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Top Minnesota Colleges

13 of the Top Colleges in Minnesota

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Top Ranked Colleges: Universities | Public Universities | Liberal Arts Colleges | Engineering | Business | Women's | Most Selective

From a huge public university like the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, to a small liberal arts college like Macalester, Minnesota offers a great range of options for higher education. The 13 top Minnesota colleges listed below vary greatly in size and mission, so I have simply listed them alphabetically rather than force them into any sort of artificial ranking. The schools were chosen based on factors such as academic reputation, curricular innovations, first-year retention rates, six-year graduation rates, selectivity, financial aid and student engagement. Carleton is the most selective college on the list.

Compare Top Minnesota Colleges: SAT Scores | ACT Scores

Bethel University

Bethel University Commons Building
Jonathunder / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Enrollment: 4,361 (3,411 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: Comprehensive evangelical Christian private university
  • Distinctions:  minutes from downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis; high graduation rate; 67 majors to choose from; popular programs in business and nursing; new commons building; good financial aid; NCAA Division III athletics
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Bethel University profile

Carleton College

Carleton College Skinner Chapel
TFDuesing / Flickr
  • Location: Northfield, Minnesota
  • Enrollment: 2,009 (all undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college
  • Distinctions:  chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; 9 to 1 student / faculty ratio; one of the nation's ten best liberal arts colleges; beautiful campus with a 880-acre arboretum; extremely high graduation and retention rates
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Carleton College profile

College of Saint Benedict / Saint John's University

College of Saint Benedict
Bobak / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: St. Joseph and Collegeville, Minnesota
  • Enrollment: Saint Benedict: 2,105 (all undergraduate); Saint John's: 2,021 (1,916 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: women's and men's Catholic liberal arts colleges, respectively
  • Distinctions:  the two colleges share a single curriculum; 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio; median class size of 20;  NCAA Division III athletics; strong graduation and retention rates; strong job and graduate school placement rates; Saint John's has an impressive 2,700-acre campus
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Saint John's University profile and the College of Saint Benedict profile

College of St. Scholastica

College of St. Scholastica
3Neus / Flickr
  • Location: Duluth, Minnesota
  • Enrollment: 3,746 (2,821 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private Benedictine Catholic university
  • Distinctions:  14 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 22; campus features attractive stone architecture and a view of Lake Superior; popular programs in business and the health sciences; NCAA Division III athletics 
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the College of St. Scholastica profile

Concordia College at Moorhead

Concordia College Moorhead
abbamouse / Flickr
  • Location: Moorhead, Minnesota
  • Enrollment: 2,811 (2,788 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Distinctions:  13 to 1 student / faculty ratio; 78 majors and 12 preprofessional programs to choose from; popular biological and health science programs; easily cross-registration program with North Dakota State University and Minnesota State University at Moorhead; NCAA Division III athletics
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Concordia College at Moorhead profile

Gustavus Adolphus College

Gustavus Adolphus College
Jlencion / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Saint Peter, Minnesota
  • Enrollment: 2,536 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Distinctions:  chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; 11 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 15;  students can choose from 71 majors; good financial aid; high graduation and retention rate; NCAA Division III athletics
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Gustavus Adolphus College profile

Hamline University

Hamline University
erin.kkr / Flickr
  • Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Enrollment: 5,166 (1,921 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private university affiliated with the United Methodist Church
  • Distinctions:  chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; strong undergraduate legal studies program; 14 to 1 student / faculty ratio; good financial aid; NCAA Division III athletics
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Hamline University profile

Macalester College

Macalester College
Mulad / Flickr
  • Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Enrollment: 1,996 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: liberal arts college
  • Distinctions:  chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; 10 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 17; diverse student population; high retention and graduation rates; one of the country's best liberal arts colleges; NCAA Division III athletics
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Macalester College profile

St. Olaf College

St. Olaf College Old Main
Calebrw / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Northfield, Minnesota
  • Enrollment: 3,099 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Distinctions:  chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio; featured in Lauren Pope's Colleges That Change Lives; high graduation and retention rates; good financial aid; NCAA Division III athletics
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the St. Olaf College profile

University of Minnesota (Twin Cities)

University of Minnesota Pillsbury Hall
Mulad / Flickr

University of Minnesota (Morris)

University of Minnesota Morris Recital Hall
resedabear / Flickr
  • Location: Morris, Minnesota
  • Enrollment: 1,705 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: public liberal arts college
  • Distinctions:  13 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 16; strong student - faculty interaction; popular programs in business, English and psychology; high rate of graduate school attendance;  good financial aid
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the University of Minnesota  Morris profile

University of St. Thomas

University of St. Thomas
Noeticsage / Wikimedia Commons

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