8th and Johnson St
Winona, MN 55987-5838
p. 507-457-5000
w. www.winona.edu

Winona State University

Winona State University Rating: 4.0/5 (32 votes)

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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

Unique Programs

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.

Financial Aid

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

Ranks 1379th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Minnesota.


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.

Local Community

Campus is located in Winona, Minnesota, a city with a population of approximately 27,000 on the banks of the Mississippi River. It is an approximately 2 ½ hour drive from Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Winona is a tightly knit community with access to great outdoor recreation and unique cultural experiences. Visitors and residents can attend the Great River Shakespeare Festival every summer, as well as the County Fair, Huck Finn Days, and visit local river boats. The local farmer’s market offers locally grown produce and other goods fresh from vendor’s gardens at a reasonable price. Sitting between the great Mississippi River and the Minnesota bluffs, the city is a beautiful and culturally rich retreat.

Information Summary

Ranks 20th in Minnesota and 622nd overall
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Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault 2 0.02
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 4 0.04
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 5 0.06
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest 1 0.01

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 23 0.08
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Forcible Rape N/A N/A
Robbery 8 0.03
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 67 0.24
Larceny 368 1.32
Vehicle theft 21 0.08

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Winona, MN 55987-5838
Surrounding communityDistant town (between 10 to 35 mi. away from an urban cluster)
Total Population34,771 (28,419 urban / 6,352 rural)
Households13,272 (2.34 people per house)
Median Household Income$35,803
Families7,536 (2.95 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (medium programs)
UndergraduateProfessions plus arts & sciences, some graduate coexistence
GraduatePostbaccalaureate with arts & sciences (education dominant)
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in
EnrollmentVery high undergraduate
Size & SettingMedium four-year, primarily residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District2701

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 1518th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $6,860 $6,860 $12,360
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $1,870 $1,870 $1,870
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $227 $227 $412
FT Graduate Tuition $6,480 $6,480 $9,760
FT Graduate Required Fees $540 $540 $540
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $360 $360 $542
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $20,790 $20,790 $26,290
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $20,790 $20,790 $26,290
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $14,090 $14,090 $19,590

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $8,540 $8,710 $8,540 $8,710 $13,660 $14,310
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,200(N/C)
On-Campus – Room & Board $7,540 $7,690
On-Campus – Other Expenses $3,060(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $7,540 $7,690
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $3,060(N/C)
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $3,060(N/C)

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$20
Graduate Application Fee$20
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 7,212 (2,671 male / 4,541 female)
Admitted 4,381 (1,511 male / 2,870 female)
Admission rate 61%
First-time Enrollment 1,650 (590 male / 1,060 female)
FT Enrollment 1,639 (585 male / 1,054 female)
PT Enrollment 11 (5 male / 6 female)
Total Enrollment8,782

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference
NCAA Basketball Conference Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference

ACT Test Admission

621st for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 97%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 20 / 24
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 21 / 25
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 21 / 25

SAT Test Admission

Applicants submitting SAT results 1%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 0 / 0
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 0 / 0
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 0 / 0

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity2,934
Meals per Week14
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 53 55 29 28 2 1,608 31 1,844
Accounting 5 3 2 43 1 55
Adult Health Nurse/Nursing 1 1 6 1 9
Art Teacher Education 9 9
Art/Art Studies, General 22 22
Athletic Training/Trainer 12 1 13
Biochemistry 1 1 12 14
Biology Teacher Education 5 5
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 6 4 2 1 73 88
Business Administration and Management, General 1 2 4 100 2 111
Business Teacher Education 4 4
Chemistry Teacher Education
Chemistry, General 8 8
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist 2 1 10 1 14
Computer Science 4 1 2 25 2 34
Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services 29 29
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 1 2 3 52 60
Critical Care Nursing 5 1 6
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 4 4
Earth Science Teacher Education 2 1 3
Economics, General 1 9 10
Education, General 1 17 2 20
Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs 3 3
Educational Leadership and Administration, General 1 12 2 16
Elementary Education and Teaching 1 1 2 104 2 113
English Language and Literature, General 9 25 35
English/Language Arts Teacher Education 1 12 13
Family Practice Nurse/Nursing 9 1 10
Finance, General 3 1 10 15
French Language Teacher Education 1 1
Geology/Earth Science, General 15 1 16
German Language Teacher Education 1 1
Health Communication
History, General 1 21 23
Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, General 2 1 1 40 1 45
International/Global Studies 2 5 7
Kinesiology and Exercise Science 1 1 1 85 1 91
Learning Sciences 1 1
Legal Assistant/Paralegal 8 9
Legal Studies, General 7 7
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 2 2 1 31 1 37
Management Information Systems, General 1 1 2 5
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 2 1 26 1 31
Mass Communication/Media Studies 2 1 1 1 70 1 77
Materials Engineering 1 19 20
Mathematics Teacher Education 15 16
Mathematics, General 2 20 22
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 2 2 2 1 29 38
Music Management 2 2
Music Performance, General 3 3
Music Teacher Education 6 6
Music, General 6 6
Nursing Administration 3 3
Nursing Education 4 4
Outdoor Education
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Facilities Management, General
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies 1 2 53 57
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching 25 25
Physics, General 1 1 2
Political Science and Government, General 1 1 22 1 25
Psychology, General 2 1 61 64
Public Administration 1 1 1 3
Public Health Education and Promotion 1 15 17
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 6 12 5 4 209 3 246
Science Teacher Education/General Science Teacher Education
Social Science Teacher Education 1 20 1 22
Social Work 1 8 4 2 1 72 1 93
Sociology 2 17 1 20
Spanish Language Teacher Education 2 1 3
Spanish Language and Literature 2 7 10
Special Education and Teaching, General 34 34
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 15 16
Sport and Fitness Administration/Management 1 5 6
Statistics, General 1 1
Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling 3 3
Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language/ESL Language Instructor 3 3

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 1481st for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $68,128 ($70,583 male / $64,517 female)
Number of FT Faculty 327 (173 male / 154 female)
Number of PT Faculty 527
FT Faculty Ratio 0.6 : 1
Total Benefits $9,301,000

Elisabeth Bailey+

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.

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