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Fact Book

About SMSU

Southwest Minnesota State University is a four-year public university offering a high-quality education in the liberal arts and professions to prepare students for a life that is successful both personally and professionally.

Founded in 1963 and opened in 1967, Over the years, SMSU has grown into a university of choice with high national rankings, producing scholars who become the leaders, thinkers and entrepreneurs of the future.

Our Mission

Southwest Minnesota State University prepares students to meet the complex challenges of this century as engaged citizens in their local and global communities. Our comprehensive degree programs, taught in the liberal arts tradition, are dedicated to connecting students' academic and practical professional development experiences in southwestern Minnesota to the wider world.

Our Vision

Southwest Minnesota State University is a university of choice.


Dr. Connie J. Gores was appointed by the Minnesota State system and began her duties July 1, 2013. President Gores is the ninth permanent president of SMSU.


SMSU is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, the Minnesota Board of Teaching, the Council on Social Work Education, the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP), the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602; (800) 621-7440. For more information about the Higher Learning Commission visit their website:

Academic Units

  • College of Arts, Letters, & Sciences
  • College of Business, Education & Professional Studies

University Governance

Southwest Minnesota State University is a member of the Minnesota State system, governed by a 15-member board of trustees. Trustees are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Minnesota State Senate. For more information about the Minnesota State system visit their website at

Majors and Minors

A list of majors and minors can be found in SMSU's academic catalog.

Our Students

Our Alumni

Our Mustang Athletics

NCAA Division II

Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference
National Intercollegiate Wheelchair
Basketball Association

* Track & Field Competes in Indoor/Outdoor Seasons

Our Faculty and Staff

Our Tuition and Affordability

SMSU does NOT charge out of state tuition

MONEY Magazine Recognition

Southwest Minnesota State University has been named by MONEY Magazine as one of the 2018 Best Colleges in America.

MONEY Magazine

Return on Investment

SMSU ranked sixth in the state of Minnesota for lifetime return on investment. A total of 145 colleges in the state were analyzed, public and private, with 22 ranked. SMSU ranked highest of the Minnesota State 4-year institutions and was one of only two public institutions in the top 6.


SMSU was recognized as a “Minnesota 20-30 Club” institution with annual tuition below $20,000 and graduate earning average above $30,000.

The College Database

Athletic Highlights for 2017-18 Year

SMSU Athletics had an outstanding year in 2017-18, both on the field of play and, more importantly, off the field, as well.

  • SMSU student-athletes compiled an average GPA of 3.13, the highest mark since SMSU moved to NCAA Division II in 1995-96.
  • Women’s teams compiled a 3.40 GPA. Men compiled a GPA of 2.99.
  • A total of 83 student-athletes named Academic All-NSIC (GPA of 3.20 or higher).
  • 21 student-athletes received All-NSIC accolades.
  • Eight student-athletes named All-Region.
  • Seven student-athletes named All-American.
  • Outdoor track & field athlete Alex Weis won the shot put at the 2017 NSIC Championships. It was his second straight individual title in the shot put.
  • Outdoor track & field athlete Rhiannon Sears named 2017 NSIC Elite 18 winner.
  • Football player Nate Huot broke the school and NSIC record for career receptions.
  • Football player Jon Dicke was named first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American.
  • Volleyball team advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 14th straight year and 15th overall.
  • Volleyball team won the 2017 NSIC Tournament championship.
  • Volleyball team hosted the 2017 NCAA Central Region Tournament for the second time in program history.
  • Baseball player Jayden Fleck was named second-team CoSIDA Academic All-American.
  • Cross country athlete Bashir Aidrus became the first Mustang to earn All-NSIC honors at the Division II level.
  • Aidrus finished second at the 2017 NCAA Region Championships. He placed 18th at the NCAA Championships to become the program’s first-ever NCAA All-American.
  • Aidrus won the 5,000 meters at the 2018 NSIC Indoor Track & Field Championships with a meet-record time of 14:33.86. He also earned All-NSIC honors in the 3,000 meters.
  • Men’s basketball team advanced to the 2018 NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in team history.
  • Men’s basketball won its second straight NSIC South Division championship.
  • Wheelchair basketball hosted the 2018 NWBA National Tournament.
  • Wrestler Cortez Arredondo finished second at the 2018 NCAA Super Region championships and advanced to the NCAA Championships.
  • Volleyball player Taylor Reiss was named the 2017 Division II Player of the Year.
  • SMSU volleyball led Division II in hitting percentage and kills per set.
  • Outdoor Track & Field athlete Rebecca Manteuffel finishes 18th in the shot put at the 2018 NCAA Championships. She is the first SMSU female to compete at the NCAA Championships.

