About University Minnesota Duluth


The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) is a comprehensive regional university. Undergraduate students can choose from 13 bachelor degrees in 74 majors. In addition, UMD offers a two-year program at the School of Medicine and College of Pharmacy program and 24 different graduate degree programs. UMD consistently ranks among the top midwestern, regional universities in U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges" issue.

The Campus

 The University of Minnesota system (which today has campuses in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Morris, Rochester and Crookston, as well as Duluth) was started by an act of the Territorial Legislature in 1851, seven years before Minnesota achieved statehood. It took another 44 years before public higher education came to the north woods with the opening of the Duluth Normal School in 1895. Renamed Duluth State Teacher’s College in 1921, the school became a coordinate campus of the University of Minnesota in 1947.

The modern-day UMD has a campus community of nearly 12,000 students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in 74 majors, graduate programs in 24 different fields and three Ph.D. programs.

In addition, UMD offers a College of Pharmacy

program and a two-year program at the School of Medicine through the Minnesota-Twin Cities campus. A unique combination of quality and value, UMD consistently ranks among the top Midwestern, regional universities in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” issue.

Complimented by a staff of about 2,000 employees, including 478 full-time and 117 part time faculty, UMD’s students come to Duluth and call it their home during their college years and beyond. Unlike the sprawling commuter schools of the Midwest’s metropolitan areas, where parking spaces out-number library periodicals, UMD is a community where close to a quarter of the undergraduate population resides in the many on-campus housing options available, or in the historic neighborhoods surrounding the campus.

Comprised of more than 50 buildings and set on 244 acres of residential land with scenic views of Lake Superior, the UMD campus is a city unto itself, with housing, dining facilities, a theater, a planetarium, research laboratories, athletic venues, parks, wilderness areas, radio and television studios, a newspaper, the latest computer technology, medical facilities, shopping, entertainment, and a state-of-the-art library. Dedicated in August 2000, the UMD Library was a $26- million project which provides the campus with nearly 168,000 square feet of new space and room for more than 200 laptop and desktop computers. Since the turn of the 21st century, UMD has added $200 million worth of new projects (including the Library), some of the latest being the Sports and Health Center Addition ($13 million, opened in 2006), the Life Science Renovation ($15 million, opened 2006) the Labovitz School of Business & Economics ($23 million, opened 2008), Bagley Environmental Classroom ($1 million in 2009) and Swenson Civil Engineering Building ($15 million, opened 2010).

 Duluth- like nowhere else

 Hiking amid the dense white pines that grow down to the rocky coast, one can hear the cry of seagulls and the distant wail of a foghorn as the mighty waves crash against the shore, covering the lush green vegetation with a fine mist. A scene out of a remote spot in the Pacific Northwest right? No, it’s Duluth.

Straining against the incessant tug of gravity, you make your way up the steep cobblestone sidewalks of the bustling downtown. The air is filled with the honking horns of cars, cabs and busses. Mingling with the sea air is the wafting scent of freshly baked bread coming from one of the ethnic grocery stores, restaurants, and bakeries in the tightly packed neighborhood.

Centuries before the first Native Americans pitched their teepees and launched their primitive canoes in the waters of the massive lake they called “Gitchee Gummee,” there were countless meetings in the place that would come to be known as Duluth. The crashing waves of Lake Superior came here to meet the churning waters of the St. Louis River.

Those meetings of natural forces formed a 10-mile long strand of sand where, on warm summer days, you will find thousands of modern-day Twin Ports visitors shedding the wraps of winter and meeting the rays of the sun.

And that stretch of beach, now known as Park Point, provided a huge natural harbor where tiny canoes, then larger boats, and today, immense ocean-going ships, can find shelter from the wind and waves of the great lake. Around this natural harbor where the lake met the river, cities grew.

Today, Duluth and its Twin Ports partner, Superior, Wis., are viewed as meeting places more than ever.

More than 1,000 miles from the salt waters of the nearest ocean, they meet sea captains from ports from every corner of the globe, who will haul that wheat, corn, and barley east through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway, then across the Atlantic Ocean to foreign ports.

Mile-long trains loaded with iron ore and taconite pellets from the mines of Minnesota’s Iron Range come to Duluth to have their contents emptied into ships (commonly called lakers) which will haul their goods to the steel mills of Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. There, the ore will be used to make the structural steel for buildings of the future and for the automobile frames being designed for use in the new century.

No wonder Outdoor Magazine recently listed Duluth as one of the top 20 places to live in the U.S.