Here are several topics that students frequently have questions about. If you cannot find your questions, please contact an advisor.

Degree Requirements

Q. How many credits do I need to complete the degree?

A. Summary of credit requirements:

  • General Education - 40
  • Liberal Studies - 8
  • Maximum program/major requirements - 78
  • Minimum free electives - 13
  • Minimum total credits to graduate - 120 to 124*

* Depends on major

Residency requirements:

  • Minimum upper-division credits - 40 
  • Minimum credits completed at Metropolitan State University - 30
  • Minimum credits for major varies

Q. How do I declare a major?

New students are required to attend New Student Orientation and a College of Management Program Information Meeting (PIM) and complete Placement Assessments (if applicable) before declaring their major. The Admissions Office determines how many credits transfer and which courses will apply to the General Education and Liberal Studies requirements. The College of Management evaluates your transcripts to determine what courses are acceptable for the required courses in your program. A checklist notes what courses transferred and what courses didn't transfer. If you are a conditional admit, all transcripts must be in before the major declaration can be completed.

To declare your major, you must complete a Program Declaration Form and submit it to an academic advisor for processing. When you have declared your major, that locks you into the requirements for the major at the time that you declare your major.

Q. What are Liberal Studies?

A. Liberal Studies is Metropolitan State's way of referring to upper division courses (300-level or higher) from the approved GELS (.pdf) course list. Of the 48 credits required for GELS, eight credits must be upper division liberal studies courses.

Q. Why do I need Liberal Studies courses if I have an AA or MnTC?

A. An AA degree awarded by a Minnesota State institution or completion of the MnTC curriculum fulfill the general education portion of Metropolitan State's GELS (.pdf) requirements. It does not fulfill the need to have at least eight credits of upper division liberal studies coursework. Note: Community colleges do not offer upper division courses.

Q. Why do I need placement assessments in reading, writing and math?

A. The Minnesota State system mandates that all incoming students be assessed for current skill level in reading, writing and math. There are some exceptions. Go to Placement Assessments for more information. Take your required assessments as soon as possible. College algebra and statistics are required early in all College of Management undergraduate majors; you'll need to take appropriate level courses to ensure success.

Q. How do I sign up for assessments?

A. Check a current class schedule and go to Placement Assessments for more information.

Q. What courses do I need to take?

A. To complete your degree, you must complete the following requirements:

  1. General Education and Liberal Study courses can be found on your interactive degree audit.
  2. Major courses can be found on the checklist for your desired major.
  3. Additional Free Elective courses, if necessary, to fulfill your credit requirements.

For detailed information on each of these requirements, please take your time to read and understand Steps to Complete Your Degree.

Q. How many credits do I have?

A. Your transfer credits are listed on your interactive degree audit under the earned credits section. Coursework in progress at the time of application will appear as in progress until the student submits a Transfer Update Request.

Starting Your Program

Q. Why do I have to participate in the orientation/PIM/assessments?

A. Metropolitan State's orientation and the College of Management Program Information Meeting provide you with information necessary for your success as a student at Metropolitan State. You will be introduced to the requirements needed to obtain your degree, the resources available to students at Metropolitan State, and the policies and procedures you should be familiar with. This information is necessary to assist you in making good choices throughout your program and not wasting time and money by choosing inappropriate courses, missing deadlines or not understanding options that you may have for reducing your time in a degree program.

Q. What are my responsibilities as a student?

A. Ask questions if you don't understand what you have read or have been told. Be proactive in seeking assistance for making program/registration decisions. Track your own progress and check with an advisor to make certain you are choosing the appropriate courses for your major. If you have concerns or difficulties with courses, instructors, policies or procedures, bring this up with an advisor to assist you in finding a solution.

Students are responsible for understanding and complying with drop, withdrawal, registration, graduation dates and deadlines. Students are responsible for attending classes, completing assignments and tests, their own time management and study skills, and communicating with instructors if concerns arise. Students are responsible for making arrangements with their instructors if they need to miss class. For more suggestions visit the Engaged Responsible Student section in the College of Management Student Handbook (.pdf).

Transfer Credits and Courses

Q. Why didn't a certain course transfer to Metropolitan State?

A. Metropolitan State's Admissions Office determines acceptance of total transfer credits. This statement explains the College of Management's evaluation of specific transferred courses to see if they may be accepted to satisfy a College of Management major or minor requirement.

1. To be accepted as equivalent to our upper division courses (300-level or above), transferred courses must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Transcript from a regionally accredited college or university, or through recognized programs approved for college credit by COPA, ACE and our College of Management faculty.

  • Course content is equivalent to a Metropolitan State course, as determined by Metropolitan State's College of Management faculty.

  • The course was upper division level at the other institution.

