Metropolitan State University education is distinctive, incorporating each student's goals, initiatives, background and personality, and recognizing that individuals acquire knowledge in different ways and for diverse reasons. Metropolitan State's educational programs are based on the following assumptions:

  • students have individual learning styles and goals;
  • the results of learning are more important than the methods;
  • higher education should build on the array of learning resources available to students in the Twin Cities greater metropolitan area;
  • in addition to special focus in the major, the bachelor's degree implies the ability to speak and write well, basic computer and mathematics literacy, and knowledge of several disciplines in the natural and physical sciences, the humanities, and the social and behavioral sciences, as well as global and cultural awareness; and
  • learning is a lifelong, self-directed process.

University policies and procedures are posted on the university's Web site. Student policies can be found in the Student Handbook.

Course Prerequisites

Students are responsible to both be aware of and abide by prerequisites for the courses for which they enroll, and may be administratively dropped from a course if they have not met prerequisites.

Undergraduate Academic Standing Policy

The university has established standards for maintaining good academic standing. The goals of the Academic Standing Policy are to:

  • Define and maintain the academic standards of the university;
  • Intervene with students who do not meet university requirements in order to support retention of students who encounter difficulties;
  • Provide standards consistent with Minnesota State policy and Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements.

Metropolitan State expects students to successfully complete courses. Therefore, undergraduate student academic standing is reviewed after each semester. To remain in good academic standing at Metropolitan State University, students must meet two criteria: maintain a cumulative Metropolitan State GPA of at least 2.0; and successfully complete at least 67% of the cumulative Metropolitan State University credits attempted, including credits accepted in transfer. Students who do not meet these standards will be put on Academic Warning. A student who continues to fall below standards after their next term of registration will be suspended for academic reasons. Students on Academic Warning must complete an Academic Success Workshop and then must meet with their academic advisor each semester for approval to register for the next semester. Notice of unsatisfactory progress will also be sent to the student's advisor, and if the student is an international student, to the International Student Advisor. If you have questions about your academic standing, contact your academic advisor. Refer to Policy 2050 and Procedure 205 Undergraduate Academic Standing Review for further information.

Students receiving financial aid must also meet additional criteria to remain eligible to receive aid and should contact the Gateway Student Service Center for current information about satisfactory academic progress. International students must also meet all of the conditions of their visa and enrollment requirements and should contact Metropolitan State University's International Student Advisor for more information.

Academic Appeal Procedure

The university has written procedures for appealing decisions concerning grades and program and graduation requirements. A staff member in Student Affairs serves as ombudsperson to work with students in preparing formal appeals. Renee Beaulieu-Banks, the ombudsperson can be reached at 651-793-1560 or Refer to Procedure 202, Academic Appeal Procedure for complete information.

Grade Appeals

Decisions supported by published policies or clearly stated expectations of instructors cannot be appealed. An instructor's evaluation is not changed as a result of the appeals process unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the evaluation was arbitrary and/or capricious and was unfair to the student. After an instructor submits a grade, changes in grades must be authorized by a dean or the provost. To begin the formal appeal process, students must submit an appeal in writing to the appropriate person within a specified time. Contact the university ombudsperson as noted above for additional information and assistance.

Program Requirement Appeals

Students must meet the requirements for a degree as listed in the Metropolitan State University online Catalog or other official program materials in place at the time of admission to the degree. Program requirements supported by published policies that are effective at the time a student declares a program of study/major cannot be appealed. A student who has not received a  grade in any credit-bearing course or other learning opportunity for nine consecutive semesters must reapply for admission to the university and must complete the degree and program requirements that are in place when the student is readmitted to the university.

Transfer Credit Appeals

Students have the right to appeal transfer credit evaluation decisions. Students are asked to provide additional information about the course(s) being appealed. The Transfer Credit Appeal form and procedures are available from the Transfer Student webpage. Students dissatisfied with the appeal results may appeal the decision to the Minnesota State Academic Affairs Office. The process is described in Subpart B. System Level Appeal in Part 7. Student Appeal of Procedure 3.21.1 Undergraduate Course Credit Transfer. 

