The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (often referred to as The University of Minnesota, Minnesota, the U of M, UMN, or simply the U) is a public research university in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota. The Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses are approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) apart, and the Saint Paul campus is actually in neighboring Falcon Heights. It is the oldest and largest campus within the University of Minnesota system and has the sixth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 51,147 students in 2013–14. The university is the flagship institution of the University of Minnesota system, and is organized into 19 colleges and schools, with sister campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester.
The University of Minnesota faculty, alumni, and researchers have won 29 Nobel Prizes and three Pulitzer Prizes. Notable University of Minnesota alumni include two Vice Presidents of the United States, Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale, and Bob Dylan, who received the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.
The University has six University-wide interdisciplinary centers and institutes whose work crosses collegiate lines:
- Center for Cognitive Sciences
- Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment, and the Life Sciences
- Institute for Advanced Study at University of Minnesota
- Institute for Translational Neuroscience
- Institute on the Environment
- Minnesota Population Center
In 2016, Minnesota was ranked 33rd in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). In its 2017 edition, U.S. News & World Report ranked Minnesota 38th in their “Best Global University Rankings”. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2015 ranks Minnesota 46th in the world.
The Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) ranked the university 45th in the world based on quality of education, alumni employment, quality of faculty, publications, influence, citations, broad impact, and patents in 2016. In 2016, the Nature Index ranked Minnesota 34th in the world based on research publication output in top tier academic journals in the life sciences, chemistry, earth and environmental sciences and physical sciences based on publication data from 2015. In 2015, Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked the university 11th in the world for mathematics.
The University of Minnesota is ranked 14 overall among the nation’s top research universities by the Center for Measuring University Performance. The university’s research and development expenditures ranked 13th-15th among U.S. academic institutions in the 2010 through 2015 National Science Foundation reports. The U.S. News & World Report‘s 2016 rankings placed the undergraduate program of the University as the 69th-best National University in the United States. It also ranked the Chemical Engineering program third-best, the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program third best, the Economics PhD program tenth, Psychology eighth, Statistics sixteenth, Audiology ninth, and the University of Minnesota Medical School 6th for primary care and 34th for research. The Law School, consistently recognized as a ‘Top Law School’ by U.S. News & World Report, is ranked 20th in the nation, and is a national leader in commercial law, international law, and clinical education.
The university also became a member of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) in 2007, and has led data analysis projects searching for gravitational waves – the existence of which were confirmed by scientists in February 2016.
As the largest of five campuses across the University of Minnesota system, its more than 50,000 students make it the sixth largest campus student body in the US overall. It has more than 300 research, education, and outreach centers and institutes, on everything from the life sciences to public policy and technology.
The University offers 143 undergraduate degree programs and 200 graduate degree programs. The University has all three branches of the Reserve Officer Training Corps(ROTC). The University of Minnesota Twin Cities as well as its sister campuses at Crookston, Duluth, and Morris are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
The original Minneapolis campus overlooked the Saint Anthony Falls on the Mississippi River, but it was later moved about a mile (1.6 km) downstream to its current location. The original site is now marked by a small park known as Chute Square at the intersection of University and Central Avenues. The school shut down following a financial crisis during the American Civil War, but reopened in 1867 with considerable financial help from John S. Pillsbury. It was upgraded from a preparatory school to a college in 1869. Today, the University’s Minneapolis campus is divided by the Mississippi River into an East and West Bank.
The campus now has buildings on both river banks. The “East Bank“, the main portion of the campus, covers 307 acres (124 ha). The West Bank is home to the University of Minnesota Law School, the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, the Carlson School of Management, various social science buildings, and the performing arts center. The St. Paul campus is home to the College of Biological Sciences (CBS), the College of Design (CDes), the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), and the veterinary program.
The Minneapolis campus has several residence halls, 17th Avenue Hall, Centennial Hall, Frontier Hall, Territorial Hall, Pioneer Hall, Sanford Hall, Middlebrook hall, and Comstock Hall.
The Health area is to the southeast of the Mall area and focuses on undergraduate buildings for biological-science students, as well as homes to the College of Pharmacy, the School of Nursing, the School of Dentistry, the Medical School, the School of Public Health, and Fairview Hospitals and Clinics. This complex of buildings forms what is known as the University of Minnesota Medical Center. Part of the College of Biological Sciences is housed in this area.
The Armory, northeast of the Northrop Mall, is built like a Norman castle, with a sally-port entrance facing Church Street, and a tower originally intended to be the Professor of Military Science’s residence, until it was found to be too cold. It originally held the athletics department as well as the military-science classes it now holds.
One of the oldest buildings on campus is Pillsbury Hall, designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style and built using varieties of sandstone available in Minnesota. It has a unique color that is hard to capture in a photograph. Many of the buildings on the East Bank campus were designed by the prolific Minnesota architect Clarence Johnston, including the Jacobean Folwell Hall and the Roman Renaissance Walter Library, which he considered the heart of the university.