Nov 19, 2018  
2018-2019 SGPP Catalog and Handbook 
2018-2019 SGPP Catalog and Handbook

Human Development, M.A.

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The Master of Arts in Human Development was established by Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in 1972. It is a 35-credit, low-residency interdisciplinary graduate program that allows students to combine academic interests with career goals. The wholly unique combination of scholarship, mentoring, and program flexibility allows individuals to custom design programs that lead to personal and professional enhancement. Students in the human development program have secured major grants, published both creative and scholarly works, produced commissioned works of art, and received public recognition for their accomplishments.

Possible programs include, but are not limited to, concentrations in adult education, social justice, career counseling, employee assistance counseling, transformational leadership, organizational and individual coaching, writing, organizational development, holistic health/wellness, spiritual studies, music therapy, and ecological studies.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the Master of Arts in Human Development program are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Communicate effectively in a variety of modes.
  2. Promote the common good through a commitment to social responsibility and ethical practices.
  3. Evaluate the efficacy of diverse perspectives, contexts, and ways of knowing.
  4. Apply knowledge, understanding of principles, theories, and concepts to situations.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to continue learning through self-directed, integrated, interdisciplinary scholarship.
  6. Create a new product, project, or model to contribute to the student’s field.

Program Philosophy

The Saint Mary’s University Master of Arts in Human Development program attempts to provide learners with a vehicle that supports the development of an integrated philosophy of life as well as with means to reach that integration. The program encourages the integration of personal and professional experience into the structure of graduate work. Ethics, the hallmark of the graduate curriculum at Saint Mary’s University, is translated into the human development program as social responsibility. The ethic of social responsibility invites the student to move beyond enlightened self-interest to make a commitment to a greater connectedness and sharing of talents with the community at large.

Moreover, values including integrity, social responsibility, honesty, sensitivity, and wonder are viewed as essential to intellectual, emotional, ethical, interpersonal, creative, and spiritual development, which is human development. The program is designed to develop competence in understanding one’s own experience and growth as well as that of others.

Saint Mary’s University encourages in-depth explorations of basic human concerns and the application of that knowledge to social problems as a direct demonstration of the ethic of social responsibility. The structure of the program is based on the premise that much growth occurs in the context of self-directed learning and that rigorous, scholarly study can and must be balanced with experience and a deeper confrontation with theory in terms of personal meaning.

Program Structure and Delivery

The program is designed to meet the individualized needs of adult learners.

Position Paper and Colloquium

At the culmination of the program, the student develops a position paper which serves as the basis for a colloquium. The position paper is an opportunity for the student to take a position on a more substantive area or issue which has been studied in depth during the program. An ethic of social responsibility is addressed specifically in a section in the student’s position paper. An ethic of social responsibility recognizes that self identity and solidarity with humankind are required for the formation of a better world. Position papers are generally 20-30 pages in length.

The master’s colloquium is the forum and rite of passage in which candidates for the Master of Arts in Human Development integrate the various insights gained during their graduate studies, further substantiate the quality and scope of their work, and share their theoretical and experiential knowledge. The spirit of the word colloquium - speaking together - is the spirit in which each colloquium is conducted. Colloquia last 45 minutes and may include lectures, demonstrations, and multimedia presentations. The adviser, second reader, and program director always attend. Other persons of the student’s choice may also be invited including peers, colleagues, faculty, and family.

The Master of Arts in Human Development program is no longer accepting students into the program.  Please see the new program taking its place: Master of Arts in Integrated Studies

Degree Requirements

Required Human Development Courses 4 cr.
Elective Courses 31 cr.
Total 35 cr.


Elective Courses: 31 cr.

The Human Development program offers courses in the following key areas, as identified through student interest and friends among the general population.  Students may take independent study courses in addition to those listed below.


The faculty members for this program have earned doctorate or master’s degrees. Faculty are selected for their combination of educational and professional experience and expertise.

Admission Requirements

Applicants may apply for admission to master’s degree programs at any time during the year. Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and maintained an overall grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale. Applicants must demonstrate the language proficiency necessary for successful graduate coursework. Applicants may complete an interview with a program administrator as part of the admission process.

Application Process

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form with the nonrefundable application fee (fee not required for alumni or students seeking readmission or veterans and active military personnel), and
  2. An official transcript issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution. Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated on a course by course basis by a university accepted evaluation service, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, or One Earth International Credential Evaluators and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards).  Evaluations from an approved member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services ( will also be accepted.
  3. A Supplemental Application.
  4. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.
  5. Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or MELAB accepted.).

Supplemental Application

On separate pages, please answer each of the following as concisely as possible:

  1. Write an autobiography which includes an account of those formal and informal learning experiences which have made the most impact on your life. What are your short-term goals?
  2. What do you intend to accomplish during the course of your graduate study? Set forth an interdisciplinary program, based upon your own needs, strengths, and weaknesses which would provide a balance between practical and theoretical work.
  3. In what areas of your intended plan of study, as described in question #2, would you need close supervision or advising?
  4. Ethics is translated into the Human Development program as social responsibility. The ethic of social responsibility invites students to make a commitment to a greater connectedness and sharing of talents with the community at large. Tell us how you have served your community in the past and what contributions you will make to the community at large in future years.
  5. The graduate program which we offer provides a vehicle around which self-directed learners can structure a set of experiences of quality and substance. Please describe a project, writing, curriculum, or patent that you created and developed.

Please Note: Application materials should be sent to the attention of the Office of Admission on the Twin Cities campus.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Office of Admission
2500 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55404

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