Grading Policy

Metropolitan State University's grading policy offers students two grading options: traditional grades of "A/B/C/D/F" or competence(S)/no competence (NC). Students choose their grading option when they register for a class, and must make any changes through the registration system by the second class session of the course or before the first major assessment for other learning opportunities. Students who do not choose the S/NC option at the time of registration are automatically registered for the A/B/C/D/F grading system.  After that time, students cannot change either from a graded to an ungraded option or vice versa. Note that courses with a grade of D or F cannot be used as prerequisites or to meet major requirements. Refer to Policy 2080, Grading Policy for complete information.

Graduation with Honors for Undergraduate Students

The honors designations and the cumulative GPA required to achieve them are:

  • Summa Cum Laude—3.900 or higher
  • Magna Cum Laude—3.800 to 3.899
  • Cum Laude—3.700 to 3.799

Please view University Procedure #252 – Graduation with Honors for Undergraduate Students for more information.

Students with grade point averages in the top ten percent of their school or college are recognized in the commencement program as honors graduates. The actual grade point average will vary by college and school. Students who meet the ten percent threshold will be notified in writing prior to commencement.

Student Conduct Code

Each student at Metropolitan State University has the right to an education, and it is the university's responsibility to provide an environment that promotes learning and protects the safety and well-being of the university community. Any action by a student that interferes with the education of any other student or interferes with the operations of the university in carrying out its responsibility to provide an education is considered a violation of the Student Conduct Code. Disciplinary actions are handled in an expeditious manner and reflect due process. Refer to Policy 1020, Student Conduct Code for further information.

Metropolitan State University received the National Hesburgh Award for Teaching Excellence. The University's full- and part-time instructors are distinguished professionals in their fields, and students receive a quality education that is in touch with the real world.

College of Community Studies and Public Affairs

Offers programs in human services, psychology, social work, non-profit leadership, public administration and houses the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice.

College of Individualized Studies

Offers students the opportunity to develop an individualized course of study towards the Bachelor of Arts using a variety of learning strategies, including traditional classes

School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice

Offers a variety of undergraduate and certificate programs in law enforcement and criminal justice, as well as a Master of Science in Criminal Justice.

College of Liberal Arts

Offers a variety programs in humanities, social sciences, communications, and the arts. These fields make up the heart of a university education.

College of Management

Offers a variety of options in accounting, finance, economics, management, management information systems, decision sciences, marketing, international business and graduate programs.

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Offers a variety of degree programs and leaning opportunities through the departments of Dental Hygiene and Nursing.

College of Sciences

Offers a variety of options in communications, writing and the arts, ethnic and religious studies, gender studies, history, information and computer sciences, literature and language, mathematics, natural sciences, practical philosophy, ethics and social science.

School of Urban Education

Offers a variety of options for licensure areas in the Urban Education Program: Urban Early Childhood Education, Urban Elementary Education Urban and Secondary Education.

Students are eligible to apply for graduation when they are registered for the final requirements for their degree programs. To earn a degree from Metropolitan State University, students must complete a minimum of 120 semester credits with a cumulative Metropolitan State grade point average of at least 2.0. The exact credit requirements vary according to major or program. At least 40 semester credits must be completed at an upper-division level (300 or above) and at least 30 semester credits must be awarded by Metropolitan State. In addition, credits completed must be distributed to meet the applicable major and program requirements, as well as General Education and Liberal Studies (GELS) requirements.

