U Senate looks at credit policy

Students will have to take at least half of their major credits at the University.

by Matt Graham

Some students say a proposed credit requirement change for transfer students makes sense, despite inconvenience.

The University Senate passed an amendment last week regarding transfer students and the credit requirements for their majors.

University administration still has to adopt the change.

If passed, students who transfer will now have to take at least half of the credits in their majors at the degree-awarding campus.

Transfer students’ minor requirements have also been changed to ensure at least three upper-division credits in the minor field must be taken at the school awarding the degree.

The amendment is not retroactive, and students who have already transferred here will be unaffected.

This replaces the old rule, which required transfer students to take 30 University credits, 24 of which had to be taken after declaring a major.

Under the old rules, it was not necessary for credits taken after transferring to relate to the student’s major, if those credits had been awarded elsewhere.

The new regulations affect students switching campuses within the University system as well as students coming from outside.

The University Senate first looked at changing the rule to clear up the policy’s wording.

“There was some internal confusion with the use of the word ‘college,’ and we figured we might as well also change the credit rule,” said Craig Swan, vice provost for undergraduate education and University Senate Educational Policy Committee member.

Swan said the policy change was an anticipatory move made on principle rather than a response to a specific problem.

“If you say you’re a math major, you should get your math credits here,” he said.

Chris Lund, a University of Southern California transfer student and studies in cinema and media culture junior, said he understands why the change was made.

“It makes sense that if you get a degree from the University of Minnesota, you actually earn that degree here,” he said. “I’m surprised they didn’t have the rule before.”

Andrea Gervais, a nutrition junior and transfer student from Johnson and Wales University in South Carolina, said transfer students already have complications with their credits.

“The University (of Minnesota) wouldn’t even accept a lot of my (general education credits),” she said.

She said transfer students often already have to retake credits here they have completed elsewhere but that the rule change still seems reasonable.

“Two-thirds (of major credits) or more would be a lot, but half isn’t bad,” Gervais said.