Transfer Articulation (2+2, 1+3, etc)

Faculty members at the University of Arizona (UA) who are interested in establishing a pathway to a UA degree program for undergraduate international students from a specific institution should consider the transfer articulation process.

A transfer articulation agreement is a binding, legal contract formalizing the terms of collaboration between the UA and the partner institution. The partner institutions involved review each other’s curriculum in the desired degree program and determine an appropriate plan of study that involves taking coursework at both institutions.

Through the articulation process, coursework is evaluated by both institutions and mapped in advance making it easier for students to pursue the degree and transfer credit to the University of Arizona. Transfer articulation agreements should outline a constructive new venture that reflects an institutional priority and commitment for the institutions involved.

Please click on the tabs below for more information on how to establish a transfer articulation agreement. You can contact 621-1900 or for more information.

Process Flow


General Questions and Answers

1. What is a transfer articulation agreement?

A transfer articulation agreement or “2+2” program is an agreement that establishes a framework for collaboration between the two participating institutions named in the agreement for a specific degree program. Transfer articulation agreements are vetted, articulated, and approved on campus in advance so that it is clear what courses students need to take while abroad and how those courses will be recognized at the University of Arizona. Once the articulation process is complete, it assists the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the sponsoring academic department through the process of evaluating courses when a transfer application is received from the partner institution.

2. How do I qualify a potential partner institution (i.e. make sure it meets the necessary accreditation requirements)?

Institutions must be bachelors or equivalent awarding institutions recognized by their country’s Ministry of Education. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions can verify this requirement.

3. What information do I need to collect to begin the articulation process? Is there a special format?

An English translation of the course title, description, number of credits, syllabus, outcomes/objectives, and textbook information would be the ideal. Having a University of Arizona contact person for questions and who has the ability to gather additional information can make the process more efficient.

4. Who completes the appendices attached to the transfer articulation agreement (e.g. the General Education Course Equivalency Table, the Major Course Equivalency Table, the Possible Sequence of Courses for Students, and the Transfer Guide for Applicants)?

The sponsoring academic department at the University of Arizona is responsible for completing the transfer articulation agreement template and appendices and submitting them for review to the Office of Global Initiatives and the Office of Transfer Curriculum along with course descriptions translated into English for each course being proposed as part of the articulation.

5. Who evaluates the courses during the articulation process?

The courses will be routed by the Office of Transfer Curriculum to faculty in the appropriate discipline. These are faculty who evaluate transfer courses and are familiar with the process.

6. How long does the articulation process take?

The process can take days to weeks depending on the availability of faculty and the completeness of the materials needed to evaluate the course(s).

7. Can courses be articulated in blocks or do they need to be articulated as individual courses?

Courses will be evaluated and given one of the following values:

Direct Equivalency (DE) – PHY210 = PHYS180
Departmental Elective Credit (DEC) – This is a course that is within a specific disciplinary area but is not directly equivalent to a specific course at the University of Arizona.
Elective Credit (E) – This is a course that appears to be a university-level course but does not fit within a disciplinary area offered at the University of Arizona. This may also apply to interdisciplinary courses.
Non-Transferrable (NT) – Remedial, vocational, technical, highly specialized and personal development courses are not accepted for credit.

Courses can be articulated in any combination as long as the total number of transferrable credits is met. Multiple courses at another institution may be equivalent to multiple courses at that University of Arizona as directly equivalent, but individually may only be DEC or E. Two courses taken together may be equivalent to a University of Arizona course plus additional credits of DEC or E to equal the original course’s total credits. There are no limits to the combinations as long as the total number of credits is met.

8. When a student wants to participate in the program, at what point do they apply to each institution?

Interested students from the sister institution need to submit the application according to the Deadlines for International Students.

9. How will my department know when a student has applied to transfer to the UA under the transfer articulation agreement?

Considering the number of applications the Undergraduate Admissions office receives per semester, it is advised that the sponsoring academic department obtain a list of any/all students who will be submitting an application through the program from the partner institution. Submit the list to our office in order to facilitate the coding/tracking of these students.

10. What should I do if a student meets all admissions requirements, but still needs further English language preparation?

Students who do not meet the University of Arizona English Language proficiency requirement can apply to University of Arizona’s Center for English as a Second Language (CESL). CESL offers an Intensive English Program, a full-time 8-week session designed to prepare students for academic and professional success.

11. What if the partner institution has different legal requirements for drafting an agreement?

There is usually not a problem including the necessary language for both institutions and their legal representatives. All agreements are reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel at the University of Arizona. If problems should arise, they will be negotiated and handled on a case-by-case basis.

12. Who is responsible for administering the program outlined in the agreement?

The sponsoring academic unit is primarily responsible for communication with the partner institution for promotion of the program abroad and facilitating an easy transition to the University of Arizona. The Office of Admissions will process the transfer student admissions applications and the Office of International Student Services will assist with producing the appropriate immigration documents, providing new international student orientation, and advising on immigration matters while the student is at the University of Arizona. This information is included in the transfer articulation agreement in Appendix IV: Transfer Guidelines for New Applicants.

13. How long will the agreement remain valid?

All transfer articulation agreements should have a fixed period of validity. The Office of Global Initiatives (OGI) recommends five years as the initial period of validity. It should be stated in the agreement that it will be evaluated prior to the end date to determine whether it will be renewed. OGI will monitor the expiration of all agreements and will send a notice to individual academic units in advance of the expiration date.

14. Should there be a foreign language version of the agreement?

University of Arizona departments should be sensitive to providing an opportunity for the other institution to produce a second-language version of the agreement, which should be equivalent to the English language version. It is the responsibility of the initiating academic/administrative unit to work with the partner institution in order to provide appropriate translations of agreements.

15. Who needs to approve and sign the agreement?

The principal University of Arizona contact signs the Routing and Approval Sheet and then obtains the signatures of the reporting Department Head or Director and the responsible Dean. The Routing and Approval Sheet is then directed to the Office of Admissions and the Office of Transfer Curriculum for approval. Once those approvals are received, the agreement is sent to the Office of Global Initiatives for final review and preparation for signature. An electronic version of the transfer articulation agreement in each language in which it exists must also be sent to so original documents can be printed.

If the transfer articulation agreement meets legal and contractual requirements, the Office of Global Initiatives will approve and complete the routing process by sending it to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs for final review and signature.


If you have questions about the process of developing a transfer articulation or any of its components or forms, please call (520) 621-1900 or email

Name of DocumentBrief Description
Flowchart for Creating a Transfer Articulation AgreementThe flowchart visually identifies the various procedures involved when creating a Transfer Articulation Agreement with an international institution.
Routing and Approval InstructionsOnce a Transfer Articulation has been approved by all parties involved, it is time to begin routing the document for signature. These instructions outline the routing process at the University of Arizona.
Routing and Approval SheetThe Routing and Approval Sheet is completed in order to begin routing an approved agreement for signature. This form is usually completed by the Office of Global Initiatives. A copy of the approved document should be attached to this sheet as a reference during the routing process.