Policy 3.02


Earning Academic Credits


Part 1. Credit Opportunities

Subpart A. Statement of Philosophy and Definitions

While credits are the units of measure utilized in this policy, their use is not intended to limit or reduce opportunities to certify skills and competency attainment through alternative student outcome assessment approaches. The goal of education is the attainment of specific skills and knowledge. Creative approaches to the awarding of credit in response to demonstrated student skills attainment, above and beyond credit for prior learning and credit through examination programs, are both encouraged and desired.

The credit hour is defined by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Policy 3.36.1, Subpart Q, which is based on the Federal Credit Hour Definition, as listed below:

  • An amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than -
    • a. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time, such as in distance learning environments; or
    • b. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1.a.) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the system, college or university including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

Subpart B. Credit Earning Options

A student may apply credits earned by methods below to requirements for the academic awards described in parts 4 - 9 of Minneapolis College​ Policy 3.03.

Traditional Classroom-based Courses
Defined by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Policy 3.36.1, part Q, as quoted above, one hour of instruction per week per credit.

Accelerated Courses
Courses with the same amount of seat time as a traditional course, but offered in a compressed time frame, i.e. shorter than a regular semester. These may be termed late start or early end.

Hybrid and Online Courses
Hybrid courses are defined as reduced seat time with an online component with the same outcomes as the traditional in-seat class. Fully online courses are presented in a completely online environment with the same outcomes as the traditional in-seat class.

For hybrid and online courses, the number of credit hours assigned shall be the same as for the classroom-based versions of those courses. The amount of student work and the student learning outcomes shall be equivalent.

Laboratory and Studio Courses
Two hours per week per credit.

Three hours per week per credit.

Clinical and Practicum Experiences
Clinical courses and program practica shall be applied in accordance with the requirements of accrediting agencies governing these disciplines, applicable state law, and other relevant factors.

Part 2. Coursework for Credit

A student may earn credits toward an award and graduation by registering for and successfully completing a Minneapolis College course offering taken for credit.

Part 3. Credit Transfer​

Students may be permitted to apply credits transferred from another institution if the Registrar's Office determines that the credits meet College standards for transfer. Institutions must be accredited at the Higher Education level. Coursework from nationally accredited institutions will be considered for transfer on a case by case basis. Minneapolis College will only accept transfer coursework from regionally accredited institutions for programs that lead to professional licensure in the Air Traffic, Law Enforcement and Nursing programs.

Subpart A. Semester or Quarter Credit Transfer Requirements

Transfer requirements are to be met either in semester credits or in the equivalent of quarter credits, or a combination of both.

Transfer requirements include:

A minimum of 20 semester credits (or the equivalent) of college-level courses must be taken at Minneapolis College in order to graduate. For students transferring within the State of Minnesota Community Colleges and the University of Minnesota, and working toward an associate of arts degree, this is reduced from 20 to 12 semester credits, or their equivalent. One-third of the credits required for a diploma or certificate must be earned at Minneapolis College.

Grades of D or above are accepted for transfer if the student has achieved a 2.0 GPA at the sending institution, or if the course has been certified by another Minnesota State Colleges and Universities institution as having met one of the ten Minnesota Transfer Curriculum Goal Areas. Technical program courses must carry a grade of C or above and have been completed within the past five years to permit transfer.

Subpart B. Accreditation Requirement

When evaluating coursework from nationally accredited institutions, the standard criteria listed below in subpart D will apply. In addition, an in-depth review of faculty credentials, institutional learning outcomes and overall educational quality of the learning experience will be carefully considered. The student may be required to provide additional documentation such as a syllabus. Students whose coursework has been determined to not meet Minneapolis College transfer criteria may work with a counselor and check information under "Credit by Exam". Minneapolis College will only accept transfer coursework from regionally accredited institutions for programs that lead to professional licensure in the Air Traffic, Law Enforcement and Nursing programs.

