University of Minnesota  FAQ

Master's Degree: Performance Standards and Progress


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Please use the contact section in the governing policy.

  1. When should students file the master's degree plan?

    A degree plan should be approved at least one term (fall or spring semester) before the intended term of degree clearance; however students may submit the degree plan at any time after matriculation in the degree program/major.

  2. Who approves the coursework on the degree plan?

    The advisor and DGS (including DGS of the minor field, if applicable) must approve coursework on the degree plan before it is routed to the collegiate unit. Some programs may require full faculty review. Collegiate units may review coursework for compliance with collegiate and University policies.

  3. How many S/N course credits can I apply to my degree requirements?

    Up to one-third of the course credits applied to your degree requirements can be taken S/N.  Courses offered only on the S/N grading basis are not included in the one-third calculation.  Courses for which you earn an N grade cannot be applied to degree requirements.

  4. Course credits that I transferred from an international institution were assigned “S” grades because equivalent A/F grades could not be determined. Do these credits count toward the S/N limit?

    No, the international courses graded “S” will not be included in the one-third calculation.

  5. Does applying graduate course credits earned at another accredited institution to my master’s degree requirements  affect my time limit for degree completion?

    No. The time spent earning graduate course credits at other institutions is not included in the time to degree calculation.

  6. Does applying graduate course credits earned as a non-degree seeking student at the University to the master’s degree plan affect how time to degree is calculated?

    No. The time spent earning graduate course credits as a non-degree seeking student is not included in the time to degree calculation.

  7. How and when do I request an extension of time for completing my master’s degree?

    Confer with your advisor and director of graduate studies, obtain their signatures on the Master’s Degree:  Request for Extension to the Maximum Time Limit form, and submit the completed form to your college for final action.  While you are encouraged to apply for a time extension at least three months in advance, you must do so no later than the end of the term in which your deadline for degree completion expires.  Failure to do so will result in termination from your master’s program.

  8. I was terminated from my program for exceeding the time limit for degree completion.  Can I apply for readmission to my program?

     Yes, although readmission is not guaranteed.  If you are readmitted, it must be with a new deadline for degree completion specified by your graduate program.  The program may also establish additional readmission conditions such as additional coursework, a schedule for completing each outstanding degree requirement, or other appropriate terms.

  9. I have been admitted to take graduate courses as a Graduate Professional Development (GPD) student. Do I have to register every term?

    Yes, students admitted for Graduate Professional Development status must adhere to the same registration requirements as other admitted students and must register in the fall and spring semesters. Registration during the summer is not required.

  10. My graduate program admitted a student for Graduate Professional Development (GDP). How long can a GPD student remain in the program?

    For domestic students, the graduate program determines how long the student can take courses as a GPD student. The period for which the student can register as a GPD student should be clearly stated in the letter of admission.

    For international students, federal visa regulations and SEVIS requirements determine how long the student can take courses as a GPD student. International students admitted to GPD are given an I-20 for one year and must be admitted to a degree program if they wish to continue their advanced education at the University after that one-year period.

  11. A student admitted for Graduate Professional Development in my program is performing poorly and the program wants to terminate the student at the end of the semester. Can the program do this?

    The program can discontinue the student if expectations, as well as consequences for not meeting those expectations, were clearly communicated at the time of admission. If this information was not provided in the admission letter, the program should communicate to the student in writing its performance expectations, what is needed to satisfy them, and consequences if they are not met. If the stated expectations then are not satisfied, the program is positioned to discontinue the student.

  12. My program wants to require a higher GPA for its master’s students. Can we impose higher GPA requirements?

    Yes. Graduate programs can impose more stringent GPA requirements for their students. The higher GPA requirement may pertain to the overall GPA or to the degree plan coursework.

  13. My program wants to require higher grades for courses applied to degree requirements than specified by University policy. Can we do this? Yes. Graduate programs can impose more stringent requirements for grades included on the student’s degree plan.
  14. My program wants to require its graduate students to earn higher grades for specific major field courses. Can we do this?

    Yes. Graduate programs can impose more stringent grading requirements for courses its students complete in the major.