Structure

2 + 2 Program: is designed for students who take half of a degree at one institution and the second half at another institution. Usually, this is the completion of an associate’s degree at a community college and subsequent transfer into a four-year institution for bachelor’s degree completion. One of the hallmarks of this type of program is degree completion and a clear, defined pathway to get there. A student’s enrollment status may cause an agreement like this to vary in length.

3 + 1 Program: a type of agreement designed for a student to complete 75% of the coursework at an institution and transfer to another institution for the final, often senior level, coursework.

1 + 3 Program: is designed for a student to start at an institution and transfer after 30 credits of work and without degree completion. This is seen with programs that are structured to the point that three years is required for timely graduation.

*Adapted from AACRAO

Internal TWU Documents and Forms

  • TWU General Transfer MoU Template -  TWU's general transfer MoU template used to develop an academic agreement draft. As a reminder, most of the time, community colleges’ (current and potential) partners provide their MoU templates to work with. A TWU email is required to download this form.
  • Agreement Idea Exploration Form - Complete the form and share your agreement idea with the Office of Curriculum and Strategic Initiatives. Our office will schedule an exploratory meeting with the prospective sponsor once submitted.
  • Articulation and Cooperative Academic Agreement Form - This is the first stage of the agreement process. Must be completed, signed, and sent to the Office of Curriculum and Strategic Initiatives.
  • 2 + 2 Transfer Guided Pathway Form - Contact the Office of Curriculum and Strategic Initiatives for this form.
  • TWU Transfer Pathway Plan Workflow 2024 [pdf] - TWU Transfer Pathway Plan Workflow shows you the process for collaboration, creation, review, and execution of 2+2 plans with partner institutions. The timeframe from initial mapping to execution may vary due to timing of the semester and curriculum commitments.
  • Partnership Assessment Report eForm -  Required form to be submitted six months before the articulation/cooperative academic agreement ends. A TWU email is required to complete this form.



Page last updated 4:32 PM, April 4, 2024