Minnesota’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

Graduate school may be a critical step in your higher education, whether you are interested in expanding your knowledge, learning a specialization, or earning advanced credentials required by your profession. The best graduate schools in Minnesota offer advanced degrees, such as master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as opportunities for independent research, mentorships, and professional networking.

Minnesota’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Minnesota

One of largest public higher education institutes in the country, the University of Minnesota has main campuses in both of the Twin Cities, Saint Paul and Minneapolis. This school costs about $15,000 in tuition, and provides its students with competitive programs in fields like nursing, education, economics, and psychology. And the options don’t stop there. There are more than 20 schools in the state with religious affiliations, including larger schools like the University of St. Thomas, which campuses in both Twin Cities, and smaller schools like Oak Hills Christian College in Bemidji.

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For students striving to keep costs low in a smaller school environment, Southwest Minnesota State University offers tuition below the national average and serves about 3,500 students. Additionally, those on track to become a teacher or health care provider may be eligible for one of Minnesota’s loan forgiveness programs after graduation. Minnesota also boasts a large network of private colleges, two of which, Walden University and Capella University, primarily cater to online students.

Ever heard the phrase, There’s an app for that? Well, in Minnesota they say something similar, There’s a festival for that. This fun state doesn’t hold back when it comes to celebrating. With events like the Grumpy Old Men Festival, World Festival, and the Perham Turtle Fest, students earning their degrees at one of Minnesota’s more than 70 colleges won’t miss out on a good time.

Discover some of Minnesota’s top programs and learn how you can earn your associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree while cashing in on some of this state’s unique experiences.

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What are Minnesota’s Colleges & Universities?

Minnesota’s Best Overall

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There are 14 doctorate-granting universities in Minnesota, 9 of which satisfy our criteria. The best graduate schools below are composed of both private and public schools that satisfy the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must offer doctoral degrees and a broad array of graduate degrees.
  4. It must have a graduation rate greater than 50%.

How do we determine Minnesota's best graduate schools?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. At the undergraduate level, the best colleges and universities are those with the highest concentration of influence. Our Concentrated Influence metric adjusts overall influence by size of undergraduate student body, thus allowing smaller schools to compete with larger schools so long as they have proportionately as strong influential faculty and alums.

But at the graduate level, the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. Overall influence, and not influence controlled by other variables, thus becomes the best gauge of academic excellence at the graduate level. Where smaller size is an advantage at the undergraduate level (hence Concentrated Influence), graduate studies benefit from a large and vibrant community of graduate students, who promise to become the new generation of academic influencers.

If you are serious about finding the best graduate schools, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our methodology here.

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Best Graduate Schools in Minnesota

  1. #1

    University of Minnesota

    #26 institution's historical influence
    #890 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1370/28

    Minneapolis, MN

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    What is University of Minnesota known for?

    University of Minnesota’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Computer Science
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    University of St. Thomas

    #1230 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $47K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    80%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1255/26

    Saint Paul, MN

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    What is University of St. Thomas known for?

    University of St. Thomas ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Law
    • Literature
    • History
    • Medical
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Hamline University

    #1250 institution's historical influence
    #419 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $45K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/22

    Saint Paul, MN

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    What is Hamline University known for?

    Hamline University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Minnesota State University, Mankato

    #1861 institution's historical influence
    #1413 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    13K

    Mankato, MN

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    What is Minnesota State University, Mankato known for?

    Minnesota State University, Mankato’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Biology
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Bethel University

    #2189 institution's historical influence
    #1442 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/24

    Saint Paul, MN

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    What is Bethel University known for?

    Bethel University ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  6. #6

    St. Catherine University

    #2290 institution's historical influence
    #449 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1175/24

    Saint Paul, MN

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    What is St. Catherine University known for?

    St. Catherine University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  7. #7

    Winona State University

    #2656 institution's historical influence
    #1416 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/21

    Winona, MN

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    What is Winona State University known for?

    Winona State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Earth Sciences
    • Computer Science
  8. #8

    Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

    #2635 institution's historical influence
    #405 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1113/23

    Winona, MN

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    What is Saint Mary's University of Minnesota known for?

    Saint Mary's University of Minnesota’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • History
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #9

    Concordia University, St. Paul

    #8780 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    4K

    Saint Paul, MN

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    What is Concordia University, St. Paul known for?

    Concordia University, St. Paul’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

Minnesota’s Best Grad School for Your Interest!

Resources for Prospective Grad Students

Photo By: Dragne SDI - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0