Undergraduate Student Handbook 2020 - 2021
Notice to Students
The Minerva Schools at KGI (hereafter referred to as Minerva) reserves the right to make changes to policies, rules and regulations related to academic, financial, and other related matters affecting students at any time. These changes may involve such matters as tuition and fees, courses, degrees and programs offered, degree and other academic requirements, academic policies, rules pertaining to student conduct and discipline, fields or areas of concentration, and other rules and regulations applicable to students. Notification of any significant policy change is made to the student body via The Week and the Community Portal. Revisions are also made in the most current version of the Student Handbook available on the Hub.
Please direct questions about the information in this Student Handbook to email@example.com.
Mission and Values
Our Mission: Nurturing critical wisdom for the sake of the world
The Minerva Schools at KGI offer an unparalleled educational program designed to prepare our students to be exceptional problem solvers and decision makers, able to work together to develop new and effective ways to address the most complex challenges faced by society. The Minerva educational journey has been designed to enhance student learning outcomes providing an environment of deep intellectual learning paired with a breadth of experiences to develop our students holistically.
The undergraduate education is interdisciplinary and multidimensional. It develops students’ intellects across disciplines, imparts critical life skills, builds professional capabilities, and reinforces key aspects of personal character. We strive to put students on a strong trajectory that continues to accelerate after graduation. Our greatest satisfaction is seeing and celebrating the accomplishments of our graduates.
Our Guiding Principles
These principles work with one another, adding a dimension to our work and decision making, and when all the principles work together the results are extraordinary.
Our Integrated Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
Minerva seeks to provide a living and learning environment that promotes personal growth and development, fosters students’ self-sufficiency, values wellness, builds community and responsibility, and prepares students for their next steps after graduation. Minerva has adopted five related learning outcomes in which students are expected to develop over time. They represent the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes that students will develop through the synthesis of academic and non-academic learning experiences.
We believe that learning experiences at Minerva should be holistic and cohesive so that learning in class is connected to and reinforced by learning out of class, and vice versa. Therefore the outcomes expressed here are also reflected in Habits of Mind and Foundational Concepts that are introduced and applied in the first year and throughout students’ four years of study.
The five ILOs are:
Self-Management and Wellness: Students practice self-sufficiency and effective help-seeking, and develop skills for self-efficacy, resilience, stress management, and the capacity to balance self-care with responsibilities.
Interpersonal Engagement: Students practice self-awareness and emotional intelligence to interact and communicate effectively with groups and individuals, and to contribute to others around them in positive ways.
Intercultural Competency: Students demonstrate a complex and nuanced understanding of themselves and others as cultural beings and work continuously towards recognizing new perspectives regarding their own and other cultural norms, biases, and world views. Students exhibit the ability to adapt to new environments and become acquainted quickly with the cultural norms of their surroundings. Students build a global network of cross-cultural relationships through interacting effectively with diverse communities, organizations and people.
Professional Development: Students develop the mindsets, behaviors, and competencies needed to create and pursue meaningful lives and careers. Students understand their values, strengths, motivators and interests and how those map to different professional opportunities. Students take responsibility for developing short- and long-term goals for professional learning and development and authentically engaging their networks in pursuit of their chosen professional pursuits.
Civic Responsibility: Students take initiative to make a positive difference in the communities in which they live, work, and encounter. Students learn about local and global challenges, recognizing the potential impact that they have in various settings. Students develop a sense of responsibility to improve the lives of others through being informed and active participants in society.
A more detailed description of each ILO, showing connections to the Habits of Mind and Foundation Concepts that are embedded in the first-year curriculum is provided on the Hub.
A Brief History of Minerva
Minerva’s founder Ben Nelson first conceived of what eventually became Minerva in 1993 as a plan to reinvent an Ivy League university to better prepare graduates for the twenty-first century. Today’s great American universities were founded on the notion of liberal arts education, the idea that a university education meant that its graduates were well prepared to lead the important institutions in society by knowing how to think deeply, while also being well versed in a variety of subjects and possessing deep knowledge in an area of their choosing. Minerva maintains that the best educational institutions have an important role in training future leaders and educating students as great citizens of the world. The faculty and staff at Minerva believe passionately that universities must embrace more of their original intent by offering a purposeful education for their students and adopting curricular and pedagogical structures and practices that help students to learn most effectively.
In 2012, Nelson partnered with Benchmark Capital to create a new university experience based on these venerable ideals in a modern, global context. Minerva (named after the Roman goddess of wisdom) was announced publicly in April 2012. In 2013, the Minerva Project formed an alliance with Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) to incubate the Minerva Schools. KGI is an ideal partner for Minerva because both have a general emphasis on scientific, translational approaches to education. Like the other KGI schools, the Minerva Schools are empirically oriented and rely on students’ mastering sophisticated analytic tools. Also in keeping with the general KGI mission and approach, the Minerva Schools are highly interdisciplinary and global, emphasizing team building, collaboration, active learning, and deep student engagement.
Minerva Schools launched in fall 2014 with 29 students in its Founding Class. More than one hundred students enrolled in fall 2015 as the Inaugural Class. These two groups of talented and pioneering students joined together to become the first graduating class in May 2019. In fall 2020, Minerva will enroll its seventh first-year class, have a total enrollment of ~600 students, and more than sixty faculty members and dozens of staff members located all over the world.
A Brief History of KGI
The Claremont Colleges were formally established in 1925 under the direction of James Blaisdell, then President of Pomona College. Its constitution included a commitment to “found and develop new colleges and educational institutions or programs” as needs were identified and resources were made available. Seventy-two years later, Henry E. Riggs, then President of Harvey Mudd College, identified the need that would lead to the founding of Keck Graduate Institute, the seventh and newest of the Claremont Colleges. The vision was a simple one: the world needs scientists and engineers who can help translate basic scientific discoveries into practical applications that will improve the health of people.
KGI was founded in 1997 with a $50 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation. KGI initially developed the nation’s first two-year professional science master’s degree, the Master of Business and Science (MBS) degree, which has become a model for more than 300 such programs that have been created since 2000 at colleges and universities across the country. This degree program is designed to educate scientifically oriented individuals for leadership roles in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and diagnostics industries through an applied curriculum that integrates science, engineering, management, and bioethics. The curriculum emphasizes inquiry, project-based learning, and team building.
KGI now has more than a dozen degree programs, including a Postdoctoral Professional Master of Bioscience Management, a Master of Science in Applied Life Sciences, a Master of BioEngineering, an MBA in Biotechnology with Biocon in India, two Master’s degrees in Genetics — Human Genetics and Genetics Counseling, and Human Genetics and Genomic Data Analytics — and a joint master’s program with City of Hope in Translational Medicine. In addition, KGI offers two doctoral degrees: a PhD in Applied Life Sciences and a Doctor of Pharmacy. In 2013, the Minerva Schools at KGI were created through an affiliation between KGI and Minerva Project. MSKGI offers the Bachelor’s degree with five undergraduate majors and a Master of Science degree in Decision Analysis. For more information on KGI’s programs, see www.kgi.edu.
The Minerva Schools at KGI are part of Keck Graduate Institute (KGI), which is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC or WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, #100, Alameda, CA 94501, (510) 748-9001. Accreditation for a period of eight years was affirmed by the Commission in June 2018.
WSCUC approved the relationship between KGI and Minerva Project, the offering of undergraduate degrees at KGI through the Minerva Schools with majors in Arts and Humanities, Business, Computational Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences, and one graduate degrees, the Master of Science in Decision Analysis (MDA).
Minerva Institute for Research and Scholarship, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit institution is seeking accreditation for the Minerva Schools so that they become a freestanding educational institution operating as Minerva University. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and Universities Commission asks that Minerva post the following statement to describe the current status.
The Minerva Institute for Research and Scholarship has applied for Eligibility from the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). WSCUC has reviewed the application and determined that the institution is eligible to proceed with an Application for Accreditation. A determination of Eligibility is not a formal status with the WASC Senior College and University Commission, nor does it ensure eventual accreditation. It is a preliminary finding that the institution is potentially accreditable and can proceed within five years of its Eligibility determination to be reviewed for Candidacy or Initial Accreditation status with the Commission. Questions about Eligibility may be directed to the institution or to WSCUC at https://www.wscuc.org/contact or (510) 748-9001.
Minerva operates on the semester system, with two 15-week semesters in one academic year. No formal summer session is offered at the undergraduate level. The following are the academic calendars for 2020-21, by year of study and city in the global rotation location:
Foundation Year (First Year/San Francisco)
Second, Third and Fourth Year (Seoul / Berlin / London)
Hyderabad / Buenos Aires / Taipei Calendar
Manifest (for Graduating Seniors in Class of M2021) Calendar
Tuition and Fees, 2020-21
Students are responsible for all costs associated with attending Minerva. Students are encouraged to live in Minerva student housing and to be in the city assigned to their class. Those who are granted permission to live in independent housing in the same city as the Minerva residence are charged an adjusted Residential Services fee to cover the costs of their access to resources and services. Students who are granted permission to attend remotely are charged a remote fee and a remote Student Life fee in addition to tuition but are not charged Residential Services Fees.
Estimated Annual Costs
|Tuition and Fees|
|Per-credit tuition rate for attempted courses above 120 semester credits|
Residential Services Fee
For costs related to residential life including rent, taxes, liability insurance, enhanced internet connectivity, furniture, and personnel costs in residence halls.
Independent Housing Fee
For students who live in a Minerva city but
not in Minerva housing. For costs associated with expenses related to services other than rent.
Student Life Fee
For costs of integrated learning, experiential city immersion, co-curriculars, and community activities, orientations, and Counseling and Psychological Services. Charged to all students in global rotation cities.
Remote Student Life Fee
For costs of experiential learning, co-curriculars, community activities, orientations, and psychological services provided remotely to students in 2020-21.
For administrative costs associated with deviating from the assigned global rotation.
|Manifest Fees (for graduating seniors only; see more information below)||
Student Life/Graduation Fee: $950
$26,950 for two semester residential students
$15,950 for two semester remote students
Graduating fourth-year students:
$30,900 if in residence in Minerva housing during Manifest
$29,650 if not in Minerva housing in San Francisco during Manifest (presence in SF is required)
|Estimated Food, Local Transportation, Books and Supplies**|
Students 22-years-old and under:
$559.18/semester including Manifest (M2021 only)
$892.06/semester including Manifest (M2021 only)
Geo Blue Insurance-Students in non-US Minerva Cities
|Total Estimated Costs, including food, local transportation and supplies BUT excluding visas, insurance, travel expenses to and from locations||
$31,950 Second-Year Students in Seoul and Hyderabad
$31,950 Third-Year Students in Berlin and Buenos Aires
$35,900 Fourth-Year Students in London and Taipei including Manifest
*These costs are variable by student and are paid directly by students to others, not to KGI, e.g., travel to and from global cities.
**Many learning materials are provided free of charge.
*** Students in one of Minerva’s cities are required to carry and pay for health insurance. These prices are for policies that Minerva has arranged at cost. Insurance is also available for students in summer. Costs for summer 2021 are $451.94 (May 1, 2021 – August 26, 2021) in San Francisco and $125.75 (monthly) in other locations.
In addition to expenses described above, all students are required to submit a one-time security deposit of $1,000 to cover any damages to a residence hall caused by students, excess cleaning costs in housing, unpaid invoices at the end of each year, and any other expenses incurred on behalf of a student by Minerva. The security deposit charge appears on a student’s first fall term bill.
At the end of each academic year, Minerva assesses damages and excess cleaning costs after each semester and informs the student of these charges. At the end of each academic year, they are charged to their security deposit, as described above. The student must replenish the deposit in order to start each school year with a $1,000 security deposit balance. Each year, the security deposit is retained and rolled over to the next academic year until a student graduates or withdraws from school, in which case the balance is returned.
Manifest is the final term for fourth-year graduating students, held during the month of May. Students return to San Francisco for Manifest, present their Capstone projects, participate in final assessment activities, and participate in graduation and commencement exercises. Participation in Manifest is required. (See The Minerva Capstone and Manifest or more information.)
The following charges for Manifest will be applied to graduating seniors’ spring term bill.
San Francisco Housing $1,250
Fees (Graduation and Commencement Activities
and Student Life) $950
Students will be charged these tuition and fees on the spring 2021 term bill and if found ineligible to attend Manifest will have these fees returned in full.
Students will also be required to carry health insurance to cover Manifest. Health insurance for one month is $118.73 for the month of May 2021.
Part-time Study and Deviations from the Four-Year Program
Students pay eight semesters of full-time tuition, which covers up to 120 attempted semester credits. Students who take any credits beyond 120 attempted semester credits will be charged tuition under the following pricing schedule:
$500 per semester credit hour
$1,000 for a two-credit course
$2,000 for a four-credit course
Students taking a reduced course load will be charged at the full-time rate for the first eight semesters. Tuition for additional semesters will be charged once 120 credits have been attempted.
Exceeding 120 Credit Hours
Students who exceed 120 attempted credit hours will be charged the semester credit rate for all credit hours attempted above 120 credit hours (not including alternative credits such as IL199). Attempted credits include all courses with non-passing grades, or “W” and “AW” drops. Credit hours for research/internship credit (IL199), transfer credit, or prior learning assessment credit (IL190) are not considered as “attempted” credits and will not be counted toward the 120 maximum credit hours excess tuition charge.
Students who take more than 120 attempted semester credits are not eligible for financial aid towards tuition for the excess credits even if they are taking a full-time load.
Housing for students is only guaranteed for a total of eight semesters while at Minerva and only in the student’s assigned city. Students who need to take courses beyond 120 credit hours are not eligible for housing. Students on an F-1 visa should consult with a Designated School Official to discuss their visa status for enrollment beyond 120 semester credits.
The Global Rotation
GENERAL POLICIES: Minerva must sign legal agreements committing us to pay for housing well in advance of the time when students in each city, therefore we require that students commit to housing by March 31 for the next academic year. If you commit to Minerva housing at a location, you will pay for that housing whether or not you move into and live in that housing. Upon making your choice and signing this document, you are committing to pay for the designated housing and all tuition and fees for the next academic year. Housing and fees are nonrefundable. Tuition is refundable on the schedule published below in this handbook. We urge you to participate in the full global rotation. Living, studying, and immersing yourself in each of the cities in the global rotation is an invaluable part of the Minerva learning experience. Please understand that if you opt-out of residential services at a location and later change your mind, it is unlikely that there will be space for you in our housing. Advanced students who request to live in a Minerva city other than their scheduled on-rotation city before the March 31 housing commitment deadline are not guaranteed Minerva housing and may be offered a bed in Minerva housing only if there is availability. Students who live in Minerva housing will pay the full cost of housing for that city.
Students who commit to housing and then choose to move to another Minerva city instead will be responsible for paying for their housing costs in both the scheduled rotation city under the signed residential agreement, and for the housing and residential fees in their new chosen city. Students living in Minerva housing will be responsible for paying the full residential cost. Students living in independent housing will pay an adjusted housing and residential services fee to cover the non-rent-related services provided. If arriving mid-semester, the independent residential services fee will be prorated to reflect the duration of the stay. If a student’s move to another city is not voluntary (e.g., if a visa for a Minerva city is denied through no fault of the student), the student will be allowed to opt out of housing in that city and will be provided Minerva housing, if available, in another Minerva city.
THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC/Academic Year 2020-21 ONLY: Because of the global pandemic this year, Minerva has modified the policy above. At the time that this Handbook is being published, it is not clear which cities Minerva will be able to operate in during the year. In keeping with Minerva’s desire to protect students’ health and safety and to mitigate financial and other impacts of this global crisis on students, Minerva has allowed students until June 15 to change the choices that they made in March and to study remotely. Further, if Minerva is not operating in a city, students will be permitted (where this is feasible) to study in another Minerva city if they so choose. Finally, as always, students who choose to be in a Minerva city but are unable to obtain a visa or to travel to the city because of travel restrictions or flight limitations will be given a full refund of the associated fees and will pay only the remote fees.
Normally, if you are an F-1 student and do not live in one of the Minerva cities currently on rotation, your F-1 student status will be affected in that you are no longer classified under federal regulations as a residential student and therefore not entitled by federal law to have an active I-20. This status also affects your eligibility to participate in Curricular Practical Training (CPT) in the U.S. over the summer and in Optional Practical Training (OPT) when you graduate. However, because of the pandemic, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) issued guidance allowing students to maintain their F-1 status while studying remotely when there is an institutional decision about remote or hybrid operation. It is unknown at the time of this publication if this temporary relief from residential requirements will continue to be extended by the SEVP.
Students who opt out may visit a Minerva city and attend student experience events for up to three weeks total. Students who exceed this three-week period will be charged the independent housing fee for that city.
Students are normally billed twice a year on the following dates:
|Billing Date||Due Date|
Students are responsible for paying their bills by these dates. If someone else is paying the student’s bill, the student must ensure that timely payments are made. In order for a student to register for courses each term, tuition and fees must be paid in full. Any unpaid balance results in a hold placed on diplomas and course registration until the balance is paid in full.
*Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the timeline for issuing and paying bills for fall has been extended. Term bills are being issued June 30 and will be due July 15.
- First-semester Tuition (minus $500 admission deposit for first-year students)
- First-semester Residential Services Fee or Independent Housing Fee or Remote Fee
- First-semester Student Life Fee or Remote Student Life Fee
- First-semester health insurance premiums
- First-semester non-qualified scholarship tax withholdings, if applicable^
- Refundable security deposit of $1,000 (first-year students only)
Due no later than November 30:
- Second-semester Tuition
- Second-semester Residential Services Fee or Independent Housing Fee or Remote Fee
- Second-semester Student Life fee or Remote Student Life Fee
- Second-semester health insurance premiums
- Second-semester non-qualified scholarship tax withholdings, if applicable^
Due no later than March 31:
- Manifest Tuition (fourth-year students only)
- Manifest Residential Life Fee (fourth-year students only)
- Manifest Student Life Fee (fourth-year students only)
^More information regarding non-qualified scholarship tax withholdings can be found here.
Minerva offers four payment options:
1. Online transfer from a domestic (US) account
2. Online transfer from an international (non-US) account
3. Direct wire transfer
4. US check
Payment instructions are also sent with each invoice.
While online transfers are often completed within 24 hours, direct wire transfers and check delivery can take up to ten days. Please start your payment early to avoid late payment fees.
Payment by Online Transfer from a Domestic (US) Account
Online payments from domestic accounts are processed by Tuition Management Systems (TMS.) To start a payment with TMS, enter your invoice through a direct link, or through Prepare if paying a term bill. Scroll to the “Amount Due Today” box and select “US Bank” from the “Transfer Type” drop-down menu. Click “Pay Now” to be directed to the TMS payment website. Follow the prompts to complete your payment.
You will be given the option to make your payment by “eCheck” (bank transfer) or Credit Card. The fees associated with the credit card transfer reflect the type of card used and are not set by Minerva. All fees are retained by TMS.
Once your payment has been completed, the status of your term bill should change from “Currently Due” to “Paid,” and the payment should appear in the ‘Payments/Credits’ section of the invoice as pending. This pending status will be removed once TMS has received the funds from your bank account.
In some cases, TMS takes several days to withdraw the funds from your bank account. If you are concerned about your payment, please contact TMS.
Payment by Online Transfer from an International (Non-US) Account
Online payments from non-US bank accounts are processed by Flywire. To start a payment with Flywire, enter your invoice through a direct link, or through Prepare if paying a term bill. Scroll to the “Amount Due Today” box and select “Non-US Bank” from the “Transfer Type” drop-down menu. Click “Pay Now” to be directed to the Flywire payment website. Follow the prompts to complete your payment. You will then be prompted to select the country of payment origin and sign into your Flywire account.
Funds can be transferred electronically to Flywire, or deposited into a Flywire account through a transaction made at your bank.
Once your payment has been completed, the status of your term bill should change from “Currently Due” to “Paid,” and the payment should appear in the “Payments/Credits” section of the invoice as pending. This pending status will be removed once Flywire has received the funds from your bank account.
Payment by Direct Wire
If you would like to send your payment to Mineva by direct wire, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for full account details and instructions. Please remember that direct wire can take up to ten days to process.
Payment by Check
Checks addressed to Keck Graduate Institute can be sent to Minerva Schools at KGI, Office of the Bursar and mailed to 1145 Market Street, Ninth Floor, San Francisco CA USA 94103. Please be sure that all checks have the student’s name or ID number included so payment can be correctly applied to the invoice. If a payment is for multiple invoices, please specify which bills are being settled (e.g., Spring Term Bill or Fall Damages Charge).
Late Payments and Late Fees
If full payment is not received by the due date, a late payment penalty of 1.5% of the amount past due is assessed. Expected financial aid (that is, aid that has been accepted but not disbursed) will reduce the total amount due prior to late fees being applied.
If the payment is more than 30 days past due, a financial hold will be placed on the student account. Such holds may result in any or all of the following: (1) block further visa processing; (2) bar the student from attending classes and turning in assignments; (3) withhold diplomas and other academic information or credentials; (4) bar the student from Minerva housing; (5) suspend all services and privileges; (6) suspend the student; (7) assign the student debt to a collection agency (students who have been assigned to an outside collection agency may be required to pay in advance for all future registrations and services); and (8) report the student to a credit bureau. Please note that a students’ security deposit may also be used toward an unpaid balance.
