Minnesota State University Moorhead


Minnesota State University Moorehead (MSUM) is a public four-year university located in the city of Moorhead. A member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system, the school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

According to its mission statement, the university "strives to provide an educational environment that supports intellectual development, that welcomes diversity and that develops the skills and talents of women and men so that they have the capacity to live usefully, act responsibly and be learners all their lives.”

MSUM is classed as a Master’s College and University I by the Carnegie Institute.

Information Summary

Ranks 23rd in Minnesota and 827th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 82.6
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $21,996
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 25 / 1190
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 19 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 72% / 30%
Enrollment Total (all students) 5,860


MSUM was founded as a normal school in 1885 and became the Moorhead State Teachers College in 1921. The institution became a state college in 1957 and was granted university status in 1975. The university received its current name in 2000.


Minnesota State University Moorhead
Minnesota State University Moorhead 2


The university is comprised of five colleges:

  • College of Arts, Media, & Communication
  • College of Business & Innovation
  • College of Education & Human Services
  • College of Humanities & Social Sciences
  • College of Science, Health & the Environment

Bachelor’s degrees are offered in a variety of fields within the various academic colleges. Degrees at the bachelor’s level are awarded in areas including accounting, American studies, art, business administration, chemistry, East Asian studies, geosciences, legal studies, medical technology, music industry, education, nursing, and theatre arts. There are also pre-professional programs in healthcare and several other fields. Undergraduate certificate are awarded in several areas of education and in E-Business. A dual degree program with the University of Minnesota allows students to receive a B.S. degree in Engineering from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. in either physics or chemistry from MSUM.

Graduate programs are offered in at the master’s level in counseling & student affairs, creative writing, music, liberal arts, nursing, educational leadership, curriculum & instruction, school psychology, special education, speech-language pathology, and Public, Human Service & Health administration. The Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree is offered in school psychology and in educational administration. There are no doctoral programs. Several graduate certificates are offered in areas of education.

MSUM participates in the Tri-College University program along with Concordia College and North Dakota State University. Students enrolled at MSUM can take courses at either other school without going through a separate application procedure. Several degree programs are only available by taking some courses at one of the other schools.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

The American Studies program is described as a balance: students are required to complete a few, core courses, but then they are free to choose the studies that suit their interests best. It is an interdisciplinary curriculum focused around cultural and social studies that develops skills in research, writing, and presentation of information. The American Multicultural Studies and Humanities Department offers the program, and has founded it in the array of cultures: Native American, Chicano, and American.

The Industrial Distribution program educates distribution professionals for wholesale operations, warehouse management, and service to an increasing number of manufacturers and industries. Students gain experience in technology, business, and the liberal arts. Students can pair these studies with studies of chemistry, engineering, or business administration for a promising future in the industrial sector. The program is fully accredited by the National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT).

The undergraduate Honors Program is comprised of students who earned at least a 3.6 GPA during either semester in their freshman year at Moorhead. Once admitted to the Honors Program, students will be able to take some special Honors courses.

Distance learning programs are offered in some undergraduate and graduate programs, including nursing and educational leadership. Students enrolled in distance learning programs will take part in courses on-line, through interactive television, or through instructional packages, depending upon the program.


MSUM has an open undergraduate admissions deadline. Prospective students must submit a non-refundable application fee and official copies of high school transcripts and standardized test scores in addition to the official application, which can be completed online. Students who are enrolled in high school at the time of application will need to have their official final high school transcripts sent after graduation to the Admissions Office after graduation.

In general, students who have graduated from high school or earned a GED must have achieved an ACT composite score of 21 or greater, an SAT combined score of 1000 or greater, or ranked in the upper half of the graduating class and scored a minimum of 17 on the ACT (830 SAT).

The graduate application deadline is generally April 15 for the fall semester, but some programs have earlier deadlines. Students applying to graduate programs are advised to consult the individual department and/or school to which they are applying. Graduate applications can also be submitted online. General requirements for prospective graduate students include having a bachelor’s degree and submitting GRE, GMAT, or other appropriate standardized test scores.

Transfer students and international students will have varying requirements depending upon their prior educational background.

Financial Aid

Students who seek financial aid to help pay for their education must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A majority of the university’s degree-seeking students receive some type of financial aid award package. Common types of federal financial aid are grants, which are often need-based and do not require repayment, and student loans, which must be paid back with interest after a student leaves college. Work-study programs are also available for students who wish to work part-time on campus.

The most prominent institutional scholarship offered at MSUM is the President’s Scholarship, which pays students $1,500 for their freshman year. Recipients must meet certain standardized test scores and rank in the top 5% of their high school graduating class. Other merit-based awards are available for students with other academic accomplishments.

Special financial aid programs for minority and/or non-traditional students include the Access Scholarship, which is need-based and covers tuition for 4 years. It is for students from culturally diverse backgrounds, students who are first generation college students, or students whose environment limited their college preparatory opportunities.

Graduate students may be eligible to receive financial aid in the form of an assistantship, including a stipend. Graduate students should consult with their individual department about what sort of assistantships or fellowships are available and to receive details of the application process.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 1128th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Minnesota.


Students who choose to live on campus have the option of several residence halls and residential communities, including traditional dorm-style living and remodeled apartment communities. Amenities include weight rooms, television lounges, vending machines, and study rooms.

Student life at MSUM includes numerous opportunities in a diverse range of activities and organizations. There are cultural, academic, religious, recreational, political clubs, as well as fraternities and sororities, intramural sports, and special interest groups including the Anime Club, the Gamer’s Club, and the Photo Guild. Each year students can take part in the DragonFrost week of activities, which include a Snow Court. Students can visit the university planetarium or attend musical or dramatic events during the Performing Arts Series. Moorhead regularly welcomes musical acts and hosts theatrical productions and films for its students.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragons compete in the NCAA Division II as a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Men’s sports include basketball, cross country, football, track and field, and wrestling. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

The flagship of Minnesota State Moorhead athletic facilities is Alex Nemzek Hall. This comprehensive facility includes a modern weight room, fitness center, eight different basketball courts, a rehab/training room, racquetball courts, locker rooms, a swimming pool, and indoor tracks. It is also home to Alex Nemzek Stadium, which seats as many as 5,000 for Dragon football games.

Sports teams are supported by a spirit squad, which includes an all women’s cheer team, a co-educational cheer team that enters cheer competitions, and a dance team.

Local Community

MSUM is in the city of Moorhead, which is located northwest Minnesota. across the Red River from Fargo, North Dakota. Moorhead has a population of approximately 38,000 and the Fargo-Moorhead metro area is home to over 200,000 residents. Nearby attractions include Buffalo River State Park, a dude ranch, an air museum, several historical sites, the Fargodome, a winery, an art museum, the Red River Valley Speedway, and the Roger Maris Museum.

Moorhead is a self-described “gate city” to the state and its natural, outdoor recreational activities. The mountains and lakes of Minnesota are abundant and provide enough diversion and entertainment for everyone. Points of interest include a dozen community parks, the local river, and an authentic Viking ship that actually crossed the Atlantic Ocean between American and Norway. ,

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