Doctoral Program Policy

Doctoral students are required to follow the policies described on this page in addition to the policies set by the University and Graduate Studies. Individual doctoral programs may have published retention and dismissal policies that differ from those noted below. In these cases, the departmental policy will supersede the general University policy.

Advanced Standing

Students who have completed graduate-level courses elsewhere may apply to be admitted with advanced standing. 

  • At least 45 credits of a student's doctoral program must be completed at Minnesota State University, Mankato. (Excluding the DNP program)
  • The individual programs determine the maximum number of advanced standing credits that may be accepted. 
  • Up to 12 of the credits taken at Minnesota State Mankato may be credits associated with the capstone project. Individual doctoral programs may have different credit limits.
Courses accepted as advanced standing do not affect the Minnesota State Mankato graduate grade point average. Consult the doctoral program's websites to see program-specific advanced standing policies.

Advisory Committee

The program coordinator assigns doctoral students an advisor during their first semester. Students may change advisors by submitting a Change of Advisor request.

View the Examining/Advisory Committee page for specific Doctoral Advisory Committee requirements.

Qualifying Examination

Doctoral students must pass a qualifying examination or, with the approval of the advisory committee and program, an alternate qualifying activity before beginning their dissertation/capstone project and at or near the time of completion of all required course work. The examination process is intended to determine if a student is prepared and qualified to begin work on their dissertation/capstone project.

Qualifying examinations may contain written and oral components. In either case, the student's performance is documented by the advisory committee and the department chair.

To be eligible to take the qualifying exam, a student must have:
  • An appointed doctoral advisory committee
  • Have completed sufficient doctoral course-work as specified by the program
  • No more than 6 credits with 'I' or 'Incomplete' grades

Individual doctoral programs will have additional policies concerning qualifying exams.

May I Re-take the Qualifying Exam?

Qualifying exams (or failed portions of a qualifying exam) may only be re-taken only once.

Second exams should be scheduled to allow sufficient time to make corrections identified in the initial exam.