Unless special circumstances have been approved in writing by the Office of the Bursar, once a payment is more than 60 days past due or a balance owed for an upcoming term is not paid prior to the start of that term, one of the following actions will be taken:
- Incoming first-year students will be withdrawn from Minerva and must reapply for admission in the following academic year.
- Continuing students will be blocked from course registration for the upcoming term.
Installment Payment Plan
Students may arrange to pay tuition and fees on an installment plan. The total amount due is payable in three installments. A service fee of 4% of the total amount of tuition and fees charged to the student for the year is added to the first installment. Please see the following table for term bill installment plan due dates:
|Installment||Fall Term Bill||Spring Term Bill|
*Note that the usual payment due date is June 30 but has been adjusted because of the global pandemic in 2020-21 only.
To set up an installment plan, enter the invoice through Prepare and click the “Minerva Installment Plan” link.
Withdrawal and Refund Schedule
If a student withdraws from Minerva Schools at KGI, tuition is refunded on the following schedule. Please note that Residential Services and Student Life fees are non-refundable. Students’ security deposit is refundable after deductions for the costs of repair for any damages and excess cleaning to housing, other charges incurred for a student by Minerva, and all open invoices are paid. The date of withdrawal is defined as the date that Minerva receives a statement of withdrawal in writing from the student. Reductions of student loans are returned directly to the lenders of the funds.
|Date of Withdrawal||Refund Percentage|
Leave of Absence Payments
Students taking a leave of absence after having signed the Enrollment and Housing Commitment in March for the following school year are responsible for paying the Residential and Student Life fees for that academic year. Any late fees owed must also be paid. If a deferral (for first-year students) or a leave of absence (for an advanced student) is approved prior to the first day of classes, tuition will not be charged. Please see the Withdrawal and Refund Schedule above for further information regarding tuition refunds after this time. Student security deposits will be held until the student graduates or formally and permanently withdraws.
Minerva follows a need-blind admissions policy. This means that students are admitted without regard to their need for financial aid and that applying for financial aid does not affect admissions decisions. Minerva offers financial aid regardless of country of origin — everyone with demonstrated financial need is eligible. Minerva develops individualized financial aid packages that are issued as a combination of: Minerva-provided low-interest student loans, term-time employment opportunities with Minerva through our Work Study Program, and need-based scholarships. Please note that financial aid does not cover the costs of travel, visas, health insurance, and other incidental expenses.
Students who are granted work study as part of their financial aid package are matched to a position that meets their knowledge, skills, and interests. Students are paid on an hourly basis and may work up to 7.5 hours a week during the school year. The number of hours worked for the year must not exceed 225 hours and must not exceed an average of 7.5 hours/week during term time. As the total amount earned for a work-study position is based on the actual number of hours a student works each pay period, the full amount of projected work-study earnings is not guaranteed. Hours not worked during the term cannot be worked in the summer break. The last day of work-study for the academic year is April 23.
Financial aid may be revoked for students in cases where students engage in plagiarism, cheating, falsification, or fabrication of information, including dishonest information or statements made on financial aid applications and on their work-study reporting. In addition, such students are subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct.
Financial aid is funded by the Minerva Institute for Research and Scholarship and is not funded by Keck Graduate Institute.
Financial Aid Application Process for Current Students
Step 1: Complete the Minerva Financial Aid Questionnaire in the Financial Aid Center
Step 2: Upload supporting documents to the Financial Aid Center
Scan and upload the following documents:
- Tax Returns
- Your parents’ two most recent tax returns (including non-custodial parents)
- Your two most recent tax returns (if applicable)
- Bank Statements
- A copy of your parents’ four most recent bank statements (including non-custodial parents) for all bank accounts in their names (checking, savings, investments, etc.)
- Any other documents verifying the information provided in the Financial Aid Questionnaire
Current students must observe the financial aid due date as shown on the financial aid page of our website, which is usually in late February. Late applications will be accepted until April 1, 2021 and might incur a late application fee. Applications after this deadline will only be accepted in extenuating circumstances, and students who submit after the deadline may be found ineligible for Minerva Scholarships.
All students must reapply for financial aid each year so that Minerva has the most up-to-date financial profile for students and their families.
The Financial Aid Office reserves the right to void any award and to recommend disciplinary action against the student if it is determined that the student or parent provided incomplete, incorrect, false, or misleading information on the financial aid application or in supporting documentation. Further, if it is determined that the student misrepresented the number of hours worked in a work study position, the student’s award will be voided, the student will lose financial aid privileges, and the student may be subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct.
Financial Aid and Part-Time Study
Students who take more than 120 attempted semester credits are not eligible for financial aid for the excess credits or time enrolled at Minerva even if they are taking a full-time load.
Financial Aid and Housing Allocations
Financial aid is based on the anticipated cost of attendance. Students who deviate from their scheduled rotation, elect to live in independent housing, or elect to study remotely may have their financial aid packages adjusted as the cost of attendance has changed. More information on financial aid adjustments can be found here.
External Scholarships Awarded to Students
If a student has funding from an external entity, the amount to be paid by the external entity is deducted from the student’s loan amount. If external scholarship funds surpass this amount, 50% of the remainder reduces the expected family contribution and 50% reduces the scholarship amount that was initially offered to the student by Minerva.
Financial Aid Audit
Minerva conducts random audits of the majority of families receiving financial aid. If new information is revealed during the verification process, updates to a student’s financial aid package may be made at Minerva’s discretion in order to reflect more accurately the family’s proven financial situation. Students are required to notify Minerva in a timely manner when their financial situation changes, whether it improves or declines.
Non-Qualified Scholarship Tax Withholdings
Students receiving a Minerva Scholarship as part of their financial aid package may be subject to non-qualified scholarship tax withholdings. Scholarships are classified as income by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which has rules about how scholarships are taxed. According to the IRS, scholarships are classified in two ways: Qualified Scholarships and Non-Qualified Scholarships.
Qualified scholarship payments are defined by the IRS as funds from the total scholarship used to pay for student tuition and related fees necessary for a student to be in the school, i.e., qualified expenses. These qualified scholarships are not taxed by the government.
Non-qualified scholarship payments are defined by the IRS as funds from the total scholarship used to pay for housing/boarding, personal/travel/research fees, and other optional fees, i.e., non-qualified expenses. Unlike qualified scholarships, non-qualified scholarships are taxed yearly at a rate of 14% and must be reported to the IRS by Minerva. Students who have a non-qualified scholarship will see this tax bill on their fall term bill in June and spring term bill in November.
Non-Qualified Scholarship Withholdings for U.S. Residents
Minerva is not required to report non-qualified scholarships for U.S. citizens and permanent residents (ie. green card holders) to the IRS. These non-qualified scholarships should be reported by students as taxable income. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of this tax liability and make payments to the IRS accordingly.
Non-Qualified Scholarship Withholdings for Non-U.S. Residents
Minerva is required to report non-qualified scholarships for U.S. non-residents to the IRS and collects these tax withholdings in advance. Minerva transfers these withholding amounts to the IRS and provides students with a 1042-S form showing the amounts collected. This 1042-S form is submitted to the IRS by the student when filing an annual tax return, so that the IRS can confirm that the taxes have been paid.
1042-S forms are provided to students at the end of January. More information can be found here.
Student ID Cards
The Minerva Student ID card is an official document verifying that you are a student at Minerva Schools. Students are issued an ID card only during their Foundation Year in San Francisco.
Should a student lose or damage their card, a replacement card can be obtained for a $15 USD fee, billed directly to the student account by the Bursar. Replacement ID cards may be requested through the submission Student ID Card Module in Prepare. If an ID card is stolen and a police report is filed with a police agency (police reports from other countries are accepted as long as they are in English), the fee will be waived. A copy of the report must be sent via email to email@example.com prior to the issuance of a replacement card.
Minerva requires students to GO PAPERLESS from the time they start at Minerva when setting up any accounts with a listed residential address. Students must select the “eco-friendly” option in order to receive all notifications electronically. Not only is paper mail costly and detrimental to the environment, but it is also particularly problematic when students are no longer living in San Francisco. Please help us reduce the student mail received in the Minerva Office by opting for PAPERLESS communication and update the address on record to one where you can actually receive mail. Please keep in mind that the Minerva HQ is an office address and while we tolerate students using it for their personal mail, it is common and customary for office mail to be centrally opened and then distributed.
All student mail that arrives at the Minerva Office address will be discarded if it is junk mail. Other mail will be opened and scanned if possible, and then emailed to the student as PDF. The physical paper letters will be stored for six months following the notification and then destroyed. Minerva does not forward mail individually to students unless requested through e-ship global and paid by the student. All packages and boxes sent to the Minerva office will be returned to sender (RTS).
Minerva is committed to providing a safe and healthy living and learning environment for students, faculty, and staff. Minerva is also required to meet health and safety standards as specified by federal, state, local, and country-specific laws (depending on where a residence hall is located).
The following statements, adopted by the KGI Board of Trustees, constitute Minerva’s overall safety policy:
- Minerva students, faculty, and employees have the right to expect a safe place in which to study and work.
- Minerva’s faculty and staff, and in particular all supervisors, carry the basic responsibility to make the safety of other human beings their concern. This responsibility is shared by everyone who is part of the Minerva Schools at KGI community.
The emergency procedures followed by Minerva are described in detail in the Minerva Emergency Management Plans for each Minerva location, made available to all students, faculty, and staff via the student information website, the Hub. In addition to these plans, special precautions and measures are in place in all Minerva housing and at all Minerva events during 2020-21 in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Students will be informed of all precautions, including those to which they must adhere, prior to their arrival in cities this year.
Among the services and resources to help students in cases of emergency are phone numbers to report emergencies to the Minerva staff, including live-in professionals in some cities, trained Work-Study students who serve as Resident Assistants and in other support roles, residence hall, training exercises and drills for students, and an automatic messaging system to advise students of major emergencies in the area where they are living.
Minerva’s security program includes partnering with WorldAware International, Inc. to provide customized travel briefs and real-time alerts for all students, in San Francisco and in all of our global rotation cities. All students are enrolled in WorldAware and must create a username and password to activate their account. Students are required to download the free Worldcue® Mobile app on their Android or iPhone in order to access Minerva’s 24×7 Global Assistance Hotline, safety, and crisis tools. WorldAware emails travel alerts and briefs which include real time intelligence alerts notifying students of any events that may impact their location and situational awareness should anything concerning take place in one of our locations. If students opt out of utilizing the Worldcue® Mobile app, they must sign a liability of risk and release waiver, which they can access through their Prepare module.
Health Insurance and Medical Care
As noted above, all residential students are required to have health insurance (offered through Minerva at cost) as a condition of enrollment at Minerva. Minerva seeks to provide the most affordable and complete coverage available to students. Policies change annually as students travel. Complete information is provided on the Prepare page where students are required to complete a series of enrollment forms. Students are enrolled automatically in Minerva’s approved plan unless they do not qualify because they are citizens of the country where they are studying. This applies to U.S. citizens studying in the U.S, who are required to have their own coverage under U.S. law. In this situation, students are expected to obtain their own local health coverage or be covered by a government plan. In general Minerva does not issue waivers and requires students to participate in the approved insurance. Waivers are not granted because most policies are not as extensive as the ones that Mineva requires or are not recognized as widely by local health care providers.
Students are informed about how to access local medical care, for both routine matters and emergency services, during the orientation period at the beginning of each term. Staff members assist students in accessing these services and seeking medical care. Staff and Residential Assistants (RAs) are also trained to handle basic first aid and respond to emergency situations.
Students also have access to Counseling and Psychological Services, which are described in detail below.
Students’ Responsibility for Their Health:
Self-Management and Wellness
Minerva places high value on the importance of student health and wellbeing as integral to learning, and places equal value on students achieving high levels of self-sufficiency. These values have been codified in by the intentional inclusion of Self-Management and Wellness as one of our Integrated Learning Outcomes, which states that students should “practice self-sufficiency and effective help-seeking, and develop skills for self-efficacy, resilience, stress management, and the capacity to balance self-care with responsibilities.”
We expect students to graduate from Minerva with a clear sense of how to manage and prioritize their own health and wellbeing, so that they are prepared for post-university life.
To ensure that students stay well and on track, we ask that you do the following:
- Be aware of your needs and identify the resources that you need to help you.
- Reach out to the right people to help you proactively and in a timely manner.
- Keep your appointments with people who are supporting you.
- Follow the advice and recommendations of professionals who are supporting you.
- Take medication on time and as prescribed.
- Communicate regularly with everyone who is supporting you including your coach/advisor and professors.
- Self-monitor and assess how you are doing on an ongoing basis and identify what you need to facilitate your wellness, which may at times include modifying your living or academic plans (e.g., by taking a leave from Minerva, or having a lighter course load).
Minerva does not have a hospital or health care clinic that provides services directly to students. Minerva staff contacts local hospitals, urgent care facilities, and clinics in advance of students’ arrival in each city to ensure that they will recognize the insurance that Minerva students carry, which expedites the delivery of care. Minerva staff members assist students in need of medical assistance but do not provide direct medical care. Minerva’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides education, training and resources to promote student wellbeing through a holistic approach, and also can support students who are experiencing short-term mental health challenges, or who are stable but could benefit from maintenance-based support after having undergone treatment at home or through an external provider (e.g., a student who underwent intensive treatment for an eating, mood or anxiety disorder and is now stable, but could use regular check-ins).
Students with medical or mental health conditions are responsible for notifying Minerva of such conditions when they first enroll at Minerva in the summer before they start classes and then updating those records if additional information or conditions are later diagnosed. Minerva staff needs this information in case a student needs help accessing care. This information is handled with the utmost attention to student privacy, in accordance with U.S. law.
In addition, students with conditions that require ongoing care and treatment must identify health care providers with appropriate expertise in each city in which they will study in the global rotation prior to arrival in that city, and must also determine how they will obtain any prescription medication through legal channels. Particularly with regard to mental health and psychiatric services, students can consult with CAPS to discuss their needs and to get help identifying local providers, but should not assume CAPS can offer the appropriate standard of care for their condition. Please note that it is not always possible to carry every kind of prescription drug into all the countries on the global rotation.
Some health conditions that cause impairment are beyond the student’s control. Other times, those conditions may be the result of choices and behaviors that compromise wellbeing (such as poor sleep hygiene, substance abuse, not getting exercise or eating well, and not employing strategies that can counter the negative effects of stress). Sometimes, a condition is a combination of these. Regardless of the cause or source of health or psychological struggle, students, like other adults, are ultimately responsible for managing their own life in a way that will engender good health.
Student accountability includes taking steps in a timely manner to access the resources available to treat whatever illnesses or other impairments students are facing and requesting and utilizing accommodations, if appropriate. Not attending to mental and physical health needs can lead to serious consequences that threaten students’ various goals, including remaining eligible for academic study at Minerva.
This does not mean students are expected to face their challenges alone. Students are responsible for being honest with themselves about when it may be necessary to seek help through the various resources available to them, through Minerva, in their rotation city, and/or from home. Unfortunately, students sometimes find themselves struggling because they have not reached out to others in a timely way; have relied too much on their own determination and have hidden their struggles from family, friends, and staff; have delayed seeking help until past the point when they can recover academically; or do not follow through on treatment or other interventions. While Minerva is sensitive to concerns about the cost of healthcare (which can often be reduced if a student is well informed) and acknowledges the existence of cultural stigmas and negative beliefs about pursuing mental health care, we expect students to inquire about their options before making assumptions that lead to avoiding care.
Global Student Services/Visas
All Minerva students who travel to San Francisco and any of the rotation cities where they will live and study will be “international” students at some point in their studies. Minerva provides comprehensive information on the identified visa pathway into each city, sharing guidelines and instructions for students to obtain their visas and other permissions to enter and stay in each country and city. It is the students’ responsibility to obtain their correct visa, including paying for any associated costs. Students are also responsible for providing necessary information to Minerva, and should take the time to plan for their visa processing. Students must adhere to set deadlines to ensure appropriate support for visas.
F-1 Student Visas
All students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States need to obtain an F-1 visa to attend Minerva in the United States. They will maintain this visa throughout their four years of study at Minerva, even while in global rotation cities. Admitted students can find detailed instructions for obtaining a visa on the Prepare page where they complete the full registration process prior to starting each year or semester. Throughout their tenure at Minerva, students on F-1 visas are responsible to maintain valid student status by complying with the following regulations:
- Hold a valid passport and a SEVIS I-20 that is valid for Minerva Schools at KGI
- Maintain a full-time course of study each term and speak with a Designated School Official before dropping a class
- Make satisfactory academic progress towards their degree
- Limit “on-campus” Minerva employment to no more than 20 hours per week during academic term time and receive proper authorization for off-campus employment (including volunteer work)
- Follow procedures if they transfer to a school other than the one originally authorized
- Ensure that their I-20 has been endorsed by a Designated School Official for international travel prior to leaving the United States (this endorsement expires annually)
- Refrain from international travel during academic term time when class is in session
- Remain in each global rotation city until the end of each term. Students who depart a city early without prior authorization will risk losing their U.S. F-1 visa status.
- Students must keep every I-20 copy received during their course of study.
- Students may remain in the US if their F-1 visa has expired; however, in order to enter the US, their F-1 visa must be valid.
- Visas are not transferable to a new passport. If you renew your passport, you must travel with both passports to enter the US on your F-1 visa. If you lose your passport, you will need to renew your visa prior to re-entering the US.
Courseload Requirements and Exceptions
Students must be enrolled in a minimum of three four-credit residential courses (or 12 credits) each semester in order to be considered full-time for the purposes of the F-1 student visa. Failure to remain enrolled in at least 12 credits results in loss of F-1 status (i.e., the student is considered to be out of status).
Under certain circumstances students may be approved for a Reduced Course Load (RCL) by the Designated School Official (DSO). Those circumstances include but are not limited to: academic difficulties, medical condition, or needing fewer courses to complete the course of study. Please contact a DSO for additional information. Permission should be granted by the Designated School Official (DSO) prior to any change to a student’s course schedule.
Request a Reduced Course Load by completing this request form.
Failure to comply with the guidelines or process for requesting an RCL may result in a student falling out of status and in termination of the student’s SEVIS record. Please consult a Designated School Official about all visa matters.
Compliance with Reporting Requirements through SEVIS
Students and exchange visitors in F, M, or J status must report any change in their U.S. address or personal information to the Designated School Official within 10 days of the change. Minerva students can report these changes by submitting their updated address through Prepare. Please note that students must report their summer address if they are in the United States.
Consequences of Continued Academic Probation or Dismissal
To comply with visa regulations, F-1 visa students must make continuous satisfactory academic progress towards their degrees. Failure to make satisfactory academic progress as reflected in probationary status may result in the loss of F-1 status. See the policies in this handbook on academic probation, suspension, and dismissal for more information.If a student is academically suspended or dismissed from Minerva, the student’s SEVIS record will be terminated no later than 21 days after notification of suspension or dismissal.
Termination of F-1 Visa Status/Arrests
If a student is expelled from school, they are in violation of the F-1 student visa. If a student is arrested for any reason, including misdemeanors such as drunk driving (DUI), shoplifting or petty theft, or drug possession, there are severe consequences. You may be required to remain in the United States pending the outcome of your case. The U.S. Department of State is authorized prudentially to revoke a visa simply on the basis of an arrest. A determination of guilt by a court of law is NOT required. If your visa is revoked, you would be required to depart from the U.S. A visa revocation can also be grounds for court-ordered removal by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Students must acknowledge their arrest record if they wish to re-enter or remain in the United States when they apply for renewal of their visa. Individuals convicted of certain crimes, including most drug crimes and other “crimes involving moral turpitude,” may be found to be inadmissible to re-enter or remain in the United States.
Employment during F-1 Status
An F-1 student may work “on-campus” for up to 20 hours per week or full-time when school is not in session or during the annual vacation. However, Minerva limits the weekly work time for work-study students to 7.5 hours per week when classes are in session. On-campus employment must be performed on the school’s premises or at an off-campus location that is educationally affiliated with the school. The educational affiliation must be associated with the school’s established curriculum and the employment must be an integral part of the student’s educational program. Note: THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC/Academic Year 2020-21 ONLY: At the time that this Handbook is being published, there is an SEVP guidance allowing F-1 students to work remotely.
F-1 students must not engage in any unauthorized employment, paid or unpaid. Any unauthorized employment is a serious violation of the student’s F-1 visa status, and leads to immediate termination of the student’s SEVIS record. Students must consult with the school’s Designated School Official before agreeing to or engaging in any employment, paid or unpaid.
Students who have not maintained F-1 student status for one full academic year (two continuous semesters) do not qualify for off-campus work authorization. First-year students and students returning from leaves of absence or whose visa status was recently reinstated are strictly prohibited from working off-campus in any capacity. This includes both paid and unpaid work.
