Minnesota State University – Moorhead, also known as MSUM, is a college located in the town of Moorhead. Minnesota announced plans for a new state teaching school called a normal school in the 1880s and settled on Moorhead after receiving donations in the form of both land and money. The Moorhead Normal School opened near the end of that decade and operated until the early 1920s. After the state changed the requirements for teachers to include a bachelor’s degree, MSUM became a state teaching college and introduced a new bachelor’s program in education. Though the college grew as veterans returning from World War II enrolled in classes, it took years until its population reached more than 1,000 students. It now has more than 8,000 enrolled students, and this figure includes more than 500 graduate and doctoral students. The college became Moorhead State University in 1975 and then Minnesota State University – Moorhead after becoming part of the state university school system.
MSUM divides its programs into one of six colleges on campus, and each of those colleges has its own departments as well. The university now offers more than 80 major choices for undergrads and a handful of programs at both the doctoral and graduate levels. Students can enroll in a study abroad program and take courses in parts of Europe, Australia and Asia. Washington Monthly included MSUM on its list of the best graduate schools, and U.S. News & World Report ranked it as one of the best colleges in the Midwest.
The regional accreditation that MSUM has comes from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. With NCACS accreditation, you can feel confident in signing up for classes. Regional accreditation allows you to file the FAFSA and get financial aid from a variety of sources like the federal government and ensures that the university has the right to award you a degree when you complete your studies. MSUM also has specialty accreditation like American Speech Language Hearing Association accreditation for its program in speech and language pathology. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education also awarded the university accreditation for its nursing degree program. MSUM has specialty accreditation from a number of other organizations as well, including the Council on Social Work Education Office of Social Work Accreditation, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering.
When you submit an application and apply to one of the graduate programs at MSUM, its admissions board will send you a letter that states whether the board rejected your application, approved your application or granted you provisional approval. Provisional acceptance means that you must meet some requirements before starting classes in the graduate program. This may mean taking lower level classes or taking several classes to improve your grade point average. No matter which program you want to enter, you must first complete an online application and pay a nonrefundable application fee of $20. You can pay this fee with a credit card or debit card. MSUM lets you sign up for a free account, which you can log into later to check your application status and make changes to your application.
You must also submit an official transcript from the college where you obtained your undergrad degree and any other colleges you attended in the past. Those who graduated from a college within the state’s school system do not need to submit a transcript. The transcript must show that you had a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Other requirements include a short 300 word essay and two letters of recommendation. Those enrolling in one of the education programs need to submit a supplemental application and proof that they have a teaching license.
Tuition and Financial Aid
As a state college, Minnesota State University – Moorhead charges lower tuition rates than you would find at a private college. Tuition for graduate students starts at just $360 per credit hour. This is the rate charged to students who currently live in Minnesota and were residents before classes started. If you live outside of the state, MSUM doubles your tuition rate. All education graduate programs charge $360 for local residents and $720 per credit hour for out of state residents. You must also pay miscellaneous fees of around $40 for each credit hour that you take in a semester.
Though financial aid is available, you’ll need to file the FAFSA during the early spring before your classes start. MSUM will contact you about any scholarships or programs that you qualify for and how you can apply for each one. Most graduate students receive grants and loans, but there are grants available at both the state and federal levels. Those taking a full course load get more financial aid than part time students do. If you enroll in one of the graduate programs part time, you may need to look into alternative or private student loans to pay for your classes.
Master’s in Education in Special Education
The Master of Science in Special Education degree program available from Minnesota State University – Moorhead is an online program designed for current teachers. You can choose from one of five concentrations or emphases: developmental disabilities, early childhood special education, emotional and behavioral disorders, physical health disabilities or learning disabilities. You will need to choose your concentration at the same time that you enroll in your first semester. The university requires that you take a minimum of 14 credit hours of courses within your concentration. This better prepares you for working with those students once you leave the program.
In addition to your concentration requirements, you will also take 20 credit hours of general education classes, which the university refers to as its education core. Those classes include one on research methods that teaches you how to put your research into practice and a course that looks at leading theories on how those in the education field can work together in and out of the classroom. Another course looks at the policies used by special education classes and schools in the United States. Minnesota State University – Moorhead requires that all special education graduate students have a valid teaching license before enrolling.