2. Lower division coursework is acceptable for the following course requirements if it meets criteria stated above in 1a and 1b:

Financial Accounting Calculus
Fundamentals of Info Technology in Organizations College Algebra
Macroeconomics Finite Math
Microeconomics Statistics

3. Transferred courses are not equivalent to College of Management courses in any of the following situations:

  • A business course was taken at a proprietary school or technical college.

  • A course was taken at a non-accredited institution.

  • Course content is determined not equivalent by Metropolitan State's College of Management faculty.

  • The required course is an upper division at Metropolitan State but the transferred course was lower division. (The only exceptions are that articulation agreements with local community colleges allow some of their lower division courses to be accepted as equivalent to our Management: Principles & Practices, Marketing Principles, Legal Environment of Organizations, and/or Strategic Management Accounting courses.)

  • College of Management faculty determined it does not satisfy a requirement or apply as an elective because it is not a component of Metropolitan State's business curriculum.

  • The course was awarded fewer than three-quarter credits or three-semester credits at the previous institution.

  • Exceptions to these policies must be approved by the designated Metropolitan State department chair or curriculum coordinator. Consult a College of Management advisor if you wish to request an exception to policy.

  • The course was not taken recently enough to meet college policies. Accounting and Management Information System courses have a five-year sunset policy. Economics has a ten-year sunset policy.

4. Courses may count for major or minor requirements only if a grade of C- or higher (or "S") is earned.

Metropolitan State accepts credits with grades of "D" earned as part of an AA degree awarded from a Minnesota Community College. Those credits will count toward the total needed to graduate at Metropolitan State. However, courses required for a College of Management major or minor will need to be repeated if transferred in with a "D" grade.

5. Free waiver exams are available for Financial Accounting, Strategic Management Accounting, Fundamentals of Information Technology in Organizations, and for Macro and Micro Economics courses.

Students may choose this alternative instead of re-taking transferred courses deemed not equivalent. While no credit is awarded, specific course requirements are considered met if the associated waiver exam is passed. Contact the College of Management Advising Center for information.

Q. Can an online course transfer to a regular degree program?

A. Yes, as long as it meets the transfer requirements of the program.

Q. Why don't upper division business classes count as liberal studies?

A. Business courses are not considered "liberal arts" (courses which best develop important skills and understandings that cross many areas of knowledge) but, rather, "vocational" or work-related courses.

Q. Where do I find the approved liberal studies course list?

A. For students who entered the university spring 2003 or after, the official course list is printed in every term's Class Schedule and is available at GELS (.pdf). The official list for students who entered before spring 2003 may be different. Note that courses marked with an asterisk (*) do not fulfill liberal studies requirements.

Q. How do Liberal Studies courses overlap other courses?

A. If you choose wisely, you may be able to have one course fulfill two requirements!

  • A 300-level or higher course used to meet the liberal studies requirement may overlap with one course in Goal Area VII through X.
  • Only eight credits may be used to meet both liberal studies and major requirements.
  • One course may not fulfill three requirements.

Note: Students need 48 unduplicated credits to complete GELS. When a course is used to meet two requirements, the credits are only counted once.

Creative/Alternative Learning Strategies

Q. What kinds of creative learning strategies are available to me?

A. Creative learning strategies include internships, Prior Learning Assessments, independent study, waiver examinations, CLEP tests and theory seminars. For a brochure describing Metropolitan State's creative learning strategies, call 651-793-1775.

Q. What's a waiver exam?

A. If you believe that that you have mastered the content of certain required courses, but don't have an acceptable transfer course that meets the requirements, you can take a waiver exam, and if you pass, complete the rest. Visit Choose Learning Options Right for You on page H-14 of College of Management Student Handbook (.pdf) for more information. A waiver is free and can be taken only once. There is no college credit for passing the waiver. The benefit of passing a waiver exam is that it waives required courses:

1) Math 115: College Algebra (be sure to ask for the higher level math)
2) Econ 101: Macroeconomics
3) Econ 102: Microeconomics
4) Acct 210: Financial Accounting
5) Acct 320: Strategic Management Accounting
6) MIS100: Fundamentals of Information Technology of Organizations (FITO)

Schedule an appointment at either the Saint Paul or Minneapolis Testing Centers.

Q. What is CLEP?

A. CLEP stands for College Level Examination Program. It's another way to earn college credit. It works like an independent study where you study on your own and then take a 90-minute computerized exam when you are ready. The grade is a pass/no credit and the cost is approximately $77 plus study materials. Study materials can be found at the university bookstore or Most subjects result in three or four college credits. Additional information can be found at If you are interested in this option, contact your advisor to see how it applies to you.

Metropolitan State transfer decisions regarding standardized examinations can be found through learn more.

Academic Progress and Degree Completion

Q. How long will it take to graduate?

A. It will depend on your situation. Some of the questions you will need to ask yourself are:

  • Will you be a full-time student or part-time student?

  • Will you attend classes fall, spring and summer semesters?