Paid off-campus work includes but is not limited to: working in a store or restaurant, an internship, receiving a stipend for a position or project, receiving goods in exchange for services, freelancing, selling homemade crafts online, selling goods regularly on eBay or similar sites, selling photography or other art, getting paid for posting videos or blogs, etc.
Unpaid work includes but is not limited to: offering to work “for free” at a company to gain experience, unpaid internships, receiving goods instead of money in exchange for services, etc.
F-1 students can volunteer their time at a humanitarian organization (for example, a soup kitchen) or for government programs working on civic projects.
In the event of an emergent circumstance, students can apply to US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) for off-campus employment authorization that would permit them to work off-campus for up to one year. USCIS approves or denies such requests on a case-by-case basis.
Emergent circumstances include:
- Loss of financial aid or on-campus employment (if the student is not at fault)
- Large increases in tuition or living costs
- Substantial decrease in the relative value of currency that the student depends upon to pay expenses
- Unexpected changes in the financial condition of a student’s sources of financial support
- Unexpectedly large medical bills not covered by insurance
- Other substantial, unexpected expenses.
Contact a DSO at Minerva for further information about applying for off-campus employment authorization.
Social Security Numbers (SSN)
Students who participate in on-campus work like work-study or other types of authorized employment (see below) are required to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) at the Social Security Administration (SSA) office in order to be paid. Students must have work authorization prior to applying for a SSN and should try to apply within 10 days after arriving in the United States.
To apply, students must take the following hard-copy documents to the Social Security Administration (SSA) office:
- Passport (with F-1 visa inside)
- Copy of I-94
- Signed internship Offer Letter – provided by Minerva or employer
- SSA Request Letter from Minerva – provided by Minerva
- Only for Work Study students: Summer interns or students with external internships need only bring their updated I-20 with CPT authorization.
- Social Security Application form (complete and print this form before going to the SSA office) – https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf
Social Security information for F-1 students can be found here.
A visit to the SSA may take up to two hours, as applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. SSN cards are mailed to recipients in about two weeks. Students will be given a letter from the SSA office at the time of their visit that confirms that their application is approved and being processed. This letter allows students to begin working before the physical SSN card arrives by mail. Students may begin their work-study position (or any other type of authorized work) only once they have received this letter from the SSA office.
Any problems obtaining a SSN should be reported immediately to student services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a temporary authorization for practical training that is alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of required internship or practicum; that is offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with the institution; and that is an integral part of an established curriculum. CPT authorization is necessary for both paid and unpaid training opportunities.
Only students who have maintained F-1 student status for one full academic year or longer immediately prior to potential CPT, qualify for CPT. Students may be authorized for part-time CPT during the academic term or full-time employment during the summer months. A student who has completed an aggregate of 12 months of full-time CPT is no longer qualified for OPT (Optional Practical Training). Students may participate in unlimited part-time CPT during the course of their studies.
A request for authorization for CPT must be made to the Designated School Official by completing this Request for CPT Authorization Form. Students should apply at least two weeks in advance of their internship start date to ensure that authorization is granted before they start work. Students must make satisfactory academic progress in order to be eligible for CPT. Applying for CPT authorization does not guarantee that it will be approved.
Students may begin an internship only after receiving a Form I-20 with the DSO endorsement authorizing CPT. Any changes in employment, internship dates or work capacity must be reported to the DSO prior to the change taking place.
Optional Practical Training (OPT)
After completion of all course requirements for the degree and continued enrollment, students may apply for temporary employment for Optional Practical Training directly related to their major area of study for a period of up to 12 months. If, however, they do not complete their studies in a timely manner, or if they have not complied with the above visa regulations, they may be out of valid student status. In such cases, students must request reinstatement from the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service. Reinstatement may or may not be granted. OPT is a privilege, not a right, and, like CPT, applying does not guarantee approval.
STEM OPT: There are two Minerva academic majors that qualify for STEM-OPT extension: Natural Sciences and Computational Science. Minors, concentrations, and courses do not qualify for STEM-OPT extension.
Presence In Country
Minerva’s program is SEVP-certified because of the required residential component of the program. First-year students in San Francisco must refrain from travel outside the U.S., and students in global rotation cities must refrain from traveling outside the assigned city and to the United States when classes are in session.
Students in San Francisco must obtain permission from the Designated School Official prior to any international travel. The Designated School Official will not permit students to travel while classes are in session except for emergencies or special planned events. Students in global rotation cities must inform the Designated School Official prior to any travel to the United States to ensure they have all required documentation.
Students who take a leave of absence from Minerva, or who do not study in one of their rotation cities for a semester or longer (e.g., choosing to study at home) do not maintain F-1 student status. Their SEVIS record will be terminated for authorized early withdrawal. Students returning to their cohort after a leave of absence must return to San Francisco no more than 30 days before the beginning of the next academic term, and complete the term in San Francisco before being permitted to rejoin their cohort in the next global rotation city while retaining active F-1 status.
Failure to Maintain Student Status
Students who fall out of status and whose SEVIS record has been terminated no longer have an active I-20 or student status. In some circumstances, the student may be able to petition USCIS and request their SEVIS record be reinstated by completing an application, paying a fee and mailing them to USCIS. Students who petition for reinstatement may remain in the U.S. while their application is pending and may continue to take classes. If the USCIS adjudicates their request, their record will become active again. If the USCIS denies the request, the student must depart the United States.
Students who fall out of status and do not or cannot petition for reinstatement must leave the country within 15 days of their record being terminated.
Once out of the U.S., the student may continue classes remotely, but will no longer be able to enter the U.S. on their F-1 visa or take advantage of other benefits of maintaining F-1 student status, such as CPT work authorization.
Students whose petition to take a leave of absence has been approved by Minerva, the student will no longer maintain student status or have an active SEVIS record. Students who are not enrolled for five months or less may have their SEVIS record reactivated and will not have to pay a new I-901 fee. Students must return to San Francisco for one term in order to fully activate their F-1 status and gain eligibility to participate in global rotations and other F-1 benefits. If students are gone for more than five months, their previous record cannot be reinstated and they will have to pay a new I-901 fee for new I-20 issuance. Students may not reactivate their SEVIS record mid-semester; records can only be reactivated up to 30 days before the beginning of the next academic term.
Students whose F-1 visa has expired will have to reapply for a new visa using the new I-20. If students’ visa has not expired, they only need to obtain the new I-20 and may travel on their F-1 visa. Advising following the termination of a SEVIS record is provided on a case-by-case basis by the Designated School Official.
Grace Period After Graduation
When students have completed a full course of study and/or 12 months of post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT), they have a 60-day grace period before they must leave the United States.
Students may periodically receive updated I-20s after being authorized for CPT authorization or endorsed by the DSO for international travel. Students should keep a copy of every I-20 that they are issued over time, which they will have to submit to USCIS when applying for post-completion OPT.
Please remember that compliance with these laws is required by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the Department of Homeland Security in the U.S., and Minerva Schools at KGI cannot grant exceptions to immigration rules or regulations.
Visas for Minerva Cities Outside the US
Minerva arranges for students to acquire a student or comparable visa for each city where they study. Students learn about the process through Prepare and are required to obtain the required visa in a timely fashion so that they are in the city by the time of Elevation.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
Disability Accommodation Policy
This policy governing provision of services for students with disabilities has been adopted for students at Minerva from KGI policy.
Provision of Services
Minerva policies in this regard are identical to those of KGI in general, and hence the following is summarized from the KGI Student Handbook: KGI has an institutional commitment to provide equal educational opportunities for qualified students with disabilities in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. To provide equal access for students with disabilities, accommodations and auxiliary aids and services will be provided to allow for an accessible experience in compliance with state and federal laws. For each student, these accommodations and auxiliary aids and services will specifically address barriers resulting from a disability that adversely affect equal educational opportunity. Approved accommodations must not fundamentally alter the essential nature of a course or academic program. KGI and Minerva maintain specific criteria and procedures to implement this policy.
Student Services is responsible for determining and coordinating appropriate accommodations and auxiliary aids and services for qualified students with disabilities. For additional information and forms, please see The Hub at [https://hub.minerva.kgi.edu/student-center/student-affairs/student-services/disability-accommodations/. Students who have questions or want to confer with the Disability Resources Specialist may email email@example.com. It is advisable to consult with the Disability Resource Specialist before you apply for accommodations.
Students are eligible for consideration for accommodations and/or auxiliary aids and services if they have a documented disability. Students are required to apply for accommodations and to provide required documentation through the enrollment process. Minerva’s Disability Resource Specialist reviews documentation, communicates directly with students, and determines those functional limitations of the disability that require reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids and/or other services.
Each student bears the responsibility of initiating a disability-related request for accommodations, auxiliary aids and/or services with the Disability Resource Specialist prior to the time it is needed. If a student has a pre-existing conditions or known disabilities, the earlier a student consults with the Disability Resource Specialist, the better. Students will not receive any informal accommodations in academics or housing unless formal approved accommodations have been granted. Accommodations are not retroactive and can only be implemented upon receipt of the formal accommodation letter. If an accommodation is granted, the student must adhere to the policies and guidelines set forth within the approved accommodation.
Students requesting accommodations must be prepared to provide professional documentation to support the request. The documentation must be in English, typed on an official letterhead with the title and credentials of the professional writing the report, dated, and signed. If the original report is not in English, it is the student’s responsibility to provide a translated copy from a qualified translator. Both the original and the transcribed copy must be submitted.
Documentation from an appropriately qualified professional should provide a diagnosis and describe the functional limitations and current impact of the disability in an academic environment. The Disability Consultant has discretion to determine what type of professional documentation is necessary, and this may vary depending on the nature and extent of the disability and the particular accommodation requested. Guidelines specific to categories of disability such as psychiatric/mental health, learning disability, deaf/hard of hearing, and chronic health conditions can be found here. The request for an accommodation will be evaluated promptly once the documentation has been received.
Examples of Accommodations
Accommodations include not only disability-related accommodations, but also disability-related services and/or auxiliary aids. The term refers to modifications to the course, program or educational requirements as are necessary and appropriate so that such requirements do not discriminate or have the effect of discriminating on the basis of disability. Academic requirements that are essential to a course or to the program of instruction being pursued by the student or that relate directly to licensing requirements are not regarded as discriminatory within the meaning of this section.
Possible modifications and accommodations are based on a student’s specific needs, course and program requirements, and appropriate documentation; not all accommodations are necessarily provided to each student in a particular disability category. The following are the kinds of accommodations that Minerva may grant. Other kinds of accommodations are also possible.
- Extended time permitted for completion of the degree program
- Reduced course load
- Extensions on assignments when a chronic illness has episodic flares
- Extended time on examinations or assignment due dates
- Conversion of materials into alternate formats (e.g., e-text, large print, Braille)
- Assistive technology, software and/or hardware (e.g., screen readers, speech-to-text applications)
- Sign language interpreting
- Computer-aided real-time transcription (CART)
- Captioned videos
- Housing modifications
Important Note re: Housing Accommodations
Minerva does not own its buildings and does not have complete control or authority over the physical access features of the sites and residences. Minerva is not able to guarantee that all sites will offer the same level of accessibility that a student can expect within the United States. The most frequent housing request at Minerva is for a single room. If single rooms are available in a location, students with disabilities that may require a single room are given priority on the single room assignment list, provided their documentation substantiates a disability-related need. In some locations, however, single rooms are very limited or not available, in which case the student may choose between Minerva housing with a roommate or roommates, or finding their own independent housing.
Minerva treats all student disability information as confidential, and will not share it except as required or permitted by law or as necessary for institutional processes. These processes include facilitating reasonable accommodations, addressing health and safety issues, or investigating claims or charges.
Student Privacy Rights and Responsibilities
In compliance with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), California Public Information Act, and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) students at Minerva Schools at KGI have the following four rights in regard to education records that are maintained:
Students have the right to inspect and review education records. Education records are defined as records in any format that directly identify the student and are maintained by the various offices of Minerva Schools at KGI. Some records may be administered by additional privacy laws and regulations that supersede FERPA, and, therefore, may not be available under this policy. Requests for the inspection and review of education records must be submitted directly to the custodian of the record, following policy and procedure of the office in whose custody the record is maintained.
Students have the right to seek to amend education records. In compliance with KGI’s policy, individual offices have established procedures for challenging the content of education records. Students may also submit a written request for review of a particular education record to the appropriate office. Under FERPA, grades are exempted from this provision. Students with concerns about individual grades should contact an Academic Dean.
Students have the right to have some control over the disclosure of information from education records. Students may request that Minerva restrict the release of directory information by submitting a written request via a form available on the Hub to firstname.lastname@example.org. Such restrictions remain in effect until canceled in writing by the student. Students may declare themselves to be tax dependents of their parents and authorize Minerva to release non-directory information to parents. Such authorizations remain in effect until canceled in writing by the student. Parents/legal guardians are permitted access to all non-directory information of their student without a release if the student is under the age of 18.
In compliance with FERPA and GDPR, Minerva Schools at KGI has designated the following items of information as directory information: name and student username; local and permanent address; local, cellular, and permanent phone numbers; email address; date and place of citizenship; major field of study; dates of attendance; enrollment status; degrees and awards received; most recent previous institution attended; photographs; participation in officially recognized activities. Directory information is defined as information that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released. Unless restricted by the written request of a student, Minerva may release directory information without the prior consent of a student. Directory information required for course or classroom participation in courses may not be withheld from faculty and students connected with the particular course.
As permitted by FERPA, Minerva allows access to student directory and non-directory information by education officials when a legitimate educational interest exists for specific education records. A legitimate educational interest exists when an education official demonstrates a need to know specific information to accomplish instructional, advisory, administrative, research, supervisorial, or other administrative responsibilities assigned by Minerva. Education officials may include employees, faculty, staff, designated representatives of Minerva, and contracted agents and agencies of Minerva. Minerva may outsource some operations requiring the disclosure of information from education records. Providers of such services include the National Student Clearinghouse. Education officials, including contracted providers, who receive education records, must comply with all FERPA regulations regarding re-disclosure and the privacy of such education records.
Under FERPA, and in compliance with other federal and local regulations, privacy rights in the postsecondary environment are reassigned from parents to students. Nevertheless, FERPA permits institutions to disclose information from education records to parents and to other third-party entities in specific situations and under certain conditions. Among these situations are the following: to schools where the student seeks, intends, or has enrolled; in connection with financial aid; to certain government authorities, including U.S. military recruiters; to certain entities conducting studies or audits on behalf of Minerva, by federal, state, or local education authorities, or by professional and other educational organizations; in compliance with court orders and subpoenas where health and safety are at risk or in the event of student status changes; when violations to federal, state, or local regulations have occurred and violations to institutional policy have been determined in regard to crimes of violence or non-forcible sex acts and, for students under the age of 21, the use or possession of alcohol or other controlled substances; and per additional contingencies set forth in FERPA.
For further information from the United States Department of Education: http://www.ed.gov/
You can find detailed FERPA information at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html
You can find information from the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) athttp://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html.
Students have the right to file a complaint with the Federal Policy Compliance Office, a division of the U.S. Department of Education, for any alleged violation of their rights under FERPA. Complaints must be submitted in writing to: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington DC 20202-5920.
In addition, Minerva Schools complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is applicable to persons in the EU. For more information, see The Hub.
Student Life promotes the health and safety of students and their growth, development, and experiential learning outside the classroom. Student Life seeks to create a positive living and learning environment and to provide resources, support, and activities to engage every student. It focuses on residential life, community development within Minerva, civic engagement with the community outside Minerva, and city/cultural immersion, mental health and wellness, and integrated learning.
Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
The Minerva Schools at KGI are first and foremost an institution of learning and teaching, committed to serving the needs of society. This learning community reflects, and is a part of, a world comprising all races, creeds and social circumstances. Minerva confronts and rejects all manifestations of discrimination, including those based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin or citizenship, religious or political beliefs, status within or outside Minerva, or any of the other differences among people that have been excuses for misunderstanding, dissension or hatred. Minerva recognizes and cherishes the richness contributed by diversity.
Keck Graduate Institute has adopted the following statement to demonstrate its commitment to diversity:
KGI is committed to enriching society with breakthrough approaches to education and translational research. Diversity of backgrounds, cultures, disciplines, identities and thought within our community serves as a catalyst for collaboration and excellence in all of our pursuits. KGI’s welcoming, diverse environment provides the opportunity for our students to think creatively and critically, communicate and interact effectively, and act ethically and respectfully. The active and open-minded engagement of every member of our community is vital to achieving the goals of the institution.
Minerva recognizes that everyone has an obligation to the community of which they have chosen to be a part. All of us must give as much as we receive, and must be active and enthusiastic participants in the educational process. Minerva strives to build a true learning community of spirit and purpose based on mutual respect and caring. This obligation is reflected in Minerva’s Integrated Learning Outcomes.
First-year students are assigned to a room within a residence hall during the summer months prior to their initial enrollment. First-year students are matched with students, usually from other countries, and based on lifestyles as reflected in surveys administered to new students. In subsequent years, students are asked to express their preferences for roommates and these preferences are met as fully as possible. The style of Minerva housing varies greatly depending on the specific location and may be dormitory, hotel, or apartment style. Please note that single sleeping rooms are not available in most locations, and priority for those rooms, if available, is allocated to students who have formally approved disability accommodations for a single sleeping room. There are communal facilities for cooking either in a large shared kitchen in the residential building or in smaller kitchens in residential units. Students have a variety of outside dining options, including local restaurants, markets, food trucks, and delivery services.
Serving as the common ground for the social and intellectual community at Minerva, the residence halls are staffed with professional live-in staff members during the first two years of study. Trained Residential Assistants and/or Student Life Work-Study students provide support and handle emergencies at every location. Residence staff members are trained in basic first aid and emergency response procedures and support activities that promote wellness and build community. Minerva staff also coordinate a variety of programming and initiatives, covering areas that include health and safety topics, social gatherings, community service activities, civic partnerships, and professional development opportunities. Faculty members and deans also visit each city and engage with students on the ground in various activities.
Minerva students are expected to use the residential experience as an opportunity to develop personal relationships with other Minerva students from around the world and to become global citizens who have deep intercultural competency skills. This uniquely cosmopolitan living arrangement is an ideal setting for mature students to practice self-governance, to interact amidst a broad spectrum of cultural norms, and to practice personal accountability. Within the residence hall, students construct their own norms around issues such as food purchasing and cooking, trust and respect for one another, and facilitating community-based dialogue about the shared living space. The city-specific Residential Agreements, signed by every student living in Minerva housing, outline policies about residential life and conduct. Students are expected to adopt roommate agreements in each of the cities, and sign Unit Condition Reports upon check-in and check-out.
Minerva hopes and expects the social norms embedded in the Integrated Learning Outcomes, residential agreements, and conduct code to be implemented and upheld by all students. When necessary, the staff intervenes, especially if the safety or well being of any student is being compromised. The rules that support student safety and wellbeing are the responsibility of every student. All Minerva students are subject to disciplinary proceedings if found to be in violation of the residential agreement, building-specific house rules or property management guidelines, and other student conduct policies.
Student Life seeks to promote a culture of wellness that supports student learning by building awareness of what it means to live a healthy and fulfilling life and encouraging students to make choices and engage in activities that contribute to their wellbeing.
Enrollment and Housing Commitment
Beginning in Foundation Year in San Francisco, students are required each spring to complete an annual Enrollment and Housing Commitment as part of the Prepare process for the subsequent academic year. The Enrollment and Housing Commitment serves as a binding commitment for the non-refundable financial responsibility of securing placement in Minerva housing and is a prerequisite to being registered classes for the following year.
Pre-departure Information for Global Rotation
Pre-departure information is provided to students before they move to each new city. This includes practical information to help students prepare for their journey to and arrival at their rotation city, including information on travel arrangements, weather, packing, housing, and important local resources. All pre-departure information about each city is found on its respective city section of the Hub. Incoming first-year students are provided a dedicated SF Pre-Departure Guide, which they receive in late July.
Immunizations and Vaccinations
Specific countries may require additional immunizations and vaccinations (beyond what Minerva requires for the first year in San Francisco) in order to secure visas and entry into the host country. Students are responsible for the cost of obtaining these immunizations. Additional information for each city can be found on the Hub.
Visas and Residency
Host countries require citizens of different nationalities to meet a specific, yet often diverse, set of requirements in order to secure visas for entry and to establish residency once present in-country. Students participating in Minerva global rotations are required to meet all visa securement and alien registration processes in a timely fashion, and must meet deadlines and fulfill any and all requirements of Minerva partner institutions that sponsor student visas. Students who do not apply for visas in a timely fashion may not get visas in time to enter the city/country for Elevation, and then may lose the ability to go to that city.
Students Visiting Global Rotation Cities When They Have Opted-Out
Students who have opted-out of a global rotation city and are in good standing may visit the global rotation city and fully participate in Minerva activities for a maximum of three weeks during a semester. Not having paid relevant fees in a city, visiting students are not eligible for many of Minerva’s in-country resources, including Counseling and Psychological Services, and therefore may not stay in the global rotation city and participate in Minerva events and activities beyond three weeks. These students must also honor the guest policy of Minerva residence halls, and must comport themselves in accordance with all policies and procedures under general student conduct, and as established by this Handbook and the Minerva team in that location. If a student is discovered to have repeatedly violated this policy, the student is charged the relevant city fees as if they were living in independent housing.
