Policy 3.03

Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates

Part 1. Definitions

Subpart A. Application Rule

The definitions contained in this section are applicable throughout Minneapolis College policy and procedures.

Subpart B. Award

"Award" means a certificate, diploma, associate of arts degree, associate of fine arts degree, associate of science degree, or associate of applied science degree.

Subpart C. Credit

"Credit" means the unit of measure normally associated with specific courses and experiential learning activities. Unless otherwise stated, a credit is a semester credit or equivalent.

Subpart D. Minnesota General Education Transfer Curriculum or MnTC

"Minnesota General Education Transfer Curriculum" or "MnTC" means the defined general education curriculum approved by Minnesota State and codified in Minneapolis College Policy 3.05 for transfer among other institutions in the Minnesota State system.

Subpart E. Program

"Program" means a cohesive pattern of credit courses and experiences leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate.

Part 2. Program Objectives

Accomplishment of program objectives requires a set of structured learning experiences in which a student must demonstrate competencies in a wide range of skills and knowledge that constitute a major or is certified by a credential. Programs must be designed to:

  1. Prepare students for advanced study,
  2. Qualify students for an occupation or range of occupations, and
  3. Increase students' knowledge and understanding in a specific area/discipline.

Part 3. Earning an Award

A student must successfully complete all requirements of the program and meet all graduation requirements in Minneapolis College Policy 3.09 to earn an award from Minneapolis College

Part 4. Associate of Arts Degree

Subpart A. Degree Credits

A program to award an associate of arts degree (A.A.) must consist of 60 credits of coursework.

Subpart B. MnTC Requirements

A program to award an associate of arts degree must include 40 credits of coursework in the MnTC Goal Areas described in Minneapolis College Policy 3.05 and specified in parts A - J.

  • Goal 1: Communication. A minimum of nine credits of coursework designated as MnTC Goal Area 1 courses. The coursework must include ENGL 1110, 1111 and an eligible speech communications course.
  • Goal 2: Critical Thinking. The completion of the full 40-credit Minnesota Transfer Curriculum or a minimum of one course designated as a MnTC 2 course.
  • Goal 3: Natural Sciences. A minimum of two courses designated as MnTC Goal Area 3 courses. The courses must be in two different disciplines and one must include a traditional lab course and the other course must have a traditional lab or a lab-like experience.
  • Goal 4: Mathematics/Logical Reasoning. A minimum of one course designated as a MnTC Goal Area 4 course.
  • Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences. A minimum of two courses designated as MnTC Goal Area 5 courses. The courses must be in two different subjects.
  • Goal 6: Humanities and Fine Arts. A minimum of two courses designated as MnTC Goal Area 5 courses. The courses must be in two different subjects.
  • Goal 7: Human Diversity. A minimum of one course designated as a MnTC Goal Area 7 course. A course fulfilling this competency may also be counted toward the fulfillment of the requirements for one of the first six competency areas.
  • Goal 8: Global Perspectives. A minimum of one course designated as a MnTC Goal Area 8 course. A course fulfilling this competency may also be counted toward the fulfillment of the requirements for one of the first six competency areas.
  • Goal 9: Ethical and Civic Responsibility. A minimum of one course designated as a MnTC Goal Area 9 course. A course fulfilling this competency may also be counted toward the fulfillment of the requirements for one of the first six competency areas.
  • Goal 10: People and the Environment. A minimum of one course designated as a MnTC Goal Area 10 course. A course fulfilling this competency may also be counted toward the fulfillment of the requirements for one of the first six competency areas.

Subpart C. Health Coursework

A program to award an A.A. must include a minimum of two 2 credits of coursework in the Health Department.

Subpart D. Physical Education Coursework

A program to award an A.A. must include a minimum of one credit of coursework in the Physical Education Department.

Subpart E. Information Literacy Competency

A student must successfully complete INFS 1000.

