Only courses bearing graduate credit are applicable toward a graduate degree. The minimum number of credits required to be taken in courses restricted to graduate students is specified in the various graduate programs. At least one-half of the credits required for the Master's degree program must be from courses listed as 600-699, excluding thesis or APP credits. These courses are for graduate students only. If a dual numbered course is taken at the undergraduate level, it cannot be taken at the graduate level and counted toward a graduate degree program.
Graduate Student Load
To be considered full-time, a graduate student must enroll for at least 6 semester credits. The student's maximum course load each semester is 12 credits for the academic year. Any exception must be approved by the student's advisor and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research. Any student exceeding the load limit without proper authorization shall lose the credits in excess of the authorized load.
Credit by Examination
Students who possess expertise and knowledge in a specific area covered by graduate coursework may, with the approval of the class instructor, department chairperson, and the graduate dean, apply for credit by examination for up to 6 credits. Forms may be obtained from the department offering the specific course(s) to be examined.
Workshops, In-Service, Tours
A maximum of 10 credits earned in workshops, in-service courses, and tours may be used in a graduate degree program.
A maximum of 6 credits may be taken for independent study.
- Contact Hour: One 50-minute period containing class group activity under supervision.
- Regular Course: Contact hours between professor and students designed more to synthesize content than to present material to be learned. Thus, contact among class members and professor is heavily supplemented by regular assignments and systematic evaluation. A course meets on a regular basis usually for an academic semester, a summer session or as a module.
- Workshop: The principal learning takes place through interchange among class members, the professor and her/his assistants. Thus, most work for credit is frequently done within the scheduled contact hours; however, appropriate evaluation of student performance may include assessment of outside work as well. A workshop has specific focus on an educational problem and occurs in a compact time period.
- In-Service: A professor and a group of students concentrate on cooperatively working toward the resolution of a specific problem clearly relating to professional assignments of students. An in-service course focuses on concerns of a unique clientele. This course is usually offered on-site over an extended period of time. Each new subtitle must be approved by the department chairperson, college dean and, if at the graduate level, the graduate dean. Approval is for an indefinite time.
- Seminar: Characterized by in-depth study and a narrow focus. Students are expected to do extended research outside of class and to present and defend their research in class. A limited number of students is accepted and stringent prerequisites are required.
- Practicum, Internship, Field Study or Field Work: Credit is awarded for an educational experience on an individual basis emphasizing on-the job training. The student's work is jointly supervised by the academic unit involved and the cooperating agency. Written permission from the individual professor and/or department is required prior to registration.
- Tour: An extended group experience off campus in which major learning results from travel. Tours must be supervised by regular Minnesota State University faculty who accompany it. Credit is awarded and student evaluation is expected. The tour itself constitutes the major learning experience in earning credits.
- Field Trip: A short-term visit off campus to a site of educational significance. This activity is supplemental to a regular course. Credit awarded is for the course involved, with no extra or separate credit awarded for the field trip.
- Individually Paced Course: A series of specifically defined lessons. Each lesson involves an assignment and an evaluation which the student must complete at an acceptable competence level. Learning may involve group and/or individual activity, but the standards established apply equally to all members. A maximum of six credits of independent study may count toward a degree program.
- Individual Study: Permits properly qualified students to undertake independent study under guidance of a faculty member. It is used only where the time sequence and content are especially suited to the individual student and no other students are enrolled in the same work at the same time. Written permission from the individual professor and/or department is required prior to registration. A maximum of 6 credits of independent study may count toward a degree program.
- Module: Identifies a regular course taught in a compact time frame. All other guidelines for a regular course apply.
Note: Individual study courses require consent of instructor and department chair. In-service courses carry individual subtitles and are designed to meet special practitioner needs.