Metropolitan State University

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This article is about a university in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minnesota. For information on the college 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 Sue K. Hammersmith
Academic staff
652 community faculty
168 resident faculty
Students 11,390[2]
Location St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, USA
Campus Urban
Nickname Metro State
Affiliations MnSCU

Metropolitan State University 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]


Metro State was founded in 1971. The school admitted 50 students in 1972. David E. Sweet was the university's first president.[4] 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. Although Metro State adopted a more traditional format in the 1990s, it has a college named the 'College of Individualized Studies' (CIS) which allows students to design individualized and/or interdisciplinary degree plans. Prior to July 1, 2012, the CIS was called 'First College'. Students who are in the College of Individualized Studies are allowed to select their own majors (they are typically referred to as 'focuses') and curriculums. The individualized degrees are a popular alternative for students who are not interested in seeking traditional 'structured' degrees.

When Metropolitan State began, it was a college for working adults. It was strictly an upper-division college, so students could only complete their junior and senior years there. The university didn't begin admitting freshmen and sophomores or calculating grade point averages until fall quarter 1994. Letter grades have always been offered at MSU, but they have never been required by the school. Prior to the fall of 1998, Metro State operated on the quarter system. MSU currently operates on the semester system. During the 2009-2010 school year, Metropolitan State enrolled 10,000 students. This accomplishment elevates Metro State to the top 12% of colleges ranked by size in the U.S.A. MSU's enrollments are growing by up to 8% per year. Consequently, President Hammersmith and James Mc Cormick, MnSCU's former chancellor, are confident that Metro State will serve 20,000 students per year by the year 2020.[5]

Academic profile

Metro State offers 58 'structured' undergraduate degrees, a self-designed B.A. degree in liberal arts and individualized B.A. degrees through its five colleges and one school: The College of Arts and Sciences, The College of Management, The College of Professional Studies, The College of Nursing and Health Sciences, The School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, and the College of Individualized Studies.[6]

Metropolitan State offers ten structured master's degree programs and an interdisciplinary master of arts degree in liberal studies. The university also offers seven graduate certificate programs. In 2007, Metro State began offering an applied doctor of nursing practice degree. Metro State's B.A. and M.S. programs in technical communication are among the largest programs of their kind in the country.

Metro State launched the first applied doctorate of business administration program in the history of the MnSCU system during fall semester 2010. Although a number of schools in the region — such as the University of MN — offer Ph.D.s in business administration, only four colleges in the entire Upper Midwest offer Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.) degrees. Metropolitan State University is the only public school in the Upper Midwest that offers D.B.A. degrees. The three private schools that offer D.B.A. degrees are Argosy University (Eagan, MN), St. Ambrose University (Davenport, IA), and Capella University (a completely online school based in Minneapolis, MN). Metro State's B.S. in accounting program is the largest in Minnesota, and it is widely recognized as one of the best accounting programs in Minnesota.

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.[7] Contrary to popular belief, Metro State's students are not primarily inner-city, minority, or first-generation college students.


In 2001 the university had 135 Hmong students.[8] 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). [9] [10]Students by gender: Male 41.9% and Female 58.1%. [11] [12]

Student accommodations

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

MSU's first graduating class consisted of twelve people on February 1, 1973. As of December 18, 2012, Metro State has 34,249 alumni. Notable alumni include:

See also


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2011. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2011 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2010 to FY 2011" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers. June 30, 2011. p. 23. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  2. ^ "Metropolitan State University". Retrieved 2011-06-19. External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ a b Metropolitan State University: Minnesota State Colleges & Universities
  4. ^ "Dr. David E. Sweet, 51, Dies; Head of Rhode Island College". The New York Times. 1984-09-18.
  5. ^ Metannrp.Qxd
  6. ^ "Undergraduate Catalog". Retrieved 2010-08-30.
  7. ^ "Undergraduate Catalog". Retrieved 2010-08-30.
  8. ^ Her, Lucy Y. "Ceremony is Hmong welcome to educators - Culture-sharing event aims to aid students, educate parents and elders.." Minneapolis Star Tribune. Saturday March 31, 2001. News 9B. Retrieved on March 12, 2012.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Senator Kenneth S. Kelash DFL District 63". Retrieved 2010-08-30.

External links