Global Snapshot

From its earliest days, the University of Minnesota has been global both in vision and in fact.

Gold banner with text that says University of Minnesota Driven to Discover

A Global University

The University of Minnesota, founded in 1851, is one of the most comprehensive universities in the world and ranks among the most prestigious. The University's mission is threefold: Research and Discovery, Teaching and Learning, and Outreach and Public Service.

Through this mission, the University prepares students to live and work in a global society, and partners with people and organizations across Minnesota and the world to engage students, faculty, and staff in addressing society's most pressing issues.

Together we will drive Minnesota forward. And as we serve our state, we will change the world.

— President Joan T.A. Gabel

Facts and Figures

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International Students

  • The University of Minnesota enrolls more than 6,900 international students systemwide (Fall 2019, Office of Institutional Research).
    • Crookston: 107
    • Duluth: 254
    • Morris: 113
    • Rochester: 4
    • Twin Cities: 6,458
  • International students come from more than 130 countries. View international enrollment mapped by home location (Office of Institutional Research).
  • The Twin Cities campus ranked 27th among research institutions in international student population with 6,912 students in 2018-19 (Open Doors 2019).
  • The first international students (from Canada and Denmark) enrolled at the University of Minnesota in 1874. The first students from China enrolled in 1914.

Learning Abroad

The University of Minnesota is a nationally recognized leader in learning abroad.

  • More than 30% of UMN students have an experience abroad before they graduate.
  • Top destinations include Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Denmark, Australia, Ireland, China, France, Costa Rica, and Canada.
  • The Twin Cities campus ranked 8th among research institutions in numbers of students sent abroad on credit-bearing programs in 2017-2018, with 2,585 (Open Doors 2019).
  • The Twin Cities campus ranked #18 in the Colleges with Best Study Abroad Programs (U.S.News 2021).

Distinguished Faculty and Alumni

Worldwide Impact

University of Minnesota faculty and alumni have achieved important positions on the world stage and received some of the most prestigious awards.

International Alumni

The University has about 485,000 living alumni in Minnesota, the U.S., and around the world. International alumni networks are currently located in Australia, Brazil, China (Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Xi’an), France, Iceland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan.

Faculty and Alumni Awards

  • The Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals is a University-wide award for alumni, former students, and friends of the University who have distinguished themselves in their post-university work as leaders in their professional careers.
  • The China Center created the Distinguished Chinese Alumni Award to highlight and honor the outstanding accomplishments of the University's Chinese alumni.
  • The all-University Award for Global Engagement is given to faculty and staff members in recognition of outstanding contributions to global education and international programs at the University or in their field or discipline.

International History

From its earliest days, the University of Minnesota has been international both in vision and in fact. The University has brought many of the best students and researchers of the world to Minnesota. The first foreign students—from Canada and Denmark—were recorded at the University in 1874. The University has also shared the best of Minnesota with the world. Research in many fields has impacted nations and peoples around the globe. Minnesota's native daughters and sons have studied, conducted research, and learned from travels abroad as students and faculty. The first study abroad program was organized in 1947. Now, more than 2,500 Minnesota students are earning credit abroad each year. And the five campuses are empowered by the knowledge and skills of more than 6,000 international students and 1,400 scholars and faculty from 130 countries.