Subpart C. Vocational/Technical Coursework

When transferring coursework from an accredited vocational/technical institution, a maximum of 16 semester credits of college-level vocational or technical courses shall be accepted as elective credits toward an associate of arts (A.A.) degree. Vocational/technical credits applied toward a career program (non-A.A.) award will be evaluated course by course. All general education courses taken at an accredited vocational/technical college will transfer at full credit value.

Subpart D. Transfer of Comparable Coursework

The coursework to be transferred must be comparable in nature, content and level to courses offered (or that could be offered) by the receiving institution.

In evaluating courses for transfer equivalency, the standard for review must be at least 75 percent comparability of course content. For courses that are part of a sequence, students need sufficient preparation to succeed in the next course in the sequence. At Minneapolis College, the Registrar’s Office determines transfer course equivalences, in consultation with academic departments as necessary.

The coursework to be transferred must be acceptable under transfer policies usually appropriate and applicable for a degree program offered at Minneapolis College.

Only the Minneapolis College grade point average is computed on grades earned at Minneapolis College. Transfer credits are not included.

Subpart E. College Property

Official transcripts become, upon receipt, college property and shall not be returned to the student. Exceptions to this policy exist only for international records.​

Part 4. Credit for Prior Learning

Credit achieved through college-level alternative or non-traditional educational experiences are considered for transfer, according to published national standard guidelines established by the American Council on Education (ACE) or other similar national organizations.

Part 5. Credit by Exam

Upon approval of an instructor and departmental dean, a student may earn credit for a course by taking an exam. Unless specifically prohibited by the award requirements, credits earned by exam may be applied to meet award requirements. Credits earned by exam are ineligible for financial aid.

Part 6. Nationally Recognized Examinations

Subpart A. College Level Exam Program

Application of CLEP Credits
Within the limits allowed in subpart A, the Registrar's Office may accept for transfer some or all of a student's credits earned for completing College Level Exam Program (CLEP) general or subject exams.

Credit Limitation
The Registrar's Office may accept a maximum of three credits for each CLEP exam for which the student's score is in the 50th percentile or higher and is documented on the student's transcript.

Unless specifically prohibited by the award requirements, credits earned through CLEP may be applied to meet award requirements.

Financial Aid Eligibility
Credits earned by CLEP exam are not eligible for financial aid.

Subpart B. International Baccalaureate Program

Students who complete an International Baccalaureate high school diploma with a score of 30 or higher are awarded 8 semester credits for each of three higher-level examinations, plus two semester credits for each of the subsidiary examinations, for a total of 30 semester credits. When a test covers material that is substantially similar to an existing course, the equivalent credit or credits are awarded. When a test covers college-level material that is not substantially similar to an existing course, elective credits are awarded.

Subpart C. Advanced Placement

Students may earn credits through Advanced Placement (AP) exams with scores of three or above. Credit will not be given for AP exams that overlap completed coursework for which college credit has been earned. AP scores should be sent to the Registrar's Office.

Part 7. Other Nationally Recognized Examinations

Subpart A. Thomas Edison College Examination Program (TECEP)

Subpart B. Excelsior Examinations, New York University Foreign Language Proficiency (NYUFLP)

Subpart C. National Occupational Competency (NOTCI)

Part 8. Military Coursework

Credit achieved through military training will be considered for transfer according to the Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services by ACE.

Subpart A. Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES/DSST)

The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support program sponsors a wide range of examination programs to assist military personnel in meeting their educational goals. DANTES and DSST exam scores that meet ACE minimum score recommendations are considered for transfer.

Part 9. Portfolio Review

Minneapolis College does not offer portfolio review. For a list of institutions that offer credit based on portfolio review please contact the Registrar's Office.

Date of Adoption: 7/1/1999

Date of Implementation (if different from from adoption date):

Date of Last Review: 9/1/2016

Date and Subject of Revisions: