Developing a LOU

NOTE: All proposed International Agreements must be sent to  to initiate the review process.  Agreements must receive approval before they are considered active.

International Letter of Understanding (LOU)

A Letter of Understanding (LOU) is a non-binding agreement that acknowledges UofL’s willingness to explore the possibility of collaboration with a foreign institution. LOUs are appropriate for new academic projects or research or upon first meeting new international partners.

The LOU is a signal of good will and of willingness to discuss the opportunities to cooperate further.  

A Letter of Understanding is the preferred first step to creating a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or Program Agreement (PA). 

The University of Louisville has a pre-approved template for the International Letter of Understanding. Using the pre-approved template will expedite the review process.  If you deviate from the template, you must red-line any changes. If changes are made, please allow an additional 30 days for review.

LOUs must be recommended by a faculty member, endorsed by the Dean of your school/college and by the Executive Vice President and Provost before being signed by the institution abroad. Once the document has been signed by the foreign institution, send a copy to at the International Center for tracking. Often LOUs lead to Memorandums of Understanding, although it is not required.

International Letter of Understanding Template (DOCX)