Academic Policy Public Review
Admission for Master's and Doctoral Degrees
Summary of Proposed Changes
- Added language to Policy Statement to clarify reason for and role of the central admissions system.
- Clarified that exceptions are rare and that those programs with exceptions should maintain records of that approved exception rather than codify it in policy.
- Clarified the definition of "Recognized college of University" to address feedback from the Equity Lens Policy Review Committee.
- Moved key language from appendix and procedure to policy; deleted appendix, procedure, and FAQ because guidance for students is duplicated on Graduate School admissions webpages.
In section VI there is some language that is unclear or would be hard to interpret. In the new Education job family, I do not find a position titled "instructor," so it is hard to know which academic appointments must obtain permission. In the Research job family there is no listed "research fellow," so again, it is unclear which types of appointments would need permission.
In that same section, it says permission is required from "their college and supervisor or department chair..." Does this mean (college and supervisor) "or" (department chair) or (college) "and" (supervisor or department chair)? I'm presuming the second (college permission is always required along with the supervisor or department chair), but it could be interpreted either way.
It is my view that this policy is a point of tension with our land grant university mission. Requiring that an undergraduate degree be "regionally accredited" is a significant barrier to access, especially for underserved populations. Denial based solely on undergraduate accreditation is also not in line with the University's stated policy of holistic application review. The policy should at least provide alternative routes of admission for students with undergraduate degrees from "nationally accredited" programs rather than rely on graduate programs to submit for an exception, especially since exceptions should be rare.
I am writing to comment on the updated language in Section VII. Exceptions. In Section VII. Exceptions, the updated language replaces “This policy does not apply to the J.D., M.D., Pharm.D., D.V.M., D.D.S, L.L.M. and M.B.A. (Twin Cities) degrees” with the following language, “In rare instances, collegiate deans, on behalf of their programs, may request exceptions to the requirement to use the central graduate admissions system from the Executive Vice President and Provost (or designee) for exceptional reasons such as accreditation requirements. Units must retain a copy of the approved exception.”
For Schools of Public Health, including the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, prospective candidates apply through SOPHAS, which is a centralized application service for public health. We would be put at a strategic disadvantage if applicants to our programs were required to apply using the University’s central graduate admissions system instead of SOPHAS. This is because SOPHAS is used by all other Schools of Public Health. Requiring students to apply using the University’s central graduate admissions system would present a barrier to applying to our programs. We would also be viewed as out of step with other Schools of Public Health.
Therefore, I propose that the following language be added to the policy: “This policy does not apply to professional graduate degrees."
Removing the line, "This policy does not apply to the J.D., M.D., Pharm.D., D.V.M., D.D.S, L.L.M. and M.B.A. (Twin Cities) degrees," is a significant policy change that seems problematic. I don't believe any of these programs use central graduate admissions system currently, and several do not require a bachelor's degree for admission. If the term "graduate" is in intended to exclude these and other "professional" programs, that should be made explicit. Thanks!
I concur with the feedback provided by Elizabeth Wattenberg. Striking the language “This policy does not apply to the J.D., M.D., Pharm.D., D.V.M., D.D.S, L.L.M. and M.B.A. (Twin Cities) degrees” and replacing it with the following language, “In rare instances, collegiate deans, on behalf of their programs, may request exceptions to the requirement to use the central graduate admissions system from the Executive Vice President and Provost (or designee) for exceptional reasons such as accreditation requirements. Units must retain a copy of the approved exception" would create numerous challenges for professional schools and importantly potential applicants to these schools.
Specifically, for colleges of pharmacy, prospective candidates apply through PharmCas, which is a centralized application service for public health. We would be put at a strategic disadvantage if applicants to our programs were required to apply using the University’s central graduate admissions system instead of or in addition to using the national application system. In addition, per our accreditation standards in pharmacy, students do not need to have completed a bachelor's degree prior to entering the Pharm.D. program. I concur with previous comments and support the proposal that the following language be added to the policy: “This policy does not apply to professional graduate degrees." Thank you.
I have several comments:
1) Could there be more clarification of the difference between Graduate Professional Development and non-degree admission, or are they the same thing at the graduate level? For example, at UMD, we have a University Studies non-degree plan code (0999PRD51), but we also have non-degree plan codes associated with some degree plans (e.g., 0864PRD48 for our MSW) . Does an application through slate lead to matriculation in the non-degree plan code associated with the degree, and application through the Registrar's Office lead to matriculation in the general non-degree plan code? The FAQ for this policy also has several questions related to GPD; perhaps the difference could be clarified there?
2) Is the FAQ for this policy not up for revision?
3) Part I.c. indicates that transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended must be submitted. I often get questions from applicants about whether they need to submit transcripts for credit earned through dual-enrollment (PSEO) while still in high school. It's my understanding that transcripts for college credit earned prior to the award of the high school diploma are not required. Could this be clarified in this policy or in the FAQ?
4) A policy related to Part VI. University Employees (admitted to graduate programs) is the 'Eligibility to Serve on Graduate Examination Committees' policy, which states that University employees active in graduate programs are not eligible to serve as advisor or committee member without special permission. Perhaps it would be good to link this policy under 'Related Information'?
I would really like to see a change in description of graduate students in professional programs from professional students.
I agree with Elizabeth Wattenberg. This policy should not apply to professional graduate degrees that have different cycles of start dates, admission and scholarshipping dates and even language requirements. Have attached a detailed letter to the Provost with more information.
Being subject to these new rules will make us uncompetitive and we may even have to shut down some of our successful programs, especially those we run in partnership with international universities in Europe and Asia.