GELS requirements consist of at least 48 credits including a minimum of 8 upper division credits approved as Upper Division Liberal Studies courses. A student who has completed an Associate of Arts degree at a Minnesota Colleges and Universities institution, or has completed the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum, will be considered to have satisfied Goal Areas One through Ten.  However, completion of an Associate of Arts degree does not satisfy the Upper Division Liberal Studies requirement.  See university Policy 2010 (.pdf), General Education/Liberal Studies/Goal Areas, as well as university Transfer Credit Policy 2120 (.pdf) and Transfer Credit Procedure 212 (.pdf) for more information.

Major/Program Declaration

When students choose the major, minor or program that they wish to pursue, or decide to develop an individualized program, they must complete and submit an Undergraduate Program Declaration form for the college housing the program. All students are expected to file an undergraduate program declaration form after they have completed 45 credits and met the admission requirements for the major they plan to complete. Students must be admitted to a major program with an approved Undergraduate Program Declaration form before completing 80 credits or within a year of transferring to Metropolitan State, whichever comes later.

If the declaration form is not filed on time, students may not be allowed to register until a declaration form has been submitted and approved. Advisors in the colleges and schools review the student's status and sign the declaration form if the student has completed all the requirements for admission to the program and required steps. The signed declaration form becomes a part of each student's record and documents the approved program of study. If the requirements for a major change after a student's major declaration is approved, the student has the right to adopt the new requirements or to complete the approved major program. Students who decide to change majors, minors or programs must complete a new Undergraduate Program Declaration form and submit it to the appropriate department or program. Students who are admitted to the university after an absence of nine semesters or more must submit a new Undergraduate Program Declaration form and must fulfill the major or other program requirements in place at the time of program declaration and approval.

Policy 2020 (.pdf) provides more detailed information about program declaration, degree and residency requirements.

Major/Program Requirements

Program requirements are described in the college and school sections of the catalog and in departmental program materials. Each college and school offers workshops to explain the requirements for their programs. The College of Individualized Studies offers workshops to assist students in developing interdisciplinary, individualized degree programs. Completing a minor program is optional. Students may earn more than one major by officially declaring each major and completing all of the requirements for each major. All majors and minors must be completed at the time of graduation. Students who wish to complete an additional major after completion of a bachelors degree must earn a second degree, and must complete at least 30 credits at Metropolitan State after completion of the first degree.



Metropolitan State University will provide undergraduate programs and student services that:

  • reflect a commitment to career and life success based on a strong liberal arts foundation;
  • educate individuals to be informed and effective citizens;
  • integrate theoretical and practical learning as well as technical competence;
  • foster collaborations with programs offered by other colleges and universities in the metropolitan area; and
  • represent the university's commitment to diversity.

The university will also provide master's level professional and applied doctoral programs designed to meet local, national and global needs into the twenty-first century. The university is committed to supporting creative and innovative curricula that enhance the learning process.


Metropolitan State University is dedicated to excellence in teaching and advising.  The pedagogical base for Metropolitan State faculty includes commitment to:

  • providing a variety of learning modes;
  • offering an individualized, student-centered approach to teaching and learning;
  • teaching and advising that foster student learning and development in preparation for careers and service to their communities;
  • encouraging active lifelong inquiry and learning; and
  • incorporating multicultural perspectives in teaching and advising; and
  • bridging theory and practice.


Metropolitan State University is committed to a variety of forms of scholarship that:

  • enrich teaching and learning;
  • increase understanding of student life and development;
  • meet the highest standards of the academic community; and
  • contribute to the advancement of knowledge.


Metropolitan State University is committed to the enrichment of life in the communities it serves through:

  • developing creative partnerships with public and private organizations;
  • providing a variety of resources and services by engaging faculty, students and staff in community-based activities; and
  • improving the effectiveness of the educational system by working closely with elementary and secondary schools in the metropolitan area.

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Minnesota Manifesto

Metropolitan State University was a leader in organizing Minnesota public and private colleges to adopt the following manifesto.

Minnesota's colleges and universities have accepted special roles and responsibilities in fostering diversity in our society. We are dedicated to the search for knowledge and the rights of every individual in our learning communities to pursue that search with freedom, dignity and security, regardless of religious affiliation, race, ethnic heritage, gender, age, sexual orientation or physical ability.

