FAQs What is a contract? + More Courses and independent studies are wrapped up in a series of contracts. Students usually complete 4 or 5 contracts during their program. A contract is usually 7-10 credits worth of courses and independent studies. How long does it take to complete the program? + More Students can proceed through the program at their own pace, and usually finish between 2 and 3 years. The minimum pace to qualify for federal financial aid is one credit per month (i.e., a 6-credit contract in 6 months). This is a half-time credit load. Some students prefer to go full-time, which is 2 credits per month. Students must finish within a 5-year time span. What are the required courses? + More There are 4 credits of required courses: HD690 The Process of Human Development (2 credits) - First class of the program. HD691 Ethics and Social Responsibility (1 credit) - Taken at any time during the program. HD698 Writing the Position Paper (1 credit) - Taken at the end of the program. Helps students write their final project for the masters. How often is the HD690 The Process of Human Development offered? + More This five-day course usually consists of a Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 6:00-9:00 p.m., Friday from 1:00-9:00 p.m, and Saturday from 9:00-3:00 p.m. The main assignment in this course is the completion of the first learning contract. This is the entry course for the program. It is offered on the Minneapolis campus once each semester (three times a year), and offered in Rochester and Winona as needed. What is the advisor and how do I get one? + More The advisor is a faculty member who guides students through the program. They help with contracts and evaluating independent study work. Students keep the same advisor throughout the program. The program director pairs advisors with students during their first course, HD690. Where do I take courses? + More The majority of the courses are offered in the Minneapolis campus of Saint Mary’s. Some courses are also offered in Winona and Rochester. A growing number of courses are offered 100% online. Do I have to live in the area to take this program? + More No. The only course taken face-to-face is HD690 The Process of Human Development, which is taken over five days. The other two required courses, and several other courses, are offered online. How much does it cost? + More Tuition per credit hour is listed here. Occasionally, there is a small fee to take a course. How many credits can be transferred into the program? + More A maximum of six credits. The credits must be from a graduate program at an accredited university, and must be less than ten years old. How do I start? + More Complete the online application form (a $25 fee accompanies the application), along with 2 letters of recommendation, transcripts, a short bio, and resume. There is often an interview by the program director before the admission decision. Once admitted, students choose when to register for HD690 The Process of Human Development, the first class of the program. This class is offered once each semester on the Minneapolis campus. Are there resources available from the university? + More Yes. These resources are explained in the first course. The Twin Cities Library has a massive online collection, and reference librarians who will help you find the information you need. The Writing Center has many tools, including tutors, who will help you be a better writer. The Writing Center staff is available online, by phone, and in person. SMU Central is the one-stop for student needs, including questions about registration, billing, financial aid, and other issues. The program director and program coordinator are available to help with student questions and needs. Once you are admitted to the program, you will get access to Blackboard, our online communication system. Blackboard has a myriad of resources available for students, including templates for contracts, a three-year calendar of Human Development courses, the program handbook, and other materials.