Our Assets and Financial Data

The Campus

Financial Data*

Revenue Total
Expenses Total
Assets Total

Our SMSU Foundation

SMSU Foundation | 800-260-0970

The SMSU Foundation is served by a 31-member board consisting of alumni and friends of the institution who strive to advance the mission of the Foundation in support of SMSU. The SMSU Alumni Association, Minnesota Ag & Rural Leadership (MARL) and Mustangs Booster Club organizations all fall under the leadership of the SMSU Foundation and are served by their own respective boards. These three organizations each have distinct missions that serve a broad range of constituents.


Our Role in the Economy

Impact of Southwest Minnesota State University - Southwest Minnesota State University generates $173.1M in exonomic impact per year - $9.6M in state and local revenue - $2.4M in community contributions - 649 graduates annually - supports and sustains 1,421 Jobs
These numbers demonstrate the impact of Southwest Minnesota State University and our role as an anchor institution. This report illustrates the exonomic vitality and enriched quality of life that the University brings to Marshall and the broader region. - President, Connie J. Gores

Southwest Minnesota State University’s impact on the regional economy is calculated to be $173.1 million, according to a study commissioned by the Minnesota State system. This includes a direct impact of $86.3 million, and an indirect/induced impact of $86.8 million.

The University supports and sustains 1,421 jobs annually, according to the study. SMSU directly employs 417 people.

An estimated $2.4 million in charitable donations and volunteer activities are generated annually by SMSU faculty, staff and students.

SMSU faculty, staff and students donate an average of $469,715 annually to local charitable organizations.

Faculty, staff and students donate over $1.9 million in volunteer time annually.

Our Strategic Plan

SMSU is proud of its tradition of excellence, which is guided by the University's ongoing strategic planning process. Since its founding, enabled and inspired by the people of Southwest Minnesota and the surrounding region who dared to dream of a university on the prairie, Southwest Minnesota State University has been a center for learning.

Each successive generation of students, faculty, and staff, with the support of the community, has contributed to the ongoing success of the institution. To learn more about our strategic planning process, visit our website at

Our Recent Highlights

We serve approximately 7,000 students in both undergraduate and graduate programs through on-campus, remote site and online delivery.

One of the top nationally-accredited concurrent enrollment programs in Minnesota, serving 5,470 students across the state with an emphasis on providing continual professional development and networking opportunities for high school teachers who deliver College Now courses. Concurrent enrollment courses are offered in 112 Minnesota high schools, making it the largest such program in the state.

Master of Science in Education Learning Communities provide graduate programs statewide.

A total of six ag-related majors within the School of Agriculture. Southwest Minnesota’s economy revolves around agriculture, and graduates from these degree programs are leaders in their respective communities.

The only Bachelor of Science in Culinology® degree in the United State.

SMSU’s RN to BSN program serves nurses in southwest Minnesota who want to earn that BSN degree while still working full-time. Program delivery is convenient for working nurses and busy lifestyles.

SMSU boasts a 99% job placement rate.

The RN to BSN degree is ranked number 5 in the “10 Most Affordable Nursing Degrees in Minnesota” by College Choice.

Recognition as a Military Friendly University, and a Yellow Ribbon Campus. SMSU supports its veterans and their families as they pursue their academic goals.

A new Agricultural Education degree program, the only such program in the Minnesota State system. Agriculture teachers are in high demand in the region/state, with 3 jobs for every graduate.

SMSU’s growing Exercise Science Program is now offered at a trio of Twin Cities community colleges: Normandale, North Hennepin and Anoka-Ramsey.

SMSU ‘s annual tuition and fees are $8,640.

All students—in-state, out-of-state and international—pay in-state tuition rates.

A $1.6 million renovation to the campus Dining Services area, giving students more, and healthier, dining options throughout the day.

A collaborative agreement with city and Marshall Schools resulting in a new Marshall Regional Track & Field Complex on campus, the finest of its kind in southwest Minnesota. SMSU and Marshall High School also have collaborative agreements to share facilities for football and soccer.


Our Community

SMSU is located in Marshall, Minnesota, a friendly, growing community of 14,000. Marshall, named one of America’s Best Small Cities, is an easy drive from the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, Sioux Falls, SD and Fargo, ND. Marshall is also the proud home of Schwan’s Company, Ralco Nutrition, Action TrackChair, along with major employers USBank, Archer Daniels Midland, Affiliated Community Medical Center, and Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center. Marshall is also home to the new Red Baron Arena & Expo.

For more information about Marshall visit:

Our Mustang Family

We invite you to visit SMSU and to experience for yourself all that it has to offer. SMSU truly is where you belong!

Contact the Office of Admission:

Published by:
SMSU Advancement Office and
Data Management & Institutional Research Office
1501 State Street · Marshall MN 56258

Last Modified: 3/1/19 3:02 PM