Minnesota is located in the Midwestern United States. Neighboring states include Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa. Minnesota also shares an international border with Canada to the north. An estimated population of 5,489,500 residents call the state home. Major cities include the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area, also known as the Twin Cities. However, the state is also made up largely of small towns and rural landscapes with a wide variety of flora and fauna as well as river, cliffs, and mountainous areas that are remnants of the Wisconsin glaciers that covered most of the state 12,000 years ago. Minnesotans are considered progressive in their political viewpoints and civic participation. Many Native American tribes call the region home. Minnesota also hosts many professional sports teams, including the Minnesota Vikings (NFL), Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA), and the Minnesota Wild (NHL).

For the sake of this list , a “college” is considered any accredited public or private not-for-profit institution that offers four-year degree programs. Campus crime stats, graduation rates, and student retention rates were taken from U.S. Department of Education annual reports. Campus crime rates are based on the number of crimes per 1,000 residents.

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#1 Bethel University-Minnesota


Minnesota’s Bethel University is located in Arden Hills, a suburb of the city of St.Paul. The evangelical Christian schools admits about 6,000 students each year, 2,800 of whom are undergraduates. An additional seminary location is located in San Diego. The school has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a leading educator in the performing arts. Students pursue a degree in one of four colleges, including the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Adult and Professional Studies, Graduate school, and the Bethel Seminary. The College of Arts and Sciences alone offers 66 majors and 41 minors. Extracurriculars include student publications and athletics.

#2 Bethany Lutheran College

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The liberal arts school known as Bethany Lutheran College is located in Mankato, Minnesota. Campus is set along the Minnesota River and serves approximately 600 undergraduate students. Common areas of study include secondary education, physical therapy, law, engineering, and medicine. Students participate in non-academic activities such as choir, drama, forensics, student publications and the Student Leadership Institute. The Vikings belong to NCAA Division III athletics.

#3 Martin Luther College


Martin Luther College of New Ulm, Minnesota is operated by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Coeducational studies are available in subjects such as early childhood education and staff ministries in WELS churches. In addition, MLC prepares young men at the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. A total of 700 undergraduates and an additional 60 postgraduates attend  the school each year. As far as extracurriculars, students can become involved in music, recreational sports and special campus event days.

#4 University of Northwestern-St.Paul


Roseville, Minnesota is home to the University of Northwestern-St.Paul. The private evangelical Christian school hosts 1,800 undergraduate students each year and an additional 200 postgraduate students. Common areas of undergraduate studies include music, business, broadcasting, art, English, criminal justice, life sciences, and Christian ministries. All undergraduates also pursue a mandatory minor in Bible. Media (radio), music, and athletics opportunities are also available to students.

#5 St. Catherine University

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Also called St.Kate’s, St. Catherine University is a Catholic Liberal arts school in Minnesota’s Twin Cities. Each year, 3,500 undergraduate women attend the school. A postgraduate program is available to men and women. St. Catherine’s is seen as a leader in women’s education since its founding in 1905. Social justice and women’s education are integral components in the academic realm. The  school also offers extensive research facilities, including the Human Anatomy Lab and National Center for STEM Elementary Education.

#6 Metropolitan State University-Minnesota


The Metropolitan State University-Minnesota, or simply Metro State, is situated in Minnesota’s Twin Cities. The four-year public institution welcomes about 11,500 students each year. Metro State has a particular interest in serving students considered non-traditional. Students can choose from 60 degree paths within the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Nursing, and the College of Management, among others.

#7 St.Olaf College


St.Olaf College of Northfield, Minnesota is home to 3,000 undergraduate students. The four-year liberal arts school spans across a campus of 920 acres. Old Main is one of the most notable sites on campus, as is the Flaten Art Museum, and nearly 325 acres of neighboring wetlands and woodlands. St.Olaf’s has been routinely featured as one of the most picturesque college campuses. Common areas of academic study include literary studies, human behavior, natural science, and theology. Students are encouraged to study abroad, and can choose from 250 student clubs and organizations.

#8 Concordia College-Minnesota


The private school known as Concordia College is located in Moorhead, Minnesota. The liberal arts college has an affiliation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Approximately 2,500 undergraduates attend the school each year. Students may pursue degrees as Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, and Master of Education. Popular areas of study include business, education, and communication. The college has extensive music programs, with 45 faculty members allocated to the department. Student athletes can participate in NCAA Division III athletics as well as a host of other student-run organizations.

#9 Southwest Minnesota State University


In association with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Concordia College is a private college set in Moorhead, Minnesota. Its 2,500 undergraduate students pursue degrees in Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, and Master of Education. All students attend mandatory core curriculum in the area of health, culture, communication, and religion. A total of 61 majors are available to students. Music and athletics are also a big part of student life.

#10 College of Saint Benedict


The all-women’s College of Saint Benedict is located in St.Joseph, Minnesota. The school works in tandem with Saint John’s University for men only. Students are able to access academic material and other resources cross-campus. A total of 3,600 students attend the College of Saint Benedict. The institution has a reputation for producing a high number of Fulbright Scholars each year. In addition to academics, students can become involved in study abroad and music opportunities as well as Greek Life.

#11 Winona State University


Winona State University of Winona, Minnesota is regarded as the first university founded west of the Mississippi River in 1858. Students, of whom there are nearly 10,000, can choose from over 80 academic programs. Winona is home to many international students, from 55 countries, who are offered special services to smooth the cultural adjustment period. International students are also offered a Cross-Cultural Scholarship opportunity to encourage American and international students to share their own cultures with each other. Students can take advantage of facilities such as the Maxwell Field at Warrior Stadium, the Integrated Wellness Complex, and the WSU’s Performing Arts Center.

#12 The College of St. Scholastica


The College of St. Scholastica is set in Duluth, Minnesota. Each year, about 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students attend the private college. Students can pursue degrees at the bachelor, master’s and doctoral levels. A majority or undergraduate students focus their studies in the sciences and liberal arts. Athletics include soccer, baseball, ice hockey, tennis, football and cross country. The College of St. Scholastica belongs to NCAA Division III Athletics.

#13 University of Minnesota-Crookston


The four-year institution University of Minnesota-Crookston brings in 1,800 undergraduate students each year. Campus stretches across 108 acres in the city of Crookston. In addition to wildlife preserves, facilities also include the Valley Technological Park, the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies, and the Northwest Research and Outreach Center. Student pursue degrees in 39 areas of concentration within the department of Liberal Arts and Education, Science and Technology, Math, and Agriculture and Natural Resources. University of Minnesota-Crookston is home of NCAA Division II athletics.

#14 Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota


The private, Catholic school known as Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is situated in the city of Winona. The student body makes up a total of nearly 6,000, 1,100 of which are undergraduates. Graduate students attend classes at the Winona campus, as well as other locations around the Midwest, and international locations in Jamaica and Kenya. Popular doctorate programs include a Doctor of Business Administration and a doctorate in Psychology. Saint Mary’s belongs to the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

#15 Concordia University-Minnesota


Saint Paul’s Concordia University-Minnesota admits 2,800 students each year. In addition to traditional undergraduate programs, Concordia University-Minnesota also provides Adult Undergraduate Degree Programs, Continuing Education Classes & Certificates, and Licensure & Colloquy Programs. Student athletes can participate in NCAA Division II, including men’s baseball, basketball and football and women’s golf, volleyball, and track and field, among others.

#16 University of St. Thomas-Minnesota


The University of St.Thomas-Minnesota is a Catholic liberal arts school located in Minnesota’s Twin Cities. In addition to Minnesota campuses, St.Thomas has international locations in Rome as well. Each year, 6,200 and undergraduates and 4,000 graduates attend the school. Students choose from 88 major concentrations and 59 minor fields. Student athletes at St.Thomas participate in NCAA Division III athletics. Students can participate in other extracurricular such as student government.

#17 Macalester College


Situated in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Macalester College is a liberal arts school that admits over 2,000 undergraduates each year. Macalester has consistently ranked high for its academic achievement on a national level and inclusion of minority groups and members of the LGBTQ community. Students choose from 37 majors and 63 areas of study, which belong to 31 different academic departments. The institution encourages students to study abroad and participate in volunteer opportunities that serve the community.

#18 Hamline University


Hamline University is located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The private liberal arts school admits 5,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students each year. Students at the College of Liberal Arts choose from 38 areas of study. Others colleges include the School of Education, Graduate School of Liberal Studies, the Hamline University School of Law, and the Hamline University School of Business. The school maintains four international partnerships, which allows students to easily transfer credits. Students can also join in on student athletics and Greek Life.

#19 Carleton College


The private arts school, Carleton College, is located in Northfield, Minnesota. The total student population supersedes 2,000 undergraduates. Carelton operates on the trimester schedule. Usually, students are enrolled in three courses per term. Common studies concentrations include economics, computer science, international relations, chemistry, and psychology. Campus includes an arboretum, observatory, and creative center that is home to the Cinema and Media Studies department.

#20 North Central University


North Central University of Minneapolis is a residential college for undergraduate students. Over 1,000 students attend the school each year. All students pursuing a bachelor’s degree are required to partake in a General Education Core, including a Bible Studies Core and a Major Core. Much of North Central’s curriculum is geared towards ministry vocational work with an emphasis on service. Students can participate in a variety of extracurricular activities including NCAA Division III sports.

