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Minor - Research Master's



To define the requirements for a minor in a research master’s degree program (M.A. or M.S.).


Academic Goal

To allow students pursuing a research master’s degree (M.A. or M.S.) to be properly recognized for a formal program of study in a field related to, but separate from their graduate major program.



All students in research master’s degree programs (M.A., M.S.).

Policy Statement

  1. A master’s minor must require no fewer than 6 credits in a field related to, but different from, that of the student’s graduate major program. A preponderance of courses should be at the 500 level; at a minimum, 3 credits must be at the 500 level.
  2. A minor may be taken in one of the approved graduate degree programs offered at Penn State, or in one of the stand-alone graduate minors approved by Graduate Council.
  3. An M.A. or M.S. degree candidate is not required by Graduate Council to have a minor field of study. A department or committee in charge of a major program may require a candidate to complete work in a minor field, or the minor may be elected with the permission of the student's committee.
  4. A master’s student seeking a minor must have the approval of his or her graduate major program of study, the minor program, and the Graduate School.
  5. The student’s graduate major program is responsible for judging the suitability of the minor field and of its relevance to the student’s graduate major.
  6. The minor field department has the responsibility of accepting or rejecting students, advising on courses to be taken by the candidate in the field, examining the candidate in the area of studies undertaken in the field, and certifying that the minor requirements have been met.
  7. A student may not pursue more than three minors at one time. If a student pursues more than one minor, each minor must have a separate group of courses to support it (i.e., none of the courses may be applied to more than one minor’s requirements).


Official requests to add a master's minor to a student’s academic record must be submitted to Graduate Enrollment Services at least one semester prior to the semester the student intends to graduate.


insert_drive_file Request to Add Graduate Minor (PDF)|(DOC)

Further Information

Graduate Council-Approved Stand-Alone Graduate Minors

Revision History

Adapted from Graduate Bulletin: July 2018

This page was generated on March 27, 2023 at 8:05 PM local time. This may not be the most recent version of this page. Check the Penn State Graduate School website for updates.