Subpart F. Electives

A student must successfully complete credits equal to the difference between 60 credits and the credits earned from subparts B–E.

Subpart G. Completion Requirement

A student must complete ENGL 1110 and INFS 1000 within the first 24 college-level credits earned.

Part 5. Associate of Fine Arts Degree

Subpart A. Degree Credits

A program to award an associate of fine arts degree (A.F.A.) must consist of 60 credits of coursework.

Subpart B. MnTC Requirements

A program to award an A.F.A. must include 28 credits of coursework in a minimum of six MnTC Goal Areas described in Minneapolis College Policy 3.05. Of these credits, a student must complete ENGL 1110, ENGL 1111, and an eligible Communication Studies course; one course each from MnTC Goal Areas 3 and 5; one course from either MnTC 2 or 4; and any two courses from MnTC Goal Area 6 (not ARTS or PHOT). Additionally, a student must earn three credits from MnTC Goal Areas 7, 9, or 10 (that are NOT also in MnTC Goal Area 6).

Subpart C. Required Program-Related Coursework

A program to award an A.F.A. must include at least 32 credits of program-related coursework.

Part 6. Associate of Science Degree

Subpart A. Degree Credits

A program to award an associate of science degree (A.S.) must consist of 60–68 credits of coursework.

Subpart B. MnTC Requirements

A program to award an A.S. must include 30 credits of coursework in a minimum of six MnTC Goal Areas described in Minneapolis College Policy 3.05. Of these credits, a student must earn a minimum of three credits in MnTC Goal Area 1 and 3 credits in MnTC Goal Areas 7, 8, 9 or 10.

Subpart C. Required Program-Related Coursework

A program to award an A.S. must include at least 30 credits of program- related coursework.

Part 7. Associate of Applied Science Degree

Subpart A. Degree Credits

An associate of applied science degree is awarded upon completion of a 60-credit academic program in a named field of study in scientific, technological or other professional fields. A waiver may be granted to exceed a length of 60 credits when (1) the waiver criteria in Part 3, Subpart C of Minnesota State Board Policy 3.36.1, and Subpart C are met and (2) an articulation agreement, where applicable, specifies the transfer of a greater number of credits.

An associate of applied science degree prepares students for employment in an occupation or range of occupations. An associate of applied science degree may also be accepted in transfer to a related baccalaureate program. 

Subpart B. Required Coursework and MnTC Requirements

An associate of applied science degree requires a minimum of 15 credits selected from at least three of the ten goal areas of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum.

At least 30 credits shall be in the academic program's occupational or technical field of preparation.

At least 15 credits in an associate of applied science shall be taught by the faculty recommending the award. This requirement may be decreased upon recommendation of the faculty and approval by the president of the system college or university.

Part 8. Diploma

Subpart A. Degree Credits

A diploma is awarded upon completion of a 31 to 72 credit undergraduate academic program that prepares students for employment. A minimum of 24 credits shall be in occupational or technical courses.

At least one-third of the credits in the diploma shall be taught by the faculty recommending the award. This requirement may be decreased upon recommendation by the faculty and approval by the president of the college.

Part 9. Certificate

Subpart A. Degree Credits

An undergraduate certificate is awarded upon completion of a nine to 30 credit academic program. An undergraduate certificate may have an occupational outcome or address a focused area of study.

An undergraduate certificate shall not have emphases.

At least one-third of the credits in the undergraduate certificate shall be taught by the faculty recommending the award. This requirement may be decreased upon recommendation by the faculty and approval by the president of the college or university.

An undergraduate certificate less than nine or more than 30 credits in length may be approved when the academic program prepares an individual for employment and the length or the designation as a certificate is (1) required by an employer, a licensing body or other regulatory agency, accrediting association, or board, or (2) based on a formal task analysis conducted within the previous three years and the results endorsed by an advisory committee.


Date of Adoption: 7/1/1999

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

Date of Last Review: 5/17/2019

Date and Subject of Revisions: