Study a graduate program in Minnesota
Minnesota is a state in the Midwest of the USA, bordering Canada, and is famous for its forests, parks and natural features. Its nickname is the ‘Land of 10,000 Lakes’, and it is this landscape that makes the state such a popular destination for both tourists and those looking to study abroad.
In terms of university education Minnesota offers a wide variety of options for those looking to study a postgraduate course overseas, with numerous well respected public and private universities.
The state’s capital is Minneapolis (60% of the state’s residents live here and in the surrounding area), and the city is an internationally recognised centre for the arts – famous residents have included Bob Dylan and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Many of Minnesota’s universities are controlled by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System –31 institutions providing courses to almost half a million students fall under this banner. The postgraduate courses offered by these universities are cheaper than those provided by the state’s many private colleges, as well as by the University of Minnesota. Institutions offering graduate programs include:
- Minnesota State University, Mankato
- Minnesota State University, Moorhead
- Bemidji State University
- Metropolitan State University
- Southwest Minnesota State University
- St. Cloud State University
- Winona State University
The University of Minnesota, which is not part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, is one of the largest universities in the US, with five campuses at various different locations throughout the state.
There are also more than 20 private universities offering graduate programs in Minnesota.
Professional, or ‘terminal’, masters are designed to lead to employment rather than further study, whilst academic masters are generally designed to lead the way into doctorate/PhD study. Both last between one and three years, depending on the subject.
Doctoral degrees are the most advanced level of higher education, and usually take between four and eight years to complete, which includes the time it takes to write and present a dissertation.
Immigration and visas
Before travelling to the USA to study in Minnesota, you will need to apply for a non-immigrant visa.
The most common kind of student visa is the F-1 visa, which entitles the holder to study at any US accredited college or university.
To apply for a student visa for a graduate program in Minnesota, you will need to fill out an application form (found on the US Embassy website) and send appropriate documentation, such as evidence of financial standing and proof of university acceptance and academic qualifications, as well as possibly attending a visa interview at the US Embassy in your home country.
Life in Minnesota
Minnesota is a relatively rich state, with household income ranking highest amongst the states that are not on the East Coast.
Due to two thirds of the state’s population living in the wider Minneapolis region, it is here that Minnesota’s main museums are clustered. The city has a thriving arts scene, with galleries including the Minneapolis Institute of Fine Art and the Walker Art Center, and is also home to the world famous Guthrie Theater. Literary tradition is strong in Minnesota – F. Scott Fitzgerald and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow were both inspired by the area.
Those living in Minnesota have also been judged to be the most sporty in the whole of the United States.
Minnesota residents travel less by road than is typical in the US, despite the region having a number of interstates. Instead, public transport is provided by rail.
Working in Minnesota
Working in Minnesota after the completion of your graduate program will open you up to a wealth of opportunities.
Industries that are booming in Minnesota include forestry, fuel production, agriculture and food production, and multinational companies that call the state home include Best Buy, Target, Cargill, UnitedHealth Group, U.S. Bancorp and Carlson Companies, which owns the Radisson Hotel chain. In Minneapolis the economy is based on transport, finance and healthcare.
Whatever your specialism, if you decide to stay here after the completion of your graduate program there will be many opportunities for you to choose from.
Whilst studying abroad on postgraduate courses many students choose to live on their university campus in halls of residence. Living in halls allows you to meet fellow students and settle into campus life. Many halls include gym facilities and recreational areas - you should check with your university whether they offer this type of accommodation for those on postgraduate courses.
In order to keep their independence, some students on postgraduate courses choose to live in private accommodation – where paying for utilities and bills will be your own responsibility. Your chosen university should be able to advise you on how to rent a private flat. In Minneapolis, student housing is spread out across the city.
Weather and climate
Minnesota has cold winters and hot summers, and a temperamental weather system – blizzards, thunderstorms, hail and tornadoes are not uncommon, and droughts may occur every few years. The amount of rainfall varies depending on where you are in the state.
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