Planning your program is an important step in obtaining your degree and ensuring that you only take courses that are necessary to fulfill graduation requirements.
Academic advisors are an excellent resource to assist you by explaining degree requirements and providing tools to help you meet your educational and vocational goals.
Please go step-by-step to get important information regarding your degree program.
In this module you will learn:
- More about the University and available programs of study
- How to select the correct courses for your program and understand prerequisites
- How to declare a major/program
- Or, if you’re not sure what you want to study, this module provides resources to help you choose courses and narrow down the options for you.
SUMMARY OF COURSE & CREDIT REQUIREMENTS
A bachelor’s degree is comprised of course and credit requirements.
- General Education (GE) courses like English, math, and science satisfy the 10 goal areas of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) and total 40 credits.
- The GE requirement is fulfilled with an Associate of Arts (AA) degree from a Minnesota-accredited college or completion of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC).
- The GE is NOT fulfilled with an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science in a specific discipline.
- Liberal Studies (LS) are 300- or 400-level courses that appear on the General Education Liberal Studies (GELS) list and total eight credits. The Liberal Studies requirement is specific to Metropolitan State University and is NOT fulfilled by any associate degree.
- Major courses will be determined by the department in which you major. Specific courses, total credits and grade requirements for majors will vary from program to program.
- Elective courses are additional courses chosen by students out of personal interest and may be required in order to reach graduation credit requirements.
- 120 total college credits (includes transfer and Metropolitan State University credits)
- 40 credits of upper division (ANY course 300-level or higher)
- 30 credits of residency (credits completed at Metropolitan State University)
- General Education
- Liberal Studies
- 120 total credits
- 40 upper division credits
- 30 residency credits
- 2.0 GPA to graduate
DEGREE COMPONENTS: THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF YOUR DEGREE
Like a building, your degree program is constructed of various components:
- First, you build your academic foundation (reading, writing and math skills) based on your placement assessment scores.
- Then you construct the main floor consisting of GELS and major prerequisites.
- These courses prepare you to build your major, which in the analogy is the second floor.
- As you move toward degree completion, you finish constructing your baccalaureate degree by adding elective courses to reach the 120 total credits and other requirements you need to graduate.
Just as buildings vary in design and in how they are built, so do degrees vary in design and what courses are required.
Your academic advisor can help you select courses, planned in proper sequence, to satisfy requirements. They can steer you toward courses that meet multiple goal areas or major requirements and help you get the most out of your education while staying on track for graduation.
First-Year & Sophomore Students
A new student with 0 to 16 credits is required to take Metro 101: Your Academic Journey to gain the tools, information and strategies to be successful in college. This course also provides a good foundation for students who have been out of college for an extended period of time.
Students with fewer than 30 earned credits cannot register for courses numbered 300 or higher. First-year and sophomore students are required to take general education courses from 100- to 200-level to develop communication, analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as prerequisite courses for their major.
Junior & Senior Students
Most juniors and seniors are completing upper division GELS courses and courses required in their major at the 300- to 400-level. Juniors and seniors ought to work closely with their advisor to plan their majors and ensure they are meeting all university requirements for graduation.
A major or program focus is the part of your education in which you typically follow your interests and develop your skills at an advanced or professional level.
Do you know what you want to study?
IF YOU ARE UNDECIDED ABOUT THE MAJOR YOU WANT TO PURSUE…
ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I want to study? What subjects interest me the most?
- Do I have particular aptitudes that may lead to certain majors? For instance, some majors require an aptitude for mathematics.
- Are my interests so varied they don’t fit into one major? If so, you might design your major.
- How important is my future economic stability? Am I willing to choose a major based only on that?
- Will I need a particular skill set, degree, or major to progress in my career, or to break into a new field?
- Does my current employer require a specific degree for advancement or a specific major?
- How many credits beyond the minimum 120 credits will it take to complete my preferred major? Would it serve me better to choose a shorter major or program in order to finish sooner?
- Will I pursue a master’s degree in the future? If so, select an undergraduate program that fulfills graduate school prerequisites.
Some strategies to use in selecting a major:
- Network. Talk to people who are in jobs that interest you. Ask about their education and other ways they got in the door.
