Policies and Regulations


Registration begins in the middle of the previous term and continues through the fifth day of the term being enrolled in. Registration changes may be made after initial registration. A class may be added through the fifth class day of the term, except for courses which begin later in the semester, or in special circumstances approved by academic appeal. Students may drop a class without record (no indication will appear on the transcript) by the fifth day of the class term. A class dropped after the first five days will appear on the student’s record as a withdrawal (“W”).

Refunds for dropped courses may apply and guidelines may be found at

Registration must be completed and all tuition and fees must be paid to Business Services before published deadlines in order to prevent cancellation of course registrations.

Questions regarding the registration process may be directed to the Registrar's Office.

Course Load

The normal course load for a graduate student is usually twelve (12) credits. Eight (8) graduate credits of enrollment are required for full-time status for students receiving financial aid, including the graduate assistant or work-study awards. Students that are enrolled for 6-7 graduate credits are entitled to pro-rated financial aid. Permission of the appropriate graduate program and college dean is required for registration in excess of fifteen (15) graduate credits in any academic term.

Graduate Course Designations

Courses at the 600 and 700 level are offered for graduate credit only. Courses offered at the 600 level are open to graduate students or to undergraduate seniors who meet specific requirements. Courses at the 500 level may be counted toward a graduate degree; these courses may also offered as 400 level courses for undergraduates. Graduate students are expected to perform on a qualitatively higher level in the 500 level courses. At least one half of the credits meeting the degree requirement (exclusive of dissertation, thesis, project/action research/portfolio) must be in 600 or 700 level courses.

Graduate Courses Taken by Undergraduate Students Policy

Undergraduate students who meet the following requirements may enroll in 500 or 600 level courses for graduate credit:

  • Completion of a minimum of 90 semester credits towards a bachelor's degree.
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • Any course prerequisites must be satisfied.
  • "Request by Undergraduate to Register for Graduate Credit" form must be signed and approved by the instructor and the Office of Graduate and Extended Learning in advance of registration.

Graduate credits may be applied to meet any requirements for the baccalaureate degree with approval from the graduate program coordinator and undergraduate advisor.

A maximum of six graduate credits may be taken by undergraduates and subsequently applied to a graduate degree at MSUM. Please be advised these graduate credits may not be acceptable at another university.

Auditing Courses

Students who wish to audit or attend a course without seeking credit must be admitted to MSUM, be registered for the course, and pay full tuition and fees. Classes taken for audit are not eligible for financial aid and do not count toward full-time status. Students may be billed for financial aid if classes taken for credit are later changed to audit status.

To audit a course, students shall attend class sessions but are not required to complete assignments or projects, participate in discussions, take examinations, or meet other requirements.

Students may declare the intent to audit a course by submitting a course audit form signed by the instructor by the tenth class day of a semester. Summer session dates vary based on the length of individual sessions; refer to drop dates posted on the Registrar's Office website at

Students may not receive credit for auditing a course except by re-enrollment for credit and successful completion of the course in a subsequent semester.

An entry of “AU” (Audit) is made on a student’s permanent academic record.

Credit for Non-Academic Experience

The purpose of this policy is to provide students with opportunities to demonstrate competence at the college and university level from learning gained through learning experiences outside of a college or university credit-bearing course and to establish consistent practices among colleges and universities for evaluating and awarding undergraduate or graduate credit for prior learning.

Graduate Grades and Grade Points Policy

Grades given in graduate courses include A, B, C, D, F, P (Satisfactory) and AU. In a continuing research course, a student may be given a grade of IP until the course is completed. W signifies withdrawal without penalty from the course. Only those credits which were completed with a grade of A, B, C, or P may be applied toward a graduate degree. Graduate programs may designate core courses which must be completed with a grade of A or B in order to count toward the degree.

Failure to pass the comprehensive examination after two attempts results in termination of degree program enrollment.

Students who fail the final oral examination cannot receive a passing grade on the project or thesis and will not receive the degree. Students may appeal through the appropriate department and the Dean of Graduate and Extended Learning to repeat the oral examination during a subsequent term.

Grades and Grade Points

All study for university credit is recorded with the following grade designations:
A+       4.00 Grade points per credit
A         4.00 Grade points per credit
A-        3.67 Grade points per credit
B+       3.33 Grade points per credit
B         3.00 Grade points per credit
B-        2.67 Grade points per credit
C+       2.33 Grade points per credit
C         2.00 Grade points per credit
C-        1.67 Grade points per credit
D+       1.33 Grade points per credit
D         1.00 Grade point per credit
D-        0.67 Grade points per credit
F          0.00 Grade points per credit
FN        0.00 Grade points per credit
I          Incomplete
P          Pass
IP        In Progress
AU       Audit
W        Withdrawal

Grade Point Average

The grade point average (GPA) is computed by dividing the number of grade points earned in a given course or courses by the number of credits attempted. The GPA is based on MSUM grades only. Transfer courses are not used in computing the cumulative GPA.

