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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Master’s Graduate Program FAQ

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If I earn a certificate in the department, can I use those credits toward completing a masters degree in the department?

Yes.  Credits used to earn a graduate certificate in our program can (within a six year timeframe) be applied toward the completion of a masters degree in our program as well.

Can I transfer graduate credits into one of the programs?

Yes.  The number of credits that may transfer is subject to department approval based on the Graduate College transfer policies.  The department does not allow transfer of the required core courses listed for each program, but will consider and review previous graduate level coursework to fulfill elective requirements.

What's the difference between an M.A., M.S., M.F.A.?

Each degree is a masters-level degree, but they differ in the capstone project expectations and in the length of time to complete the program.  For example, the M.A. capstone project can take the form of either a thesis or an Alternate Plan Paper (APP) - both of which are research projects (the thesis requires you to gather primary data, the APP requires you to gather secondary data).  The M.S. capstone project is always a critical/analytic paper based on an Internship experience of the student's choosing. The M.F.A. is a terminal degree, (meaning once it is obtained, most students do not go on for their Ph.D.), that always culminates in the writing of a capstone thesis.  The M.A. and M.S. are both 2-year programs, and the M.F.A. is a 3-year program. The M.A. with a thesis is typically recommended for students intending to do further graduate work at the Ph.D. level, while students who plan to continue in business and industry may find the M.S. option more useful. 

What Capstone Projects are Available?

The department offers three different capstone projects. The selection of a capstone project is limited by your degree program (MS, MA, MFA).

What capstones have been completed  by alums of the graduate program? We maintain a master list graduate capstone projects.

What are the requirements for admission?

In addition to completing the minimum requirements for the College of Graduate Studies and Research, students must also have a GPA of 3.0 or better in overall undergraduate studies.

What paperwork do I have submit to apply for the graduate program? Does applying cost any money?

In one packet, students should submit the following items: three completed Recommendation for Master's Program forms from individuals qualified to judge competence in speech scholarship; a writing sample demonstrating research, sound analysis, organization and evidence such as a term paper, convention paper, professional report, etc.; and a statement of personal, educational and professional goals., as well as an application for admission. It currently costs $40 to apply.

How much are tuition and fees?

Student Financial Services has an up-to-date list for all categories of tuition and fees.

Are there opportunities for funding to defray the cost of graduate education at MSU?

Yes. Our department offers a number of assistantships to students who serve as TAs for recitation sections of Speech 100 as well as Forensics coaching assistantships each year.

In addition, students are encouraged to apply for university-wide assistantships and federal and state financial aid.

Does the university provide healthcare?

Not currently.

If I am awarded an assistantship position, when do I have to show up on campus?

Classes begin at the end of August each year. All GTAs need to come to a teaching workshop that runs for two weeks prior to the beginning of classes in August. You can see the academic calendar of classes on the Registrar's homepage.

Do I have to take the GRE to be accepted into the program?

No, we do not require the GRE for admission to our programs.  However, if you are seeking to further your education beyond the masters level, Ph.D. programs will require you take the GRE to be considered for admittance.

What classes are offered in the graduate program?

See a listing of the graduate course descriptions.

Do I have to take SPEE 600 and 601 in order, in my first year?

Students are strongly encouraged to do so. Taking these classes at the beginning of the program will give you the necessary grounding in the field to succeed in your other classes and as you move toward your capstone project.

Where can I find out the requirements I need to meet while in the program as well as suggested timetables for finishing my degree?

See the graduate program handbook.

How do I find an internship?

You can set up your own internship experience at an organization of your choosing.  And, if you are looking for some help in this regard there are a number of resources on campus to help you find internships. Some faculty in the department have connections to the Mankato community (the Chamber of Commerce, YWCA, etc.) and/or businesses in Mankato and the Twin Cities area. You can find internship listings on Also, the Career Development Center can help you identify internship options as well.

Can I do an internship if I am pursing the M.A. option?

Yes. In fact, an internship can be quite valuable to pursue "smaller" 1-3 credit internships to gain experience and put the theoretical knowledge you get in classes into practice.  If you are an MA student, you  list your intership credits under the "Restricted Electives".