In accordance with federal guidelines and best academic practices, Minot State University considers a credit hour as representative of the amount of work necessary to realize intended learning outcomes demonstrated by student achievement.
MSU defines one undergraduate credit hour as a minimum of 750 minutes of direct instructional time combined with a minimum of 1,800 minutes out-of-class student work per semester. This definition applies to all course lengths. For example, in a 16-week semester, one credit hour would equate to 50 minutes of direct instructional time combined with 120 minutes or two hours of out-of-class work per week. In a compressed 8-week session, one credit hour would equate to 100 minutes of direct instructional time combined with 240 minutes or four hours of out-of-class work per week. Similarly, in courses such as those offered online in which seat time does not apply, one credit hour may be measured by equivalent student learning outcomes and expectations for a face-to-face section as demonstrated by student achievement. For graduate courses, one credit hour is defined as a minimum of 50 minutes of direct instructional time combined with 120 minutes of out-of-class work per week, or a reasonable equivalent.
One credit hour assigned to an academic experience that involves guided instruction and explores concepts in an applied fashion (these may include clinicals, internships, labs, private lessons, and studio classes) should display an equivalent amount of work, even though these activities may occur in both University and non-university settings, as well as non-classroom environments.
APC - 9/24/19 & FS - 10/3/19
Full-Time Student Defined
A full-time undergraduate load for a fall, spring, or summer semester is 12 credits.
Students who wish to attempt more than 18 credits in a fall or spring semester or more than 12 credits in the summer must have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Students may not register for more than 22 credits per fall or spring semester or 15 in the summer. Students must obtain approval to overload from their advisor and program department/division chair. Requests to overload are processed through the Registrar’s Office.
APC - 10/23/18 & FS - 11/1/18
Classification of Students
Students are classified by year according to the number of credits earned as follows:
|First-Year Student (Freshman)||0-23|
|Senior||90 or More|
Regular Course Examinations
Examinations in University courses are of two kinds:
- Instructional tests administered by instructors at various times during a term, with or without prior notice
- Final examinations administered at the close of each term in accordance with a prepared schedule of examinations.
Credit for Non-Academic and Work Experience (PLA)
The Minot State University Prior Learning Assessment Program (PLA) is designed to offer students the opportunity to apply learning and proficiency received from life and work experience toward a Minot State degree. Departments approve PLA; it may not be available in all programs.
Successful completion establishes satisfactory credits which are recorded on the student’s permanent record. However, no letter grades or honor points are posted to the permanent record. Credit established by PLA will not count toward a student’s term load, nor are they considered credits earned in residence. PLA credits include a non-refundable fee of 50% of the regular per credit tuition charge. Students may receive a maximum of 30 PLA credits. Such credits posted to the Minot State University transcript may not transfer to other institutions.
There are three options to earn this type of credit:
- Credit by examination (nationally standardized or institutionally devised)
- Certification evaluation
- Portfolio development and review
Credit by Examination
Under certain circumstances, a currently registered student may receive credit by examination for a course in which they have not been regularly enrolled. Each department or division may determine those courses, if any, for which credit may be earned by examination. Credit by examination may be awarded through nationally standardized tests or through institutionally devised tests.
Nationally standardized tests such as the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the Advanced Placement (AP) examinations, or the National League of Nursing (NLN) examinations may yield scores which earn lower division, satisfactory credits for the student. Students pay a test fee directly to the test service. MSU follows NDUS procedure which details the minimum credit-granting score, number of semester credits, and course(s) or type of course(s) to be awarded.
Computer-based CLEP testing is available on the Minot State University campus by appointment only. Contact the Center for Extended Learning for scheduling and registration information. An administrative fee applies for computer-based CLEP testing, in addition to any examination fee paid to the test service. Interested students may inquire at the Registrar's Office for specific information on how credit earned by examination may be applied to particular degree requirements, including General Education Requirements. Official score reports must be sent to the Registrar’s Office before any satisfactory credits are posted to the student’s permanent record. Credits earned by standardized examination do not carry letter grade or honor point values, nor are they considered credits earned in residence. Such credits posted to the Minot State University transcript may not transfer to other institutions.
Institutionally devised tests serve to validate prior learning in order to award college credit. Such tests may be either department examinations or validation examinations.
Department Examinations may be available to regularly enrolled students who wish to establish Minot State University credit for acquired proficiency in a given subject matter. Requests should be addressed to the chairperson of the division or department overseeing the corresponding courses who will then determine if credit by examination is an appropriate alternative for the student. In some cases CLEP may be advised. High school transcripts or other evidence must first be presented to document qualification for a department examination.
A Petition to Earn Credit-by-Examination form must then be obtained from the Registrar’s Office and completed as per instructions. A nonrefundable special exam fee of 50% of the regular per credit charge for each course is assessed and must be paid prior to taking the department examination.
Passed examinations establish satisfactory credits which are recorded on the student’s permanent record. However, no letter grades or honor points are posted to the permanent record. Credit established by department examinations will not count toward a student’s term load, nor are they considered credits earned in residence. Such credits posted to the Minot State transcript may not transfer to other institutions.
Validation Examinations may be available to regularly enrolled students who wish to establish credit for Minot State University courses that correspond to learning acquired at non-accredited and non-degree institutions. Evidence of having satisfactorily completed the corresponding course work must first be presented in the form of a transcript.
A Petition to Earn Credit-by-Examination form must be obtained from the Registrar’s Office and completed as per instructions. A nonrefundable special exam fee of 50% of the regular per credit charge for each course is assessed and must be paid prior to taking the validation examination.