#21 University of Minnesota-Morris


The public liberal arts school called the University of Minnesota- Morris admits roughly 1,900 students each year. The co-educational institution offers students a liberal arts education and Bachelor of Arts degree. The university offers students a variety of 35 majors and minors. Campus is home to on-site renewable power, making the school a top innovator in environmental sustainability. Students can participate in radio and the student newspaper, as well as NCAA Division II athletics.

#22 Minneapolis College of Art & Design 


Minneapolis College of Art & Design, also known as MCAD, is an undergraduate and graduate institution with a focus on the visual arts. Each year, about 700 students attend the school to pursue areas of concentration in drawing, papermaking, photography, graphic design, comic art, and furniture design. Besides a Bachelor of Fine Arts, students can also pursue degrees in a Bachelor of Science, Continuing Education, Master of Fine Arts, and a Master of Arts. Campus is home to many academic and arts facilities, in particular, the Gallery 148, run exclusively by students.

#23 Augsburg College


The coeducational liberal arts school of Augsburg College is is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Common major concentrations include business, marketing, education, communication, journalism, and social sciences. Students can choose from a total over more than 50 majors. In addition to academics, Augsburg College puts a strong emphasis on service learning and volunteering. Students can join extracurricular  programs such as the “StepUP Program, ” which aids students in their drug and alcohol addiction recoveries. Other clubs are related to forensics, campus ministry, and cultural diversity.

#24 University of Minnesota – Twin Cities


The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, also referred to as the U of M is situated in the cities of St.Paul and Minneapolis. The campus is the sixth largest in the country, and home to upwards of 48,000 students. The university is broken up into 19 colleges and schools. Undergraduates can choose between 143 degree programs, while graduates have 200 options in their pursued degree. The U of M has consistently ranked high as a research university. The U of M has an extensive study abroad program as well as an active Greek Life and host of honor societies. Student athletes participate in NCAA Division I sports. The U of M is also a member of the Big Ten.

#25 Gustavus Adolphus College


The liberal arts school, Gustavus Adolphus College, is situated in St.Peter, Minnesota. About 2,500 students attend the school each academic year. The four-year institution is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Students choose from 70 programs, including 75 majors within 24 academic programs. Students can become involved in over 120 organizations and clubs, including forensics, Greek Life, music, theatre, art and dance. The school operates on a mission statement that students work toward a more just and peaceful world.

#26 Minnesota State University – Moorhead


The Minnesota State University – Moorhead is a public university for undergraduate and graduate students. A total of about 8,000 students attend the school each year. Common majors include biology, mass communication, computer science, social work and graphic communication. A total of 82 undergraduate majors with 99 emphases are offered, in addition to 14 graduate programs. Students can participate in a variety of NCAA Division II athletics, as well as study abroad opportunities and student publications.

#27 Bemidji State University


Bemidji State University, or BSU, is situated along Lake Bemidji. Each year, around 6,400 students attend the university as undergrads and graduates. BSU is well-regarded for its writing program, with specializations in weblogs, web content writing, and web design. In addition, BSU has fostered international relationships, and students have the opportunity to study at Liaoning University in China.Student athletes participate in NCAA Division II athletics, including golf, ice hockey, basketball, softball, and volleyball. Other extracurriculars include involvement int the student newspaper and literary magazine, CRE8 Magazine.

#28 Minnesota State University


Minnesota State University is located in Mankato, Minnesota on top of the Blue Earth River. The third largest university in-state welcomes nearly 18,000 students each year. There are 140 programs offered to undergraduates, 80 programs for graduates, and 4 doctoral programs. MSU has produced a total of 37 Fulbright Scholars and boasts a 90% employment rate of graduates within one year of earning their degree. Satellite campuses are located in Edina and Owatonna, Minnesota. Students can choose to participate in over 200 organizations in addition to their academics.

#29 St. Cloud State University


St. Cloud State University, or SCSU, is located in St. Cloud Minnesota along the Mississippi River. Every year, nearly 15,500 students attend the university at a undergraduate or postgraduate level. Over 200 majors, minors, and professional programs are available to SCSU students. In addition, the school facilitates 23 study abroad programs around the globe. Students can participate in Greek Life, as well as student media, student government, and more than 250 other student organizations.

#30 University of Minnesota – Duluth


Situated in Duluth, Minnesota, the University of Minnesota, Duluth hosts almost 10,000 undergraduates and postgraduates each year. Students choose from a total of 85 majors and 27 graduate programs as well as specialized programs in the field of medicine. The Duluth campus is home to many science research centers and academic facilities. Student athletes have the opportunity to participate in NCAA Division II sports. Students can also become involved in outdoor clubs, intramural sports, Greek Life, and student council.

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