Metropolitan State University, commonly known as Metro State, is a four-year public university located in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis–Saint Paul. A member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system, the school serves over 10,000 students each year and enrollment is rising steadily.
The institute won the prestigious National Hesburgh Award for quality of teaching in 1995.
Founded in 1971 to offer academic degrees to working adults, the school was somewhat non-traditional in that students were able to design their own degree plans and professors provided written evaluations as opposed to letter grades. GPAs were not calculated until the 1990s, when the first freshmen and sophomore students were accepted. Until then, all students were upperclassmen.
Students may pursue more than 60 undergraduate majors and 10 different master’s degree programs, as well as various graduate certificates and two applied doctorates.
The most unique and one of the most popular courses of study at the university is the Individualized Degree, reminiscent to the school’s original curriculum of creating your own program of study.
Other fields of study are accounting, business administration, psychology, and information & computer systems.
Schools and Colleges:
The College of Individualized Studies is available to students who wish to customize their degree program for a specific purpose or to design a course of study that combines multiple fields, collaborative degrees with other departments. The university is also home to the College of Arts and Sciences; College of Health, Community, and Professional Studies; College of Management; College of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice; School of Nursing; and the School of Urban Education.
Metro State is a leader in providing high-quality online courses and programs for the convenience of the students who are unable to attend a regular college due to several problems. It was the first state university with a business degree that students could earn completely online. Some of the popular online programs and courses include Organizational Administration (BAS), Human Resource Management (BS), Individualized Studies (BA), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).
Most Popular Fields of Study
The College of Individualized Studies gives students the opportunity to customize a course of study by fashioning a degree program for use in a specific industry, utilizing a combination of learning strategies (i.e. internships, seminars, laboratory courses) while building on existing areas of academic expertise or experience. The requirements to graduate with an Individualized Degree are the same for any other degree at the university. A set number of credit hours must be completed in both lower and upper level courses.
Prospective freshman seeking admission to Metro State must supply the school with a completed application form and official copies of all transcripts. Applicants are also required to submit official standardized test scores.
Transferring to the university from another institution is considered a fairly easy process. In addition to the required application form, prospective transfer students must submit official transcripts from all previous institutes attended.
International students are also encouraged to apply for admission. The International Student Organization (ISO) provides counseling and advice for the international students.
All financial aid applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be considered for financial assistance paying for college. Incoming students are advised to begin the financial aid application process as early as possible, as it can take several weeks to complete and process and many types of aid are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Students are also reminded to pay attention to tuition payment deadlines, as financial aid recipients must have received and submitted their payments by those same dates.
Eligible students may be able to receive scholarships, grants, and loans. Scholarships and grants are considered “free” money that does not have to be repaid. Merit- and need-based scholarships are available from a variety of sources, and students are encouraged to apply for them. Types of federal and state grants awarded to many students include the Pell Grant, Minnesota State Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and Minnesota Post-Secondary Child Care Grant.
Loans must be repaid with due interest. Some of the different types of loans include Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, and Private Educational Loans.
Applicants are encouraged to take advantage of financial aid counseling on campus, which can help them get the right kind of assistance based on their needs and finances.
Student Financial Aid Details
Clubs and Organizations
Student life is vibrant and fun. The campus is home to over 20 different student organizations, which include groups focused on extracurricular interests, specific majors, ethnic backgrounds, political affiliations, religions, and more. The Student Senate, composed of 15 degree-seeking students each serving a one-year term, provides the student body with official representation. Students who do not find a club that meets their interests or needs are encouraged to establish a new student organization.
The Disability Services Center helps students with documented disabilities acquire any necessary accommodations and other assistance. There is a testing center and an academic advising center in the campus. The on-campus library houses a wide range of books, magazines, journals, and other publications and a librarian is on duty to help students. The advising and counseling center provides both academic and career counseling services to interested students.
Media and Publications:
The Metropolitan is the award-winning student newspaper serves as an independent student voice informing students, faculty and staff of events and issues related to the university.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Established in 1971, Metro State is a fairly “new” university with a non-traditional student base. However, it has established the rich tradition of community involvement, student-centered instruction, and creating lasting relationships between its students and instructors.
Notable alumni include:
- Char Samuelson, former MN state Representative
- Martin Musatov, screenwriter
- Leo Foley, Minnesota state Senator
- Sandy Pappas, Minnesota state Senator
Metro State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Commission on College Nursing Education and the Council on Social Work Education.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.