Growth and Learning Outside the Classroom
Minerva prepares students to be effective leaders and thoughtful global citizens through a portfolio of applied learning programs outside the classroom over their four years and seven cities, and this year for students who are studying remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic. The purposes of these programs and activities are for students to apply what they are learning in class to the world outside class, to share a sense of belonging within a tight-knit Minerva community, to understand how they can contribute meaningfully to society, and to develop their knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes reflected in Minerva’s Integrated Learning Outcomes.
The Minerva Community
Community is realized when a set of values is translated into practice. By joining the Minerva community, students, faculty, and staff commit to the continued pursuit of living by Minerva’s seven Guiding Principles. Community values are reflected in the traditions and rituals of community programs and milestone experiences. Together with our Integrated Learning Outcomes, these values and the experiences that grow from them help us form a vibrant, supportive and strong learning community — for the four undergraduate years and beyond.
Minerva Traditions and Milestone Events
Minerva has several signature events each year that engage students with one another to build community and to promote interpersonal engagement:
- 10:01s are gatherings where students learn about and celebrate the many cultures and backgrounds of Minerva students, sharing stories, music and food.
- Minerva Talks are gatherings for students to hear another student’s life story, focusing on their development and on transformational moments.
- Feasts are celebrations that bring all students together to prepare and share a meal. They take place at Foundation Week/Elevation, Friendsgiving, Quinquatria and Continuum.
Cultural and Civic Immersion in the Cities
Civic Projects are opportunities for students to work on addressing a social impact challenge with local professionals.. Partners may be non-profit, for-profit, or government agencies. Work on Civic Projects can sometimes be incorporated into graded assignments and final academic projects, or towards IL199 credit. Civic Projects help students immerse deeply in the cities, build their portfolios, gain experience working in professional settings, and apply what they are learning in their coursework to issues in the community where they are living and studying. Students who engage in these project-based learning opportunities must make a professional-level commitment to their project.
In addition, students have many opportunities to engage with people and organizations in the cities where they live and study through a wide array of activities related to the arts; business; technology; political, economic and social issues; the professions; and contemporary matters of public interest. Some of these activities can be used to fulfill the applied learning requirements of the Integrated Learning course (currently required for M23 and M24 students).
Each new student, faculty, and staff member is assigned to a Legacy group when they join the Minerva community. Legacy groups share a common set of experiences that cross classes, roles, and locations across the world. Legacy groups continue beyond graduation for students as part of the alumni network.
Student Initiatives encapsulate the events, programs, and clubs that are both organized and facilitated by students at Minerva. These initiatives range in structure from common interest groups to structured multi-cohort organizations to one-time events to recurring wellness programs. The opportunity for students to create experiences and build community for one another gives student leaders experience in operating and managing their own initiatives, from the local to the global scale. Students who elect to be leaders of these groups will learn a variety of valuable lifelong skills such as project management, team building, experience design, professional outreach, and community engagement.
Students who wish to start a Student Initiative apply at bit.ly/minervastudentinitiatives. They meet 1:1 with their Student Life Representative who will walk them through the resources that are available to them: connections to the city and its locals, seed funding, leadership building opportunities, designated pages for them on the Community Portal, access to cross-class collaboration channels, communal space reservations, content-based mentorship from Minerva staff and faculty, professional and leadership coaching from the CTD team, and more. Students seeking to build for their community and create opportunities for others to learn and engage will be supported by Minerva staff throughout the development and journey of their SI.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Because of the highly diverse nature of Minerva students and the frequent transitions in the global model, Minerva provides resources to support students in developing life skills to adjust to new cultures and environments, manage priorities, balance responsibilities with self-management, and much more. For every 300 students, Minerva provides one full-time mental health professional to attend to students’ psychological needs. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) staff are available in each city where students live and study. This ratio is double the national average, according to the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors.
Students are highly encouraged to use CAPS proactively as a resource. CAPS provides two broad areas of service: The first includes efforts to cultivate an environment at Minerva that is conducive to student learning and optimal functioning. This often takes the form of wellness programming, which can be offered by CAPS, or, most frequently, in collaboration with other staff and faculty. This area also includes working behind the scenes to integrate wellness throughout students’ Minerva experience. The second service CAPS provides is exclusive to the team: confidential counseling and psychotherapy. Counseling can be individual, group, or as a pair/couple. CAPS staff can also assist with providing referrals to local mental health providers, or consult on other concerns, such as how to support a friend. To learn more about CAPS, including the one to two counselors excited to know you in each city, please visit the CAPS city page on the Hub.
For the 2020-21 academic year, Minerva students with PGH Global Insurance (United Healthcare) also have access to BetterHelp, a confidential virtual counseling service that gives students access to licensed counselors in the U.S., whereas Minerva students with GeoBlue insurance have access to Global Wellness Assist, which includes up to six confidential virtual counseling sessions at no additional cost (no co-pays or other fees) worldwide. Initiating these services does not require students to see a Minerva counselor first, and does not require students to contact PGH/United Healthcare or GeoBlue for approval or to get a referral from a Primary Care/General Practitioner. Because this is a third-party service that follows strict U.S. privacy and confidentiality laws, Minerva will not be informed if a student accesses these services. Please check your insurance webpage for how to access services.
For students who are residing outside of Minerva’s rotation cities, CAPS cannot provide ongoing counseling because of licensure regulations for mental health providers, which are often limited by geography. However, students who are outside of rotation cities can contact CAPS for a one-time consultation anytime during the academic year for any concerns. Moreover, Minerva is providing services from MySSP for students who are off-rotation, which includes free, multilingual, confidential telemental health counseling services wherever you are in the world, and 24/7 in-the-moment support text and phone lines. This is a separate service from Minerva, and Minerva will only receive a summary report of student engagement with MySSP, without any individual or identifying data.
For all students, information about resources that provide after-hours online support and local English-speaking crisis hotlines, textlines, or warmlines can be found on each CAPS city page on the Hub.
Coaching and Talent Development (CTD)
Reporting to the Academic Dean, the Coaching and Talent Development team’s mission is to empower Minerva students to create and pursue meaningful lives and careers by exploring, identifying, testing, and developing the skills and characteristics that will support them in thriving personally and professionally. The CTD team delivers on this mission through one-on-one and group coaching, job search and graduate school advising, career management-related workshops, and curated resources.
The first and most important role of the Minerva CTD team is to provide coaching; through coaching, students gain a deeper understanding of their motivations, interests and strengths; determine how they can make meaningful contributions across sectors; and learn how to articulate their value to potential employers or graduate and professional school programs.
Another important role of the CTD team is to support students in learning about and exploring different careers possibilities, including the knowledge, skills, and experiences students need to be competitive in entering and thriving in those careers. The CTD team supports career exploration by curating conversations with alumni, faculty members, and others, and by empowering students to learn and practice critical networking skills to engage in learning conversations. The CTD team also supports students to gain tangible skills and experiences through guidance on applying to civic projects, internal and external internships and developing independent learning projects.
The CTD team collaborates across Minerva to align professional development related programming and support and works directly with the Minerva Project Global Network to provide access to a global network of professionals and industry leaders.
Specific modes of engagement with students vary by class year, based on what is most effective for students at each stage of their Minerva journey. Students should check the year-specific pages on the Hub for more details. Some important highlights include:
- A foundational series of small group programs offered for first-year students to help them develop the core competencies to define and pursue their professional interests. Many of these sessions are done with teammates for final Cornerstone projects to help students understand their strengths and areas for growth in a professional context and to facilitate the development of teamwork skills that are critical for professional success.
- Beginning in the second year, students are assigned a primary coach who will support students through the rest of their Minerva journey. This model allows students to develop rapport with one coach over time.
- Students interested in graduate or professional school are matched to faculty members who have volunteered to support students who are interested in pursuing jobs or graduate schools in the discipline in which the faculty member teaches and works.
Students’ level of engagement with the coaches and talent development programming — and with the quality of interactions with faculty, staff, and external professionals in the Minerva network through civic projects, co-curriculars and other forms of in-city or virtual engagement — dramatically affects Minerva’s ability to support students as they explore and pursue their professional goals. The job market, academic research ecosystem and graduate and professional school application process often introduce constraints that require students to invest time and to take action to become a strong candidate. To help students navigate these constraints, the Coaching staff may define Minerva-specific milestones and deadlines that students must meet to access support.
Policies and procedures have been established to align student behaviors and interactions related to their professional growth with other aspects of the Minerva experience. A student’s engagement with and access to coaching and professional development opportunities (e.g., Minerva internships, civic projects) will be affected by their academic status, honor code violations, disciplinary actions, work-study or internship performance, input from faculty and staff, and leave of absence status. Please see the Hub for details or talk to a coach for details. Students sign an agreement acknowledging these policies.
Students are responsible for ensuring that they have secured the proper work authorization for internship opportunities, whether those opportunities are during the school year or during the summer. In some cases, employers may support the visa process by providing relevant documentation prior to a student’s appointment with the appropriate consulate or embassy; however, the student is ultimately responsible for learning about and following the process based on requirements for their country of citizenship and the country in which they have an offer to work. Minerva does not provide support for work- and internship-related visas outside the US. Non-US students pursuing work opportunities in the United States must work with Minerva’s Designated School Official (DSO) to complete the CPT or OPT processes.
A full description of the Coaching & Talent Development programs and services may be found here on the Hub.
Associated Students of Minerva (ASM)
Founded in 2016, the ASM was established to create a vehicle for communication and collaboration between students and the administration of Minerva. ASM seeks to identify and help address issues that affect all or a large proportion of students. Three representatives of each class are elected by students each spring and each serve for a year. The representatives, which meet regularly with each other, have regular engagement with members of the administration to talk about student ideas and concerns, to serve as a sounding board for administration when considering or communicating new or changed policies. ASM provides students with opportunities not only to improve Minerva but to develop and exercise leadership. For more information contact email@example.com or access these resources:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/minervaasm/
Community Page: https://community.minerva.kgi.edu/topics/15746/feed
Rules of Conduct and Disciplinary Policies
Minerva Student Life staff members review key rules of conduct with students in the materials and topics included with orientation – Foundation Week in the first year and Elevation each semester thereafter. The rules of conduct at Minerva are defined in keeping with local laws and Minerva’s high expectations for student conduct. Some cities in the global rotation have city-specific policies. If students choose to engage in an activity that is not recommended by Minerva and that subjects them to risk of harm (for example, operating or riding a motorbike), students are required to sign waivers acknowledging that they engaged in this activity against Minerva’s advice.
General Release and Waivers
All students are subject to the laws of the city, state, and country where they are living. These laws determine students’ right to work and travel, and require them to behave in ways that may be different from the students’ home countries. Although Minerva helps to orient students to local laws and norms, it is the responsibility of each student to be informed about local laws. For example, if a student is in violation of a local law, such as drug possession or underage drinking, Minerva will not intervene between the student and local authorities. This is particularly important because Minerva students live in privately owned residence halls and other facilities in each city, and as such, local authorities can be summoned in the event of any disturbance or appearance of illegal conduct. In addition to any criminal charges or civil actions that may result against students who violate the law, students are subject to disciplinary action by Minerva for this conduct.
Minerva Student Code of Conduct
The Minerva Student Code of Conduct rests on four pillars: honesty, integrity, mutual respect, and personal responsibility. Minerva students are expected to conduct themselves with the highest levels of these qualities both inside and outside the classroom. Minerva students are citizens of an academic community whose members are expected to challenge themselves and one another with honesty, integrity, mutual respect, and personal responsibility. Each individual who joins the Minerva community accepts this commitment to sustain and enhance personal, professional and institutional character and reputation. Students are expected to comply with Minerva requests for communication and/or meetings with faculty and staff and it is the responsibility of each student to respond to such requests and to manage their correspondence and availability in a timely manner.
Principles inherent in this Code of Conduct include:
- Students shall treat all members of the community with respect and without malicious intent.
- Students shall treat all members of the community in a way that ensures that students share equal opportunities.
- Students shall conduct themselves in a manner that upholds their honesty and integrity and promotes an environment of trust.
- Students shall conduct themselves in a manner that is appropriate to serving as representatives of Minerva Schools at KGI.
Any member of the Minerva Schools at KGI community may report conduct by a student or students that may be a violation of the Residential Agreement, Principles of Community, Honor Code, and/or other policies covered by this Student Handbook.
Violations of the Code of Conduct that are not otherwise addressed below in the Academic Honor Code section of this Handbook [link] may lead to disciplinary action. (Minerva’s disciplinary procedures are described below.) The following list of specific violations is not all-inclusive and other conduct that violates the Principles of Community and Residential Agreements may be considered as a basis for discipline:
- Discrimination and unlawful harassment are prohibited by state, federal and local laws in the United States, in other countries where students reside while enrolled, in the Minerva Residential Agreement and in the policies adopted by KGI and Minerva Schools at KGI. Discrimination of all types will be subject to discipline. Retaliation against a person who reports, complains about, or participates in the investigation of harassment is likewise prohibited. Harassment is defined as persistent, repetitive, pervasive, or severe conduct (physical, verbal or visual) that creates an intimidating, offensive or hostile working or academic environment, or that substantially interferes with work or academic performance based on a person’s protected status. For conduct to be deemed intimidating, offensive or hostile, both the person complaining of harassment and a reasonable person standard must be met. Generally, statements and/or conduct legitimately and reasonably related to Minerva’s mission of education do not constitute harassment (e.g., a debate about protections afforded to protected categories). This category of conduct also includes violations of the policy on Prohibited Sexual Conduct, which is posted on the Hub here, and may also be covered by the Social Media policy below.
- Conduct violations related to Student Life can take place in a residence hall, at an event, in a classroom, online or in social media, or in any other real or virtual venue whether or not controlled by Minerva. Conduct violations that may take place in any venue include, but are not limited to failure to honor confidentiality in work-study or internship placement, inappropriate behavior in a Minerva-affiliated internship or civic partner project, possessing a weapon, creating a health or safety risk, violating regulations about alcohol and drugs, and hazing and bullying. Conduct violations related to residence halls include changing rooms or roommates without permission, failing to comply with room or roommate reassignments, violating the policy on guests, having prohibited items in the residence hall, damaging the residence hall or property in a residence hall, making loud or disruptive noise during quiet hours, and allowing a non-resident to enter the building of a closed-access residence. These matters may be violations of the Student Code of Conduct whether or not the student is living in Minerva housing.
- Any form of dishonesty not covered by the Academic Honor Code, such as misrepresentation on a resume or in another communication related to financial aid, work-study, internship, visas, civic projects, internships and employment; purposely furnishing false information to any member of the faculty or staff; concealing or misrepresenting information in a conduct or honor code matter; or theft of any kind.
- Intentional destruction, theft of, or damage to Minerva property or the property of Minerva faculty, staff, or students.
- Student Solicitation of Funds: Students are prohibited from soliciting funds from members of the Minerva faculty and staff for any purpose without the express written permission of the Dean of Students. This applies to fundraising for individual students or group activities and events of any kind. Adopted December 2019.
- Unofficial Student-Sponsored Events: Students who hold events for Minerva students without Minerva’s official sponsorship or approval should be aware that Minerva will not be held responsible for the safety of students at these events and activities or for the contractual or other legal obligations of the event sponsors. Adopted December 2019
Minerva Schools at KGI are committed to upholding local, state and federal laws; requiring proper management of events and activities where alcoholic beverages are served; and minimizing the misuse of alcoholic beverages. This policy applies to all registered Minerva students seeking to serve or consume alcohol. Alcohol is prohibited in the residence halls and all residential agreements spell this out in detail. This is the case even for students who are of legal drinking age in a city. Students are prohibited from possessing or consuming any alcoholic beverage on Minerva-operated premises except for officially sponsored and sanctioned events at the time of graduation, held outside the residence halls. No member of the Minerva community may serve or furnish any alcoholic beverages to persons under the legal drinking age of their residential city, particularly if those persons cannot establish that they are of legal drinking age according to local laws.
Minerva Schools at KGI is committed to providing a safe, healthy and productive work environment for all students, faculty, staff and visitors. Consistent with this commitment, in line with KGI policy, and in compliance with federal regulations, Minerva remains smoke and drug free. Smoking and/or the use of all illegal drugs, including cannabis (marijuana) is prohibited in all indoor and outdoor facilities on Minerva leased property with no exception, including within vehicles parked on those properties. This policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, and other persons on campus, regardless of the purpose for their visit, and to all Minerva leased facilities and vehicles.
- Smoking is prohibited in any facility leased by Minerva, regardless of location.
- Smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of an area that surrounds Minerva leased facilities, including entrances, exits, mechanical system air intake structures, public and common areas for such facilities.
Any student caught smoking, vaping, or possessing smoking apparatus or paraphernalia in any area of Minerva-leased properties will be charged $250 per occasion and may be subject to removal for continued violations.
Smoking is defined as inhaling, exhaling, burning, vaping, carrying or possessing any lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe, electronic cigarette which creates a vapor, hookah or other lit product and including the use of any substance, including but not limited to tobacco, cloves or marijuana. Illegal drugs include all forms of cannabis, including in amounts and forms otherwise permitted by California law in non-campus locations.
The success of this policy depends on the thoughtfulness, consideration, and cooperation of all members of the KGI community. All students, faculty, and staff share in the responsibility for adhering to and enforcing this policy. Refusal by students, faculty, or staff to comply with this policy may result in appropriate disciplinary action. Visitors who refuse to comply will be asked to leave should they persist.
Social Media Policies
The use of social media is governed by the Student Code of Conduct and federal and state laws. Students are responsible for their own use of social media outlets, which may or may not be monitored or regulated. It is up to each user of a social media outlet and participant in a virtual discussion to regulate content that is added or shared with the community.
Within these general guidelines, students are prohibited as follows:
- Students may not post any content that is discriminatory, including any posts that are vulgar, false, obscene, harassing, or disparaging to the race, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any individual with whom a student comes into contact as a result of being a member of the Minerva community. (Note: Because Minerva is a global community with students from more than 70 countries, students must be especially mindful that attempts at humor based on the differences within the student body may be perceived as disparaging to others.)
- Students may not disclose any financial, proprietary, or other confidential information of Minerva.
- Students may not present themselves as official representatives of, or spokespersons for, Minerva unless asked to do so by a Minerva staff or faculty member.
- Students may not utilize Minerva’s trademarks or logos without permission of Minerva.
- Students may not represent themselves as another person, real or fictitious, or otherwise attempt to obscure their identity as a means to circumvent the prohibitions included in this policy.
- Students may not share or distribute videos or still shots of classes or events on Forum without the explicit written permission of the course faculty member and college dean overseeing the course and any student whose image appears in the video or photograph.
If found in violation of these policies, students will be subject to disciplinary actions including warning, probation, suspension, or withdrawal from Minerva.
Guidelines on Anonymous Postings on Social Media
One of Minerva’s guiding principles is Being Authentic, explained as follows:
We communicate openly and candidly, addressing people directly and conveying heartfelt emotion. We welcome honest dialogue, even about sensitive or controversial topics. We impart accurate information with genuine sincerity, building trust and establishing mutual respect. We avoid anything artificial, false, or contrived; hyperbole breeds suspicion and erodes credibility.
In keeping with this principle, we do not support or value anonymous platforms as appropriate means of communication in the Minerva community. Anonymous posts are likely to spread confusion, misperceptions, and uncertainty, without holding anyone accountable for being authentic. They undermine our collective intentions to promote honest dialogue in a context of respect for one another. Furthermore, we believe that an anonymous post is likely to provide the author with a false sense of privacy, while breeding an environment in which others are motivated to uncover the author’s identity.
We recognize the need for confidentiality and privacy regarding sensitive and/or personal information that should not be shared broadly. The Minerva staff respects student privacy within legal limits and will support individual students as they negotiate how and when to share personal information with others. Moreover, all Minerva students have unlimited access to confidential counseling services from our professional Counseling and Psychological Services staff. We encourage all students to reach out to specific resources (as described on the Hub and elsewhere) as relevant, rather than post an anonymous message as a way of expressing their need for support.
It is important to understand that when students reach out to appropriate resources, we can support them; we can also verify, investigate, and adjudicate any issues, as necessary. When we learn of a possible issue by way of an anonymous post, we are not able to support students directly, thereby reducing our overall ability to keep students healthy and safe.
We recognize that students might write anonymous posts as a way of sharing harmless, fun, or lighthearted thoughts or feelings. Although such posts do not carry inherent risks, they are not consistent with the principle of being authentic in our communications with others. We encourage students to consider how such messages might be better expressed openly, with a sense of accountability to one another.
Anonymous posts might also be seen as a means of venting, or expressing dissatisfaction about some aspect of life at Minerva. If directed at other students, an anonymous post could cause hurt feelings or anger, without a means of responding personally. If directed at staff or faculty, we are unable to provide direct feedback. However, we actively seek student feedback in a number of ways: by way of RA meetings, feedback groups, through Associated Students of Minerva,via Town Halls, through the State of Minerva surveys, and in direct personal communications. For additional avenues for student feedback, please consult your local Student Affairs staff in each city.
