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1501 State St
Marshall, MN 56258-5468
p. 507-537-7678
w. www.smsu.edu

Southwest Minnesota State University

Southwest Minnesota State University Rating: 5.0/5 (4 votes)

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Southwest Minnesota State University was established in 1963 as Southwest Minnesota State College (SMSC). The institute admitted its first batch of students on September 19, 1967 and was renamed Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) on July 1, 2003. Today, the school grown into a reputed university with high national rankings, producing leaders, thinkers, and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. As a public, four-year university, SMSU offers high quality education in liberal arts and professions to prepare students for a successful personal and professional life. The university is located in Marshall, Minnesota and its main campus covers an area of over 200 acres.


SMSU is a part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU) and is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The university offers associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in the liberal arts and professional studies. Students can choose from the diverse fields of study including accounting, biology, business administration, chemistry, economics, education, global studies, history, humanities, interdisciplinary studies, music, philosophy, physics, and theatre arts. SMSU also supports a Center for Rural and Regional Studies. It also offers master’s degrees in business management, education, and special education.


SMSU defies all geographical boundaries and provides education to students residing in different locations. The online education programs are ideal for students who are unable to attend a traditional college due to personal and professional responsibilities. SMSU’s distance learning department helps the regional students obtain a bachelor’s degree without attending the college. The classes are delivered through the Internet, ITV, or a hybrid of online coursework and classroom.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Southwest Minnesota State University boasts an enrollment of nearly 3,500 students. The freshman students seeking admission must send the completed application form along with a nominal non-refundable application fee, official transcripts, and ACT or SAT score to SMSU. Getting a transfer to the university is fairly easy. Applicants must send the completed transfer form along with their official transcripts from all previously attended institutes.

International students form an important part of SMSU’s student body. The institute offers support to international students from more than 25 countries worldwide. Students from non-English speaking countries must provide a proof of their proficiency in the language.

Financial Aid

SMSU believes in providing equal educational opportunities for all. Hence, it offers a variety of financial aid programs for students who find it difficult to pay for higher education. SMSU offers financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants and loans. All applicants seeking financial aid must complete the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Some of the federal and state grants offered by SMSU include Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Minnesota GI Bill Program, Minnesota State Grant Program, and Postsecondary Child Care Grant Program.

Some of the scholarships offered at SMSU include New Undergraduate Student Scholarships, Continuing Undergraduate Student Scholarship, Minnesota Indian Scholarship Program, and Oscar and Cora Sather Endowed Scholarship. Loans are the type of financial aid that must be returned with interest. Students can apply for loans such as Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, and Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS).

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 2571st for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Minnesota.


Southwest Minnesota State University boasts an active student life. The club and organization programs facilitate co-curricular activities to enhance students’ collegiate life, develop their leadership skills, and provide opportunities to interact with fellow students. The Student Government Association acts as the voice of the student body. They organize a variety of events and programs to further enrich the campus experience.

Students are encouraged to participate in the various on-campus clubs and organizations, which include Ag Business/Agronomy Club (Ag Club), Black Student Union (BSU), Campus Crusade for Christ (CCC), Center for Student Leadership and Involvement (CSLI), Drama Club, Dance Team (SMSU Dance Team), Non-Traditional Student Organization (NTSO), and more.

Media and Publications:

The Spur is the student operated newspaper of the university.

KSSU Radio is the live radio station, and KSSU TV is the television channel for SMSU.

Campus Facilities:

Southwest Minnesota offers an amazing residence life for the students staying on campus. The Sweetland Hall located on the west edge of the campus includes modern facilities for the convenience of the students. Some of the amenities include air conditioning, two elevators, twin-long size beds, private and semi-private bathrooms, computer access, meeting and study rooms, on-site laundry and kitchenette. The campus also offers an array of dining options to delight even the most discerning taste buds.

SMSU Career Services assists students in selecting a major, devising career plans, and applying to graduate schools of their choice. The staff also helps students find part-time and full time employments. Some of the other services include interview tips, developing job search skills, information regarding job fairs and events.

The SMSU Health Center provides students with free and private services for medical evaluations. There is a negligible fee for the laboratory tests, minor procedures and medications. The staff also helps the students with off-campus referrals. It also offers health insurance for all students.

Places of Interest:

Some of the places of interest within the campus are SMSU Museum of Natural History, which houses the native plants and animals of Minnesota; SMSU Art Museum, which features art on-display at various campus locations; SMSU Planetarium, which features diverse laser and multi-media presentations; Greenhouse; and ADM & SMSU Environmental Learning Area.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


Southwest Minnesota State University’s athletic department sponsors a variety of men’s and women’s teams in diverse sports such as basketball, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball. The colors are the prairie colors of brown and gold. The athletic teams are nicknamed the Mustangs. The institute competes in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) and NCAA Division II.

