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About Southwest Minnesota State University

Recognized for its inclusive and student-centered academics, SMSU is a university of choice with high national rankings, affordable tuition rates, and scholars who become the leaders, thinkers, and entrepreneurs of the future. Become part of our community today!

Armando Aguirre
“SMSU online has been great because of the opportunity to [study] on your own time versus following a strict schedule. And the fact that SMSU has opportunities for minority students, especially students who are also first-generation college students like me. SMSU is taking steps in the right direction to give those individuals a platform to lift themselves up. Another big benefit [of being an SMSU online student] has been that SMSU doesn’t charge out-of-state tuition. The cost per credit makes SMSU an affordable option.”
– Armando Aguirre, BS in Management, 2023

Why Choose SMSU?

SMSU’s online degree programs offer the same challenging curriculum delivered to students on campus, plus convenient access to your courses from anywhere your busy schedule leads. Invest in your education with an affordable, student-centered online degree that’s accessible to all, and discover why SMSU’s graduates have a 99% career placement rate.

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SMSU and its degree programs, both on campus and online, are regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Fast Facts

Affordable, in-state tuition for all students

99% career placement rate for graduates

100% online degree programs

Expert faculty with diverse professional backgrounds

Scholarships available


  • Top 15 in the Nation for Affordable Out-of-State Tuition
  • SMSU’s commitment to engaged, hands-on education has resulted in being named a 2023-2024 College of Distinction, a trusted resource that helps students find the right college. Colleges of Distinction selected SMSU because of its student-centered education, dynamic learning environment, and inclusiveness
  • No. 4 for Best Affordable Schools in Minnesota for Bachelor’s Degrees
  • No. 7 nationally for Most Affordable Colleges for Hospitality Degree Programs
  • No. 8 nationally for Most Affordable Online Schools for Out-of-State Students, Master’s Degree
  • No. 10 nationally for Best Affordable ESL Teaching Degree Program
  • No. 1 in Minnesota for Early Childhood Education Programs
  • No. 4 in Minnesota for Agriculture Programs
  • No. 1 in Minnesota for Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs
  • No. 3 nationally in the Small Public University classification

Our Mission

SMSU prepares students to meet the complex challenges of this century as engaged citizens in their local and global communities. Our comprehensive degree programs, taught in the liberal arts tradition, are dedicated to connecting students’ academic and practical professional development experiences in southwestern Minnesota to the wider world.

Our Vision

SMSU aspires to be recognized throughout Minnesota and beyond for being an inclusive and student-centered university.

Our Values

SMSU promotes both personal and professional growth through each academic program, cultivating strong leaders of the future.

Discovery through innovative teaching, research, and other high-impact experiences

Civic engagement and strategic partnerships

Developing broadly educated and well-rounded leaders

Our History

Founded in 1963, SMSU has grown into a university of choice with high national rankings for our affordability and academic excellence. The University is dedicated to preparing scholars who become the leaders, thinkers, and entrepreneurs of the future.

SMSU Land Acknowledgement Statement

Southwest Minnesota State University sits on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands of the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota people, collectively known as the Oceti Sakowin, Seven Council Fires. We acknowledge and recognize our sovereign neighbors from the Pezihutazizi Otunwe (Yellow Medicine Village) and Cansayapi Otunwe (Village Where They Mark The Trees Red), and all indigenous people who continue to call this area home. Learn more on our land acknowledgement page.