As Minerva seeks to create and foster a real life community, cohesion among members of the community is paramount. We do not endorse and strongly discourage the creation and/or facilitation of anonymous platforms and we will not monitor the content of such. We urge all members of the Minerva community to have a zero tolerance policy for anonymous communication, especially the kind that can cause discord or panic. Those specifically seeking to cause such harm to the Minerva community will be subjected to the same student conduct rules at Minerva as facilitators or originators of uncivil discourse in general.
Minerva seeks to provide education in an environment where the free exchange of ideas is encouraged and protected. Minerva makes available computing and network facilities (CNF) resources for use by students. These services are provided for educational purposes and to carry out the legitimate business of Minerva Schools at KGI. Responsible, considerate, and ethical behavior expected by Minerva extends to use of computing and network facilities resources. These CNF resources may include but are not limited to:
- Video and ethernet cables and adapters
- Data networking equipment systems, including remote and wireless access
- Computer software
- Electronically stored institutional data and messages
- G Suite for Education
- All other similar resources owned, controlled, and/or operated by Minerva
- Services to maintain these resources
Minerva retains absolute ownership rights of the CNF resources.
Privacy and Security
Students’ personal documents, files and electronic mail stored on a Minerva-networked computer or server are normally accessible only by the student. However, any file or document placed on a Minerva-owned computer or network is subject to access by Minerva, and thus, should not be regarded as private or confidential. All staff members working in information technology have clear guidelines that prohibit violations of privacy and confidentiality and, in the normal course of their work, do not view the contents of user files or email. However, authorized Minerva personnel will take appropriate steps to investigate when there is a suspicion of inappropriate use of computing or networking resources.
Many educational and business activities at Minerva require network access to resources on the Internet. To ensure adequate bandwidth to these sites for primary educational and business purposes, Minerva IT staff may restrict the amount of traffic to particular sites and the amount of traffic of specific types.
From time to time, these network monitoring activities may allow systems managers to identify individuals whose activities downgrade the performance of the campus network or a segment of the network, or which appear to violate the general guidelines for appropriate use of campus computing and network resources. In such instances, Minerva staff may ask you to cease these activities. If you continue such activities, or if they include illegal activities, appropriate authorities may be notified. In extreme cases, network privileges may be revoked on an interim basis pending resolution of the issue.
Individuals who are entrusted with logins and passwords, or who inadvertently discover them, are expected to guard them responsibly. These passwords are not to be shared with others. Passwords may be used for the purpose of security, but the use of the password does not affect Minerva’s ownership of electronic information.
Access to Resources
Access to CNF resources is a privilege. All users must understand and abide by the responsibilities that come with the privilege of use. Such responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Students are expected to understand and comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws.
- Students must not intentionally seek information about, browse, copy, or modify non-public files belonging to other people. Students must not attempt to “sniff” or eavesdrop on data on the network that are not intended for them.
- Students are authorized to use only computer resources and information to which they have legitimately been granted access. Sharing passwords with others is expressly forbidden. Any attempt to gain unauthorized access to any computer system, resource or information is expressly forbidden. If students encounter or observe a gap in system or network security, they should report it immediately to Minerva staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Minerva’s policies on harassment and use of social media apply equally to electronic displays and communications as to more traditional (e.g., oral and written) means of display and communication.
- Messages, sentiments, and declarations sent as electronic mail or postings must meet the same standards for distribution or display as physical (paper) documents.
- Unsolicited mailings and unauthorized mass mailings from campus networks or computing resources (i.e., “spam”) are prohibited.
- Spoofing, and attempts to spoof or falsify e‐mail, network or other information used to identify the source, destination or other information about a communication, data or information are prohibited.
- Students must not degrade computing or network performance in any way that could prevent others from meeting their educational or business goals. This includes preventing others from using shared resources by running unattended processes, by playing games or by “locking” systems without permission.
- Students must conform to laws and policies regarding protection of intellectual property, including laws and policies regarding copyright, patents, and trademarks. When the content and distribution of an electronic communication would exceed fair use as defined by the federal Copyright Act of 1976, users of campus computing or networking resources must secure appropriate permission to distribute protected material in any form, including text, photographic images, audio, video, graphic illustrations, and computer software.
- Students must not use campus computing or networking resources or personal computing resources accessed through campus network facilities to collect, store or distribute information or materials, or to participate in activities that violate federal, state or local laws or Minerva policies or guidelines. This includes, but is not limited to, policies regarding intellectual property and sexual or other forms of harassment.
- Students must not create or willfully disseminate computer viruses, worms, or other software intended to degrade system or network security. Students must take reasonable steps to prevent their systems from being used as a vehicle for such actions. This includes installing system and software patches as well as anti‐virus signatures files.
- The use of CNF resources for advertising, selling, and soliciting for commercial purposes or for personal gain is prohibited without the prior written consent of Minerva.
- The disclosure of individually identifiable non-directory information is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
- Downloading, storing, posting, forwarding, screen-capturing, recording, or in any other way sharing videos of class sessions is a violation of Social Media policy and may also violate the privacy rights of students under Minerva’s policy, FERPA or the GDPR.
- Willful or unauthorized misuse or disclosure of information owned by Minerva or KGI will also constitute just cause for disciplinary action, including dismissal from school, regardless of whether criminal or civil penalties are imposed. It is also expected that any user will report suspected abuses of CNF resources. Failure to do so may subject the individual to loss of CNF access and/or the disciplinary action.
- Minerva may immediately suspend service to an individual or computer found to be significantly degrading the usability of the network or other computer systems. Inappropriate use will be referred to the appropriate authority to take action, which may result in discipline up to and including dismissal from Minerva.
Computer Loan Policy
Minerva has a limited number of loaner computers available in each rotation city for students to check out during the semester when they need a temporary computer because of immediate loss, maintenance, or damage to their own computer. Priority goes to students who need to borrow a computer to take class, and thus a loaner laptop may need to be shared by students, depending upon need. In general, a loaner laptop may only be checked out by a student for no more than two weeks at a time, and no more than twice a semester. It is not uncommon for all loaner laptops in a city to be checked out, particularly later in the semester. When this happens, a waitlist will be honored based on when requests are received. If a loaner laptop is not returned to a Minerva staff member within the two-week time limit or other appointed deadline, the student is automatically charged the total cost of the issued laptop and/or other equipment billed directly to the student’s account. The loaner laptop (and charger when applicable) must be returned to Minerva staff in the same location from which it was borrowed, and must be returned before the end of the semester. The local staff is responsible for storing the loaner laptops and chargers, maintaining records of students who borrow them, and enforcing this policy.
The process described below is administrative in nature and is separate and distinct from the criminal and civil legal systems and the Minerva Honor Code policy on academic dishonesty. Separate procedures for violations of the Prohibited Sexual Conduct policy are included in the policy found on the Hub.
Resolution through the disciplinary process does not preclude someone from pursuing legal action now or in the future. If the conduct in question is alleged to be a violation of both Minerva policy and law, Minerva will normally proceed with its usual conduct process, regardless of action or inaction by outside authorities. Violations of the conduct code, policies, and residential agreements may also be resolved through an informal process by staff in each residential hall and city or handled through the formal process set forth below. The decision to handle a matter informally or formally depends on the gravity of the violation, the student’s previous record, and other relevant factors, including previous violations and the student’s willingness to take responsibility for their actions. If student conduct places the community at immediate risk, Minerva may take whatever steps necessary to protect the community first, and institute formal proceedings as soon as reasonably possible after the event.
The process of adjudicating alleged violations of the conduct code or other regulations cited in this section is the responsibility of the Student Life Global Director assigned to Discipline or his or her designee. When violations are referred to the Director, the Director conducts the initial investigation and determines if disciplinary proceedings should be commenced. The Director may delegate all or part of the investigation to a City Director if the alleged violation takes place in one of Minerva’s global locations, or to another designated staff person as circumstances require. The investigation commences within a reasonable time, usually within 30 days of notification of the conduct. The student is informed of the commencement of proceedings in writing, stating the rules, laws, regulations or policies violated, and gives the student the opportunity to prepare a written statement for submission in the proceeding. The student is given a reasonable amount of time to submit such a statement, usually 10 days.
The Director or designee appoints three persons, one or two each from the Minerva faculty and staff, to serve as a Student Conduct Committee within 10 days of completion of the investigation. Each committee member should have no prior close involvement with the student(s) as an advisor, mentor, or supervisor, and no involvement with the incident that gave rise to the proceeding.
The Director or designee provides the Student Conduct Committee with the investigation report, the student’s statement, if any, and recommendations for sanctions, if any. The Committee convenes within 10 days of appointment. It may investigate further or ask the Director to investigate further, as appropriate, to ensure that all relevant information is considered.
The Committee shall consider:
- Is there any additional information needed to make a decision?
- Is there anything in the record that is incomplete or unclear?
- Has the student admitted to the conduct?
- If not, is there substantial evidence that the student engaged in the alleged conduct?
- Is the conduct a violation of the law, residential agreement, student code of conduct, and/or other Minerva policy?
- Fair and Appropriate Sanction
- Considering the conduct in question and the record of the student, is the sanction recommended fair and appropriate?
- Has the student been given notice and a chance to address their participation in the conduct?
- Is the sanction proportional to the gravity of the conduct?
- How does the student’s previous record affect the kind of sanction that should be imposed?
- Has the student been a good member of the Minerva community?
- Based on past and this conduct, is the student likely to be a good member of the community in the future?
- Does the student pose any risk to the community?
- Aggravating and Mitigating Circumstances
- Are there aggravating or mitigating circumstances that affect the sanction?
- Did the student openly admit the misconduct?
- Did the student take responsibility for the misconduct?
- Did the student express remorse about the conduct?
- Did the student indicate that they learned anything from this incident?
- Does the student have a record of discipline?
The Committee deliberates and makes a recommendation to the Director within 10 days, unless further investigation is required, in which case the Committee must reconvene within 10 days of completion of additional investigation and make a recommendation at that time.
The Director informs the student of the outcome of the proceeding by email, including the sanction and rights of appeal.
The student may appeal to the Chief Accreditation and Policy Officer (CAPO). The appeal must be in writing and submitted directly to the CAPO within 10 days. The CAPO will consider appeals based on one of the following bases: 1) a substantial mistake of fact; 2) a fundamental misinterpretation of the policies, rules, or regulation involved; or 3) a substantial procedural error. The student must include the basis for the appeal and provide clear information on the basis for appeal. The CAPO reviews the written record and may interview the Director, Student Conduct Committee and/or the student as deemed necessary to make a decision. The CAPO acts promptly in the appeal, usually within 21 days and informs the student by email with a copy of this communication to the Director. If the appeal is granted, the Director carries out next steps as set forth by the CAPO. If the appeal is denied, the Director implements the original decision.
Any one or more of the following sanctions may be imposed on a student who is found responsible for a violation:
- Restitution: Reimbursement by the student to Minerva, the complainant(s), and/or a member of the Minerva community to cover the cost of damage to property or other loss.
- Fine: A monetary penalty assessed as appropriate to the violation. (Also see fines and fees below.)
- Service Hours: A defined number of work hours the student must complete, either in the residence hall or in another appropriate location.
- Educational Program/Project: Programs and activities designed to help the student become more aware of conduct policies and understand the inappropriateness of the student’s behavior, including, but not limited to, participation in an educational program.
- Referral for Counseling: A referral for an assessment with an appropriately trained therapist and a mandate to follow any recommendations resulting from the assessment.
- Loss of Privilege(s): Denial of specific privilege(s) for a defined period of time. Privileges include, but are not limited to participation in co-curricular and extracurricular activities and events such as social events, student organizations and activities, and student government; loss of services and support and access; loss of financial aid; and loss of the privilege of living in a residence hall or participating in the global rotation.
- Restricted Access: Conditions which specifically dictate and limit the student’s presence in Minerva-controlled locations and/or participation in Minerva-sponsored activities. The restrictions may include, but are not limited to, presence in certain buildings or locations or a no-contact order in relation to a particular individual or individuals.
- Removal of Offending Cause: Requirement to remove pets, stereos, or other identified property.
- Warning: Conduct warning is issued when a student has violated a policy and is being warned that further violations will escalate the matter to a formal proceeding.
- Relocation/Loss of Housing: Requirement that the student relocate to another residence hall or non-Minerva location by a specified date.
- Conduct Probation: Formal, written notice that the student’s behavior is in violation of the Principles of Community and/or other policy and an expectation that the student exhibit good behavior for a defined period of time. Any violation during the probationary period may result in suspension or expulsion from Minerva.
- Suspension: Separation from Minerva for a defined period of time. During the suspension period the student is not permitted in any Minerva-controlled building and is not permitted to participate in any Minerva-sponsored or affiliated program or activity. The terms of the suspension may include the designation of special conditions affecting eligibility for readmission or special conditions to be in effect upon readmission.
- Expulsion: Permanent separation from Minerva. A student who has been expelled is not permitted in residence halls and is not permitted to participate in any Minerva-sponsored or affiliated program or activity.
Sanctions 10-13 may only be imposed through formal Disciplinary Procedures.
Prohibited Sexual Conduct
The mission of Minerva is to nurture critical wisdom for the sake of the world. We apply critical wisdom in establishing policies and procedures that are fair and impartial, including our policy regarding prohibited sexual conduct.
Minerva has enacted the Prohibited Sexual Conduct Policy in order to:
- maintain our community values and expectations that all community members are free from sexual misconduct and all forms of sex and/or gender discrimination and harassment,
- describe our procedures for determining when this policy has been violated, and
- provide recourse for individuals and the community in response to policy violations.
Minerva’s Prohibited Sexual Conduct Policy applies to all members of the Minerva community and complies with U.S. federal and state laws that prohibit sex and/or gender discrimination.
Minerva is committed to the principles of academic freedom, including free inquiry and expression. This policy is not intended to stifle the freedom of Minerva students, faculty, and staff to properly engage in vigorous discussion and debate and to express ideas that may be controversial, provocative, or unpopular. However, this protection of free speech has limits, such that speech or conduct that rises to the level of unlawful harassment on the basis of gender is neither legally protected expression nor an exercise in academic freedom. Minerva supports an environment free of sex or gender-based harassment and misconduct.
Minerva does not tolerate acts of Prohibited Sexual Conduct. This term refers to the following forms of behavior:
- Sex or Gender-Based Harassment
- Sexual Misconduct, which includes Sexual Assault, Non-Consensual Sexual Contact, Sexual Exploitation, and Stalking
- Intimate Partner Violence
- Prohibited Relationships by Persons in Authority
- Retaliation against a person who inquires, reports, or otherwise participates in good faith regarding this policy
Any report of Prohibited Sexual Conduct will be taken seriously and addressed promptly. Minerva will act to end the prohibited sexual conduct, prevent its recurrence, and appropriately sanction responsible parties. Individuals who violate these policies are subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment at Minerva (faculty or staff), expulsion (students), and/or other appropriate sanctions.
The full policy, which can be accessed on the Hub here, defines terms and prohibited conduct; describes Minerva’s consent culture and related educational programs; sets forth reporting processes and rights of parties to a reported matter; establishes procedures for investigation, review, and appeal; and provides local resources.
Anyone who wishes to report a possible violation of this policy should contact any Minerva staff or faculty member or the Title IX Coordinator at Susan Christopher, PhD, email@example.com,
Mandatory Leave of Absence or Mandatory Non-Residential Study
Minerva’s primary concern is the health and welfare of each individual student. Minerva provides a range of services to support the mental and physical health of our students and requires students to carry medical insurance. Students with physical or mental health conditions who need accommodations are encouraged to request accommodations through the process outlined here.
In extraordinary circumstances, students whose psychiatric, psychological or medical condition significantly disrupts or threatens the life or safety of the student or others or prevents such a student from being able to care of themselves in Minerva’s environment may be required to take a Mandatory Leave of Absence or to leave residency in Minerva housing and to study remotely. In these circumstances, students will be given the opportunity to request a voluntary leave of absence through the procedures outlined [here]. If a student declines to take a voluntary leave and if it is determined after an individualized assessment that there is significant risk that the student will harm themselves or others and that risk cannot be mitigated through reasonable accommodations and adjustments, Minerva may require a Mandatory Leave of Absence or Mandatory Non-Residential Study. This policy establishes the procedures for a Mandatory Leave of Absence and Mandatory Non-Residential Study, and the conditions relevant to returning to residential study.
A Mandatory Leave of Absence or Mandatory Non-Residential Study under this policy is not a disciplinary matter or process. However, it is possible that conduct leading to a leave under this policy may also be subject to review under the Minerva’s code of conduct and disciplinary process. Nothing in this policy limits Minerva from also taking disciplinary action against the student if warranted based on the student’s conduct under the Code of Student Conduct and Residential Agreement, as set forth above. Nothing in this policy limits Minerva’s authority to take action to ensure the safety of the community or take steps under other policies such as placing enrollment holds, requiring students to meet outstanding financial obligations, or proceeding with relevant academic actions. Nothing in this policy relieves a student of financial obligations that were in place at the time a Leave of Absence or Non-Residential Study is imposed.
Criteria for Mandatory Leave
The decision to place a student on a Mandatory Leave of Absence or Mandatory Non-Residential Study is made by the designated Global Director of Student Life, in consultation with other professionals as appropriate. The Director may require such a Leave following an individualized assessment of a student in which it is determined that a student reasonably meets one or more of the following criteria:
- Presents a substantial risk of harm to self or others or has engaged in threatening or violent activities.
- Significantly disrupts the educational or other activities of the community.
- Is unable or unwilling to adequately care for oneself and their safety in Minerva’s learning environment.
Procedures for Determining Whether Mandatory Leave is Appropriate
When a Mandatory Leave of Absence or Mandatory Non-Residential Study is being considered, the Director or designee will notify a student that a Mandatory Leave of Absence or Mandatory Non-Residential Study under this policy is under review and specify the reason(s) for the review. Where possible, the Director or his/her designee will encourage the student to take a voluntary leave of absence.
The student will have five (5) calendar days from the date on which notice was received to respond to any concerns raised in the notification. If the student declines to respond or is unable to respond because of hospitalization or incarceration or other exigent circumstances, the decision to proceed will be made without the student’s statement.
The Director may determine, based on the information available and in consultation with appropriate professionals, that the student’s continued presence in Minerva facilities and activities poses an imminent threat of significant harm to him or herself and other students. In such a circumstance, the Director may remove the student from the community on an interim basis pending the outcome of the individualized assessment and review. The Director will conduct an individualized and objective assessment to determine whether the student can safely participate in the program and the community.
Students are expected to cooperate in the assessment and may be required to undergo a mental or physical evaluation from a qualified specialist with expertise and experience in the areas that led to the action being taken (e.g., psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed mental health counselor, or medical doctor).The student is expected to sign a release of information to facilitate discussions between Minerva and the clinician conducting an evaluation. Students may also be asked to provide relevant medical and/or psychological information from their health care provider.
In consultation with appropriate professionals and school officials, the designated Global Director of Student Life will review the available information to determine whether a Mandatory Leave of Absence or Mandatory Non-Residential Study should be invoked. The Director may consider all relevant documentation and will confer with the Petition Review and Policy Committee and with individuals who may have relevant information about whether a leave or non-residential study is appropriate for a particular student. Although each case will vary, conferring individuals could include:
- Disability Resource Specialist
- Counseling and Psychological Services personnel
- Faculty members and Deans
- Academic Advisors/Coaches
- Director of Enrollment and Advising
- Other Student Life personnel including Directors and Managers of residential locations and Residential Life Coordinators.
- Other members of the Minerva community.
The Director will provide written notice of the decision to the student. That decision may include: (1) that the student can remain enrolled, with no conditions; (2) that the student can remain enrolled, subject to the conditions outlined in the decision letter; (3) that the student will be placed on a Mandatory Leave of Absence; or (4) that the student will be placed on a Mandatory Non-Residential Study.
If a Mandatory Leave of Absence or Mandatory Non-Residential Study is imposed, the written decision will include the following information and conditions:
- The time frame within which the student may be eligible to return.
- The conditions that the student must satisfy to be eligible for return, including but not limited to providing documentation of a medical or other condition evaluated and treated by a qualified specialist who indicates the diagnosis, course of treatment, and the student’s readiness to return to study and/or residence,
- The procedures that the student must follow when he or she wishes to re-enroll.
- The academic standing of the student and any conditions that the student must meet academically upon return.
Unless the decision letter states otherwise, the Director’s decision is effective immediately.
A student placed on a Mandatory Leave of Absence or Mandatory Non-Residential Study has 10 calendar days from the receipt of the decision letter from the Director to file an appeal, with the Chief Accreditation and Policy Officer (CAPO). The student may appeal any decision of the Dean of Students, including any decision to impose the Mandatory Leave of Absence or the Mandatory Non-Residential Study, and/or the conditions imposed to return.
A student wishing to appeal must submit a written letter to the CAPO within 10 calendar days of the decision. The letter must state why the student believes that the Director’s decision was not warranted and provide any additional information or documentation the student believes should be considered.
