Program Creation

Dual Degrees

Table of Contents

Guidelines and documents related to the operation of Dual Degrees.


The creation of a new Dual Degree offering within IE’s portfolio begins at the commercial and academic level. Once studied and approved by those parties, Operations (OPS) and Program Experience Innovation (PXI) take the lead in implementation, in coordination with the two degree programs involved in the new Dual Degree.

PXI initiates coordination between the two degree programs’ Executive Directors and Vice Deans/Academic Directors to define co-validations:

  • Program I to Program II co-validations comprise courses studied in Program I (to date, IMBA, MIM, or MIF, depending on the intake) that coincide with courses to be studied in Program II (specialized master’s programs that vary by intake) in at least 80% of the content.
  • Program II to Program I co-validations are courses that are entirely unique to Program II and are selected to appear in Dual Degree students’ Program I transcripts as if they were Program I coursework (typically Electives), therefore awarding the student the credits necessary for completion of Program I. (See further explanation of this concept in Accreditations’ documentation on co-validations).

The resulting co-validations are reflected in co-validation tables used internally and made available to Dual Degree students. See example below:

Both PXs and PXI review all details of the co-validations to ensure that requirements regarding ECTS and types of evaluations are met. Co-validations are reviewed for every intake to accommodate changes in any program.

Additionally, Dual Degrees are given the option to personalize their Program I to Program II co-validations, in case they wish to take a Program II course in spite of having studied the majority of that course material in their Program I. PXI coordinates this process with the Dual Degrees, OPS, and all PXs.

Other Institutions

A Dual Degree with a partner institution (“external Dual Degree”) may take on two formats:

  • 1+1, in which no co-validations, course recognitions, nor credit transfers are involved, or
  • concurrent, which have a format similar to IE’s internal Dual Degree programs.

In the concurrent format, an IE student begins their studies at IE, applies to the external Dual Degree and, if accepted, completes the required portion of the IE program before beginning the program at the partner institution. Determined courses from the partner institution are then recognized—including grade and credit transfer—in the IE program, once both programs are completed.

The same may occur inversely, if the external Dual Degree partnership is bidirectional.

The credit transfer agreement between IE and partner institutions is regulated via a binding contract signed by the Deans of two institutions.

IE Global Academic Partnerships is in charge of leading the negotiation and contract creation with the partner institution.

Before the Deans sign the contract, it is crucial that the Executive Directors and Vice Deans of official programs (ANECA Certified programs) can assess the process by making sure that the credit transfer agreement complies with the following points:

  1. If core courses are included in the agreement, these courses have to match the competencies and learning objectives taught at IE.
  2. Elective courses can be included in the agreement only if the IE official program allows so.
  3. If elective courses are allowed, these have to be related to the field of study of the program and be Master’s-level courses (Bachelor’s-level courses cannot be accepted).
  4. Final exam cannot be included in the credit transfer agreement. In order to complete an IE program, all students have to present a final exam in house.
  5. The contract has to include a table (similar to the ones created between IE University schools) that clearly states how credits will be recognized from one school to the other.
  6. It has to include a grade conversion table (if not previously included in the Grade Conversion Document for Exchange programs).
  7. It is mandatory that 60% of the credits are taken at IE.

Learning Agreement

If the contract signed by IE and the partner institution clearly states a list of mandatory courses that the student has to complete in the two schools, then it is not necessary for students to sign a learning agreement.

On the contrary, if the contract only reflects general subjects and credits to be taken by students then it is mandatory to complete the following 5 steps:

  1. Before departure and by the established deadline, the student must complete their “learning agreement” form (provided by IE’s Program Experience Innovation) indicating the courses they want to take at the partner institution and including syllabi.
  2. IE’s Program Experience Innovation Office, in conjunction with the Program Experience team (PX), reviews the proposed coursework and communicates with the student regarding approval or rejection. Once an agreement is reached, the learning agreement is signed by IE and by the student.
  3. Once at the partner institution, the student must submit an updated version of the learning agreement signed by the partner institution, stating the courses in which they have enrolled, again including syllabi if changes are proposed. Once agreed upon, the final learning agreement is again signed by all parties, including the partner institution.
  4. IE Program Operations team adds the approved courses to the system.
  5. At the end of the external Dual Degree and once all grades are received from the partner institution:
    1. Program Experience Innovation converts the grades and credits according to the conversion table;
    2. Program Operations publishes the grades; and
    3. Program Experience Innovation completes the “Resolución Reconocimiento de Créditos” form, notifying the Program Experience team and including the Executive Director’s signature on this ANECA-required document.

Courses and Grades

Additionally, once the student completes the corresponding courses abroad, courses and grades must be reflected in the system according to the document “Official Grade Certificates: Electives, DDs and Long Exchanges” (download below).

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