Binding vs. Non-binding International Agreements

When exploring the possibility of establishing an international agreement it is important to ensure that the relationship serves Berkeley's mission of providing faculty and students access to world-class institutions, experiences, and resources. Our university's guiding principles for partnering remind faculty and staff to only engage with partners that will enhance Berkeley's reputation and share our core values.  

International agreements are housed and reviewed by various units on campus. Please review the agreement types below to best determine which unit can assist with reviewing and processing your agreement. If you are unsure of whom to contact, send your request to

Non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

A non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a general statement of mutual interest to explore opportunities for collaboration, and does not include commitment of university funds, staff, space, facilities, or other university resources. These MOUs can be considered "handshake" agreements and are not official agreements of the University; however, MOUs indicate the intent to partner with UC Berkeley and should be reviewed by the Global Engagement Office and Senior International Officer.

For these international agreements, faculty and staff should follow the MOU Review and Signing Process.

Binding International Agreements

Collaboration agreements with any commitment of university resources including funds, staff, facilities, or other UC assets become formal contracts and/or agreements. Formal contracts detail the terms and conditions of specific forms of collaboration and are legally binding on both parties. 

For these international agreements, faculty and staff should follow UC Berkeley's Guidelines for Developing International Activities early in the development process to determine whether a proposed international activity should be reviewed by senior administrative leaders.