A committee of three faculty members appointed by the chairperson of the area offering the course(s) will administer and evaluate the examination. The majority opinion will prevail in determining if the student has passed. Such examinations must be searching and comprehensive. Passed examinations establish satisfactory credits which are recorded on the student’s permanent record. However, no letter grades or honor points are posted to the permanent record. Credit established by validation examinations will not count toward a student’s term load, nor are they considered credits earned in residence.
Petitions to take these examinations must be submitted by the student during the first term in residence. The chairperson of the area offering the course(s) will determine when the examination is to be taken.
A student who completes a non-credit bearing certification relevant to an MSU course may request to have the certification evaluated by the area offering the course by completing a Petition to Earn Credit through Prior Learning Assessment form as per instructions. The department/division maintains a list of validated certifications and the corresponding courses.
Portfolio Development and Review
Students successfully complete the portfolio class then submit portfolio(s) for review by the department/division offering the course. If the portfolio is approved, the student completes a Petition to Earn Credit through Prior Learning Assessment form as per instructions.
APC - 3/29/21 & FS - 4/15/21
Changes of Name/Address/Phone Number
Students are required to advise the University in writing of any changes of name, address, or phone number. Contact information (address and phone number) should be updated using Campus Connection under the Profile tile. Changes of name are processed in the Registrar's Office via a completed Name Change form with supporting documentation.
Students are required to update their mailing and home addresses within 30 days of moving. If a student’s address is determined to no longer be valid, a hold will be placed on the student’s account until they update their address.
Electronic mail (email), postal, and campus mail are official means by which the University may communicate with students. MSU exercises the right to send emails to students via the students’ Minot State University email account and expects that the received emails be read at least weekly.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) designates certain information related to students as “Directory Information.” Students may request to prevent the release of directory information to third party individuals by notifying the MSU Registrar’s Office by completing the Student Rights to Privacy form found on the Registrar’s Office website. Failure to notify the Registrar’s Office as outlined above indicates implied consent to release directory information. All or a portion of directory information may be released publicly in printed, electronic, or other forms at the discretion of Minot State University on a case-by-case basis. Concerns about release of directory information should be directed to the Registrar’s Office. Directory information includes the following data elements:
- Student name*
- Hometown (city, state)
- Campus email address**
- Height, weight, and photos of athletic team members
- Major field of study (all declared majors)
- Minor field of study (all declared minors)
- Class level
- Dates of attendance
- Enrollment Status (withdrawn, half-time, or full-time)
- Names of previous institutions attended
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Honors/awards received
- Degree earned (all degrees earned)
- Date degree earned (dates of all degrees earned)
- Directory photos, photographs, and video recordings of students in public or non-classroom settings (photographs from classrooms or class-related activities are NOT directory information)
*If a student provides a preferred name, the college or University tries to use it when communicating directly with the student. Preferred name is a supported business practice, unless there is a documented business or legal reason to use a student’s legal name. When communicating with outside third parties, including parents, the college or University generally uses a student’s legal name.
**Campus email addresses are only disclosed to requestors who agree to not use them for solicitation.
Student Rights Under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include the following:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.
Students should submit to the Registrar, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill their professional responsibility. School officials are those members of an institution who act in the student’s educational interest within the limitations of their “need to know.” These may include faculty, administration, clerical, and professional employees; other persons who manage student education record information including student employees or agents; and employees of the North Dakota Attorney General's Office providing support or representation to Minot State University. Examples of a school official may include:
- a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health services staff);
- a person or company with whom the University has contracted, e.g. attorney, auditor, collection agency;
- a person serving on an institutional governing board;
- a person or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing their tasks.
- to institutions in which the student seeks to enroll or is enrolled, so long as the disclosure is for purposes relating to the student’s enrollment or transfer;
- to authorized representatives of federal, state, or local educational authorities;
- to accrediting agencies;
- in connection with a health or safety emergency;
- to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
- concerning information considered “Directory Information.”
- The right to refuse the release of all of the aforementioned categories of personally identifiable information as “Directory Information.”
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Minot State University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202
A copy of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 is on file and available for inspection at the following campus locations:
Library Director of Residence Life
Career Services V.P. of Student Affairs
Academic School Offices Student Government Association
Registrar’s Office Access Services
Current students and students enrolled at MSU after Fall 2005 can acquire unofficial transcripts online, at no charge, using Campus Connection.
Students can request an official transcript online. Transcripts cannot be released without the student’s written signature unless requested online through Campus Connection. Transcripts cannot be requested by email or telephone. A service charge does apply per transcript copy, with additional charges for special ordering options. For additional information please visit www.minotstateu.edu/records/transcripts.shtml.
All transcripts contain a student’s entire academic record including undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education coursework.
Student Outcomes Assessment
The University routinely conducts campus-based studies of student achievement, student attitudes, student satisfaction, and professional and career development of students. These studies are grouped under the heading of “Outcomes Assessment.” Participation in outcomes assessment activities is expected of all students.
While every student is not selected for every campus assessment activity, students can anticipate that they will be involved in the assessment of the General Education outcomes and that at a minimum, graduating seniors will be required by their major departments to participate in assessing the effectiveness of their major program. Alumni will be surveyed to assess job placement rates. Assessment activities may include standardized testing, faculty developed exams, surveys, portfolios of student work, group or individual interviews, or observation of performance activities. There may be fees associated with standardized tests. Fees will be indicated in the term schedule when they are associated with a particular course.
Assessment results are used to enhance teaching and learning, improve the design and implementation of programs and curricula, and improve the quality of the educational experience for future generations of MSU students.