Winona State University was first founded in 1858 for the purpose of educating teachers. Since then the university has gone through four name changes. The Board of Directors adopted the current name in 1976.
The university mission statement says “to educate and enlighten our citizenry at a distinctive institution: a community of learners dedicated to improving our world.” It is classed as a Master’s College and University I by the Carnegie Institute.
WSU offers more than 80 major programs of study and 10 pre-professional programs. In addition to the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, academic programs include four Special Licensure Programs. The University includes five colleges: Business, Education, Liberal Arts, Science & Engineering, and Nursing & Health Sciences. The average class size is 24, and the student-to-faculty ratio is 21:1. The university was one of the first in the country to offer a laptop computer program, allowing students to lease a laptop directly from the institution.
Master’s level programs are offered in English, counselor education, other fields of education, and nursing. The Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree is offered in educational leadership, with concentrations in K-12 principal or in superintendent. There are advanced licensure programs in 7 areas, a post-master’s certificate in nursing, and a certificate in outdoor education/adventure based leadership.
Accreditation is granted by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation program in the Exercise and Rehabilitative Sciences field (ERCR) is an exercise physiology major. Primarily, students are prepared to care for individuals with heart problems by implementing exercise programs and reducing risk. Students are encouraged to obtain their certification from the American College of Sports Medicine after graduation. Students are required to participate in clinical practice experience in their junior year and a capstone internship after the coursework is completed.
The Medical Technology major offered by the Biology Department prepares students for work in clinics and laboratories as technicians or technologists.
The university has a study abroad program, with opportunities in Australia, China, Japan, Spain, and South Korea. There are short term programs in Canada, England and Bangladesh for students in the human services.
Applicants must have completed a set of core preparatory courses prior to attending the university, including four years of English, three years each of mathematics, sciences, and social studies, two years of a world language, and one year of specified electives.
In addition to those curriculum requirements, applicants must also have an ACT score of 21 or better, or, if an applicant graduates in the top 50% of his or her high school graduating class, must have an ACT score of 18 or better. Applicants may submit their applications online via the university website or via a paper application in the mail.
Winona State is increasingly popular as a first-choice institution, meaning that admissions and enrollment capacities fill up rapidly. Nearly all entering freshment graduated in the top half of their class, and more than half were in the top quarter, with an average ACT score of 23. Nearly every freshman, regardless of geographic location, participates in New Student Orientation, which includes one academic credit applied toward their degree program.
Transfer students and international students will have varying requirements depending upon their prior educational background.
Students applying to the graduate programs should consult the individual department and/or school to which they are applying. General requirements include the GRE or other appropriate test scores (such as the GMAT) and a bachelor’s degree with a grade point average of 2.5. The graduate application deadline varies with the program.
Students must submit the FAFSA two weeks prior to the beginning of the term. The Financial Aid Offfice uses satisfactory academic progress to determine which students are maintaining their eligibility for financial aid awards. This satisfactory academic progress is defined as a grade point average above 2.0, completion of at least 67% of credit hours attempted, and good standing status with the University on all financial matters. Students cannot exceed 192 credits attempted for a bachelor’s degree. Those students working toward a second bachelor’s degree are granted an additional 64 credit hours in which to complete their study.
Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans. Work-study programs are also available for eligible students on campus or at non-profit organizations. Undergraduate students with children may be able to receive a grant to help defray child care expenses. Students applying from out of state and graduate students have higher costs that those from in-state. Students from Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, or Nebraska are eligible for reduced out-of-state tuition.
Student Financial Aid Details
Student life includes opportunities in a diverse range of activities and organizations. There are fraternities and sororities, academic and professional groups, religious organizations, cultural organizations, political groups, and special interest groups such as the Chess Club, the Madrigal Singers, and Writer’s Bloc. There is a campus radio station, a newspaper, and other publications. Intramural athletics include aerobics, badminton, and weight training; there is also a ski club, a cricket club, and a water polo club.
Approximately 2,500 campus-based students take advantage of the University’s seven different residence halls. The Student Union is home to Student Activity offices, meeting spaces, eating and shopping, the bookstore, and the Student Answer Center. For students more interested in playing sports than watching them, the Student Activity department offers a number of intramural sports and recreational athletic facilities.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The Winona State Warriors compete in the NCAA Division II and in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Intercollegiate teams include women’s basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, tennis, track, and volleyball; and men’s baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, and tennis.
Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.