Promoting Timely Graduation by Undergraduates: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester

Responsible Officer
Rachel Croson
Executive Vice President and Provost
Robert McMaster
Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
Primary Contact
Jessica Kuecker Grotjohn
Last Revised
Effective Date

Policy Statement

Students are admitted to the campuses and colleges of the University of Minnesota to pursue a baccalaureate degree. Degree-seeking undergraduate students are expected to enroll in and successfully complete courses that will move them toward degree completion in a timely manner. The general benchmark for timely degree completion for students admitted as New High School (NHS) students is four years (8 academic semesters).

A. Declaring a Major

Degree-seeking students are expected to declare and be accepted into a major. The timelines for this declaration are as follows:

  1. New High School (NHS) students are expected to declare and be accepted into all intended major(s) and minor(s) (if applicable) no later than the end of their fourth academic term of enrollment after matriculation regardless of total credit completion.
  2. New Advanced Standing (NAS) and Inter-University Transfer (IUT) students are expected to declare and be accepted into all intended major(s) and minor(s) (if applicable) as follows:
    • Students entering with 0-26 credits - no later than the end of their fourth semester of enrollment at the University
    • Students entering with 27-59 credits- no later than the end of their third semester of enrollment at the University.
    • Students entering with 60 or more credits - no later than the end of their second semester of enrollment at the University.
  3. Students failing to declare a major by the end of the term indicated above may have a hold placed on their student record, requiring advisor permission to register. The college may place a hold on the record sooner than the term indicated above, if programmatically warranted.
  4. Students may not earn a degree in a program, college or campus to which they are not currently admitted, irrespective of any accumulation of required credits and courses on their record.
  5. Colleges and campuses may not award a degree to a student who is not currently admitted to that program, college, or campus as a degree-seeking student.

B. Course Registration

After declaring/being accepted into a major, students are expected to enroll in required major courses and other courses necessary to complete University degree requirements. Students who fail to do so may have a hold placed on their student record, requiring advisor permission to register.

C. Graduation Clearance

  1. Students are expected to apply to graduate; the application should be submitted on or before the beginning of the term during which the student expects to complete all degree requirements.
  2. Students who have completed the required degree program, college, campus, and University requirements may be cleared for graduation, regardless of whether the student has submitted the application to graduate.

D. Degree Program Requirements

All degree programs must have a curricular sample plan that enables students who enter as NHS to graduate in four years. Such a plan should assume that students will enroll for at least 15 degree-applicable credits per semester, on average, but the plan may not require that students enroll for more than 17 credits per semester, on average.

Reason for Policy

Timely graduation is an underlying foundational principle for undergraduate education at the University. To make the best use of students' resources, as well as University resources, students must pursue their undergraduate degree(s) in a timely fashion and are not allowed to register for courses indefinitely without having a formal plan for timely completion of a degree. This policy implements criteria and requirements for accreditation established by the Higher Learning Commission.


Subject Contact Phone Email
Primary Contact(s) Jessica Kuecker Grotjohn 612-624-1328 [email protected]
Crookston campus procedures Jason Tangquist 218-281-8424 [email protected]
Morris campus procedures Peh Ng 320-589-6015 [email protected]
Rochester campus procedures Jeffrey Ratliff-Crain 507-258-8006 [email protected]


Degree-seeking student
A student who has been officially admitted to a University of Minnesota college to pursue an undergraduate degree program.
Non-degree student status
Non-degree students are not officially admitted into a University of Minnesota degree program for the semester(s) of course enrollment. Non-degree status includes those students who are admitted for a future semester and students who are degree-seeking at another institution, but taking classes at the University of Minnesota.
New High School (NHS)
Students who have graduated from high school but have not previously matriculated to another post-secondary institution. (They may have earned college credits while they were enrolled in high school, for example AP credits or credits through PSEO.)
New Advanced Standing (NAS)
Students who have graduated from high school, who have previously matriculated at another post-secondary education institution where they earned credits.
Inter-University Transfer (IUT)
Students who have matriculated at one University of Minnesota campus where they earned credits, and are now enrolling at a different University of Minnesota campus.
Academic Major
A student's main field of specialization during the student's undergraduate or graduate studies. The major is recorded on the student's transcript.
Academic Minor
A student's declared secondary field of study or specialization during the student's undergraduate or graduate studies. A minor typically consists of a set of courses that meet specified guidelines and is designed to allow a sub-major concentration in an academic discipline or in a specific area in or across disciplines. The minor is recorded on the student's transcript.


  • Establish the curricula and the requirements for majors and minors
  • Periodically review student records to determine student progress in meeting degree requirements
  • Monitor major declaration benchmarks
  • Determine if a student has met all of the requirements to receive a degree
  • Clear the student to receive the degree
  • Maintain regular communication with an academic advisor
  • Declare a major
  • Register for courses that allow for progress toward timely graduation
  • Apply for graduation


January 2016 - Comprehensive Review, Major Revision. 1. Incorporates content from Declaring and Pursuing and Undergraduate Degree, which will be retired. 2. Provides more detail around the expected timelines for declaring the major. 3. Specifies that a hold may be placed on a student record if the declaration of the major is not timely. 4. Requires degree programs to have curricular sample plans to graduate in four years.
December 2009 - Policy now applies to Crookston.
April 2009 - Clarified policy and put in standard format. Added contact information.
April 2009
Policy of Academic Progress of Undergraduates

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