Metropolitan State University

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This article is about a university in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minnesota. For information on the unaffiliated university in Denver, Colorado, see Metropolitan State University of Denver
Metropolitan State University
Motto Where life and learning meet
Type Public
Established 1971
Endowment $2.6 million[1]
President Dr. Devinder Malhotra
Academic staff
750 community faculty
174 resident faculty
Students 11,580[2]
Location St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, USA
44°57′25″N 93°4′26″W / 44.95694°N 93.07389°W / 44.95694; -93.07389Coordinates: 44°57′25″N 93°4′26″W / 44.95694°N 93.07389°W / 44.95694; -93.07389
Campus Urban
Nickname Metro State
Affiliations MnSCU

Metropolitan State University, commonly referred to as Metro State, is a four-year public university located in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, United States. It is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system.[3]


The institution was founded in 1971 as Minnesota Metropolitan State College with a mission to educate non-traditional students from the Twin Cities metropolitan area whose needs were not served by other existing institutions like the University of Minnesota.[4]David E. Sweet was appointed the university's first president[5] and the school admitted the first class of 50 students in 1972 on a rented building located in Minneapolis. When Metropolitan State began, it was a college for working adults. It was strictly an upper-division college where students could only complete their junior and senior years of academic study.[6] The university initially followed a non-traditional course: students could design their own degree plans, instructors wrote "narrative evaluations" instead of using traditional letter grades, and much of the teaching was done by "community faculty" who had advanced degrees as well as extensive practical work experience in their respective fields.

During the 1980s enrollment of students at the university grew from around 1,000 students to over 2,500 students. The university expanded its programs to 30 baccalaureate programs as the state increased funding for the institution.[6]

The university began admitting freshmen and sophomores and calculating grade point averages in 1994. Letter grades have always been offered at Metro State, but have never been required. Prior to the fall of 1998, Metro State operated on the quarter system. After this, the university adopted a trimester format. In 1992, the main campus of the university moved to a larger campus that is located in the Dayton's Bluff section of east Saint Paul, MN.[6] This change eventually led to the distributed campus system that exists today with the main campus located in Saint Paul, and additional campus facilities located in the Midway neighborhood and in Minneapolis. Metropolitan State currently has four campuses.

Although Metro State adopted a more traditional format in the 1990s, it still has the College of Individualized Studies (CIS). On July 1, 2012, Metro State's "First College" was renamed the CIS. The CIS allows students to design individualized and/or interdisciplinary majors (typically called "focuses") and curriculums. The individualized degrees are a popular alternative for students who are not interested in traditional "structured" degrees.

During the 2009-10 school year, Metro State enrolled 6,000 full-time equivalent students. From 2008 to June 30, 2014, Dr. Sue K. Hammersmith was Metro State's president. Under Dr. Hammersmith's leadership, the number of degrees conferred increased by 38% during her six-year tenure. By the year 2020, Dr. Hammersmith and James McCormick, MnSCU's former chancellor, expect Metro State to serve 20,000 students per year. Dr. Devinder Malhotra has been named Metro State's interim president. His appointment became effective on July 1, 2014. During the 2014-2015 school year, Metro State served 12,000 full and part-time students.

Academic profile[edit]

As part of its mission to educate working adults and non-traditional students, Metro State previously had an open admissions policy with rolling applications accepted throughout the year.[7] Metro State has been classified as 'less selective', and has historically had a near 100% acceptance rate.[8][9]

Metro State offers 59 "structured" undergraduate degrees, a self-designed B.A. degree in liberal arts and individualized B.A. degrees through its four colleges and three schools: The College of Arts and Sciences, The College of Management, The College of Health, Community and Professional Studies, The School of Nursing, The School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, The School of Urban Education and the College of Individualized Studies.[10]

Metropolitan State University offers twelve "structured" master's degree programs and an interdisciplinary master of arts degree in liberal studies. The university also offers eight graduate certificate programs. In 2007, Metro State began offering an applied doctor of nursing practice degree. Metro State launched the first applied doctorate in business administration within the MnSCU system during fall semester 2010. Although a number of schools in the region — such as the University of Minnesota — offer Ph.D.s in Business Administration, there are only seven regionally-accredited universities in the entire upper-Midwest that offer Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.) degrees. With nearly 900 declared accounting majors, Metropolitan State University's Bachelor of Science in Accounting program is the largest in Minnesota. Moreover, graduates of Metro State's accounting program consistently place among the top-10 finishers in Minnesota's CPA examination.[11]

Metropolitan State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Council on Social Work Education.[12]


Contrary to popular belief, Metro State's students are not primarily inner-city residents, racial minorities, or first-generation college students. Based upon data from August 2010, admissions to Metropolitan State University by race are: Non-Resident Aliens 2.1% (151 students), Black Non-Hispanic 12.1% (871 students), Hispanic 4.6% (330 students), Asian/Pacific Islander 8.7% (623 students), American Indian 3.5% (251 students), Unknown 4.6% (327 students), White 64.4% (4621 students).[13][14] Students by gender: Male 41.9% and Female 58.1%.[13][14] Metro State has over 800 students who are veterans or they're currently in the military.

Student accommodations[edit]

Metropolitan State University accommodates the needs of working adults by scheduling many of its classes in the evening and on weekends. The number of daytime course offerings have been increasing in recent years because of the growing demands of students. It is possible for recent graduates of Minneapolis and St. Paul public high schools to attend Metro State tuition free.[3]

Each student attending Metropolitan State University pays a .43 cent per credit fee to fund the Minnesota State University Student Association, a student-lead non-profit that advocates on behalf of all Minnesota state university students. In 1995, Metro State won a highly-coveted National (Theodore) Hesburgh Award for innovative and outstanding faculty development. Former President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker at the awards ceremony. In 2002, the Minnesota legislature approved funding for the construction of a library at the St. Paul campus; the building opened during spring semester 2004. The new library and learning center also houses a branch of the Saint Paul Public Library. This is the only university/public library partnership in the state of Minnesota and one of only a few nationwide.

Notable alumni[edit]

Metro State's first graduating class consisted of twelve people on February 1, 1973. As of December 15, 2015, Metro State has 39,809 alumni. Notable alumni include:

See also[edit]


External links[edit]