Credits with grades of “P”, “I”, “IP”, “AU”, or “W”are not included in computing the GPA.

Credits with grades of “F” and “FN” are included in computing the GPA.

Incomplete Credits

The grade of “I” is reserved for students who are unable to complete course requirements within the allotted time for reasons satisfactory to the instructor and who have made arrangements for subsequent completion of coursework. If an incomplete requires substantial class attendance in a subsequent term, the student must register to repeat the course and pay tuition and fees.

It is the student’s responsibility to meet the instructor’s requirements for completing the course.  Ordinarily, the incomplete must be made up during the next semester. (Students receiving financial aid may have specific requirements).

When requirements have been met, the instructor will notify the Registrar's Office of the replacement grade. Incompletes which have not been completed by the end of the next semester will become “F” grades.

Continuing/Continuous Registration in a Graduate Program Policy

Candidates for graduate degrees must be enrolled for graduate academic credit at the time they sit for the final oral defense (including summer session). In addition, some graduate programs have a continuous enrollment policy (Counseling, Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Nursing, School Psychology, and Speech Language Pathology). Students should view the program description pages in the bulletin for specific program requirements.

Unless dictated differently by a program, students may fulfill this requirement in one of four ways:

  • Concurrent enrollment in course work.
  • Enrollment for Thesis (699) or Dissertation (799).
  • Enrollment for Project/Action Research/Portfolio (692, 695, 696, 795, 796).
  • Enrollment for one credit in continuing registration (698 or 798).

Re-Application to a Graduate Program

Students that had an incomplete application at the deadline, withdrew their application, were denied admission, or wish to change graduate programs must complete a new application for the next available admission term. The only items that can be moved forward to a new application file are official transcripts and official test scores.

Dual Graduate Degree Policy

Any student wishing to pursue multiple graduate degrees from MSUM must meet all admission criteria and degree requirements for each program. Any duplication coursework must follow current Transfer of Credit policy.

Graduate Appeals Policy

All graduate students who wish to submit an appeal need to complete the Graduate Academic Appeals form. Course grade appeals must be submitted within six weeks of the close of the semester in which the student received the grade. Appeals for retroactive withdrawals must be submitted within five years. All other appeals must be submitted within a year of the situation that generates the appeal. Detailed procedures for filing appeals may be obtained from the Office of Graduate and Extended Learning or online. The graduate student is responsible for following the designated procedures.

The graduate student may file a graduate academic appeal for the following situations: retroactive withdrawal from courses, late course adds/drop, admission decisions, termination, degree requirements, course substitutions, course waivers, etc.

Dismissal from a Graduate Program

Graduate programs may initiate proceedings for the dismissal of a student from a program for one or more of the following reasons: GPA below 3.0; failure to meet the goals of a success plan; inadequate technical skills; lack of interpersonal skills required for the profession; or failure to pass comprehensive examinations or oral defense. Students may also be dismissed for unethical or non-professional conduct, including plagiarism and forgery.

Upon recommendation of the graduate program a document detailing specific problem areas, attempts at remediation, and a notice of dismissal from the program will be submitted to the student, Dean of Graduate and Extended Learning, and the college dean.

A student may appeal any of the decisions if the outcomes affect the student's academic or financial aid status. Graduate students must follow procedures for graduate academic appeal.


Programs of study at MSUM are designed to help graduates meet certification or licensure requirements in Minnesota and North Dakota, but actual certification or licensure is the function of the states, not of any college or university. Earning an academic degree does not lead automatically to state certification or licensure. It is the students responsibility to be aware of the requirements for the state in which they wish to work.

Background Checks 

Minnesota law requires any person who provides direct contact services to people receiving services from facilities and agencies licensed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) and/or the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) have a background study conducted by the state. Direct contact is defined as providing face-to-face care, training, supervision, counseling, consultation, or medication assistance to people receiving services from the agency or facility. Any individual who is disqualified from having direct patient contact as a result of the background study will not be permitted to participate in a clinical placement in a DHS or MDH licensed facility or agency. Failure to participate in a clinical placement required by the academic program could result in ineligibility to qualify for a degree in this program.

Students whose programs may involve DHS or MDH licensed facilities or agencies should contact the chair of their major program. Forms may be obtained from the program chair.