Minnesota State University – Mankato

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Updated August 6, 2020

Minnesota State University Mankato began in 1868 as Mankato Normal School with a mission to educate teachers. The original school began in rented rooms at the Methodist Episcopal Church and all students were from the Mankato area. When the school as authorized by the state legislature, the City of Mankato was required to donate $5,000 which was initially difficult for the small city. In 1867, another law was passed to allow the city to sell bonds in order to raise the funding.

The school moved to the Shaubut Building downtown three weeks after the doors opened. Old Main was completed in 1870 and the college moved into its permanent residence. In 1868, the name was changed to the Mankato State Teachers College.

In 1872, Julia Sears, an assistant to the previous principal, George Gage, was named principal, leading to controversy despite the growing women's suffrage movement. She was abruptly replaced by David John, a retired Methodist Minister in 1873. In 1921, the school became the Mankato State College and, the following year, Old Main was destroyed by fire. Funds were immediately authorized to build a replacement.

By 1930, the college had outgrown its valley location and a new campus was designed for a hilltop location about one mile away. An intercampus bus service transported students between the Highland and Lower campus. In 1975, the school became Mankato State University and, in 1979, the entire university was shifted to the Highland location. In 1995, Mankato State University along with Winona, St. Cloud, Moorhead, Bemidji, Southwest and Metropolitan merged to become Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Today, there are more than 15,000 students attending Minnesota State University, studying 130 undergraduate and 75 graduate programs.

Minnesota State University Mankato Accreditation Details

Minnesota State University Mankato is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has been since 1916. A full review is conducted every ten years to be sure the university continues to meet or exceed criteria set forth by the organization. If any programs are found to need improvement, the university strives to make those improvements as soon as possible. In addition, programs throughout the university are accredited by industry-specific associations.

Minnesota State University Mankato Application Requirements

Students who have not earned college credits beyond high school must complete an application, either online or on paper. Students must send an official high school transcript as well as ACT or SAT scores. Some programs require additional application materials such as auditions or portfolios.

Students who have completed 24 or more college credits after high school are considered transfer students and do not have to submit high school or test scores. Students must submit transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.

Graduate students must complete an online application and supply official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Students must submit test scores for some degree programs and all graduate candidates must have a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university.

Minnesota State University Mankato Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate tuition for Minnesota residents is $271.66 per credit hour and $584.05 per credit hour for non-residents. Special tuition rates for residents of these states are as follows:

  • Midwest Student Exchange Program - $407.50 per credit hour
  • Wisconsin - $271.66 per credit hour
  • North Dakota - $271.66 per credit hour
  • South Dakota - $289.59 per credit hour
  • Manitoba - $271.66 per credit hour

Financial aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for any financial aid.

Minnesota State University Mankato Degree(s) Available

Master of Arts in Communication Studies

Minnesota State University Mankato offers a Master of Arts in Communication Studies, a broad and flexible major that allows students to tailor their experience to fit their professional goals. The program takes two years of full-time study to complete and requires a Capstone project. Courses required include:

  • Advanced Intercultural Communication
  • Advanced Interpersonal Communication
  • Communication Pedagogy
  • Modern Rhetorical Criticism
  • Perspectives in Culture and Communication
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Seminar in Communication
  • Teaching Strategies

Two electives are also required. The Master of Arts program is only available on campus. Students must get approval from an adviser for their Capstone project. In addition, 50 percent of all coursework must be at the 600 level. Students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in undergraduate studies and a 3.0 for the last two years of undergraduate work. GRE scores are not required. A maximum of six graduate credits from NFL courses may be applied with the approval of a graduate advisor.

Minnesota State University Mankato Master of Science in Communication Studies

The Master of Science in Communication Studies can be taken either on campus or in an online format designed for working adults. The programs is designed for students who are seeking skills directly applicable to a career path. The program takes up to two years to complete. Courses required include:

  • Advanced Intercultural Communication
  • Advanced Interpersonal Communication
  • Communication for Professionals
  • Communication Pedagogy
  • Communication Training and Development
  • Conflict Management
  • Gender and Communication
  • Organizational Communication
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Quantitative Research Methods
  • Seminar in Communication Theory
  • Teaching Strategies
  • Topics in Relational Communications
  • Topics in Rhetoric and Culture

Students must also complete three electives that have been approved by their advisor. Students may choose a Capstone Prospectus, Alternative Plan Paper or an Internship to complete their degree.

To apply for either the Master of Science or Master of Arts programs, students must send their completed application for Graduate Study, two official transcripts from the university that issued their undergraduate degree and a completed immunization form to the College of Graduate Studies. In addition, students must forward three letters of recommendation from individuals qualified to judge their competence in communication, a writing sample and a statement of personal, educational and professional goals to the Communication Studies Department.

Related Resource: 30 Top Affordable Online Master's in Communication

Minnesota State University Mankato offers degree programs in an online format that allow individuals with home, work or family obligations to achieve t heir higher education goals. These flexible formats allow working adults to move into a new career or advance in a current career with the excellence in education offered by Minnesota State University Mankato.

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