From its earliest days, the University of Minnesota has been global both in vision and in fact.
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
- The University of Minnesota enrolls more than 5,400 international students systemwide (Fall 2022, Institutional Data and Research).
- Crookston: 67
- Duluth: 163
- Morris: 33
- Rochester: 7
- Twin Cities: 5,181
- International students come from more than 130 countries. View international enrollment mapped by home location (Office of Institutional Research).
- The Twin Cities campus ranked 33rd among research institutions in international student population with 5,948 students in 2021-22 (Open Doors 2022).
- The first international students (from Canada and Denmark) enrolled at the University of Minnesota in 1874. The first students from China enrolled in 1914.
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 2nd among research institutions in numbers of students sent abroad on credit-bearing programs in 2019-2020, with 2,073 (Open Doors 2021).
- The Twin Cities campus ranked #18 in the Colleges with Best Study Abroad Programs (U.S.News 2021).
Distinguished Faculty and Alumni
University of Minnesota faculty and alumni have achieved important positions on the world stage and received some of the most prestigious awards.
- 2 U.S. vice presidents (Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale)
- Prime Ministers of Iceland (Geir Haarde), Tunisia (Habib Essid), and U.K. (Nicholas Clegg, deputy PM)
- Ambassadors to/from Morocco, Norway, Iceland, Japan, Uganda, and others
- 1 Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (Warren Burger)
- 26 Nobel Laureates, including Peace Prize
- 3 Pulitzer Prize awardees
- 25 Rhodes Scholars
The University of Minnesota system has about 496,000 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), Iceland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, 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.
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.
- Read more about the international history of the University
- Read more about the University's relationship with China