Intramural Sports:

Students are also encouraged to participate in the recreational intramural sports such as badminton, basketball, flag football, floor hockey, broomball, racquetball, softball, tennis, ultimate Frisbee, and volleyball. The Mustang Rugby Club takes part in the Minnesota Rugby Union (USA Rugby). They won the Minnesota Division III Championship in the year 2002.

Additional School Information

The SMSU Child Care Center presents a licensed day care to university students, faculty, and staff. The core curriculum offered at the center promotes overall development of the child – socially, physically, and emotionally. The program mainly focuses on arts, language, math, logical reasoning, communication, social-personal growth, science, art and social studies.


  • Southwest Minnesota State University. 2011.
  • Surhone, Lambert M. Tennoe, Mariam T. Henssonow Susan F. Southwest Minnesota State University. Betascript Publishing, 2011. Print.

Information Summary

Ranks 30th in Minnesota and 1222nd overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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Campus Building :: Southwest Minnesota State University Physical education Gym :: Southwest Minnesota State University

Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 3 0.04
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 1 0.01
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest N/A N/A

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 10 0.07
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Forcible Rape N/A N/A
Robbery 2 0.01
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 60 0.44
Larceny 339 2.46
Vehicle theft 16 0.12

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Marshall, MN 56258-5468
Surrounding communityRemote town (over 35 mi. away from an urban cluster)
Total Population14,846 (12,650 urban / 2,196 rural)
Households5,633 (2.46 people per house)
Median Household Income$40,276
Families3,500 (3.08 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (medium programs)
UndergraduateProfessions plus arts & sciences, some graduate coexistence
GraduatePostbaccalaureate professional (education dominant)
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, inclusive
EnrollmentHigh undergraduate
Size & SettingSmall four-year, primarily nonresidential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringMaster's degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District2707

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 1907th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $6,986 $6,986 $6,986
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $1,088 $1,088 $1,088
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $226 $226 $226
FT Graduate Tuition $6,574 $6,574 $6,574
FT Graduate Required Fees $752 $752 $752
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $352 $352 $352
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $19,576 $19,576 $19,576
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $19,576 $19,576 $19,576
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $12,430 $12,430 $12,430

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $7,743 $8,074 $7,743 $8,074 $7,743 $8,074
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,200(N/C)
On-Campus – Room & Board $6,944 $7,224
On-Campus – Other Expenses $2,938(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $6,944 $7,224
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $2,938(N/C)
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $2,938(N/C)

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$20
Graduate Application Fee$30
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 2,076 (973 male / 1,103 female)
Admitted 1,359 (619 male / 740 female)
Admission rate 65%
First-time Enrollment 453 (196 male / 257 female)
FT Enrollment 449 (195 male / 254 female)
PT Enrollment 4 (1 male / 3 female)
Total Enrollment6,917

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference
NCAA Basketball Conference Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference

ACT Test Admission

896th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 93%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 17 / 23
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 18 / 24
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 19 / 24

SAT Test Admission

Applicants submitting SAT results 3%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 0 / 0
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 0 / 0
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 0 / 0

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity1,064
Meals per WeekN/A
Room Fee$4,546
Board Fee$2,600

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 46 13 15 6 3 536 23 649
Accounting 1 20 21
Agribusiness/Agricultural Business Operations 16 16
Agronomy and Crop Science 3 3
Art Teacher Education 1 1
Art/Art Studies, General 2 9 11
Biology Teacher Education
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 2 1 1 9 13
Business Administration and Management, General 18 5 6 2 1 116 2 151
Chemistry Teacher Education
Chemistry, General 4 1 2 7
Computer Science 6 8 14
Creative Writing 5 5
Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration 1 1 18 21
Culinary Science/Culinology 6 6
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 2 2
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 13 13
Education, General 1 1 1 1 100 18 123
Education/Teaching of Individuals with Autism
Elementary Education and Teaching 1 29 31
English/Language Arts Teacher Education 4 4
Environmental Science 2 5 7
Finance, General 19 19
Fire Services Administration
General Literature 3 3
Health Teacher Education 5 5
Health and Physical Education/Fitness, General 2 20 22
History, General 7 7
Hospitality Administration/Management, General 8 1 13 1 23
Kinesiology and Exercise Science 10 10
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 2 1 19 1 24
Mathematics Teacher Education 2 2
Mathematics, General 1 3 4
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 1 1
Music Teacher Education 1 1
Philosophy 1 1
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching 1 3 4
Political Science and Government, General 1 1 3 5
Professional, Technical, Business, and Scientific Writing 4 4
Psychology, General 1 2 22 26
Public Administration 2 2
Radio and Television 1 4 5
Social Work 10 11
Sociology 1 3 4
Spanish Language Teacher Education
Spanish Language and Literature
Special Education and Teaching, General 6 1 7
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 1 8 9
Speech Teacher Education 1 1

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 1182nd for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $72,268 ($74,711 male / $64,744 female)
Number of FT Faculty 111 (60 male / 51 female)
Number of PT Faculty 227
FT Faculty Ratio 0.5 : 1
Total Benefits $3,396,000

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