The CAPO will review the student’s appeal and may:
- Uphold the decision without any modifications;
- Modify the decision;
- Overturn the decision; or
- Return the decision for further review.
The CAPO’s decision will be communicated to the student in writing and will be considered final.
During the Mandatory Leave or Non-residential Study
Unless expressly permitted in writing, students on leave or in non-residential study under this policy are not permitted to be present at Minerva facilities and are not permitted to engage in any in-person face-to-face Minerva activities. If the student is on leave, the student’s access to Minerva email, Forum and Minerva Facebook pages may be suspended.
Return from Mandatory Leave or Non-residential Study
A student will not be permitted to return to Minerva until the leave period specified in the decision letter has elapsed and the conditions for return have been satisfied.
A student must make a written request to return the Director and must provide the documentation specified in the initial decision letter to support the request to be reinstated. The form for Petition to Return from Leave is provided by the Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org. To request return for fall semester, documentation should be provided on January 15, and for spring semester on September 15.
The request will be reviewed by the Petitions and Policy Committee, described below. The committee may ask for additional information from the student, including additional assessments from health care professionals and may confer with others to assist in making the determination about return.
The decision concerning the request to return will be made as promptly as possible once all the required documentation and assessments, including supplemental assessments, are made. If the request is denied, the Director will include the reason for the decision in the written communication.
If the Committee denies the student’s request to return, the student may appeal the decision to the CAPO using the procedures outlined above under Appeal.
Transcripts will not distinguish between a voluntary and mandatory leave of absence or note whether the student was in residence when credits were earned.
When a student is placed on a Mandatory Leave of Absence after the beginning of the term, courses in which the student was enrolled after the drop deadline appear on the student’s transcript and show the symbol “W” (withdrew). Students who receive all Ws as the result of a LOA may be subject to academic standing policies although the Academic Standards Committee may take the leave into consideration.
Minerva recognizes the sensitive and confidential nature of the circumstances leading to a Mandatory Leave of Absence or Mandatory Non-Residential Study determination. Use and limitations on disclosure of confidential student information will be guided by laws governing the privacy of student information, such as FERPA, and the limited exceptions for disclosure provided by law.
Petition Review and Policy Committee
This Committee acts on petitions and other requests from students and to provide input to the Academic Standards Committee in making decisions on purely academic matters. It has representatives of all units within Minerva Schools that connect directly to students’ education and experience: Academics, Student Life, Student Services and Financial/Financial Aid. Among the kinds of requests it considers are Leaves of Absence; Reinstatement; Deviation from Global Rotation or for Remote Study; Reduced or Increased Course Load. The committee may consult with others as it carries out its work. Because of the nature of the issues that the committee reviews, it often considers ways to improve policies, procedures, communications, and practices and makes recommendations accordingly.
Please see the section below on the Academic Standards Committee for the scope of its authority.
Fines, Fees, and Other Consequences for Noncompliance with Requirements
In addition to the usual fees set forth in the section on Financial Information and the disciplinary sanctions noted above, the following fines and fees may be imposed on students who fail to meet important requirements and deadlines. Most fees or fines are imposed because a student has either failed to meet a requirement and/or failed to communicate regarding requirements established in the Prepare process, the Enrollment and Housing Commitment, the Student Handbook, pre-departure materials, Residential Agreements, and other published policies. Fines may be imposed for additional policy violations and increased for multiple offenses. Fines may also be coupled with the imposition of another sanction, like official warnings, account holds, suspension or expulsion. The following is not an exhaustive list. Other fines, fees, or consequences may flow from student conduct that does not meet published policies.
Not attending essential Foundation Week/Elevation sessions or make-up session Foundation Week and Elevation dates are published far enough in advance for all students to plan accordingly. Make-up work will never be the same as being in attendance. Therefore, students who do not attend Foundation Week or Elevation are required to attend a make-up session and/or do make-up work on material that was missed to demonstrate that they understand the essential material. Should a student fail to complete this, the student will receive an account hold and be unable to gain access to the next Prepare process until doing so. Students must also petition for late arrival and be approved. (Advanced students studying remotely are exempt from this policy.)
Not taking mandatory assessments (including CLA+ tests)
Times and dates of CLA+ tests and other mandatory assessments of student learning are published far enough in advance for all students to plan accordingly. Students are required to take the CLA+ tests. The CLA+ tests are given to first-year students during Foundation Week and at year end, typically during the last week of their first spring semester. The CLA+ tests are given to graduating students during the third week of Manifest. Students must attend in person (or if the test is proctored virtually attend at the correct time) to take these tests or arrange prior to the tests to take the test remotely at a different time. If the in-person test is given, students taking the test remotely are charged a fee of $17.50 (which is charged to Minerva by the testing company). Students who fail to show up for the test without prior permission are charged $50, which includes the remote test fee and covers associate costs of staff time. First-year students who fail to take the spring tests may not be not registered for the next fall semester’s courses until the add/drop period and graduating students who fail to take the test in person without prior approval may be required to perform two hours of community service.
Attempted Subletting or Assignment of Minerva Housing Unit
Residents may not sublet their unit or assign to another party. Residents who engage in such conduct will be subject to disciplinary action and a $300 fine (established policy found in Residential Agreements).
Minerva Housing Unit Changes
Resident students may not move from their unit to another without prior written consent from Minerva, and consent may be withheld in Minerva’s sole discretion. Changing units in violation of this requirement will result in a $150 fine and the student will be required to move back to the assigned unit (established policy found in Residential Agreements).
Minerva leased properties are 100% smoke-free. Any student caught smoking, vaping, or possessing smoking apparatus or paraphernalia in any area of Minerva properties will be automatically charged $250 per occasion and may be subject to removal for continued violations (established policy found in Residential Agreements).
Candles and incense are strictly prohibited in all Minerva buildings, even if such items are unlit or being used for decorative purpose(s) only. The burning of anything, including candles, paper, and incense will incur a $200 fine.
Misuse of fire safety equipment (such as fire alarms, external metal fire escapes and internal fire stair cases accessible from particular units) or Building equipment (elevators) may result in fines or discipline for repeat offenses. As noted in Restricted Building Access Points, use of fire escapes and fire staircases, except in the event of fire, will result in a fine of $300, and each time thereafter, with increasing fines and the second instance triggering disciplinary proceedings. In addition, such student(s) will pay the cost of any maintenance visit by a fire escape contractor, if needed, to return stairs to their prior condition. Intentional use of a fire alarm to issue a false alarm is subject to a $500 fine (or the actual cost, if higher, of the local Fire Department response).
Restricted Building Access Points
The roofs, porches, fire escapes (whether external metal type fire escapes or fire escape staircases accessible from certain rooms) when there is no fire, window ledges, unfinished attics and mechanical equipment rooms of Minerva properties are restricted areas and may not be accessed unless such access is required to preserve life and limb. Violations of this policy will incur a $300 fine (The established policy is found in Residential Agreements but applies to students whether or not they live in the housing where the violation takes place).
Not Returning a Loaner Laptop on Time
If a loaner laptop is not returned to a Minerva staff member within the two-week time limit or by another appointed deadline, the student will be automatically charged the total cost of the issued laptop and/or other equipment, billed directly to the student’s account.
Not Completing Requirements for a Visa in a Rotation City
While students are on global rotation, courses or other programming offered through visa-sponsoring entities may be required in order for students to have a visa for that location. Students may also be required to establish residency in the city and country of rotation. The immediate consequences of failing to complete such a course or to obtain the correct residency documentation on time include a $250 fine. Failure to complete either the course or residency documentation by the date specified in communications from staff is not an option and will result in disciplinary action in addition to the fine and loss of visa.
Leaving a City during Term Time without Permission
Students are not permitted to travel out of rotation cities except on weekends, scheduled breaks when class is not in session, or with the permission of the Student Services staff. If a student violates these important visa requirements, the student will be fined $100 and, if the student has an F-1 visa, the visa may be terminated.
Not Completing All Parts of Required Student Life Courses
Minerva requires students to complete training courses, including in-person and online educational programs on alcohol and drugs, sexual misconduct, and financial literacy. Students who fail to complete these courses (in all of their parts) by the published deadline dates are charged a fine of $100 per course AND students must complete all parts of the online and other required courses by specified deadlines or the student will be unable to gain access to the next Prepare process until doing so. If in-person sessions are missed, the student MUST attend the make-up sessions or a $100 fine will be charged.
Departing a Minerva Rotation City without completing the Departure/Check-Out Form on time.
Students who fail to complete and submit the requested details regarding their rotation city departure and/or sign-up for their Minerva Housing Check-Out will receive a $50 fine.
Moving out of Minerva Housing without checking-out and/or signing off on the Unit Condition Report.
Students who move out with checking out properly are charged a fine of $100 in addition to any other residence/key charges, other charges for damages or breach of the residential agreement, and students cannot contest these charges.
Consequences for Other Kinds of Noncompliance
Not Completing Prepare Modules on Time
Student’s access to Forum is disabled until Prepare modules are complete. Further, students will not be registered for classes until Prepare modules are completed. Any absences as a result of this action will count as undocumented excusable absences unless the student is otherwise eligible for an excused absence because of extenuating circumstances. Extenuating circumstances must have proper documentation and be excused by petition to Student Services.
Students pay residential fees for the housing and city option originally selected when signing the Enrollment and Housing Commitment. If the student fails to live in this location, the housing fees are nonrefundable, no matter what the reason for failure to attend, and the student loses access to the room. If the student chooses to live in another Minerva city in Minerva housing, the student is responsible for paying residential fees in that location as well.
Late Opt-in to a City or Being Off-Rotation
Students who are off rotation or do not complete Prepare timely are not guaranteed Minerva housing and are provided Minerva housing only subject to availability. If not available, the student must find and secure their own independent housing and pay designated Student Life and city Residential Services fees associated with independent housing.
Late Arrival at Residence Hall
Students who do not arrive in a city by the start of classes are not guaranteed their original room assignment in Minerva housing. Minerva will ensure that the student has a bed; however, students are not guaranteed that it will be with their originally preferred roommate(s) or room assignment.
Shipping Documents related to Visas
Shipping costs are charged directly to students after their initial I-20. Requests must be made through eShip Global.
Academic Policies and Procedures
Four-Year Curricular Structure
The Minerva curriculum is designed to prepare our students to become leaders, innovators, broad thinkers, and global citizens. To achieve this goal, the curriculum has a distinctive structure.
First Year: Foundation
During their first year at Minerva, students learn the “habits of mind” and “foundational concepts” (HCs) that foster critical thinking, creative thinking, effective communication, and effective interaction. All students take four, year-long Cornerstone seminars: Formal Analyses (which focuses on thinking critically), Empirical Analyses (which focuses on thinking creatively), Multimodal Communication (which focuses on communicating effectively) and Complex Systems (which focuses on interacting effectively). This material is also used (and assessed) during the subsequent three years while students major in specific subjects and within the Capstone and Manifest courses.
Second Year: Direction
The second year of study is devoted to the core courses that form the basis of a student’s major(s). Students take core courses within their intended college major and, if desired, a second major or minor(s) during the spring semester. Core and concentration courses not in a student’s major serve are electives and fulfill breadth requirements.
Third Year: Focus
Students continue to specialize their course of study during the third year by choosing one or more concentrations within each major, and taking the two Capstone seminar courses, during which they will begin developing their Capstone project.
Fourth Year: Synthesis
During their final year, students complete their majors either by taking tutorial courses or a business practicum, and completing any additional degree requirements. The tutorials are collaborative, student-driven explorations of specific topics within the student’s chosen field. As noted under Senior Tutorials, students can elect to substitute a research/internship experience or an additional major Concentration course from their major for a tutorial. The business practicum is a required course during the summer between the third and fourth years, ideally associated with a summer internship or job. Students also complete their Capstone project, which is presented to the Minerva community during the final Manifest term.
Integrated Learning Course
Minerva has several ways of integrating student’s learning in and outside the courses, including Location-Based Assignments that are part of credit-bearing courses and an array of mandatory and voluntary programming and activities that are directed toward students achieving the Integrated Learning Outcomes set forth in the first section of this Handbook.
The M23 and M24 cohorts also take a required Integrated Learning course, designed to help students to grow and develop in the five ILOs while integrating their personal and professional learning with their academic learning. The course is a total of four semester credits, taken in half-credit increments each semester. More information will be provided to M23 and M24 students during late August, prior to the start of the fall 2020 semester.
Academic Advising and Professional Development/Coaching
Students are advised collectively through the Director of Enrollment and Advising and the Coaching and Talent Development (CTD) team. During the first year, students participate in group and one-on-one coaching sessions, career exploration workshops and conversations with faculty and industry professionals, and information sessions about major options, as they transition into Minerva and ultimately choose a major that aligns with their academic interests as well as their professional goals. All students are assigned to a primary CTD coach who will help them navigate internships, career, and academic exploration and decision making, in consultation with faculty whose expertise and perspectives are relevant to students’ intellectual and professional interests. Students will meet regularly for one-on-one sessions with their coach, typically a minimum of twice per semester. As appropriate, CTD will help connect students who confirm their interest in applying to graduate and professional schools to appropriate faculty members. M21 students will continue to interface twice per semester with their current academic advisors and will also be able to participate in coaching/career development activities coordinated by the CTD team as Minerva transitions its coaching/advising models going forward.
When students begin work on their Capstone projects by the end of Year 3, a Capstone advisor will be assigned to help students stay on track with their Capstone project. In addition to the Capstone advisor (who is a Minerva faculty member), students are encouraged to have one or more outside mentors to provide expert advice for their Capstone project. Mentors are experts in the relevant field(s), and typically are not members of the Minerva faculty.
MSKGI Course Offerings
The comprehensive, up-to-date catalog of all undergraduate- and graduate-level courses offered at Minerva can be found in the Course Catalog at https://course-resources.minerva.kgi.edu/course-catalog/mke/course-catalog.pdf
Majors, Minors, and Concentrations
Degree Planning tools are available at registrar.minerva.kgi.edu/degree-planner and should be used to ensure you are on track to graduate. Completed courses in the Degree Planning tool will mirror coursework completed on your unofficial transcript in self-service on registrar.minerav.kgi.edu.
Minerva students major in one or two concentrations of study. For more precise major requirements, please see the Course Catalog or Degree Planner tool.
A concentration represents the student’s area of focus within a major. Typically a student will take the three courses within a row or a column of the concentration course matrix for the college of study, available on the Minerva website at minerva.kgi.edu/academics. A student may also design a special concentration within a major by choosing three concentration courses within a major that are coherent around a theme. To pursue a special concentration, the student must file a petition with the college dean, explaining the theme and how the courses fit together. It is up to the dean to approve or disapprove the proposal. The Special Concentration Request Forms for each college are available on the registrar site, registrar.minerva.kgi.edu. Special concentration requests are due no later than the last day of Spring in Year 3.
Students are advised to pay close attention to the elective breadth requirement discussed below when considering the number of concentration courses to take. Minerva tuition covers a maximum of 120 attempted semester credits. An additional per-credit hour fee is charged for credits attempted beyond the 120 credits that a student is required to complete to earn a degree (e.g., for a double major with a triple concentration, or if the student previously withdrew or failed a course). Alternative credits such as IL199 and IL190 do not count toward calculating 120 attempted credits. (See Financial Information section for more information on costs associated with exceeding 120 attempted credits.)
Students may elect to take a minor in a discipline outside of their major that would also contribute toward completion of the breadth requirement of electives. A more complete list of available minors and minor requirements are in the Course Catalog: https://course-resources.minerva.kgi.edu/course-catalog/mke/course-catalog.pdf
Intended and Declared Major(s) and Minor(s)
Students are required to officially submit their intended major(s) by the end of spring Year 1. Students need to confirm (or change) their primary major and to determine their concentration(s), second major (if applicable) or minor (if desired) by the end of spring Year 2. Students may request a change of major, minor or concentration by submitting the Major, Minor, and Concentration Request Form available on the registrar site, registrar.minerva.kgi.edu. Please note that changing your major in Year 3 may result in the inability to complete all requirements within four years, and may increase the cost and affect financial aid eligibility.
Major, Concentration, and Minor Submission Deadlines
Electives and Breadth Requirement
Students must earn 120 semester credits to be awarded an undergraduate degree.
Electives – Elective courses are courses not part of the primary major requirements (cornerstones, cores, concentrations, tutorials or practicum) or graduation requirements (capstones and Manifest). Elective credits allow students to reach 120 semester credits to meet graduation requirements.
Breadth – At least 20 elective credits must be taken outside a student’s primary major. As an example, If the primary major is Computational Science (CS), then at least 20 credits must be taken from core or concentration courses outside of CS.
Alternative credits such as transfer credit, internship, or prior learning credits are not eligible to be used toward the breadth requirement, but do count as electives toward the 120-credit graduation requirement.
Senior Tutorials (Non-Business Majors)
The Tutorials (IL181) are collaborative, student-driven explorations of specific topics that grow out of the students’ major(s) and concentration(s), carried out in concert with a small number of other classmates with shared interests (typically around eight students). Faculty- or student-generated ideas for Tutorials are circulated in late fall of a student’s third year. Topics that garner sufficient student interest, and a qualified faculty member is identified to facilitate, are offered for student confirmation. Once students are registered in their Tutorials (late March/early April in Year 3), they are not able to switch tutorials and they may not add Tutorials in the fourth year. Thus, it is very important that students seriously consider their major trajectory and how the Tutorials will or will not meet their graduation goals during the spring of their third year. Note: as described in the syllabus, undocumented absences from tutorials are not permitted. Students can have up to 3 total absences due to documented extenuating circumstances.
Students work collaboratively with each other and the assigned professor to select the detailed Tutorial subject matter, specific readings and design of the course. Typically students pursue two Tutorials per major, however if a tutorial is cross-listed within two colleges, it is possible for double majors to count such a Tutorial for both majors and do three Tutorials instead of four. IL199 credits (see Alternative Course Credits section) can substitute for a Tutorial if the internship or research experience is appropriate for the major. Approval of the Dean is required. Students can also elect to substitute another concentration course from their major (in addition to the three concentration courses meeting the major requirements) in lieu of a Tutorial.
Business Majors Practicum
The Business College Practicum (B199) is part of Minerva’s focus on “practical knowledge,” which entails using material learned in class to address real-world issues. It is a four-unit course required for all business majors. Students will reflect on how HCs and business learning outcomes (LOs) are applied over the course of their internship.
Business Practicum is organized by a faculty supervisor and overseen by an internship supervisor (employed by the organization where the student is conducting the research or working as an intern). Students must create a written agreement with their internship supervisor, wherein the internship supervisor agrees to provide at least 240 hours of substantive work relevant to the curriculum that allows the student to apply HCs and LOs. Students must regularly verify to the faculty supervisor that they are meeting assigned responsibilities, and internship supervisors must provide an evaluation of the student’s work and verify the number of hours worked at the end of the summer. Students also submit a paper as noted in the Practicum syllabus.
It is the student’s responsibility to ensure regular communication with the faculty supervisor, including three required check-in classes throughout the summer when this course is taken between Year 3 and Year 4.
Research/Internships for Non-Business Majors
The research/internship option is also available to non-business majors, but is typically considered general elective credit. However, if the experience is within the field of the major, it may be substituted for a tutorial. More information is in the Alternative Course Credit section of this handbook.
The Minerva Capstone and Manifest
The Minerva Capstone is a major project that requires students to create a work of professional quality that is a novel contribution to their field. The Capstone should build on what students have learned during their previous years, applying HCs from all the Cornerstones in creative new ways while also integrating their current studies. We distinguish two distinct components of the Capstone: the seminar courses in the third year and the project itself, which is finished in students’ fourth year as part of two directed study courses. In addition, following the Capstone being delivered within their last semester, students present their work and receive critical feedback on it during Manifest and participate in other students’ presentations. Manifest is held in May, just prior to graduation. Further details regarding the Capstone Project and Manifest are available in the Capstone Handbook. A total of 16 units is earned for the combined Capstone Seminar, Capstone, and Manifest courses.
The Academic Standards Committee
The Academic Standards Committee (ASC) adjudicates academic honor code violations and violations of academic policies; makes recommendations on petitions for reinstatement when a student has been dismissed from Minerva for academic reasons or academically withdrawn from courses; and petitions for exceptions to course loads, academic policies, procedures, and deadlines defined in this Handbook and course syllabi. In addition, the ASC advises on applications for increased and decreased course loads; Leave of Absence and Return from Leave. The ASC consists of four members that are a combination of deans and faculty, one of whom serves as the Chair. The Director of Enrollment Management and Advising attends the ASC meetings, but does not vote. A student’s academic advisor or coach serves as a liaison to the committee upon request of the student or when deemed necessary by the ASC.
The ASC operates under the assumption that the academic rules and regulations should be followed. Petitions for relief must be clearly articulated and well supported with appropriate documentation. When considering exceptions, the ASC attempts to apply consistent standards while still responding to students’ individual circumstances.
A standard course of four units or credits (referred to simply as “a course”) generally consists of two 90-minute formal seminars per week and one substantial Location-Based Assignment. Additionally, Minerva expects a minimum of eight to 10 hours of coursework outside of class per course per week.
