Two international dual degrees with Northern Arizona University, USA

The University of Bordeaux has signed a partnership agreement with Northern Arizona University allowing undergraduates from both establishments to pursue a Franco-American dual degree in biology or geology. These two degrees are the fruit of a long-standing collaboration between the two partners.

  • 25/02/2021

©Joshbiggs, NAU campus in Flagstaff (Arizona), at the base of the San Francisco Peaks ©Joshbiggs, NAU campus in Flagstaff (Arizona), at the base of the San Francisco Peaks

In 2012, Université Bordeaux 1 (now University of Bordeaux) and Northern Arizona University signed a cooperation agreement enabling students to partake in mobility periods at both institutions. This agreement mainly targeted undergraduates in life sciences (biology, ecology and earth sciences), and was rapidly successful, with enthusiastic student feedback.

Building on this success, the two universities decided to reinforce their partnership by combining student mobility with the pursuit of a second diploma. From there, the International Biology Dual Degree and Double diplôme international en géologie (International Geology Dual Degree) were born.

An American Bachelor of Science for University of Bordeaux students

At the University of Bordeaux, students enroll in either of the two programs at the beginning of the third year of their Bachelor. They spend the first year of the dual degree in Bordeaux, with students from Northern Arizona University who are completing the third year of their Bachelor of Science (BSc).

Throughout this year, students from Bordeaux build the study program for their year in the USA, in line with the chosen field for their Master degree. Students benefit from a multitude of study possibilities for this experience abroad, including a BSc in biology, biomedical sciences, microbiology or geology.

Upon completion of the first year of the dual degree, students enrolled in the program obtain their French Bachelor. They then spend the second year at Northern Arizona University, for the final year of their American Bachelor of Science. During this second year, Bordeaux students are enrolled in a Master program at the University of Bordeaux and are exonerated from tuition fees at Northern Arizona University. After their American graduation ceremony, University of Bordeaux students may pursue the second year of the Master program in which they were registered back in France.

For Bordeaux students, this is not only a first, but also a unique means of enhancing their CV and bolstering their studies with two diplomas and international recognition.

Graduates benefit from visibility in France, Europe and across the Atlantic. An American BSc allows them to enter the American labor market, and also enables them to directly apply for doctoral programs in the United States if their BSc is obtained with honors.

The two year programs are also a valuable opportunity to create strong links between French and American student communities, thus promoting not only academic exchanges, but also solid linguistic, cultural and personal exchanges.

Everything at Northern Arizona University appealed to me! The beautiful mountain views, the facilities, the dynamic student life… University services guided us throughout our stay and made sure we were well integrated. Course content was highly stimulating and the teachers were attentive and available. This experience abroad not only allowed me to considerably improve my English, but also to meet new people and better discover my interests, all while making the most of the unique setting and outdoor activities the university had to offer!

Jeanne Ibarra — Exchange student at Northern Arizona University

In conclusion, these programs, due to commence in September 2021, allow students to internationalize their curriculum, enhance their studies and obtain a dual degree, thus providing them with the possibility to further their education by pursuing an international Master or doctoral degree and privileged access to specific job markets.