University of Minnesota
#33 Overall Influence#890 Desirability Rank

University of Minnesota

Public research university in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States

By James Barham, PhD

The University of Minnesota (UM) traces its roots to a college preparatory school established in the city of Minneapolis seven years before Minnesota entered the Union in 1858. This school closed its doors during the Civil War, but reopened in 1867.

In 1869, the prep school was reconfigured as an institution of higher learning. Today, that modest college has grown into one of the largest universities in the country, with a student population of around 52,000.

During the 1880s, UM expanded to another campus located in St. Paul, the state capital and the city immediately adjacent to Minneapolis to the east. However, the Minneapolis campus remains by far the larger of the two, sprawling nowadays astride both banks of the Mississippi River as it flows through the heart of the city.

Due to its physical bi-location, albeit under a single administration, the school is now officially known as “University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.” It has become the flagship of a far-flung University of Minnesota System, which also includes colleges located in Crookston, Rochester, Duluth, and Morris.

Some 26 Minnesota-connected people have won the Nobel Prize, including the:

  • Physicists, Ernest Lawrence, Walter Brattain, & John Bardeen
  • Chemists, Melvin Calvin, William Lipscomb, & Brian Kobilka
  • Physiologists, Edward Kendall & Louis Ignarro
  • Economists, Milton Friedman, George Stigler, Leonid Hurwicz & Robert Shiller
  • Novelist, Saul Bellow and the songwriter, Bob Dylan for literature

Other famous Minnesota alumni and faculty include:

  • Actors, Henry Fonda, E.G. Marshall & Jessica Lange
  • Novelist, Robert Penn Warren
  • Poets, Allen Tate, James Wright & John Berryman
  • Folklorist, Jack Zipes
  • Author and radio host, Garrison Keillor
  • Op-ed columnists, Carl Rowan & Thomas Friedman
  • Television journalists, Eric Sevareid & Harry Reasoner
  • Plant geneticist, John Sanford
  • Primatologist, David Premack
  • Psychologist, B.F. Skinner
  • Philosophers, Herbert Feigl, Hector-Neri Castañeda, Fred Dretske, Keith Lehrer, & Ernest Lepore
  • US senator and anti–Vietnam War activist, Eugene McCarthy
  • US Supreme Court Justice, Warren Burger
  • Civil rights activists, Roy Wilkins & Whitney Young
  • Vice presidents of the US, Hubert Humphrey & Walter Mondale


What does this school look for?

Annual Applications




Graduation Rate


Median SAT Score


Median ACT Score



How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)


Fees (in-state)


After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

Avg Earnings




Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body






The Campus

Where will you be attending?


100 Church Street SE, Minneapolis MN 55455-0213

On Campus Crime Rates

Property Crime

8 per 100k

Violent Crime

0 per 100k

City Crime Rates

Property Crime

42 per 100k

Violent Crime

11 per 100k

What is University of Minnesota known for?

Our answer to this is to show you the disciplines in which a school's faculty and alumni have had the highest historical influence. A school may be influential in a discipline even if they do not offer degrees in that area. We've organized two lists to show where they are influential and offer corresponding degrees, and where they are influential through scholarship although they don't offer degrees in the disciplines.

Top areas of influence with degrees offered

#10 World Rank #7 USA Rank
#19 World Rank #14 USA Rank
#25 World Rank #15 USA Rank
#23 World Rank #15 USA Rank
#29 World Rank #18 USA Rank
#57 World Rank #18 USA Rank
#39 World Rank #19 USA Rank
#24 World Rank #19 USA Rank
Political Science
#52 World Rank #19 USA Rank
Earth Sciences
#22 World Rank #19 USA Rank
Social Work
#27 World Rank #21 USA Rank
#60 World Rank #21 USA Rank
#38 World Rank #24 USA Rank
#31 World Rank #25 USA Rank
#51 World Rank #26 USA Rank
#51 World Rank #26 USA Rank
#73 World Rank #27 USA Rank
#34 World Rank #30 USA Rank
#58 World Rank #31 USA Rank
#55 World Rank #35 USA Rank
Computer Science
#97 World Rank #48 USA Rank
#139 World Rank #73 USA Rank
#158 World Rank #77 USA Rank
Religious Studies

Other areas of influence

#30 World Rank #26 USA Rank
Criminal Justice

Influential People

Who are University of Minnesota's Most influential alumni?

University of Minnesota's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Nursing, Education, and Social Work. University of Minnesota’s most academically influential people include Henry M. Morris, Ernest Lawrence, and Arthur Compton.

Henry M. Morris
Henry M. Morris

American young earth creationist and Christian apologist

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Ernest Lawrence
Ernest Lawrence

American nuclear physicist

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Arthur Compton
Arthur Compton

American physicist

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Henry Fonda
Henry Fonda

American actor

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Edward B. Lewis
Edward B. Lewis

American biologist

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Poul Anderson
Poul Anderson

American science fiction and fantasy writer

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Walter Houser Brattain
Walter Houser Brattain

American physicist

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Thomas Friedman
Thomas Friedman

American journalist and author

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Deke Slayton
Deke Slayton


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Melvin Calvin
Melvin Calvin

American biochemist

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Kate Millett
Kate Millett

American writer and activist

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Donald John Roberts

Canadian-American economist

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