Minnesota’s Best Research Universities of 2021

Interested in attending a STEM school in Minnesota? Our ranking of top research universities for bachelor’s degrees displays schools that will best prepare you for STEM careers.

Minnesota’s Best Research Universities 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.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

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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How do we determine Minnesota's best colleges and universities?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

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Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

A research university is a great option for students interested in obtaining STEM degrees. Research universities invest heavily in research, which consequently provides meaningful and extensive opportunities for its students and faculty to participate in research. There are 8 research universities in Minnesota, 5 of which satisfy our criteria. The list below of the best research universities in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a fully accredited university.
  2. It must offer doctoral degrees across the range of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
  3. It must report high levels of research activity based upon the number of research and/or practice doctorates awarded each year.
  4. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 60%.

5 Best Research Universities in Minnesota for Undergrads

 
  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

    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

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  4. #4

    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
  5. #5

    College of St. Scholastica

    #4201 institution's historical influence
    #582 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    4K

    Duluth, MN

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    What is College of St. Scholastica known for?

    College of St. Scholastica’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Biology
    • Social Work
    • Medical
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO

Find the Best Research Universities in Minnesota for your Major

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