There are some instances when a course might require fewer formal class meetings than the average course, but require proportionally more than eight to ten hours of out-of-class work. Such courses involve unusually extensive, mandatory independent work (programming, reading, research, laboratory or field work, and writing). The official KGI credit hour policy is available here.
Full-Time Student Course Load Requirement
Full-time enrollment is defined as a minimum of 12 semester units.
The typical course load per semester:
- 17 units per semester for first-year students.
- 13 units per semester for second-year students.
- 14 units per semester for third-year students.
- 12 units per semester for fourth-year students.
Any student who drops below full-time enrollment of 12 semester units during a semester must petition for a course load adjustment no later than one week after falling below full-time enrollment. The Course Load Adjustment Petition Form is available on the registrar site, registrar.minerva.kgi.edu. Students wishing to take more units than the typical course load is considered an overload and must receive permission from the Petition Review and Policy Committee before being able to register for an increased course (see below).
Falling below full-time enrollment can result in the loss of student status for F-1 student visa holders, even if the ASC approves a student’s course load adjustment. F-1 student visa holders should review the Course Load Requirements and Exceptions section of the Student Handbook, under Global Student Services, for more information about being authorized for a reduced course load. Students on an F-1 visa cannot drop courses without consulting with the DSO.
Cornerstones Pass Requirement
Students must pass all four of their Cornerstone courses (eight semester courses for 32 semester credits in total) in order to remain a student at Minerva and continue on to their second year. Students who fail two or more semesters of the eight semesters of Cornerstone courses will be dismissed from Minerva. Students who voluntarily withdraw or are administratively dropped from one or two of the eight semesters without having completed 80% of the semester will need to repeat those courses in the subsequent year remotely and will not be able to take second-year courses until all Cornerstones for all semesters are completed. If in the spring semester students earn a cumulative score below 2.5 in one course or voluntarily withdraw due to extenuating circumstances after they have completed 80% of the semester or more, students will be given an Incomplete and be able to complete a supplemental assignment during the summer following Year 1. The fee for this supplemental assignment is $200, and includes a substantial written project similar in scale to a Cornerstone Final Project, which allows the student the opportunity to raise HC scores above the passing threshold. If students pass this assignment and the course, they are able to continue on to their second year. If they do not pass, they are dismissed.
Adjusted Course Loads
After the first year, students may petition to adjust their course load above or below the full-time unit requirements. The ASC will make a recommendation to the Petition Review and Policy Committee, which makes the final decision. The petition should explain the circumstances that require a course load adjustment and present a detailed plan of study for each semester until graduation, endorsed by the student’s coach/advisor. Course load adjustment petitions to go above full-time enrollment must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the start of the semester in which the adjusted course load will commence. The Course Load Adjustment Petition Form is available on the registrar site, registrar.minerva.kgi.edu. Non-US students should see the Global Student Services section of the handbook for more information about how course load adjustments affect their F-1 visa status.
Petition for a reduced course load will not be approved if it requires an overload in a future semester. Alternative credits and/or a semester following manifest should be used as consideration if petitioning a reduced course load.
Leave of Absence Policy
For a variety of reasons, students may need to interrupt their formal course of study at the Minerva Schools at KGI for a period of time. To do so, the student must petition the Petition Review and Policy Committee (PRPC) for a leave of absence (LOA). When it is relevant to the reasons for the leave of absence, the petition should include verifiable documentation to support the request.
The ASC will make a recommendation to the Petition Review and Policy Committee regarding academic considerations for leave or reinstatements. The PRPC will determine whether or not to grant the LOA and the conditions under which the student may return to school, taking into account the following:
- The student must be currently enrolled in academic courses and in good standing, unless there are serious extenuating circumstances with appropriate documentation or when the student is subject to the Mandatory Leave policy.
- After the 11th week of the semester, a student may apply for a leave of absence for the current semester only for medical reasons, unforeseen military deployment, or when subject to the Mandatory Leave policy.
The standard maximum leave of absence is two academic semesters; however, students may petition to extend a leave of absence up to a maximum of four academic semesters. It is the student’s responsibility to keep Minerva informed of any change of address or circumstances while on a leave of absence. Students will ordinarily retain access to their MSKGI email and dashboard while on leave. Students on Leave lose access to work-study and US-work sponsorship (CPT).
A student wishing to return from an approved leave of absence must submit a petition for reinstatement to the PRPC, including a personal statement that addresses the student’s readiness to return and the student’s plan to successfully rejoin the Minerva community and resume coursework, with documentation when appropriate. Unless otherwise specified by PRPC in its official communication to the student, the reinstatement petition should be submitted no later than January 15 for returning the next fall semester and September 15for returning the next spring semester. The petition may be followed by a structured interview of the student with members of the PRPC.
When a student returns from a leave of absence, the student will re-enter the program at the point following the last full academic semester completed and will be subject to the curriculum, policies, and procedures in place at the time of reinstatement from the leave of absence. Students may be required to study remotely rather than be in residence after a leave of absence.
Financial information relating to a student granted a leave of absence is available in the Financial Information section of this handbook.
Students who do not return at the end of their leave will be considered to have voluntarily withdrawn from Minerva, and must submit a petition to the PRPC for readmission to the program, unless an extension is filed prior to the deadline.
The Leave of Absence Petition Form and the Return from Leave Petition Form are available on the registrar site, registrar.minerva.kgi.edu.
Course Registration Policies and Procedures
During their first year, all students are enrolled in the required Cornerstone courses. Class schedules are released to students during Foundation Week. In the spring semester of the first year and all subsequent years, students work with their coach/advisor to select courses for the next academic year based on the student’s major, concentration and other interests. Registration policies and procedures for upper-division classes are described below. These policies do not apply to the first-year Cornerstone courses required for all students.
Course Registration Process
Initial course preference typically begins in November (for spring) and March (for fall of next academic year). The course preference process is allocated via lottery process, where students are put into the initial course registration into the Forum. Students can add/drop courses (except Tutorials) directly in the Forum during the Course Adjustment Period specified in the Master Calendar on the HUB. Not all Cores and Concentrations will necessarily be offered each semester, so students should carefully plan out their year looking at the course offerings for each semester.
First Year students are in a set curriculum and are auto-enrolled in all courses.
Upper Division students are auto-enrolled into required courses such as Capstone Seminar, Capstone Directed Study, Manifest and in tutorials selected during the tutorial registration process.
Course Adjustment Period (Upper Division)
During the course adjustment period just before and at the beginning of each semester, upper-division students may make adjustments to their course schedules. Students may drop courses they no longer wish to take, and add courses for which they have satisfied the prerequisites if the desired courses have open seats and do not conflict with their other class times. Students are not allowed to add courses after the end of the course adjustment period. Students cannot add tutorials after the designated tutorial registration process and must submit a Course Drop/Withdrawal form to drop a tutorial.
Switching Between Course Sections
During the course adjustment period, students may switch between sections of a course at any time if there is room in the desired section. If student enrollment drops below a threshold in a given section, that section may be cancelled and the instructor may be changed in the remaining sections.
After the course adjustment period, students may not switch to a section of a course with a different instructor, unless they have a documented reason for the adjustment and there is room in the desired section. Please contact email@example.com with adjustment requests that include documentation.
Dropping a Course After the Adjustment Period
Students may drop an upper-division course (Core and Concentration Courses) any time before the published drop deadline on the academic calendar, provided that the student remains registered for the minimum full-time course load. Beginning this academic year the deadline to drop a course is week 4, with the date specified in the Master Calendar on the Hub. The Course Drop/Withdrawal Request Form is posted on the registrar site, registrar.minerva.kgi.edu. After the drop deadline or if the student does not have an approved reduced course load, a course drop is determined to be a voluntary withdrawal and is given a “W” grade notation on the student record, and counts toward attempted credits for purposes of calculating attempted credits for financial charges and aid.
When a student is administratively withdrawn from a course because of violations of academic policies, the course grade appears on the student’s transcript as an “AW” and counts toward attempted credits for financial purposes.
If a student permanently withdraws from Minerva after the first day of classes in a given semester, but before the drop deadline, all Minerva enrolled courses will be issued a “W” grade.
All courses from which a student is withdrawn (whether voluntary or administrative) are considered attempted credits, regarding tuition charges and financial aid toward the 120 attempted semester credits.
Alternative Course Credits
Minerva grants up to eight total semester units of credit for alternative course credits, which meet the criteria spelled out below. An aggregate of eight semester units can be satisfied by a combination of transfer credit, research experience/internship or prior experiential learning. For M23 and M24, these 8 units described above can be in addition to the 4 units from the ICC course, as long as all graduation requirements are met.
Transfer credit is credit for academic courses taken at other colleges or universities*. These courses are not eligible to fulfill major requirements and are considered electives by Minerva. A “Pass” grade will appear for all transfer credits and will not factor into a student’s Minerva grade point average. Transfer credits may only be granted for undergraduate and graduate credit, as determined by US accrediting agencies or similarly recognized bodies.
To be eligible for transfer credit, a course must meet the following conditions:
- it was taken for a grade at a regionally accredited or equivalent institution,
- it met Minerva’s standards of level and rigor, and
- it was completed with a grade of C or better.
Students applying for transfer credit must complete a Transfer Credit Application Form, including uploading the course syllabus and an official college transcript showing the completed course, credits, and course grade. The Transfer Credit Application Form is available on the registrar site, registrar.minerva.kgi.edu. A total of eight units of elective credit can be satisfied by a combination of transfer credit, summer research experience or prior experiential learning.
If a student withdraws or is dismissed from Minerva and seeks admission and to transfer credit to another college or university, the other institution determines the extent to which credit is granted for work completed at Minerva. MSKGI is part of Keck Graduate Institute, which is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Students transferring out of Minerva to other educational institutions should ensure enough time is given for official transcripts to be sent and processed.
*credits taken with exchange partnerships such as the HKUST Scholars program with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology are not considered transfer credit under this definition of transfer credit. Partnership courses may count toward tutorials, electives, or the breadth requirement. Partnership credits must be taken for letter grades and earn a B or better for transfer.
Credit for Prior Experiential Learning
Minerva is focused on “practical knowledge,” which entails using material learned in class to address real-world problems. Some students have had considerable real-world experience before they arrived at Minerva. Such experience, along with a paper, can fulfill a requirement for four units of elective course credit in the relevant college (where the experience would most naturally apply) if the below conditions are met. Course is IL190.
The process for this option is as follows:
- Any time after the conclusion of the student’s first year at Minerva, the student can apply by submitting a 500-750 word proposal, which:
- Briefly summarizes the experience of the previous activity
- Provides evidence that the student actually had the experience (e.g., military discharge showing dates of service)
- Indicates the HCs that inform what was learned from the experience and how the experience illuminates them (at least two HCs from each Cornerstone course, plus two others)
- Identifies the college most closely associated with the experience, and two faculty members that may be suited to grade the paper.
Students must submit their proposal by completing the Credit for Prior Experiential Learning Application, available on the registrar site, registrar.minerva.kgi.edu.
- The Registrar determines whether the experience and the paper would be substantial enough to warrant four units of semester credit and verifies with the appropriate dean that the proposed faculty readers are appropriately qualified. NOTE: it is not guaranteed that the proposed faculty readers will be available to review the final submission.
- If approved, the student enrolled in IL190 and develops a substantive paper (2,000-3,000 words, double-spaced, and using Arial 11-point font), which describes the experience and how it illuminates specific HCs and learning outcomes, and how these HCs now illuminate the experience. The student should clearly explain the connection between the HCs and experience. The student completes the paper independently and submits it as an assignment through their dashboard by the deadline specified in the Forum, usually one week after the relevant semester. A faculty reader evaluates the paper, scoring the HCs (which contributes to the HC index for the Cornerstone grades) and assigns a pass/fail grade.
- If the student’s paper is graded “Pass,” the student earns four units of elective credit; if the paper is not passing, the student is given one chance to rewrite and resubmit by a deadline determined by the dean.
- IL190 is not considered residential credit used toward visa requirement purposes, but counts toward the 120 semester-credit graduation requirement.
Credit for Summer and In-Semester Research/Internship Experience
Minerva is focused on “practical knowledge,” which entails using material learned in class to address real-world problems or issues. Some of our students have had or plan to undertake summer internships or research projects while students at Minerva, and some students also perform substantial related work within a semester (through an internship, research, or civic project). Such summer or in-semester experiences for which students perform at least 240 hrs or 120 hrs of work respectively (along with a short paper documenting that experience and how HCs and LOs were applied) can fulfill a requirement for one four-unit elective course or one two-unit elective. Course is IL199. It is also possible to substitute a four-credit experience for a senior tutorial in the student’s major. No more than a total of eight semester credits can be satisfied by a combination of transfer credit, internship/research experience, or prior experiential learning.
To qualify for credit, students must conduct their internship or research project under the supervision of a qualified supervisor (typically a faculty member at another institution for research projects or someone employed by the organization where the student is interning or performing a civic project). Minerva faculty members serve as evaluators. The internship or research project can fall within the supervisor’s larger project goals, but the student must contribute intellectually to the design and execution of the project and is responsible for writing the final paper describing the project (see below).
The process for earning credit for a summer or in-semester internship or research/civic experience is as follows:
- The internship/research experience can occur during the summer between semesters as a Minerva student (after the student’s first, second or third year) or during a semester during the students second through fourth year. NOTE: students must limit their work hours on this project during the semester to no more than 120 hours, typically working no more than 10 hours per week over 12 weeks. Students apply for approval using the Summer Internship/Research or In-Semester Research/Internship Form on the Registrar Webpage, listing the company or academic institution and their supervisor. Students must also indicate whether they want these credits to substitute for an elective or a senior tutorial (only eligible for four-credit options) and provide a brief description of the project (four to five sentences) such that the Registrar can determine if appropriate. Once approved, the student is enrolled in the appropriate IL199 (in-semester or summer, depending on intended minimum hours; 120 or 240), which is accessible on the student’s dashboard. Students can use shorter summer internships (minimum of 120 hrs) for two credits.
- Students must collaborate with their supervisor, wherein the supervisor agrees to provide at least 240 hours (for four credits) or 120 hours (for two credits) of substantive learning experiences (including, but not limited to, research, data analysis, marketing, product design, or content development) that allows the student to apply the HCs and other learning outcomes as relevant. Students and supervisors are expected to contact the Registrar during the course of the project if any issues arise that might impair the student’s completion of the project.
- After completion of the project, to receive credit, students must:
- Submit the completed supervisor’s written and signed evaluation certifying the number of hours that the student worked, the work completed and evaluating the student’s performance.
- Submit a paper that briefly summarizes what they did and describes how relevant HCs and learning outcomes were integrated into their internship experience. The paper must be 1000 to 1500 words. Details on the summary paper will be accessible in the student’s dashboard.
- The internship/research experience can occur during the summer between semesters as a Minerva student (after the student’s first, second or third year) or during a semester during the students second through fourth year. NOTE: students must limit their work hours on this project during the semester to no more than 120 hours, typically working no more than 10 hours per week over 12 weeks. Students apply for approval using the Summer Internship/Research or In-Semester Research/Internship Form on the Registrar Webpage, listing the company or academic institution and their supervisor. Students must also indicate whether they want these credits to substitute for an elective or a senior tutorial (only eligible for four-credit options) and provide a brief description of the project (four to five sentences) such that the Registrar can determine if appropriate. Once approved, the student is enrolled in the appropriate IL199 (in-semester or summer, depending on intended minimum hours; 120 or 240), which is accessible on the student’s dashboard. Students can use shorter summer internships (minimum of 120 hrs) for two credits.
- After the student submits the paper (by the predetermined deadline), a Minerva faculty will be assigned to evaluate it on overall quality (pass/no pass grade) and to score the application of the HCs. The HC scores will contribute to the student’s overall Cornerstone grades. If the student’s paper is graded “Pass,” credit is earned for two or four credits as applicable. If the paper does not earn a pass, the course is dropped from the student record.
Business majors may participate in summer internships for credit in their first two summers as Minerva students, but these experiences do not substitute for the Business Practicum. Information about the Business Practicum, which is required for Business majors, can be found in the section on Business Majors Practicum under the description of MSKGI majors and courses.
Class Attendance and Standards of Conduct
Class attendance is a fundamental, primary essential function of the Minerva model. Class sessions are where students learn by building upon pre-class work and where students are provided formative feedback through assessments. Because our approach to active learning is the foundation of our entire model, class attendance is required. Students are required to prepare appropriately for each class session and actively participate in them. Students should read all assigned materials, watch assigned videos, and complete all assigned pre-class work, including solving pre-assigned problems and answering study guide questions. Because all of our classes are seminars, all students must be prepared to be fully engaged participants—to shirk on preparation not only short-changes the individual student, but also undermines the experience for the other students. Instructors have the right to mark students absent if they are not prepared to participate in class.
Minerva’s courses are live synchronous classes taught on the Forum, and students are required to be logged on to the Forum and ready to participate in class by the class’s stated start time. Details on policies with respect to tardiness and technology and network issues are in each course syllabus.
Assignment guidelines and deadlines are also a primary essential function of the Minerva model with scaffolded learning dependent upon completion of all assignments in a timely manner. All students must submit the Assignment Extension form if they cannot submit an assignment by the established deadline. All makeup work and assignments extensions, whether due to acute extenuating circumstances or an approved disability accommodation, must submit the Extension form. The course syllabus indicates any assignment for which it is not permissible to get assignment extensions (examples include, final projects, other assignments due in weeks 14-15 or any other major assignment so indicated by the Instructor). Students who do not submit required assignments by the end of the semester, will be assigned a failing “F” grade unless an Incomplete has been submitted and approved. See requirements for an Incomplete in this Handbook.
Specific maximum number of absences and assignment extensions for each course are shown in each course syllabus as they vary depending on the type of course. Students are subject to being administratively dropped from a course for violation of attendance or assignment extension requirements with a “AW” grade notation. If it appears that health or other issues may cause a student to exceed the maximum permitted absences or assignment extensions, a voluntary course withdrawal from one or more courses, a lighter course load, or a leave of absence is recommended. Students experiencing issues should consult with their coach and the registrar.
Students are responsible for their attendance and therefore for tracking their absences. They should monitor their absences on their Forum dashboard. If absences appear to be incorrect or if makeup work is not excused within one week of submission, students should contact their instructor and firstname.lastname@example.org. Students are also responsible for monitoring their assignment deadlines on their Forum dashboard and any assignment extensions they are accumulating. If they think assignment extensions are in error, they should contact their instructor and email@example.com. Approved assignment extensions for acute extenuating circumstances and disability accommodations are reflected on a student’s dashboard with the notation of “extended” and the new mutually agreed upon due date and time.
A certain number of absences with appropriate documentation are permitted for each class to cover unexpected circumstances. However, excessive absences overall (whether documented or undocumented) may result in a student’s being administratively withdrawn from a course, and/or in a recommendation for the student to consider requesting a Leave of Absence. The maximum number of undocumented absences and total absences can be found on each course syllabus. The maximum number of assignment extensions that will result in administrative withdrawal from a course is in each course syllabus.
Assessment of Student Work and Grading Policies
Faculty members are responsible for assessing the performance of each student during class and on assignments in terms of the course learning outcomes, using customized rubrics based on the following standards of performance:
- 1 (Lacks knowledge): Does not recall or use the skill or concept when prompted, or does so mostly or entirely inaccurately.
- 2 (Superficial knowledge): Recalls or uses the skill or concept only somewhat accurately, by partially quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing, outlining, or applying it, or applies the skill or concept in ways that fail to address the relevant problems or goals.
- 3 (Knowledge): Accurately recalls, uses, paraphrases, summarizes, outlines or reproduces standard or straightforward examples of the skill or concept, and does so in a way that addresses the relevant problems or goals.
- 4 (Deep knowledge): Demonstrates a deeper grasp of the skill or concept by explaining it, using it to produce a sophisticated, non-standard example, differentiating component parts, applying critical distinctions, or analyzing relationships between component parts.
- 5 (Profound knowledge): Uses the skill or concept in a creative and effective way, relying on a novel perspective (i.e., not one that was in course materials or is easily located in the relevant literature).
Course grades are based on the student’s completion of course requirements and an aggregation of learning outcome scores from class session and on assignments. Please refer to course syllabi for grading details.
Cornerstone course grades are based on completion of course requirements and performance on the Cornerstone learning outcomes (Minerva’s HCs). At the end of each semester during Foundation Year, students receive a Pass/No Pass grade for each Cornerstone based on their course performance. Please refer to the Cornerstone syllabi for more details.
Conditions requiring a student to retake a Cornerstone course:
- A first-year student must retake in the following year any semesters of Cornerstone courses from which the student was administratively withdrawn. This will typically require the student being remote. Students may not take Cores until all Cornerstone courses have been completed with a Pass grade.
- A first-year student who finishes but does not earn a Pass grade in one Cornerstone after spring semester must complete a remedial assignment in the summer between Year 1 and Year 2 to reach a passing score, or the student is subject to dismissal from Minerva. This is applicable for students with scores between 2.3 and 2.49. Students with scores lower than 2.3 are dismissed as it is not possible to raise scores above 2.5 based on one assignment.