- Explore ISEEK for career, education, employment and business information.
- Take the required General Education Liberal Studies (GELS) courses to develop your interest and skills while exploring the different majors.
- Visit Career Services to define your goals. They offer workshops, job fairs, interest inventories, advice on conducting informational interviews and a whole lot more.
- Consult with different advisors who can tell you about majors in their colleges.
- Take a career exploration course such as PSYC 107 Career Planning and Development or PSYC 108 Career and Life Planning for Women.
- Take PRSP 301 Perspectives: Educational Philosophy and Planning. This course would benefit ANY of the following students:
- those with 80 or more credits
- those with multiple interests (or previously different majors)
- those who want to design their own degree program that doesn’t exist at Metropolitan State
- those who aren’t sure what they want to study
Your advisor can also guide you towards a program if you are still unsure what you would like to study, and the resources in the Find Out More menu will also be helpful. You aren’t required to declare your program right away, but you will need to decide sooner or later. Once you know which program you want to study, you can start the process for being accepted to that program using information in the Undergraduate Catalog.
ONCE YOU KNOW WHAT MAJOR YOU WANT TO PURSUE…
You should become familiar with your program’s web pages. You can access a variety of resources relating to each program, ranging from study guides to advising to the latest news in your program.
- Review the Undergraduate Catalog to learn about any prerequisites or requirements needed to be accepted to the program
- Select your area of interest from the menu to explore their web pages
- Learn about the structure of Metropolitan State’s colleges, schools and departments
There are required courses and prerequisites for every program, sometimes even before you can be accepted to the program. If you are a transfer student, your DARS indicates what courses have been completed.
Major courses provide depth in a specific discipline. When you are planning your degree, if time allows and you have room for elective credits, consider a second major or minor that complements your major program. Minors are not required, but may provide a focus that complements your major while satisfying General Education and Liberal Studies requirements.
For example, a biology major is complemented by a chemistry minor. Both require Chemistry 111 and 112, courses that also meet GELS Goal 3, Natural Sciences. A business administration major is complemented by an economics minor. Both require Math 115, College Algebra, which in turn satisfies Goal 4, Mathematical Thinking.
Your advisor can help you understand how you can choose courses to satisfy multiple goal areas and, perhaps, requirements of both major and minor degrees.
INTERACTIVE DEGREE AUDIT / DARS REPORT
DARS is an electronic degree planning tool. Your DARS displays transfer courses and Metropolitan State University coursework, and shows your progress toward a degree by comparing completed/in-progress coursework to the graduation requirements of your program.
On your DARS, you can find:
- Total hours and GPA
- Courses completed, grades received, and hours earned
- Notes about missing requirements
- Course list to choose from to satisfy requirements
- Transfer courses that have been made equivalent and apply toward the program
- Degree and program exceptions approved via petition
DARS and Your Major
First you are admitted to the university and then later accepted to a major/program. Each program has different requirements that you must complete before you can officially declare it as your program. These requirements are found in the catalog for each of the programs under the heading Acceptance to the Program. After you declare your program, your DARS report will list program requirements which help you plan and monitor progress by:
- Identifying all the requirements needed to complete a specific program.
- Indicating courses that have already been completed, grades received, and credits earned, both at Metropolitan State and in transfer, and how they pertain to GELS, MnTC and program requirements.
- Displaying MnTC courses with passing (A-D) grades (per MnSCU policy, a cumulative 2.0 MnTC GPA is required to certify completion).
- Showing transfer courses that have been made equivalent towards the program.
- Recording exceptions that have been granted.
- Identifying what is still needed to complete a program, with a list of courses that will satisfy each requirement.
Accessing Your DARS
You will be able to access your Interactive Degree Audit/DARS report through eServices:
- Login to eServices
- From the e-Services menu on the left side of the screen, click “Academic Records”
- Click on “Degree Audit” either on the left of your screen or in the main menu and follow the subsequent instructions for accessing your DARS.
- The system will put together your DARS and when the page loads, a link should appear in the middle of the page. Click the link to open a new window and display your DARS.
If you are new to college you may not have any credits transferring to Metropolitan State.
