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Minnesota State University Moorhead

Coordinates: 46°51′59″N 96°45′43″W / 46.8663522°N 96.7620251°W / 46.8663522; -96.7620251[29]
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Minnesota State University Moorhead
Former names
Moorhead Normal School (1888–1921)
Moorhead State Teachers College (1921–1957)
Moorhead State College (1957–1975)
Moorhead State University (1975–2000)[1]
MottoSacrifice, Service, Loyalty
Established1887; 137 years ago (1887)
Academic affiliations
Minnesota State system
Endowment$29 million (2019)[2]
Budget$105 million (2019)[3]
PresidentTimothy Downs
ProvostArrick Jackson
Administrative staff
Location, ,
140 acres (57 ha)
ColorsRed, White, and Grey[6]
Sporting affiliations

Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) is a public university in Moorhead, Minnesota. The school has an enrollment of 7,534 students in 2019[5] and 266 full-time faculty members. MSUM is a part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. MSUM is located on the western border of Minnesota on the Red River of the North in Moorhead; across the river lies Fargo, North Dakota.



The plans for what would become MSUM were laid down in 1885, when the Minnesota State Legislature passed a bill declaring the need for a new state normal school in the Red River Valley, with an eye on Moorhead. The State Senator who proposed the bill, State Senator Solomon Comstock, donated 6 acres (2.4 ha) and appropriated the funds that would go to form Moorhead Normal School, which opened in 1888. In 1921, the State authorized the school to offer the four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Education in order to satisfy the need for high school teachers in northwest Minnesota, and the school became Moorhead State Teachers College.

Weld Hall, the oldest building on campus, built in 1915

With the entrance of World War II, the college entered into a contract with the Army Air Corps to train aviation students. After World War II, enrollment swelled to more than 700 students and the school diversified and broadened into both a liberal arts and professional curriculum. The school began offering a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1946 and graduate programs by 1953. As a result of the broadened offerings, by 1957 the name was changed to Moorhead State College. In 1969, the school joined a cooperative cross-registration exchange with neighboring Concordia College and North Dakota State University, creating the Tri-College University. The school continued to increase its number of programs and by 1975, the State Legislature that year granted the school university status under the name Moorhead State University. In 1995, Moorhead State became part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. On July 1, 2000, the school was renamed Minnesota State University Moorhead via a request sent to the board of trustees of the system.

Minnesota State University Moorhead was rated the 18th top liberal arts college in the midwest by TIME magazine in 2008.

Lommen Hall, which houses education departments

The school has gone through many names changes with Moorhead Normal School (1887), Moorhead State Teachers College (1921), Moorhead State College (1957), Moorhead State University (1975) and finally Minnesota State University Moorhead (2000).


  • 1888–1899 Livingston C. Lord
  • 1899–1919 Frank A. Weld
  • 1919–1923 Oliver Dickerson
  • 1923–1941 Ray MacLean
  • 1941–1955 Otto W. Snarr
  • 1955–1958 A.L. Knoblauch
  • 1958–1968 John Neumaier
  • 1968–1994 Roland Dille
  • 1994–2008 Roland Barden
  • 2008–2014 Edna Mora Szymanski
  • 2014–2023 Anne E. Blackhurst
  • 2023–Present Timothy Downs


Academic rankings
Washington Monthly[7]328
U.S. News & World Report[8]115

MSUM offers 76 undergraduate majors with 99 emphases and 14 graduate degree programs. MSUM's colleges: the College of Arts, Media and Communication; the College of Business and Innovation; the College of Education and Human Services; the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; and the College of Science, Health and the Environment.

MSUM is accredited by 14 national accrediting and certification agencies, including the Higher Learning Commission.[10] The MSUM School of Business is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB).[11]

The Nursing program is accredited at both the baccalaureate (BSN) and master’s (MS in nursing) levels by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Additional areas of accreditation include: Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences; Athletic Training; and Teacher Education.[12]

MSUM also collaborates with Concordia College, North Dakota State University, North Dakota State College of Science, and Minnesota State Community and Technical College on a Tri-College University program that offers students the chance to take courses between the five campuses that can be credited toward their degree.[13]

Minnesota State University Moorhead professors have been recognized with more CASE Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Professors of the Year designations than any college or university, public or private, in Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa, or Wisconsin. One professor has earned CASE Carnegie United States Professor of the Year designation and eleven professors have earned designation as CASE Carnegie Minnesota Professor of the Year.[14][15]



MSUM operates the New Rivers Press, a nonprofit literary press founded in 1968.

The campus newspaper is The Advocate, formerlyThe MiSTiC. The MiSTiC was closed by university administration in 1970.[16]

The school also publishes a literary magazine, Red Weather,[17] with the support of the English Department. The yearly publication is a journal of prose, poetry, interviews, photography and art by current undergraduates and graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Students produce a weekly open-submission literary journal entitled The Yellow Bicycle, a collection of poetry, prose, essays, and reviews.[18]

MSUM produces a daily faculty/staff email newsletter called Dragon Digest[19] and a twice a year publication for its alumni and friends titled Moorhead Magazine.[20]

The Interactive Journal of Global Leadership and Learning (IJGLL), a blind peer-reviewed open access scientific journal, is published twice a year by the Department of Leadership and Learning in the College of Education and Human Services. The IJGLL focuses on original research in areas related to P-12, post-secondary, and community education.