- Students who fail to pass two or more of the eight semester courses of Cornerstones are dismissed from Minerva.
The HC scores accrued by students who do not earn a Pass remain on the student’s record.
Throughout their four years at Minerva, students continue to be evaluated on the HCs in all of their Core, upper-division courses, Capstone and Manifest courses. At the time of graduation, a student earns a final letter grade for each of the Cornerstone courses based on the student’s performance in the Cornerstone courses and the student’s use of the HCs in their advanced courses, with later uses often weighed more heavily. This grade replaces the Pass grade on the student’s transcript. Details on the calculation of Cornerstone grades are available in the Cornerstone syllabi and associated links on the Hub.
Letter Grades and Grade Point Equivalents
Grades at Minerva reflect how well a student has mastered the course learning outcomes. The following table defines the grade points associated with each grade for calculating grade point averages (GPAs):
|Grade||Grade Point Equivalent|
A student must earn a letter grade of at least D or Pass to be granted course credit. A student must earn at least a C to use a course as a prerequisite.
If all required assignments/projects are not submitted, the course is subject to an “F” grade.
Grade Point Average Calculation
Grade point averages (GPAs) are determined by multiplying the number of grade points for each course letter grade by the number of course units, taking the sum of the resulting product, and dividing by the total number of course units attempted by the student. Minerva calculates GPAs for each semester, and a cumulative GPA. Semester GPAs include all courses taken that semester. The cumulative grade point average listed on a student’s transcript includes all courses taken at Minerva with letter grades. Pass/No Pass grades do not affect a student’s GPA, nor do transfer credits.
A course in which a student receives an “F” grade does not count towards the requirement for the degree, but does count in computing the grade point average. If a student repeats a failed course and earns a passing grade, the second passing grade replaces the initial failing grade in the GPA calculation with the original grade marked as “Repeated” on the transcript.
When a student becomes seriously ill or experiences an emergency that disrupts the student’s ability to complete one or more courses, the student may petition the Academic Standards Committee for an Incomplete grade. A student must be in good standing in the course to qualify for an Incomplete (i.e., no policy violations and a passing grade based on work done at the time of the petition). Please note, that in AY19/20 some additional temporary policies on Incompletes were made in response to Covid-19 related issues. If temporary policy changes are needed in AY20/21, all students will be notified.
Along with a petition, students are required to submit documentation verifying the circumstances that prevent them from completing their coursework by the end of the semester, a list of the missing work, and a revised schedule for submitting the listed work. The petition and supporting documentation must be submitted before the last day of the semester. The Incomplete Petition Form is available on the registrar site, registrar.minerva.kgi.edu. Within the incomplete status period, students are ineligible for work study or internship opportunities.
If the request is granted, the student is required to submit all outstanding work by the deadline determined in the revised course schedule, unless granted an extension by ASC. Failure to do so may result in an F for the course. Typically, Incompletes must be resolved no later than 10 calendar days past the last day of the semester, but with valid documentation, exceptions for short extensions may be granted. However, incomplete extensions may impact your F-1 visa status. Receiving an incomplete grade is considered as a deliberate intent to evade responsibility as an F-1 student so affected students on an active F-1 visa should consult their DSO.
Other Grades and Transcript Notations
Minerva Schools use the following transcript notations:
- AW = Administrative Withdrawal, denotes a student exceeded limits on absences or extensions that resulted in withdrawal from a course
- I = Incomplete
- IP = In Process, denotes a course that is still being taken or is in the process of being graded
- NR = Not Recorded, indicates that a grade is missing because the instructor has not submitted it yet, or the grade is pending ASC deliberation.
- R = previously failed course retaken.
- W = Voluntary withdrawal from a course after the course drop deadline has passed
In order to graduate, students must complete the following:
- Cornerstone courses
- Major Core and Concentration courses for their major
- Tutorials or Practicum (based on major)
- Integrated Learning Course (starting with the class of M23)
- Capstone seminar, Capstone Directed Study and Manifest
- Breadth requirement of 20 credits of core and concentration courses not in student’s major
- At least 120 total earned semester credits
- GPA of 2.0 or higher
Up to eight semester credits needed to reach 120 units can be completed remotely in the fall following commencement and graduation for students. Students pursuing this option will have a graduation date of December rather than May.
“Latin Honors for Minerva graduates were eliminated beginning the academic year 2019/2020. Rationale for this decision was communicated to all students through email and discussions during each Elevation session held for M22, M21 and M20 cohorts. The notice, dated September 30, 2019 and reaffirmed June 15, 2020, replaces the information in this section published in the June 2019 Handbook. “
A student’s academic record includes assessment of all Minerva Schools coursework for which credit can be granted and in which the student was enrolled, unless the student drops the class before the drop deadline. Students may view and download unofficial transcripts on the Registrar website, registrar.minerva.kgi.edu.
Students may choose to release their academic records to a third party by submitting a FERPA Education Records Release Authorization Form, and may subsequently revoke access by submitting the Revoke FERPA Education Records Release Authorization Form. Both forms are available on the registrar site, registrar.minerva.kgi.edu.
Official transcript requests must be made directly through the National Student Clearinghouse. There is an administrative fee of $4.25 per transcript, paid to the National Student Clearinghouse. Electronic transcripts are typically processed within three business days. Paper transcripts are typically processed within 10 business days.
Disputed Grades Policy
If a student believes there is compelling evidence that the student’s final course grade or specific scores was/were assigned or posted in error, the student should make an appointment with the instructor to discuss the issue. If the instructor decides that the score or grade should stand as initially assigned, and the student still believes the score or grade was not assigned or posted properly, the student may petition the Dean of Faculty. The petition should include a detailed explanation as to why the student believes the grade should be changed, along with any pertinent documentation. This procedure may not be used to petition for relief from penalties imposed on the student by the ASC as a result of Honor Code violations. Disputed grade petitions must be submitted no later than three weeks following the release of grades. Disputed Grade Petition Forms are available on the registrar site, registrar.minerva.kgi.edu.
The dean may discuss the issue with the student or faculty member, and will decide whether the score or grade should be changed. The dean’s decision is final.
If there appears to be an administrative error or if a professor changes a score after grades are posted, students must email Registrar@minerva.kgi.edu with the error and documentation supporting the requested rerun of their scores to determine whether a grade change occurred.
At the end of each semester, the Office of the Chief Academic Officer reviews student academic records to determine each student’s academic standing. Academic standing classifications and potential consequences are described below.
A student is considered to be in good standing if the student:
- Is earning a predicted grade of C or above in all Cornerstone courses
- Earns at least a 2.00 GPA each semester after Foundation Year
- Meets the minimum academic progress standards in Capstone Courses
- Is within permitted absence parameters per course, and
- Is within assignment deadline extension parameters per course.
Academic warning may be imposed when as a first violation:
- Permitted undocumented (personal) absence parameters are exceeded
- Permitted assignment extensions are exceeded
- Make-up work submission deadlines are not met, or
- Other minor infraction violations, including Honor Code violations, sanctioned by the ASC.
Academic warning is an official status to indicate particular behaviors must be modified to avoid further sanction for additional violations. This status will not be recorded on the student’s permanent record if the student returns to good academic standing the following semester. This status is communicated internally and may be considered in the evaluation of applications for civic projects, internships, and other external opportunities during the time the student is on Academic Warning — in order to ensure that meeting external obligations does not interfere with the student’s ability to get back on track academically.
Academic probation may be imposed when:
- At the end of the fall semester of the student’s first year, the student earns a No Pass (NP) grade in one or more Cornerstone courses
- At the end of the spring semester of the student’s first year, the student earns a No Pass (NP) grade in one Cornerstone course (student will remain on probation over the summer until their Cornerstone course grade is improved to passing (see Cornerstone Pass Requirement section) or is dismissed
- A first-year student is administratively withdrawn from one or two Cornerstone courses during a semester
- An upper-division student earns a semester GPA below 2.00, or has a cumulative GPA below 2.00
- A student in the third or fourth year fails to meet minimum progress standards on the student’s Capstone project, including passing the Capstone courses, within the specified time frame
- A student is sanctioned for Honor Code violations, or
- Failing to move to academic Good Standing after Academic Warning.
Students placed on academic probation are required to meet with their coach/advisor to devise a detailed set of expectations and a plan for substantial improvement of the student’s academic performance over the next semester. Students can be moved from Academic Probation to Good Standing, but the status record remains a permanent part of the student record. The number of semesters a student can be on academic probation is determined by the ASC on a case-by-case basis. This status is communicated internally and may be considered in the evaluation of applications for civic projects, internships, and other external opportunities during the time the student is on Academic Probation — in order to ensure that meeting external obligations does not interfere with a student’s ability to get back on track academically.
Dismissal may be issued when:
- A first-year student is administratively withdrawn from or earns a No Pass in two or more of the eight semesters of Cornerstone courses by the end of the student’s first year
- A student is on academic probation for three or more reasons in a given semester (e.g., falls below passing in two Cornerstone courses, has a semester GPA below 2.00, and has absence violations, extension violations, Honor Code violations, etc.)
- An upper-division student on probation does not return to good standing within one semester
- A student fails to move from Academic Probation to Good Standing, or
- A student is found responsible for egregious academic Honor Code violations.
Academic Appeal Process
The process described below is administrative in nature and is separate and distinct from the criminal and civil legal systems and the Minerva policy on student conduct.
The process of adjudicating alleged violations of academic policies or other regulations cited in this section is the responsibility of the Academic Standards Committee (ASC) under the direction of the Chief Academic Officer. If a sanction is presented, a student must submit an appeal within 10 days of notification.
The Committee shall consider:
- Is there any additional information needed to make a decision?
- Is there anything in the record that is incomplete or unclear?
- Is there evidence that the student committed the violation?
- Is there evidence that the student followed written guidelines and policies?
- Fair and Appropriate Sanction
- Has the student been given notice and a chance to address the alleged violation?
- How does the student’s previous record affect the kind of sanction that should be imposed?
- Based on past experience how likely will the violation occur in the future?
- Aggravating and Mitigating Circumstances
- Are there aggravating or mitigating circumstances that affect the sanction?
- Did the student take responsibility for the violation or misconduct?
- Did the student indicate that they learned anything from this incident?
The ASC deliberates and makes a decision to uphold the original decision or to grant the appeal within 10 days, unless further investigation is required, in which case the ASC must reconvene within 10 days of completion of additional investigation and make a recommendation at that time.
The ASC informs the student of the outcome of the proceeding by email, including the sanction and rights of appeal.
When the ASC denies the students appeal, the student may appeal to the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) via formal letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. The CAO will consider appeals based on one of the following bases: 1) a substantial mistake of fact; 2) a fundamental misinterpretation of the policies, rules, or regulation involved; or 3) a substantial procedural error. The student must include the basis for the appeal and provide clear information on the basis for appeal. The CAO reviews the written record and may interview the ASC and/or the student as deemed necessary to make a decision. The CAO acts promptly in the appeal, usually within 21 days and informs the student by email with a copy of this communication to the ASC. If the appeal is granted, the ASC carries out next steps as set forth by the CAO. If the appeal is denied, the ASC implements the original decision with any modifications made by the CAO.
The CAO will review the student’s appeal and may:
- Uphold the decision without any modifications;
- Modify the decision;
- Overturn the decision; or
- Return the decision for further review.
The CAO’s decision is considered final.
Minerva has adopted the Academic Freedom Statement of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP, 1940), which reads as follows:
- Teachers are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties; but research for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the institution.
- Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter that has no relation to their subject. Limitations of academic freedom because of religious or other aims of the institution should be clearly stated in writing at the time of the appointment.
- College and university teachers are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As scholars and educational officers, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the institution.
Academic Honor Code
The Minerva Honor Code rests on four pillars: honesty, integrity, mutual respect, and personal responsibility. Minerva students are expected to conduct themselves with the highest levels of these qualities both inside and outside the classroom. Each student serves as an ambassador to the community for Minerva. When one student exhibits inappropriate behavior outside the university, it reflects badly on every student and the institution as a whole (the public tends not to differentiate between individuals in these situations, and attributes bad behavior to the entire student body).
Minerva students are citizens of an academic community whose members are expected to challenge themselves and one another to achieve greatness with honesty, integrity, mutual respect, and personal responsibility. Each individual who joins the Minerva community accepts this commitment in an effort to sustain and enhance personal, professional, and institutional reputations.
Principles inherent in this Honor Code include:
- Students shall treat all members of the community with respect and without malicious intent to ensure that all students share equal opportunities.
- Students shall conduct themselves in a manner that upholds the principles for honesty and integrity in order to promote an environment of trust.
- Students shall conduct themselves as specified in the student conduct code, detailed elsewhere in this document.
To assist students in understanding their responsibilities under the Honor Code, the following is a list of actions pertaining to academic matters that violate the Honor Code. Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Knowingly appropriating another’s words, ideas, data or code and representing them as one’s own
- Using another’s words, ideas, data or code without acknowledging the source
- Paraphrasing the words and ideas of another without clear acknowledgment of the source
- Using one’s own previously submitted coursework or written assignments (or portions of such previously submitted coursework or assignments) for alternate purposes and/or for other assignments without prior approval
- Modifying the code of another without clear acknowledgment of the source
- Falsify or fabricating a bibliography
- Unauthorized collaborating on assignments
- Using unauthorized resources during class and on coursework
- Using another’s assignment or work product and presenting as one’s own work
- Using and/or uploading/downloading of any Minerva material on “resource” and “library” websites such as, but not limited to, sites such as “Course Hero”
- Falsifying data for a class session or assignment
Obstruction of Honor Code
- Making false statements to an Honor Code investigator
Falsification of Information
- Knowingly making false statements or submitting misleading information related to academic matters to Minerva faculty or staff
- Intentional attempt to deceive Minerva faculty or staff by engaging in, but not limited to, the following: uploading blank documents for assignments, completing pre-class work during the associated class session, altering time stamps on any submissions or course-related work
- Fabricating data on assignments
- Submitting falsified documents, such as transcripts, applications, petitions, etc.
It is not a defense to charges of violating this Honor Code for students to claim that they have not received, read or understood this Code, or are otherwise ignorant of its provisions. A student is held to have notice of this Honor Code by enrolling at Minerva. Students must fully cooperate with investigations into potential violations of the Honor Code.
Charge of Honor Code Violation
Initial Charge and Informal Process
A faculty member, staff member, or student who wishes to make a charge of a violation of the Honor Code against a Minerva student must report violations to the Academic Standards Committee. It is the responsibility of students, staff, or faculty who suspect such a violation to make a charge in writing, using the Academic Dishonesty Charge Form. This form is available on the registrar site, registrar.minerva.kgi.edu.
Upon receipt of an Academic Dishonesty Charge, an Academic Standards Committee member conducts a meeting with the accused student. Prior to the meeting, the ASC notifies the accused student in writing that a Charge of Academic Dishonesty has been submitted for a specific class, provides them the evidence, and informs them of their rights under the Honor Code. The initial meeting is recorded with the prior approval of the student, to provide an accurate record of the discussion. If the student does not agree to recording the meeting, two ASC members will participate in the meeting and take thorough notes. During the meeting the student is again shown the charge and evidence in support of the charge. The student may request that their advisor or another witness also participate in the initial meeting. If requested by the student, the ASC member will schedule the meeting such that the advisor or other witness can attend.
If the accused student admits responsibility for academic dishonesty during the course of the initial meeting/preliminary investigation and this is a first violation, the student is asked to sign a form documenting admission of guilt. The ASC determines the appropriate sanction (see Sanctions section below) and the student is informed of next steps. If the student admitted guilt, but refused or failed to sign the form, the committee reviews the recording or the notes from ASC members if the meeting was not recorded. The committee then discusses and determines the appropriate sanction.
If the accused student does not admit responsibility for academic dishonesty, further investigation by the ASC occurs. Depending on the nature of the charges, the ASC may confer with the professor and seek additional information as appropriate, including speaking to the student again and with other students who may be involved in the potential violation. After this secondary investigation, the ASC may determine that there is not sufficient evidence to proceed. If they believe there is sufficient evidence, the student will be asked to sign the document admitting guilt. If the student does not admit responsibility, and the ASC believes there is substantial evidence to warrant a hearing, this is communicated to the student and the ASC proceeds to schedule the hearing. The hearing is recorded with the student’s permission and is attended by ASC members, the student, and the faculty or staff member(s) who initiated the charge. The student has the right to present witnesses and exculpatory information. After hearing all witnesses and considering all evidence presented, the ASC decides whether a violation of the Honor Code has occurred, determined by a preponderance of evidence standard. The ASC then determines the appropriate sanction (see below). Students may appeal the ASC decision to the Chief Academic Officer. See Appeal section below.
The ASC informs the faculty member responsible for the course or associated academic activity of the outcome of the investigation and the process.
The student’s rights include the following:
- The right to notice of the nature of the honor code violation and the activity and course or courses in which it is alleged to have taken place
- The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty
- The right to solicit advice from others
- The right to have the matter be handled in a confidential manner
- The right to have the student’s academic advisor present at the initial meeting and any subsequent hearing that occurs
- The right to a prompt hearing, which can be waived if the student admits responsibility for the violation in the investigative meetings
- The right to a reasonable amount of time to prepare for the hearing, no less than five days after the initial investigative meeting is completed, and
- The right to present witnesses and exculpatory information at the hearing.
If the ASC determines the student committed no wrongdoing or there was insufficient evidence to proceed, no sanctions are imposed. If the student admits responsibility or the ASC determines that the student has violated one or more of the provisions of the Academic Honor Code after the hearing, the ASC will impose sanctions. Sanctions may include but are not limited to Academic Warning or Academic Probation, a reduced or failing grade for an assignment, a reduced or failing grade for a course, Dismissal, revocation of financial aid eligibility, and/or withdrawal of an awarded degree/certificate.
- Academic Warning is a temporary sanction that is not on the student’s permanent record.
- Academic Probation is not reported on the official transcript or diploma, and is only reported to external 3rd parties when permitted via signed release.
- Academic Dismissal is reported on the official transcript (no diploma is typically awarded), and is only reported to external 3rd parties when permitted via signed release.
Multiple violations of the Honor Code may result in the imposition of more severe sanctions such as academic Dismissal, or revocation of an awarded degree.
Students have the right to appeal the ASC decision and sanction following the Academic Appeal Process described in this Handbook.
Class Session Recording Retention and Access Policy
In order to allow for assessment of students’ contributions to classroom discussions, each Minerva class session is video recorded. These recordings are available to students enrolled in the class section so that they can view the personalized feedback/assessments written by the professor and can review the class discussion. These recordings are not to be shared or distributed by students without the explicit written permission of the course faculty member, Dean of Faculty/CAO, and any students who are recorded on the video.
The video recording of discussion in a particular section of a course is made available to the students enrolled in that section shortly after the discussion concludes, and remains accessible to the students until the first day of the following academic year. Access to a recording from previous academic years can be requested for the purpose of appealing a grade or selecting video clips to include in a personal academic portfolio. Requests are reviewed by the Dean of Faculty. The Video Access Request Form is available on the registrar site, registrar.minerva.kgi.edu.
General Complaint Procedures
All faculty and staff at Minerva take student complaints seriously. We encourage students to resolve areas of concern informally through dialogue with the individuals involved.
However, we have established procedures to give aggrieved students a process by which they may express complaints without fear of retribution, especially if they believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, marital status, or handicap. The process described here is not intended to be used to question a rule, policy, or procedure established by an authorized faculty or administrative body. Rather, a person or persons shall use this procedure for a hearing and due process if they believe that a rule, policy, or procedure has been applied in an unfair or inequitable manner, or that there has been unfair or improper treatment.
Students who have a complaint regarding an academic-related grievance may present their complaint in person or in writing to the relevant faculty member or to the Dean of Faculty. If students have any other form of grievance, they may present their complaint in person or in writing to any Global or City Director, who will ensure that the appropriate administrator provides the student with an explanation of the process for addressing the particular complaint(s) and answers any questions to ensure a fair process.
If the student and a faculty or staff member are not able to resolve the grievance informally, or if the director is not able to assist the student in resolving the matter, the student may submit a written, signed statement to the Chief Accreditation and Policy Officer (CAPO). The CAPO will provide a copy of the complaint to the person involved who will be given an opportunity to respond in writing no later than five (5) business days after receipt of the complaint. In the event that the issue is still not resolved, the written complaint and response will be taken to the person’s immediate supervisor. The immediate supervisor will then respond in writing to the appeal. If the student does not accept the decision, the CAPO will meet with the student, hear the grievance, review written materials and respond in writing with a decision within five (5) business days after receipt of the complaint. The CAPO’s decision is final.
If a student is not able to resolve a complaint and believes that Minerva is in violation of accreditation standards, the student may also direct a complaint to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Senior College and University Commission (WASC) at http://www.wascsenior.org.
If a student believes that the complaint continues to warrant further consideration after exhausting the review by Minerva Student Affairs staff and/or WASC, the student may contact the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education as follows:
California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education
2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA 95833
Nothing in this disclosure limits any right that you may have to seek civil or criminal legal action to resolve your complaint.