If you take courses at another institution while you are a student at Metropolitan State or you have courses in progress at the time of your initial DARS evaluation, you will need to request a Transfer Update once the final grades have been posted.
Contact your academic advisor with any questions relating to your Interactive Degree Audit/DARS report.
PROGRAM INFORMATION MEETING (PIM)
Take time to put together a plan to make the most of your education and complete your academic goals in a timely manner. Completing the appropriate Program Information Meeting (PIM) for your intended major will provide you with the important details of your college, program, and requirements to declare your major. Select your appropriate PIM below, or if you are undecided, choose the College of Liberal Arts PIM.
COLLEGE OF MANAGEMENT
COLLEGE OF INDIVIDUALIZED STUDIES
COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS
- College of Liberal Arts (ppt)
COLLEGE OF NURSING & HEALTH SCIENCES
- Dental Hygiene (ppt)
- Health Systems Studies (ppt)
- Nursing RN to BSN (ppt)
- MANE (Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education) BSN) (ppt)
- Pre-MANE PIM (ppt)
COLLEGE OF COMMUNITY STUDIES AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
- Alcohol and Drug Counseling (pdf)
- Early Childhood Studies (pdf)
- Human Services (pdf)
- Psychology (pdf)
- Social Work (pdf)
SCHOOL OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
- All SLC Majors (ppt)
SCHOOL OF URBAN EDUCATION
COLLEGE OF SCIENCES
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ADVISING
Metropolitan State University employs both professional advisors and faculty advisors to help you succeed in your program.
- Professional advisors provide academic advising for undergraduate students. They are available year-round and are well informed about services, systems, policies and procedures at Metropolitan State. Professional advisors may have upward of 300 advisees, and are typically very busy during peak registration periods. Professional advisors are generalists who advise students on major prerequisites until the student declares a major. Some professional advisors continue to advise students after they declare a major.
- Faculty advisors are the experts in their academic disciplines and in the content of major courses. They also have information about careers in their specific field. Since faculty teach courses and have other responsibilities, they advise fewer undergraduate and graduate students than professional advisors. Faculty advisors are not usually available during the summer and other break periods.
If you already know what program you plan to study, there are many advising tools available online. Explore your academic program by selecting your program from the menu. You will find advising tools such as a Major Checklist and other important advising information about the program.
An advising relationship is a partnership between you and your advisor. Your advisor is like a consultant who explains requirements and options. You make the decisions—you are in charge of your education!
You can expect your advisor to:
- Provide accurate information about the university’s programs, requirements, policies, and procedures to help you make informed academic choices
- Assist in making educational plans consistent with your goals, abilities and interests. Your advisor is interested in you and what you want to do
- Assist in exploring alternatives and determining a realistic course load.
- Assist in selecting courses that best meet your individual and academic goals and requirements
- Help solve problems related to requirements
- Help clarify university, college and major requirements, policies and procedures
- Refer you to appropriate sources of information and assistance
- Keep notes of issues you discussed and information you were given
- Keep your records private, as required by law
Your advisor expects you to:
- Share your interests, concerns, hopes, and goals with your advisor. The better they know you, the better they can advise you
- Take initiative to contact your advisor when you have a question or concern. Don’t wait until something becomes a problem to see your advisor
- Make decisions about your program and courses, and develop plans that are realistic to achieve your academic, career and personal goals
- Take your assessment exams, and complete orientation to gain the information you need to plan your program
- Check course prerequisites to make sure you are prepared for the course
- Actively use information from Metropolitan State’s catalog, class schedule, and website
- Become familiar with the university’s policies, procedures and guidelines
- Become familiar with the full range of campus resources, and use all those you need
- Track your progress, and satisfy all requirements for your degree program
- Keep an updated curriculum checklist for your program including major, GELS and free electives
- Have your school records available when seeking advising help
With the help of your advisor, it’s important to understand the credit and course requirements when planning your academic program.
Your assigned advisor is listed on your DARS—see the University Directory for contact information. You must use your university email account for all correspondence to ensure your data privacy. If you have not been assigned an advisor, contact your advising center.
If you have questions, contact your advisor. If you are ready to register, click Next.