Zero Textbook Cost Degree

Take classes at M State, and even finish your entire two-year degree, without spending a single cent on textbooks.

The cost savings of Zero Textbook Cost Degrees, better known as Z-Degrees, is substantial: It's estimated thatz degreees students in Z-Degree programs save about $2,000 a year, or a total of $4,000 for a two-year program.

M State currently offers over 70 unique Z-Degree courses and one complete Z-Degree program, the Associate of Arts-Liberal Arts and Sciences programIn fall 2024, two additional Z-Degree programs will be offered: an Associate of Applied Science in Business Z-Degree and Psychology Transfer Pathway Z-Degree.

Any M State student can enroll in a Z-Degree program or course, as long as they meet any associated prerequisites, and may take as many courses as they wish.

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More about Z-Degrees.

A Z-Degree, or Zero Textbook Cost Degree, is a degree program that exclusively uses course resources that are no cost to students, such as open textbooks or printed, online or multimedia open educational resources. Similarly, Z-Degree courses, or Zero Textbook Cost Courses, are courses that exclusively use resources that are no cost to students.

The Z-Degree project is a statewide initiative that colleges and universities within the Minnesota State system can choose to participate in to give students Zero Textbook Cost course and program options. M State is one of nine Minnesota State colleges currently taking part in the initiative; several universities are making plans to take part in the near future.

Participation in the growing Z-Degree initiative is one way M State demonstrates its commitment to providing an affordable education, and the college is continually seeking out new and additional Z-Degree opportunities for students.

Why would I want to enroll in a Z-Degree course or program?

Z-Degree programs and courses provide the same educational quality as regular programs and courses, but without the cost of textbooks.

How do I register for a Z-Degree course?

Z-Degree courses are available for course registration like any other courses. Let your advisor know you are interested in taking a Z-Degree course and your advisor can help you get registered.

You can see available Z-Degree courses in eServices:

  • Go to eServices
    • Enter your StarID and password
  • Select “Student e-services”
  • Select “Courses & Registration”
  • Select “Search for a Course”
  • Make applicable campus/semester/other selections then “Expand/Collapse for Advanced Search”
  • Locate “Textbook Cost” in expanded menu and select “No cost for textbooks," then hit “Search”
  • All courses on resulting page will be Z-Degree courses
  • Select the course title to open detailed view
  • “Zero Cost Textbook Course” is listed first in course notes
    • This note is always listed with the course regardless of advanced or regular search settings (the note will also be visible on the schedule posted to the college website)
Am I limited to the courses that are on the Z-Degree list?

No. You can take some courses that are Zero Textbook Cost and some courses that are not.

How do I access materials for my Z-Degree?

That depends on what texts and educational resources your instructor chooses to use. Typically, materials can be viewed online at no cost. However, some materials may also be available in article or book form via local libraries. In some cases, materials may be downloaded to a laptop, tablet, phone or other personal device.

Are course supplies free?

There may be additional charges for course supplies such as notebooks, art supplies or tools. Refer to the tuition and fees section for each course to find information on any additional materials costs.

How do I learn more?

Speak with your advisor today. If you aren’t sure who your advisor is, sign into SpartanNet; your advisor will be listed on the right-hand side of the page, near the top.