University of Minnesota

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#102, overall score 49.25/100

Fun Fact:

Classes offered at the University of Minnesota have included “Witches, Ghosts, and Evil Clowns,” “Everything I Know About Physics I Learned By Reading Comic Books,” “The Color of Music” and “Nothing.”

Why should Jewish students attend the University of Minnesota? “Minnesota ranks high on several important school listings including value, low student debt, high graduate salaries and it was #15 on Business First’s top public schools. Outside of the classroom students have hundreds of options for extracurricular activities and groups to get involved with. The U hosts over 600 different students groups, has a strong Greek community and is part of the Big 10, which means there are endless opportunities to check out several top ranked Division I sports teams. Off campus students are just minutes away from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul where they have hundreds of opportunities to engage with world class theater, art, nightlife, major sporting events and so much more. The Twin Cities are home to a strong and vibrant Jewish community as well, and student have easy access to hundreds of Jewish communal events and programs each year both on campus and off. Some of the highlights of Hillel’s programming on campus include: Maroon and Gold Shabbat (500+ guests), Israel Independence Day Block Party, Shabbat Around the U, Alternative Spring Break in Israel, Hanukkah on Ice (Ice Skating), Good Deeds Day, Passover Seders and more.” — Benjie Kaplan, Executive Director, Minnesota Hillel

“The University of Minnesota is an incredibly strong school academically with a beautiful campus and a fantastic community. The Jewish community is especially warm and welcoming and it’s a really an amazing time to be a Jewish Gopher. Chabad at the University of Minnesota hosts many popular and well-attended events that bring the Jewish community together. Whether it’s a Shabbat or holiday dinner, classes, Israel programs or just a social event, Chabad has a way to make everyone feel welcome regardless of background or upbringing. It is a place where students can connect with Judaism and feel comfortable in a Jewish setting. Once you arrive on campus, Chabad at the UofM is your home away from home. You are invited to avail yourself of opportunities to explore and experience Judaism in rich, vibrant and exciting ways. You can join other students for popular Jewish events. Chabad is always bustling with activity. With more than 30 students on our various boards, there is extensive opportunity for leadership. And most importantly, our door is always open for you to join our family!” — Rabbi Yitzi Steiner, co-director, Chabad at U of M


  • Location: Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Region: Midwest
  • Campus type: Big city
  • Public/Private: Public
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 34,871
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 1,350
  • Jewish population share: 4%
  • Student newspaper: Minnesota Daily
  • NCAA Division: I
  • NCAA team: Golden Gophers
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: Grey Duck / Ninjas

COST & AID Score: 5.83/15

  • Score: 5.83/15
  • In-state tuition: $14,417
  • Out-of-state tuition: $26,603
  • Room & board costs: $9,852
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $11,119
  • Average loan debt: $26,568
  • Starting median salary: $53,400
  • Scholarship for Jewish students: Bentson Family Scholarship

ACADEMICS Score: 10/20

  • Score: 10/20
  • Acceptance rate: 50%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 17:1
  • Median SAT range: 1270-1480
  • Jewish Studies program: Yes
  • Jewish Studies major: Yes
  • Hebrew major: Minor

ISRAEL Score: 6/20

  • Score: 6/20
  • Size of Birthright trip: 100
  • School-approved study abroad program in Israel: Yes
  • Israel Studies center: No
  • Israel-related clubs: Gophers for Israel, Students Supporting Israel
  • Jewish Agency for Israel fellow: Yes
  • BDS vote in last four years: Passed in last year

SAFETY Score: 1.67/11

  • Score: 1.67/11
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2017: 4
  • Campus crime rate: 2.6/1,000 students (medium-low)
  • City crime rate: 53.31/1,000 people (high)
  • LGBT center: Yes

JEWISH LIFE Score: 25.75/34

  • Score: 25.75/34
  • Hillel: Minnesota Hillel
  • Chabad: Chabad at U of M
  • OU-JLIC: No
  • Other Jewish outreach group: Maimonides
  • Jewish fraternities: AEPi, ΣAM
  • Jewish sororities: AEPhi, SAEPi
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? Yes
  • Chicken soup hotline: No
  • Active Hillel clubs: 8
  • Hillel Friday night services: 1
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 120
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Chabad: 100
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 11 (4 Orthodox, 4 Conservative, 3 Reform)
  • Eruv: No
  • Most famous Jewish alum: Dave Frishberg
  • Most unique/noteworthy club: Gophers for Israel is an amazing collaborative effort of pro-Israel students on campus. With students on the University of Minnesota campus holding leadership roles with organizations like Students Supporting Israel, J Street U, JNF, Israel on Campus Coalition, AIPAC, Stand with Us, Hasbara Fellowship, the Jewish United Fund’s Israel Education Center, Birthright and Minnesota Hillel, Gophers for Israel brings all of these leaders together to collaborate, network and build a stronger pro-Israel community with the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
  • Where do Jewish students come from? Mainly the Midwest, lots of students from the Jewish suburbs of Chicago and Milwaukee, and from Minnesota of course.
  • Kosher food details: Over the last year. the university has been hard at work implementing kosher options on campus. There are currently several options available and Hillel/Chabad continue to work with the university to improve upon the offerings. Both Hillel and Chabad have kosher kitchens.

Do you attend this school? Do you want to tell us more about what life there is like? Take our survey here, and your feedback could be featured in next year’s guide! And if you’re a student or campus professional, join our online community Jewish Campus Confidential, and apply to become a Forward Campus Ambassador.

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