Representing all sectors of higher education in Minnesota, we publicly declare our intentions:

  • to continue the development of multicultural learning communities that will not tolerate acts of harassment and intolerance;
  • to establish, communicate and enforce standards of behavior for students, staff and faculty that uphold our academic values and our legal obligations; and
  • to promote the acceptance and respect for individuals in an atmosphere of caring for others.

Learning Outcomes

Metropolitan State University faculty identify specific learning outcomes for their instruction. These outcomes provide the basis for continuing improvement of teaching and learning and for assessing student academic achievement required by The Higher Learning Commission. The common learning outcomes for general education are:

  • Communication: the ability to use the English language effectively; the ability to read, write, speak and listen critically; and the ability to communicate effectively through visual means.
  • Critical Thinking: the ability to unify factual, creative, rational, and value-sensitive modes of thought.
  • Natural Sciences: an understanding of natural science principles and of the methods of scientific inquiry, i.e., the ways in which scientists investigate natural science phenomena.
  • Mathematics/Logical Reasoning: knowledge of and ability to apply mathematical and logical modes of thinking.
  • History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences: knowledge of how historians and social and behavioral scientists discover, describe, and explain the behaviors and interactions among individuals, groups, institutions, events, and ideas.
  • The Humanities and Fine Arts: knowledge of the human condition and human cultures, especially in relation to behavior, ideas, and values expressed in works of human imagination and thought.
  • Human Diversity: an understanding of individual and group differences (e.g. race, gender, class) and knowledge of the traditions and values of various groups in the United States.
  • Global Perspective: an understanding of the growing interdependence of nations and peoples and the ability to apply a comparative perspective to cross-cultural social, economic and political experiences.
  • Ethical and Civic Responsibility: the capacity to identify, discuss, and reflect upon the ethical dimensions of political, social, and personal life and to understand the ways to exercise responsible and productive citizenship.
  • People and the Environment: an understanding of complex environmental challenges and the interrelatedness of human society and the natural environment.
  • Further in-depth knowledge of a specific discipline or subject area, or interdisciplinary knowledge is an expected learning outcome from study in the major.

Educational Tenets

Education at Metropolitan State University embodies a unique educational philosophy based on the following five tenets:

Tenet I: The university grants individual students responsibility for and authority over their education within the context of the five tenets.  The university charges its faculty and officers for responsibility and authority over teaching, for maintaining a pluralistic environment in which students are central, and for determining whether students have given evidence they have achieved their educational objectives.

Tenet II: The university expects its graduates will demonstrate the attributes of an educated person in the context of multiculturalism and these five areas of competence: communication; community and cultures; arts and sciences; vocation; and avocation. The university will review the development of students' degree plans in light of these competence areas and other requirements. The university urges students to develop degree programs that reflect a thorough analysis and expanded understanding of the question: What is an educated person? Students may address these five areas by meeting general education/liberal studies requirements.

Tenet III: The university recognizes a student's educational progress toward a degree in terms of competence achieved and encourages the use of a variety of learning strategies.

Tenet IV: The university and its students will use community resources to achieve educational goals and, in turn, will serve as resources to diverse communities.

Tenet V: The university ensures that its students will be engaged in self-directed learning and thereby expects that its graduates will be lifelong learners.

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Although all students can use community and technical college course work toward a Metropolitan State undergraduate degree, Metropolitan State University also has formal written transfer/articulation agreements with metropolitan area community and technical colleges. These agreements outline how students completing specified degrees at these colleges will be able to apply their course work toward a baccalaureate degree at Metropolitan State University.

The list of current agreements with state and private institutions can be found on the the Minnesota Transfer Web site. The listing includes a link to the agreements.

Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission , 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504, 312-263-0456; and accredited by the Commission on College Nursing Education and the Council on Social Work Education.

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