Southwest Minnesota State University


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.


Information Summary

Ranks 39th in Minnesota and 1575th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 71.8
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $20,984
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 23 / 1030
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 23 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 65% / 50%
Enrollment Total (all students) 7,167


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


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


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 3323rd 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.

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