Academics

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Academics

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4 College Sophomore

Academics: Depending on what school you are in and what major you have, you can either get away with slacking or totally fall behind. If you are in any of the science, engineering, business, or medical schools you need to be on your A game or you will be at the bottom of the grade pool. Majors in CLA, CFANS, CDES, and CEHD have it fairly easy for the most part. But that being said, it is still important to go to class and take notes. Being so close to the metropolitan area there are more internship and job opportunities than you can imagine. If you are in Carlson, the Twin Cities Area big businesses are eating out of the palm of your hand and will do anything to snatch you up post-graduation.

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4 College Freshman

Academics: I am in the College of Biological Sciences. As of now, I am going for Biology. It is only my first year, so I can't say too much yet, but I think the program here is excellent. This second semester the workload seems to be pretty heavy, but it is manageable.. Everything is manageable if you have good time management skills.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Academics: Definitely depends on the class or professor. I've had quite a few good profs and some less-good ones. Registering is online and pretty easy as long as you get in early enough! Workload is pretty average, office hours are a must for most classes. Study in Coffman or at Walter!

4 College Freshman

Academics: Lots of resources are available and most professors are willing to help you succeed

5 College Freshman

Academics: The classes for my major are small, with limited spots so that students can have time to talk with their professor. It makes it nice especially when you're having a hard time in the class. Workload is good (except when class assignments overlap, then it can be a bit much). Professors are good, and really want their students to understand what is going on in class. Advisors, and professors are also very open, and are willing to help with internships, and job finding.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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The University of Minnesota is known for its good academic standing. With more than 130 undergrad majors and minors to choose from, students tend to find their niche. The U of M also offers an option for students to design their own major if the two choices are in two different colleges. ICP (Inter-College Program) allows for students to concentrate on one major for two to three years and then onto the next. The College of Liberal Arts is the biggest college at U of M, while the most difficult majors seem to be the engineering ones. The most common major for students entering the U is "undecided, " which is why U offers classes in career exploration. One of the most common academic majors is psychology. Another viable option that many students take advantage of is the study abroad or national exchange programs. There are many options to study in other places, with substantial financial aid available and flexible class schedules, too. Other students like to research or do internships with various opportunities available on campus and in the surrounding area.

The most common problem that students encounter is the class sizes. A lot of the popular introductory courses are in big lecture halls with between 100 and 400 students. Therefore, it is obviously difficult for the instructor to provide individual attention to all, but such classes tend to have a recitation/lab component with a TA. This is a good place to address any concerns and questions. The classes get more personal as one advances in his or her major classes. Grading is at the discretion of the TA, so sometimes it can be unfair based on who grades the assignments. The professors can be reached via email or in person during their office hours. Overall, professors and TAs are highly educational contributors to the community and willing to help students learn.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
18:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
1,851
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
849
Total FT Faculty
4,126
Faculty with Terminal Degree
81%
Average Faculty Salary
$93,454
Full-Time Retention Rate
91%
Part-Time Retention Rate
50%
Transfer-Out Rate
18%
Graduation Rate
73%
Programs/Majors Offered
262
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
Yes
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 38%
  • 20 to 49 students: 43%
  • 50 or more students: 19%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: Yes
Recreational/Avocational: Yes
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: Yes
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • Carlson School of Management
  • Center for Allied Health Programs
  • College of Biological Sciences
  • College of Design
  • College of Education + Human Development (CE+HD)
  • College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS)
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • College of Pharmacy
  • College of Science & Engineering
  • College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • School of Dentistry
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Public Health
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Certificate
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Biology and Biological Sciences: 1%
  • Business Administration and Management: 2%
  • Journalism: 1%
  • Psychology: 2%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • English (including composition)
  • Foreign languages
  • History
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social science
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
  • Weekend/evening college
Other Academic Offerings
  • Accelerated program
  • Cooperative education program
  • Cross-registration
  • Double major
  • Dual enrollment
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Exchange student program (domestic)
  • External degree program
  • Honors program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Liberal arts/career combination
  • Student-designed major
Online Courses
The College of Continuing Education offers online alternatives to many popular classes, such as microeconomics and Shakespeare. Some online courses such as "Sleep Eat & Exercise" and "Alcohol & College Life" are introductory-level classes offered by the public health program, intended to help freshmen and sophomores cope through college pressure in the healthiest ways possible. The online classes are subject to either be self-paced (about nine months) or have scheduled deadlines (lasting only a semester). The teachers and TAs of online classes provide their contact information and hold office hours for students, if need be. Otherwise, they are always available to answer any concerns over email.
Best Places to Study
  • The "Grassy Knoll," the mall area across from Coffman
  • Coffee shops
  • Coffman Student Union (multiple floors with study areas)
  • Libraries
  • Northrop Mall
  • The riverside frats, grassy area by the river
  • Science Teaching & Student Services (STSS) Building
  • Study lounges in dorms
Tips to Succeed
  • Do well your freshman year, and you won't have to struggle the other three or four years to make up your GPA because of partying too much that first year.
  • Don't be worried if you feel overwhelmed. There are ways to deal with it, and you are not alone.
  • Form study groups in your classes.
  • Go to class, and buy and read the books for the class. Either way, just make sure to know what will be on the tests and quizzes in order to properly prepare. You should really go to class, though, because the teachers like to be sneaky at times and have pop quizzes or questions on tests that are worth a large percent of the test grade.
  • Leave old study habits at home; professors expect more than your high school teachers.
  • Participate in class. If you help lead the class, you will get more out of it.
  • Stay in touch with your adviser about your graduation progress.
  • Take advantage of the many study abroad opportunities.
  • Take required, core classes in the first two years so that your last two or three years at the University are not full of boring, younger-college-student-filled classes.
  • Use the resources available at the library.
  • Use Web resources available to U of M students because it lessens the amount of outside exposure during the winter months.
  • Utilize the career center services. They are really helpful.
  • Utilize your professors' office hours; it will be beneficial to your grade, and it may present you with post-grad opportunities.
Did You Know?
The University of Minnesota is credited with inventions and tech advances such as: Haralson apple in 1922, Wangensteen suction tube in 1931, "Black Box" flight recorder in 1953, first open heart surgery and bone marrow transplant 1966-1968, Honeycrisp apple in 1991, whole organ decellularization (a beating heart was made from the stem cells of one's own body) in 2008.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 128 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 48 responses

  • 26% Bob Dylan - singer, songwriter (did not graduate)
  • 18% Walter Mondale - 42nd U.S. vice president
  • 11% Kris Humphries - NBA forward
  • 11% Erick Decker, Broncos Player!
  • 9% The mayor!
  • 8% Thomas Friedman - New York Times columnist
  • 5% David Carr - journalist
  • 5% Hubert Humphrey
  • 5% Tony Dungy- former NFL player and coach
  • 2% Roy Wilkins
  • 1% Maria Schneider

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 129 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.

How often do you:    Based on 46 responses

Never
Always
  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 45 responses

  • 29% This was my dream school.
  • 47% This was one of my top choices.
  • 24% This was a school I settled for (safety school).

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