Program eligibility requirements
Applicants must demonstrate evidence of readiness for graduate study including an earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution (or equivalent) with a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
Applicants with competence-based transcripts and no calculated GPA will be considered.
Exceptions to this GPA standard may be made based solely upon the CIS Admissions Committee’s recognition of special circumstances for the lower GPA, and the candidate’s clear demonstration of additional compensatory strengths. In case of a GPA lower than 3.0 you may submit a supplement letter along with the admissions essay addressing the reasons for the lower GPA and your plan to be successful in graduate school.
Admission is not guaranteed.
Fall semester start— June 1 application deadline
Spring semester start—priority application deadline Oct. 15, final application deadline Dec. 1
Applications received by the deadline will be reviewed by the CIS Admissions Committee, which will report its decision to each applicant within a month after the deadline.
Admission is based on meeting a number of qualifying criteria, detailed below. In addition, every semester there will be a limited number of seats available. If you meet the criteria but are not admitted due to limited space, the Admissions Committee may grant deferred admission.
A complete application file consists of two parts (three for international students.) Begin the application process by first applying online using the online graduate application. All application materials become the property of Metropolitan State University and are not returned. All application materials must be received in the Graduate Studies Office by the application deadline, and will be made available to the CIS Admissions Committee for review.
The Admissions Committee will make decisions on the basis of the above components only if your applications are complete. Note that if you are completing a four-year program you may apply to the graduate program if you are in your final year; however, you cannot start the graduate program until you have finished your bachelor's degree.
Please note: depending on your focus area there may be additional admission requirements at a later time. Please read the College of Individualized Studies Graduate Program Handbook for important details. Also, for your convenience, here is the CIS Graduate Application Checklist.
- Complete the Online Graduate Programs Application, using your Minnesota State StarID. If you don’t have a Minnesota State StarID you will create one at the beginning of the application.
- If you don't have or choose not to provide your Social Security number (SSN), please follow the No SSN instruction to activate your StarID. If you encounter difficulty with the online application, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Non-refundable application fee, paid online
- The current fee of $20 is waived for graduates of Metropolitan State, certified veterans and active military.
- Official transcripts
- Must show a bachelor degree or equivalent earned from a regionally accredited institution with grade-point average or narrative description describing courses completed.
- Transcripts from ALL schools attended after high school and from any graduate or professional programs are required.
- All transcripts from non-U.S. schools must be evaluated (course-by-course) by either ECE (preferred) or WES.
- Electronic transcripts should be sent to email@example.com.
- Paper transcripts should be sent directly from the sending institution (preferred) to:
- Metropolitan State University
Attn: Graduate Admissions
700 East Seventh Street
Saint Paul MN 55106
After you have submitted your online application, log in to the Applicant Portal using your Star ID and password to upload application materials, and check on the status of your application. The Applicant Portal will indicate any missing application items.
- Two Professional Reference Letters; upload via the Applicant Portal using your StarID..
- The letter of recommendation should comment on intellectual ability, capacity for critical thinking, professional skill and excellence, motivation, or any other aspect of the referrer's knowledge of how well the candidate is suited for a graduate program that calls for interdisciplinary work. The CIS Admissions Committee is particularly interested in an applicant's preparation for or interest in individualized and interdisciplinary studies, and so this should be directly addressed in the letter of recommendation. The most effective letters may be from professors familiar with your work in upper-division courses, and able to comment on your preparation for advanced study. Personal references will not be considered. Applicants should remind their references of the application deadline when speaking with them.
- Admissions Essay; Upload via the Applicant Portal using your StarID.
- The admissions essay is a critical part of the application review process. Essays must clearly state each of the following:
- What skills or knowledge you expect to gain through the program, including any subjects or disciplines you plan to study
- How the graduate offerings at Metropolitan State University will be able to address your educational goals
- Why you are interested in Individualized Studies at the graduate level
- How your previous experiences, academic or otherwise, have prepared you for this program
- The graduate program in Individualized Studies draws from the other graduate programs at Metropolitan State; applicants are encouraged to review the courses offered by those other programs before applying and writing their admissions essay, and/or contact the current graduate program director to discuss what the individualized program has to offer
- Submit your essay in 900-1000 words, using 12-point font, double-spaced, clearly written, well-organized, with correct grammar, accurate spelling and punctuation, good sentence structure, and clear sub-headings.
Part three - international students only
In addition to documents required for all applicants in parts one and two, international students in the U.S. or abroad, on any type of visa are required to provide this information.
Required by the application deadline:
- Proof of English proficiency (official TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo score)
- Minimum scores: TOEFL 80 IBT, 213 CBT, 550 PBT, IELTS 6.5, or Duolingo 105-110
- IBT=internet based; CBT=computer based; PBT=paper based
- An English proficiency report is not required for applicants who have received a degree in the U.S. or have completed a minimum of 16 credits.
The following is needed, if you are offered and accept admission to the program:
- Financial statement (F1 visa only)
- Immunization records
- Copies of passport, visa, I-94, and international home address and phone numbers
- Mailing address:
International Student Services
Metropolitan State University
700 East Seventh Street
Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55106-5000
Questions about applying to the MA/MS in Individualized Studies?
Questions about the online application, fee, transcripts/transcript evaluations, online references and document upload feature can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred) or call 651-793-1302.
Questions about Part two requirements or the program in general, please contact the Graduate Program Director:
Saint John’s Hall