A-047 Minor Policy

The purpose of a minor is to allow students to gain specialized knowledge in a specific skill set outside of their primary degree focus. Minors may align content areas that are found within one discipline. 

Requirements of a Minor

For minors to be approved, the following conditions must be met: 

  1. Minors must have a minimum of fifteen (15) credits and cannot exceed thirty-six (36) credits. 
  2. At least six (6) credits in a minor must be upper-division courses. 
  3. Minors must include well-defined, student learning outcomes. 

Minors less than fifteen (15) credits or more than thirty-six (36) credits may be approved when the program is one of the following: 

  1. Required by an employer, a licensing body, other regulatory agency, accrediting association, or board. 
  2. Changed based on a formal task analysis conducted within the previous three years and the results endorsed by an advisory committee. 

Admission to a Minor

For students to be enrolled in a minor, one of the following conditions must be met: 

  1. Students must be enrolled in a baccalaureate academic program at Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU). 
  2. Students must have graduated from a baccalaureate academic program at SMSU. 

Awarding of a Minor

For a minor to be awarded the following conditions must be met: 

  1. Students must complete all the required coursework. 
  2. The coursework must include a minimum of two, non-duplicated elective courses from the students’ major, awarded major, minor, or certificate. 
  3. Credits earned toward the General Studies program cannot be used to complete a minor. 
  4. Students must obtain a minimum 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) across the minor courses unless a higher GPA is required. 
  5. Students must apply for minor completion through SMSU’s degree check process (See SMSU Policy A-010, “Graduation Requirements”). ​
    1. For degree-seeking students, minors must be awarded in the same term as the degree. 
    2. For students enrolled only in a minor, the minor must be awarded in a term after that which the degree was awarded. 
    3. Minors are not printed on diplomas. 
    4. Minors shall appear on official transcripts. ​
  6. A minimum of nine (9) credits toward a minor must be earned from SMSU as a residency requirement, regardless of how many credits may have been transferred to SMSU. 

Policy Notes

  1. Degree-seeking students who are eligible to receive financial aid may use financial aid towards the completion of minors in alignment with a baccalaureate degree.
  2. Non-degree-seeking students are ineligible from using financial aid for the completion of minors. 
  3. Minors must comply with Higher Learning Commission (HLC) requirements, including the approval process for new minors. New minors must be reviewed to determine whether HLC approval is needed based on the requirement of the number of new courses which comprise the new minor. 

Related Documents 

SMSU Policy A-010, "Graduation Requirements"

Policy History

Date of Adoption: February 2013
Date of Revision: May 5, 2023

Date and Subject of Amendments

5/5/2023 - Clarification added regarding distinctive minors and HLC requirements.

Note: While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, SMSU reserves the right to correct any clerical errors herein. Also, you can submit feedback.