General Education Requirements
Saint Mary’s recognizes that its bachelor’s completion students arrive with educational, work, and life experiences that have already informed their perspectives. As adult learners, students build upon their prior experiences by engaging in coursework that fosters individual development, humanizes practices in the field, and meets the responsibilities and challenges of 21st century citizenship. Coursework in the five general education thematic areas complements professional program expertise and encompasses critical thinking, ethical deliberation, and communicative sensitivity, reflecting Saint Mary’s mission to “awaken, nurture, and empower learners to ethical lives of service and leadership.”
To earn the B.S. degree, a minimum of 30 semester credits for general education must be distributed among the themes as follows:
Creativity and Human Expression (12 cr.): To explore and reflect upon the human spirit and condition by imaginative and expressive means through
- humanities and fine arts (6 cr.), and
- oral and written communications (6 cr.).
Global Human Perspectives (3 cr.): To learn from and with diverse others through
- human diversity, cultural competence, or global viewpoints (3 cr.).
Ethics and Civic Responsibility (6 cr.): To develop a sense of civic responsibility that promotes ethical leadership directed toward social justice and sustainability through
- ethical and civic responsibility (3 cr.), and
- history, and social or behavioral science (3 cr.).
The Natural World (6 cr.): To apply quantitative reasoning and evidence-based inquiry to describe or explain the natural world through
- mathematics (3 cr.) and
- science (3 cr.).
Engaging the Future (3 cr.): To apply integrative problem-solving approaches through
- information literacy, creative problem solving, or interdisciplinary learning (3 cr.).
The general education requirements can be met by
- transferring credit for coursework and/or training (transfer students who have completed the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum with course grades of C or higher are considered to have met Saint Mary’s University general education requirements);
- completing the prior learning assessment (PLA) process to recognize competence through life experiences;
- successfully completing standardized examinations such as CLEP or DSST; and/or
- completing a Saint Mary’s University course aligned with a general education theme.
Credit for Practical Experience (CPE)
Credit for Practical Experience (CPE) is a means for students to receive college-level credit for learning that place in a non-traditional learning environment (e.g. on-the-job training, professional development seminars, volunteerism, etc.). Students enrolled in Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota may earn up to 60 credits of bachelor degree credit through CPE.
Students seeking CPE must first enroll in the “Introduction to CPE” learning module in Canvas. The CPE learning module has no cost, but students must fully complete the module before being eligible to apply for CPE. Students may then apply for credit in a variety of content areas to be evaluated for credit. These content areas include, but are not limited to, Lasallian Catholic mission, Business Administration, Communication, Computer Technical and Digital design, Health and Human Services, and Arts and Humanities. Students may demonstrate evidence of their experience through documentation (such as but not limited to, training certificates, examples of previous job-related work or portfolios, etc.). Students may also obtain CPE by demonstrating competency through a presentation or interview, detailing their experience and skills. The parameters of the presentation will be determined by an assigned rater who will make the determination as to whether or not an appropriate level of learning occurred to assign college-level credit.
Credits may be awarded for demonstrated and verifiable learning only when there is no duplication of credit awarded through the transfer of credit from a previously attended institution(s). While multiple experiences can be applied to the same content area for credit, one experience approved as CPE in one content area cannot be applied to another content area.
CPE credit cost $75 per credit received. Students must be enrolled in a Saint Mary’s University undergraduate degree program. In order to receive CPE, students must be in good academic standing. Graduate and certificate students are not eligible for CPE.
Students are encouraged to meet with the university’s CPE coordinator for more information.