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Winona State University: Degree Programs and School Information

Learn about Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota. Read about its admission info, financial aid, and degree programs to make an informed education decision.

About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University (WSU) is the oldest school in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. Located in Winona, the historic Minnesota town along the Mississippi River, WSU is a public institution with a population of nearly 8,900 students. In addition to its main and west campuses in Winona, the university also has a campus in Rochester, MN. In 2012, the school was ranked #16 among top public schools in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report.


WSU offers more than 90 programs across 5 colleges in business, education, liberal arts, nursing and health sciences, and science and engineering. Students can choose from 65 undergraduate programs, 12 graduate programs, 10 pre-professional programs, a doctorate in nursing with 5 specializations, and several certificate and licensure preparation programs.

The university is home to 6 research centers, including the Center for Mississippi River Studies and the Southeast Minnesota Analytical Service. WSU also runs the Maxwell Children's School, which gives child care and education students hands-on experience with children up to 4th grade.

Students interested in studying abroad can apply to semester-long programs in 1 of 10 countries, including Australia, Japan, and Egypt. Enrollees may also pursue web-based learning through WSU Online, which offers courses that can be completed on students' own time or through scheduled online meetings.


Prospective undergraduates can apply on the school's website beginning September 1 for the following fall semester and must submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications. Students typically receive an admissions decision 2-3 weeks after submitting all application materials, and the university continues to admit students until registration is full.

First-year applicants must have an ACT score of at least 21 or be ranked in the top half of their high school class. Students must also meet course preparation requirements, including 4 years of English, 3 years of mathematics, and 2 years of the same world language. The university accepts AP exam scores of 3 or higher for credit in any department.

In 2011, out of 6,545 applicants, 69% were admitted and 42% enrolled. Roughly 60% of students were female, 87% were white, and 62% were Minnesota residents.

Tuition & Financial Aid

In the 2012-2013 school year, tuition was a flat rate of $3,433 per semester for residents of Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota; students living outside of these states paid $6,047.50. Graduate tuition was $349.45 per credit hour for residents of the 4 states and $526.30 for non-residents.

All full-time undergraduates are responsible for a $463 university fee. Housing costs range from $1,898 to $3,615 a semester, with the option to add a meal plan. Students should also budget for books and materials, which cost an estimated $1,200 a year in 2011-2012.

The university offers an extended payment plan that breaks tuition into 4 installments. Enrollees interested in financial aid can complete an online form on the school's website, which matches students with relevant scholarships based on scholastic achievement, program, and other factors. Graduate students may apply for research assistantships, which offer a stipend and tuition assistance.

School Type 4-year, public**
Degrees Offered Associate's degree, bachelor's degree, post-bachelor's certificate, master's degree, post-master's certificate, doctorate**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semesters*
School Setting Distant town**
Student Body 8,439 undergraduates and 521 graduates in 2011**
Student Housing 10 residence halls, 2 suite and apartment style halls and a sustainability-themed house*
Schools and Programs 5 colleges; more than 90 degree programs*
Student-Faculty Ratio 21 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011:
Bachelor's: Registered Nursing (196)
Master's: School Counseling and Guidance Services (47)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 25% in 4 years
51% in 6 years
53% in 8 years (students who started in fall 2003)**
Admission Rate 69% in fall 2011**
First-Year Retention Rates 79% for full-time and 67% for part-time students**
Median ACT Score of Admitted Students Fall 2011: The middle 50% of students had composite score of 21-25**
Application Due Date Applications open September 1; students are admitted until registration is full*
Decision Notification Date 2-3 weeks after application and materials are submitted*
Tuition $3,433 a semester for undergraduates and $6,047.50 a semester for graduate students (base rate for 2012-2013)*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) For 2010-2011: Federal grants (28%), state and local government grants (20%), institutional grants or scholarships (45%), federal student loans (69%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 88% in 2010-2011 academic year**

Sources: *Winona State University, **National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Admissions, Maxwell Hall, 170 West Sanborn Street, Winona, MN 55987
  • Phone: (507) 457-5100
  • Website:

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