Saint Peter, MN
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5 College Freshman

Academics: The professors are great to work with and they give challenging yet manageable coursework.

2 College Sophomore

Academics: Its great to be in my major, but it can be tough at times. It is a struggle figuring out some of the terms, but I take it in strides. The workload is a struggle, but I simply manage my time accordingly.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Academics: We could offer more business classes, I would like to see more marketing and management classes!

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Most of the majors have a really great time at Gustavus. I am a math major and the workload is pretty heavy but the profs are really invested in helping you succeed and the community is really awesome.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Academics: The academics at Gustavus are definitely challenging. However I love the classes and professors.

1 person found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 36th
    Most Caring Professors
  • 38th
    Most Flexible Curriculums
  • 43rd
    Best Course Variety
  • 56th
    Best Registration Process
  • 74th
    Professors Most Interested in Classes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Steven Olson
Moorhead, MN
History and Scandinavian Studies
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

Academics at Gustavus vary, depending on the student and the department. While some students rejoice in the silence of the third floor library and love to waste away in a book on a Thursday afternoon, some (most) students are more likely to study a bit and then speak their mind in discussion the next day. Depending on your major, classes can be small (sometimes with you being the only student) to large (where there are 40 other students in the lecture hall). The 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio is nice if you're looking for individualized attention, but if you didn't do the assigned reading for that day, you'll stick out like a sore thumb. Resources that students can easily turn to are professors, reference librarians, TAs (for labs only), and an academic counseling center. Double majoring can be tricky, but it works well depending on your major and how many incoming credits with which you enter.

Gustavus is unique because most students honestly are not fervent believers in grades. They understand that while the person who gets the "A" will earn recognition from the College and maybe from the employer, they know it's the "B" students who can hold meaningful conversations and understand truly how to interact with people who will be able to stand on the stage of "world citizens." Gustavus' strongest academic departments include the traditional liberal arts disciplines such as those found in the humanities, but also biology, chemistry, physics, Scandinavian studies, nursing, and health fitness. Gustavus is filled with excellent professors and some not-so-excellent professors, but almost all push their students and are grateful for the student who sticks out and tries to get the most out of his or her education. 

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Transfer-Out Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 51%
  • 20 to 49 students: 46%
  • 50 or more students: 3%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Degrees Awarded
Bachelor's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Biology and Biological Sciences: 5%
  • Business/Commerce, General: 3%
  • Psychology: 4%
  • Speech Communication and Rhetoric: 3%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • English (including composition)
  • Foreign languages
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social science
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Other Academic Offerings
  • Cooperative education program
  • Double major
  • Honors program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Student-designed major
  • Washington semester
Best Places to Study
  • Courtyard CafĂ©
  • Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library
  • The Hill
  • Linnaeus Arboretum
Tips to Succeed
  • Have a desire to get involved; it helps in meeting new people.
  • Study, study, study-but not too much, because the social aspect almost outweighs the academics.
  • Take a class or two that you never thought you would be interested in; chances are, you'll find something you're passionate about.
  • Try new things! College is a great place to learn more than academic disciplines.
Did You Know?
Gustavus offers two general education choices for students, which they must determine at the beginning of their first year. While the majority of students opt for Curriculum I, which is similar to other University general requirement programs where the student picks from a number of courses to fulfill general education requirements, a handful of students choose Curriculum II. CII is made up of a series of predetermined classes completed throughout the four years, and aims to help students to "look at the development of Western cultures with comparisons to non-Western cultures, the examination of values, and the theme of the individual and community."

Student Polls

Rate your school's academic environment on the following topics    Based on 33 responses

Very poor
  • Academic advisers
  • Class availability
  • Consistency in grading
  • Course subject variety
  • Curriculum flexibility
  • Gen-Ed requirements
  • Manageability of workload
  • Online course options
  • Quality of teaching assistants (TAs)
  • Scheduling/registration process
  • Technology in the classroom

Rate your school's professors on the following topics    Based on 34 responses

Very poor
  • Accessibility
  • Communication skills
  • General knowledge
  • Interest in class subjects
  • Interest in students
  • Time spent in classroom
  • Use of teaching assistants


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