Dragon Radio


The school's college radio station is KMSC, an unlicensed station which airs on AM 1500. KMSC is a student organization that has been set up to run as a Non-profit Educational radio station and serves as an in-house learning facility.[21]

Notable events


MSUM sponsors a Student Academic Conference annually. The Student Academic Conference provides student researchers from each of its colleges with the opportunity to present their work to faculty, administration, peers, and the general public in a formal academic setting.[22] The conference was first offered in 1998.[23]

The conference provides a formal setting for upper class students to present their research from classes required under their major. There is a possibility of the student's research being published or presented at a state, regional, or national conference. The Student Academic Conference is a great opportunity for students and MSUM to gain recognition on a larger scale. Any major or discipline can present at the conference as long as it abides by conference rules based on which forum the student chooses to present the research. There is an option to orally present using visual aids, Powerpoint, etc..., or the student can construct a poster board displaying key points and results to be presented in a more informal manner taking questions and inquiries from onlookers. The conference is kicked off by a luncheon for all the participants. For some majors, presenting at the conference is mandatory in which the student presents their discipline's research from their senior seminar or thesis class.



Minnesota State University Moorhead teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's NCAA Division II. The Dragons are a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). The MSUM athletic teams are called the Dragons. MSUM has a wide variety of intramural sports including flag football, softball, and soccer. Club teams are also available for men's and women's rugby, men's and women's lacrosse, and baseball which compete nationally.

Men's sports include Basketball, Cross country, football, Track & field, and wrestling. Women's sports offered are Dance, Basketball, cross country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Swimming & diving, Tennis, Track & field, and Volleyball

Study abroad programs

Student body composition as of May 2, 2022
Race and ethnicity[24] Total
White 81% 81
Black 5% 5
Other[a] 5% 5
Foreign national 4% 4
Hispanic 4% 4
Asian 2% 2
Native American 1% 1
Economic diversity
Low-income[b] 30% 30
Affluent[c] 70% 70

MSUM maintains a large number of study abroad programs throughout the world. Programs organic to MSUM include the following:







Notable alumni


Notable faculty


See also


46°51′59″N 96°45′43″W / 46.8663522°N 96.7620251°W / 46.8663522; -96.7620251[29]


  1. ^ "Minnesota State University Moorhead's History". mnstate.edu. Minnesota State University Moorhead. Retrieved 2 December 2022.
  2. ^ "Minnesota State University Moorhead Alumni Foundation, Inc. Financial Statements June 30, 2019 and 2018" (PDF). Minnesota State University Moorhead Alumni Foundation. Minnesota State University Moorhead Foundation. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  3. ^ "2019 Minnesota State Legislative Databook" (PDF). Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System website. Minnesota State System. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  4. ^ "2019 Minnesota State Legislative Databook" (PDF). Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System website. Minnesota State System. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Hertel, Nora (October 22, 2019). "How has enrollment at Minnesota State schools changed in a decade?". St. Cloud Times. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  6. ^ MSUM Visual Identity Guidelines by MSU Moorhead. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  7. ^ "2023 Master's University Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved February 10, 2024.
  8. ^ "Best Colleges 2023: Regional Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 25, 2023.
  9. ^ "Forbes America's Top Colleges List 2023". Forbes. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
  10. ^ "The Bulletin 2011‐2012: Accreditation/Certification. Minnesota State University Moorhead. 2011.
  11. ^ Ponzillo, Amy. "Minnesota State University, Moorhead Earns AACSB International Accreditation." AACSB International News Release. 2010-01-07.
  12. ^ [1] Minnesota State University Moorhead. 2013.
  13. ^ "Tri-College University adds two community colleges, keeps na..." Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  14. ^ "U.S. Professors of the Year." Archived 2012-03-20 at the Wayback Machine Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Accessed 2011-08-31.
  15. ^ Johnson, Jessie. "Dragons on Fire." OPEN Magazine, pp. 48–53, Fall 2009.
  16. ^ Shafer, Richard. "Spinning the Zip to Zap: Student Journalist Responsibility and Vulnerability in the Late 1960s." North Dakota Journal of Speech & Theatre. 2000.
  17. ^ Red Weather. Minnesota State University Moorhead, Department of English.
  18. ^ The Yellow Bicycle: an Open-Submission Weekly Literary Journal for MSU Moorhead.
  19. ^ Continews. Archived 2011-08-23 at the Wayback Machine Minnesota State University Moorhead.
  20. ^ Alumnews. Minnesota State University Moorhead Alumni Foundation.
  21. ^ KMSC Dragon Radio: About.
  22. ^ "Student Academic Conference 2011." Minnesota State University Moorhead. 2011-04-19.
  23. ^ "Student Academic Conference: History." Minnesota State University Moorhead. 2011-04-19.
  24. ^ "College Scorecard: Minnesota State University-Moorhead". United States Department of Education. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  25. ^ "Legacy Obituary for Robert L. "Bob" Bartels". Columbus Dispatch.
  26. ^ "Archived copy". NBA.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-29. Retrieved 2014-04-20.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ "Chris Tuchscherer MMA Bio". Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  28. ^ Mostert, Mark P. "Mark P. Mostert Vita" (PDF). Regent University. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  29. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Minnesota State University - Moorhead


  1. ^ Other consists of Multiracial Americans & those who prefer to not say.
  2. ^ The percentage of students who received an income-based federal Pell grant intended for low-income students.
  3. ^ The percentage of students who are a part of the American middle class at the bare minimum.