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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Commonly Asked Questions

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Commonly Asked Questions


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About the Master's Program in Experiential Education at Minnesota State University, Mankato

What do I have to do to be admitted?

Interested persons apply to the College of Graduate Studies with an online application, application fee, official undergraduate transcripts showing a GPA of 3.0 or higher, immunization documentation, and a personal statement. Once application materials have been collected by the Graduate College, the application is forwarded to the Coordinator of the Experiential Education program for acceptance approval. Once accepted, the department will send you a letter of notification and your new assigned advisor within the Department of Educational Leadership. The letter will ask you to make personal contact with your new advisor in order to begin to outline your individualized Plan of Study.

Is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required?

There are no examination requirements for acceptance.

When can I start the program?

You can begin the program during any semester of the academic year, including summer terms. However, there are rarely ExEd prefix courses offered in summers due the high number of students who are away from Mankato completing independent learning credits. There may be other options for summer coursework that you can discuss with your advisor.

Where and when do classes take place?

Classes for the Master's in Experiential Education degree (ExEd prefixes) have traditionally been held at the main campus in Mankato where they usually meet weekly for about 3 hours as evening classes   Mondays -  Thursdays.
Beginning in Summer 2017, some ExEd classes will be offered at MSU's Edina -Twin Cities metro site.  For either site, some classes for the Master's in Educational Leadership (EdLd prefixes) can be included in your degree plan and are offered as hybrid classes that meet in either Mankato or at the Edina -Twin Cities metro site.

What can I receive credit for?

 This is a question that can only be answered individually. Generally, credit is granted for new learning experiences that are personally and professionally relevant to the career goals of the individual. Credit is not granted for experiences that you have done before or that were undertaken before acceptance into the program. However, most new experiences that are connected with your personal and professional growth can generate credit.

How much coursework do I have to take?

The M.S. degree consists of 34 credits. At a minimum, Experiential Education students are required to take three "classroom-based" graduate courses with ExEd prefixes within the Educational Leadership Department (9 graduate credits). These three courses or seminars will constitute the core requirement for the MS in ExEd program. Additional course credits can be earned within the Department as ExEd or EdLd prefix courses either on campus or at MSU's satellite site in Edina. Up to 10 credits can be taken outside the Department through MSU or transferred in from another university.

Can I transfer credit into the program?

A maximum of 10 semester graduate credits, all of which must be related to the program (with a grade of "B" or better), may be transferred from other accredited colleges or universities. All credit counting toward an MSU graduate degree, including all transferred credit, must be completed within a six year time limit. With adequate pre-planning, a maximum of 16 semester credits of graduate credit may be transferred from other Minnesota State universities.

Do you have any Graduate Assistantships?

We apply for funding for our graduate assistantships each year, so assistantship positions are not always available. However, we have been approved to offer either a halftime or fulltime position for the past several years that is focused on teaching undergraduate sections of Introduction to Experiential Education and helping with marketing of the ExEd program. We usually complete our hiring process no later than April of each year for the following Fall semester. Our assistantships, plus others that are available, can be found at:

How about internships and other training opportunities?

We do not offer technical skills training on campus. Students who want to improve their technical skills have several options to earn credit for internships and other skills training. Your advisor can help identify some of these options for you. We strongly encourage individuals to set their own internship possibilities.

How marketable is this degree? What kind of a job will I get?

Since our program is so individually tailored, it is impossible to give a definite answer to this question. However, our graduates are among the national leaders in experiential education. Some own and operate their own programs. Others are in public schools or university positions. Others are working for various non-profit, for profit, or privately-owned experience-based education programs. You can learn more about career possibilities from the websites of the Association for Experiential Education ( and  Also take a look at the National Society for Experiential Education (, and their job postings at: (

How appropriate is the Experiential Education Master's program as a foundation for doctoral work?

Graduates of the Experiential Education Master's degree at Minnesota State, Mankato have experienced a high admission rate into doctoral programs. Some of the fields they have entered include Educational Leadership, Higher Ed Administration & Policy, Curriculum and Instruction, Recreation,  Kinesiology, and Educational Neuroscience. A partial list of universities that our students have attended for doctoral work include: University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, Harvard University, University of Washington, The Union Institute, University of Virginia and others.

I am interested in experiential learning but I am not an outdoors person. Is there room for non–outdoors types?

Absolutely! Although our historical roots are in outdoors settings, experiential education is widely applicable to all educational settings -- outdoors, indoors, or otherwise.

Is there anything else I should know?

It is the student's responsibility to know all pertinent Graduate College policies. These can be found in the Graduate Bulletin:, the Graduate Studies Student Resources webpage: and in the New Student Online Orientation: