MOUs, Articulation, Agreements

NMSU has a formal process for initiating, vetting and approving Academic Affiliation/Articulation Agreements, Cooperative Agreements (e.g. MOU, MOA), and International Agreements. The NMSU Signature Authority Table (see Policy 1.05.30) states that only the Executive Vice President and Provost, or Community College President (as designees of the NMSU Chancellor) has authority to sign such agreements.

All officially approved and formalized Academic Articulation Agreements must be posted on the Admissions webpage for academic transfer. Once all approvals have been secured and the Agreement is signed by all participating parties, a copy of the Agreement should be forwarded to the NMSU Registrar at If the department/program wishes to post on its academic homepage, it should be posted via a link to the official Admissions-transfer webpage. Please note:  This requirement is only for Academic Articulation, and does not include MOUs and/or placement agreements. 

The Accreditation Office is part of the recommendation for approval process for all academic related Agreements. Departments/units should work directly with the Accreditation Office (and in some cases with the Office of General Counsel) in drafting Agreements to ensure that once completed, Agreements move expeditiously through the final, formal approval process. This is particularly applicable when drafting Articulation Agreements with other institutions, and/or non-standard MOUs for practicum-type placements of students with external agencies. Below are guidelines and an overview of the recommendation for approval process. Failure to follow the guidelines below may result in a return of the Agreement to the department/unit for revisions, thereby prolonging the approval process.

Guidelines – Academic Articulation

  1. Before drafting Articulation Agreements with other institutions, review NMSU policy on transfer of academic credit, found in the NMSU Catalog for undergraduate and graduate students. While Articulation Agreements are intended to provide conditional accommodations between identified institutions (see Evaluation of Transfer Credits – Level 3), the Agreement must be consistent with institutional policy. Please pay particular attention to the following excerpts:
    1. “Credits from non-accredited institutions may be evaluated, by the student’s academic college, after the student has shown acceptable performance at NMSU for two semesters of full-time enrollment.” 
      1. Courses from non-accredited institutions are not eligible to be included in the NMSU course equivalency matrix. 
    1. “Faculty established NMSU course-to-course equivalency transfer [Level 2] – Equivalency is determined by the designated departmental faculty in the department/program in which the equivalent course is offered…”
      1. If the Agreement introduces award of transfer credit for courses owned by the department but not already included in the NMSU course equivalency matrix, the department should work with the NMSU Registrar to add those courses to the matrix. 
      2. If the Agreement advocates for award of transfer credit for a course(s) outside of the proposing department’s authority (i.e. the proposing department does not own the prefix), then the proposing department must gain approval from the owning department to award credit for the course(s) as described in the Agreement; such courses should be entered into the NMSU course equivalency matrix by submission to the NMSU Registrar. 
  1. The Agreement must be in alignment/compliance with applicable specialized/professional accreditation requirements/standards. 
  2. The Agreement may not include waivers of admission requirements, including but not limited to application processes and/or fees.   

Overview of Process

  1. Academic Cooperative Agreements are initiated by the program/department. MOUs for student placement with external agencies for practicums, internships, etc. have standard required components that will be provided by the Office of General Counsel upon request.
  2. Once the Agreement is finalized, the department head/ unit administrator must complete and sign the Academic Contract Review and Recommendation Form (found on the General Counsel “Forms” page) and attach it as a cover page to the proposed Agreement.
  3. Applicable signatures required for review and recommendation are outlined on the form, and include routing through the Dean/AVP/VP, Executive Director of Accreditation, University General Counsel, SVP for Administration and Finance (if applicable), and ultimately approved by the Chancellor, President and/or Executive Vice President and Provost. At any point in the recommendation/approval process, the Agreement may be sent back to the Department/Unit for revision, and may require that the revised Agreement pass through the required recommendation/approval process again.
  4. The Accreditation Office processes Agreements on Mondays. Only in rare cases are exceptions made. Agreements may be routed to the Accreditation Office electronically to or, or by hard copy to MSC 3IIQ (Milton Hall, Suite 185-E). 
  5. Once Agreements are signed in the Accreditation Office, they will be forwarded (in the same format received – electronically or hand-carried hard copy) to the Office of General Counsel – typically on the same day or the day after they are processed. The Office will maintain copies of Agreements that are returned for revision; generally copies of Agreements forwarded to General Counsel will not be kept. 
  6. Once the Agreement is approved by the Chancellor, President and/or Executive Vice President and Provost, the department/unit will be notified, and will be allowed to move forward with the Agreement.