For example, a student with approximately 18 courses left to complete their degree program wants to take two classes a semester and attend all three semesters in a year, including summer session, it will take this student three years. The calculations are as follows:

Step 1: Eighteen courses divided by two courses in a semester equals nine semesters.

Step 2: Nine semesters divided by three semesters in a year equals three years to complete the degree.


Step 1:
Take the total courses left and divide by the number of courses taken in a semester. The result equals the number of semesters to complete the degree.

Step 2:
Take the number of semesters to complete the degree and divide by the number of semesters taken in a year (1, 2 or 3). The result equals the number of years to complete the degree.

Q. How much time do I need to study?

A. Students should figure 2-3 hours of study time for one hour of class time.

Q. How many credits do I take each semester?

A. Students may take up to 16 credits each semester. If they wish to take more, they will need an advisor's approval. Students on financial aid will need to take credits per semester. International students on a student visa must be registered as a full-time student (12 credits minimum) for fall and spring semesters. International students can contact Kamal Elbasher at International Student Services at 651-793-1219.

Q. Is there a maximum time to completion?

A. No

Q. What is the GPA requirement?

A. The GPA requirement for graduation is 2.0, which is also the GPA requirement for each term. Contact the Admissions Office for GPA requirements for admission at 651-793-1302.

Q. What is the academic progress policy and how am I affected?

A. To maintain satisfactory academic progress, students must maintain a GPA of 2.0 after completing 12-semester credits receive satisfactory evaluations for at least two-thirds of their course work

Academic Warning: Students who do not make satisfactory academic progress for two consecutive semesters are referred to special advising services and may be required to complete testing and/or coursework, recommended through those services before they can register for subsequent semesters.

Students who do not meet these guidelines for three consecutive semesters must meet with the chief student affairs officer for a possible one-year suspension. Suspended students must meet with that officer prior to being readmitted.

Q. What happens if you miss a term?

A. If you do not register for a term, you will not be penalized. If you are inactive for three or more years, you will need to contact the admissions office to apply for readmission, and you would return under the requirements in effect at that time.

Q. How do I get my grades?

A. Grades should be posted within two weeks of your last class. Instructions for finding your grades on the web or by touch-tone telephone are found in the back of the course schedule under "Getting Your Grades." You can also check your grades online.

Q. How do I track my progress toward my degree?

A. Students can use their GELS worksheet and College of Management major checklist to track which courses are required and which courses they have completed. You can also check-in with your academic advisor to find out how you are doing towards degree completion.

Q. How do I change my major?

A. To officially change your major, you must complete a Program Declaration form.

Q. Didn't I declare a major when I applied to Metropolitan State?

A. No, an official declaration of your major is completed only when you have attended a Program Information Meeting and signed the Major Declaration Form.

Who can help me?

Q. What can I expect from my advisor?

A. You can expect assistance with your program, answers to your questions or referrals to the appropriate resources. An advisor can be a resource for who to contact for your various questions. An advisor is your liaison with faculty and administration if you have questions or concerns. Your advisor can assist you in understanding your GELS worksheet and major checklist. They can answer questions about choosing a major and how to declare your major. An advisor is available to you to assist you with program decisions and registration. You should expect your advisor to respond to you via phone or email with either an answer, a referral or a date when they can get back to you if it is during a busy registration period.

Q. How do I contact my instructor?

A. You can call or email your instructor, by using the information provided in your syllabus or the online university directory.

Q. Is tutoring available?

A. Yes, tutoring is available in accounting, economics, finance, math, statistics and computer programming languages. Tutoring services information is in the front of the Class Schedule.

Visit Tutoring Services for more information.

Q. What are my responsibilities as a student?

A. Ask questions if you don't understand what you have read or have been told. Be proactive in seeking assistance for making program/registration decisions. Track your own progress and check with an advisor to make certain you are choosing the appropriate courses for your major. If you have concerns or difficulties with courses, instructors, policies or procedures, bring this up with an advisor to assist you in finding a solution.

Students are responsible for understanding and complying with drop, withdrawal, registration, graduation dates and deadlines. Students are responsible for attending classes, completing assignments and tests, their own time management and study skills, and communicating with instructors if concerns arise. Students are responsible for making arrangements with their instructors if they need to miss class.

Q. How do I get into a closed class?

A. Only the department chair can approve a student being added to a closed class. You need to discuss your situation with the department chair.

Q. Who can help me if I have a complaint?

A. There are a variety of offices that can help you depending upon your complaint.

Appealing a grade: First, discuss the problem with your instructor. If you disagree with the outcome, you can take the concern to the department chair. If this isn't satisfactory, the next step is to contact the dean of the college and finally the Student Affairs Questionnaire (.pdf) 651-793-1544.

Q. How do I sign up for PIM?

A. PIMs are offered several times each term in Saint Paul. You can either register online or contact Gateway Student Services.