Joint degree process

The Office for International Affairs, through its International Partnerships Portfolio, is the administrator of joint degrees at the UFS. The office is responsible for giving advice and assisting with the registration process for the degree. 

What is a joint degree?

A joint degree is an academic qualification where a student registers with two different universities at the same time to obtain one qualification. Upon completion, the home university will then issue a joint degree certificate signed by the rectors of both universities, with the logos of both universities displayed on the certificate.

How do I conduct my studies in a joint-degree setting?

The joint degree has a minimum of two supervisors, one at the home university and the other at the host university. The student is expected to spend at least one-third of her/his study time at the host university, while the rest will be spent at the home university. This will be guided by an individual cotutelle agreement – an agreement that sets out the conditions for joint supervision, thesis examination, and conferral of the joint degree.

Am I expected to pay tuition fees at both universities?

The student will pay tuition fees at the home university; the host university will waive tuition fees. Other costs such as accommodation, books, travel, and daily expenses will be covered by the student.

How do I enrol for a joint degree?

With a joint degree, it is expected that the student, supervisor, and/or the relevant department will identify the potential supervisor at the university they would like to partner with. Once the conversation has been initiated with the potential supervisor or university, the OIA will then come on board to support the process.

Can the OIA initiate a joint degree on my behalf?

No, the OIA would not have an idea of which university is the best in your field. The OIA can only offer advice and administrative support.

Who is eligible for a joint degree?

The UFS offers joint degrees at PHD level; however, in exceptional circumstances, master’s degrees can be offered as well.


For more info contact:

Mr Kagiso Ngake
+27 51 401 2104

Mr Zenzele Mdletshe
+27 51 401 9027

For UFS national and international partner universities please click here

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