Gustavus Adolphus College (shortened to Gustavus) is a private, coeducational liberal arts college located in St. Peter, Minnesota. Established in 1862 by Swedish Americans, Gustavus has remained firmly rooted in its Swedish and Lutheran heritage; the school continues to be affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to this day. A highly selective institution, Gustavus is guided by five core values: community, excellence, faith, justice, and service. The College’s mission is to “help its students attain their full potential as persons, to develop in them a capacity and passion for lifelong learning and to prepare them for fulfilling lives of leadership and service in society.”
Academic ProgramsGustavus Adolphus College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1915. Over 70 undergraduate majors are offered by the college through more than twenty academic departments. Majors include accounting, art history, athletic training, biology, chemistry, classics, communication studies, computer science, economics, elementary education, English, environmental studies, French, gender/women/sexuality studies, geography, geology, health education, history, management, mathematics, music, nursing, philosophy, physical education, physics, political science, psychological science, religion, Russian and Eastern European studies, Scandinavian studies, sociology/anthropology, Spanish, statistics, and theatre. In addition, Gustavus offers more than two dozen secondary education specializations, nearly twenty honors programs, an individualized major, and several pre-professional programs.
Nearly half of Gustavus undergraduate students participate in some type of study abroad during their college career. Undergraduate student research opportunities also abound and are encouraged through the annual Celebration of Creative Inquiry and dedicated funding for students who attend conference and competitions for discipline-specific research, scholarship, and creative work. Gustavus has also been designated as a “community-engaged campus” by the Carnegie Foundation, which is the highest national distinction available for higher education. More than 75% of students participate in service each year, either through service programs or service-learning.
Student LifeGustavus Adolphus College has a total enrollment figure of approximately 2,500 students. Over a dozen residence halls and apartment/town house complexes and several college-owned houses accommodate more than 2,200 students on campus. Students also have access to wireless internet connection in all academic and residential buildings on Gustavus’ campus. Offering students a variety of options for activities and involvement, more than 100 special interest groups and organizations exist as well at least a dozen student-run religious organizations. Daily Sabbath services are also held on campus in addition to a Sunday worshipping community service and a weekly evening praise services.
Ample opportunity for involvement in both the arts and athletics exists for students. Gustavus is an NCAA Division III school and a member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) and the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA). More than 25% of students participate in the school’s 20-plus intercollegiate sports program and at least 75% in Gustavus’ more than 30 intramural activities and multiple club sports. Nearly half of the student population participates in a fine arts program at Gustavus, including several choral groups, instrumental ensembles, chamber groups, an extensive theatre/dance program, and much more.