By nearly any measure, the University of Minnesota is a distinguished university, providing our 30,000 undergraduates with a world-class learning environment. Our university is one of the most comprehensive in the world—providing 149 bachelor’s degree programs in a wide range of areas—astrophysics, child psychology, forest resources, and microbiology, to name just a few. We offer thousands of classes taught by exceptional, award-winning faculty who are at the very cutting edge of their discipline, and are also excellent undergraduate and graduate teachers.
As a world-class university, we are dedicated to teaching and scholarly research. This is demonstrated in our rankings, our faculty research publications, our student research and scholarship accomplishments, and most importantly, in the commitment we make to the undergraduate student experience. Our unparalleled academic quality is evident to students in individual classroom experiences, whether working with an honors adviser to compete internationally for a Rhodes Scholarship (we have had six of these in the past decade), researching side-by-side with a professor, connecting with one of the University’s more than 450,000 successful alumni in a mentoring relationship, or taking one of our more than 100 small-group freshman seminars.
What makes the University of Minnesota special is its unique position in the world of public higher education.
- We are the state’s only research (R1) university and one of the very best research universities in the nation.
- We are the state’s public land-grant university.
- We reside in the state capital, which provides many opportunities for internships with state agencies such as the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Transportation, and Department of Public Health.
- We are located in a thriving metropolitan area, with a stable economy; remarkably beautiful parks, rivers, and lakes; and a vibrant social and cultural environment. The Twin Cities metro is often ranked at the very top in terms of quality of life and has a thriving business community, including the headquarters for 21 Fortune 500 corporations.
- We recently were ranked one of the best values in public colleges based on quality and price.
The Research University
We often get asked by our prospective undergraduates, “What are the advantages of a research university?” The answer is that our faculty are the creators of knowledge. They teach their latest research and creative activity in their undergraduate classes. Our faculty write award-winning academic articles and books, perform profound scientific experiments, dazzle the world with new engineering marvels, and create new works of art. At the same time, they achieve national and international recognition for their teaching.
The Land-Grant Mission
As a land-grant institution, we have a mission to serve the State of Minnesota and to apply our knowledge to societal problems. As such, we greatly value service-learning and internships with public agencies and private companies. We have a remarkable number of these opportunities given our Twin Cities location, and the multiple government agencies and major companies here that hire our students as interns or permanently after graduation. Students at the University learn to apply classroom learning directly to real-world situations.
Twin Cities Metro Area and State Capital
The Twin Cities metropolitan region is a cultural, educational, and economic center in the upper Midwest. Noted for its diverse and thriving economic community with a strong business environment, the Twin Cities is also a nationally-renowned cultural center with all types of theatre (the University maintains a joint B.F.A. program with the Guthrie Theatre), many museums, two major orchestras and a vibrant music scene, and a physical environment noted for its many parks, lakes, bicycle paths, rivers, and all-season activities. Given this rich environment, the Twin Cities is a very special place to study and live.
The University continues to improve all aspects of the undergraduate experience. Our four-year graduation rate is now 54 percent and the six-year rate is now 71 percent. Nearly 91 percent of our freshmen return for their second year. We have a University Honors Program with an exciting interdisciplinary curriculum. We have improved our undergraduate teaching facilities with state-of-the-art classrooms and a new, $70 million Science Teaching and Student Services Building with more than a dozen high-tech, active-learning classrooms. Given this unique combination of attributes—as both a research and land-grant university located in a large, dynamic metropolitan capital region—the undergraduate experience at the University of Minnesota provides our students with a distinctive world class education.
- Karen Hanson
Senior Vice President and Provost
- Robert McMaster
Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education