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All new or readmitted undergraduate students admitted Fall 2016 or later must complete an approved learning experience (at least 3 credits) with a significant focus on race and racism to graduate with a bachelor's degree from the university.

How students meet the requirement

Approved "racial issues" courses or other learning experiences are designated in the online class schedule and can overlap with any other requirement for graduation, including General Education/Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) requirements, Liberal Studies requirements, major requirements and electives.*

*Upon review, an approved prior learning, independent study, theory seminar or transfer course from other accredited institutions may also be used to meet this graduation requirement.

"Racial issues" learning experience criteria

At Metropolitan State, "racial issues" learning experiences are courses or creative learning strategies that represent at least three semester credits and:

  • Have an official description that uses the terms race and/or racism and clearly emphasizes these concepts.
  • Have a significant focus (i.e., a majority of course content) on at least three of the following learning outcomes:
    • Critique how race and racism are socially constructed in the United States.
    • Describe various characteristics of racism.
    • Analyze various legacies and impacts of racism in the United States.
    • Articulate various personal responses and responsibilities to address racism.
    • Explain various collective and/or institutional responses and responsibilities to address racism.

Have you met the criteria for the requirement in another way?

Students who believe a course they've taken at Metropolitan State or elsewhere that is not part of the approved RIGR courses list, should complete the RIGR Request to Review Transfer Coursework (PDF)

Why was the requirement created?

Metropolitan State University has a responsibility as the urban institution in Minnesota focused on serving underrepresented students, especially students of color, to put its mission into action and to fulfill our vision of building "an anti-racist learning community."

The university believes an undergraduate education that equips and empowers adults to live and work successfully in our increasingly diverse society must include academic knowledge about issues of race and racism in the United States.

Racism has been a major factor impacting the lives of people in the United States for more than five centuries. Recent national events have highlighted unresolved issues of racial injustice and the need for change. However, prior to this requirement coming into effect, Metropolitan State students could graduate without ever completing a course that focuses on issues of race and racism.

Campus Climate Surveys and focus groups (2005/2006, 2008 and 2011) and continued anecdotal data have identified multiple ways in which racism remains a problem at Metropolitan State. Yet, these surveys also revealed significant percentages of student respondents who were unaware of racism and/or disagreed that racism is a problem.

More than 1,100 students and employees who completed the 2011 Campus Climate Survey stated they agreed or strongly agreed with the idea of requiring all undergraduate students to complete "at least one course that focuses on issues of race and racism to fulfill existing credit requirements for graduation." In spring 2015, the faculty council and administration approved the requirement proposed by the university's Anti-Racism Leadership Team.

RIGR learning goals

Consistent with the mission and vision of Metropolitan State University, the goal of the new Racial Issues Graduation Requirement is to develop and expand students' critical knowledge of the central role of race, racism and anti-racism in multiple contexts of society and aspects of everyday life (such as personal, community, cultural, religious, economic, educational, environmental, historical, institutional, political and/or professional). This knowledge equips and empowers students to live and work successfully in our increasingly diverse society.

More information

For more information, email