Masters Degree Programs in Minnesota
Overview of Master's Education in Minnesota
The state of Minnesota has almost 200 public and private higher education institutions according to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, many which offer master's programs (ohe.state.mn.us, 2013). This includes the University of Minnesota -- a public university that has five campuses around the state, as well as 16 regional extension offices where biological, forestry and agricultural research is conducted. Another large college in the state with master's programs is the University of St. Thomas, which is a private university located in St. Paul.
Although every school has specific criteria for admissions, generally students who want to pursue master's degrees in Minnesota must first earn a bachelor's degree, as well as achieve a minimum GPA in their undergraduate courses. Students are also often required to take standardized tests like the GRE or GMAT exams. In terms of educational attainment, the Lumina Foundation reports that about 11 percent of Minnesotans between the ages of 25 and 64 have a graduate or professional degree based on 2011 data from the U.S. Census Bureau -- slightly higher than the national average (luminafoundation.org, 2013).
Popular Master's Degrees Minnesota
Bioscience Master's Degrees in Minnesota
According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (MDEED), the state is a leader in bioscience, particularly when it comes to life science research (positivelyminnesota.com, 2013). Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota are both heavy contributors to this sector and may be potential employers for bioscience graduates. Two possible careers for those graduating with master's degrees in bioscience are biological technician and biomedical engineer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that 1,070 biological technicians and 1,110 biomedical engineers were employed in the state as of May 2012 (bls.gov/oes, 2013).
Insurance Master's Degrees in Minnesota
In addition to scientific innovation, Minnesota is also the home to a robust insurance services industry. In fact, some of the largest insurance companies in the country call Minnesota home, such as Ameriprise Financial and UnitedHealth Group (possitivelyminnesota.com, 2013). Earning a master's degree could help insurance professionals looking to advance their careers. For example, a junior-level actuary working for a health insurance company could earn a master's in financial mathematics in the hopes of gaining a promotion. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 810 actuaries working in the state as of May 2012 (bls.gov/oes, 2013).
Popular Schools in Minnesota for Earning a Master's Degree
According to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, in the fall 2011 semester, there were 457,265 students registered in colleges and universities around the state -- including 114,690 in graduate programs. The school that has the highest total enrollment in the state is the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, with 6,148 out of the 52,557 students taking classes at the grad level.
In addition, several schools in Minnesota have been highly rated by U.S. News & World Report for their grad programs (usnews.com, 2013), including:
- University of Minnesota-Twin Cities: This university has been ranked as having the 23rd best business school in the U.S., as well as 26th for education schools and 29th for engineering schools. In addition, the school's healthcare management program has been ranked second in the country and its biological sciences program 32nd.
- Minnesota State University-Moorhead: This university has been ranked 154th in the country for speech-language pathology programs.
- University of Minnesota-Duluth: This school has been ranked 177th in the country for its fine arts program, 131st for speech pathology, and 79th for social work.
Note: Most current rankings as of August 2013
The University of Minnesota-Duluth also sponsors research through the Center for Economic Development and the Natural Resources Research Institute, which can positively impact the state. For example, the Center for Economic Development uses its research and consulting services to help small businesses in Northeastern Minnesota create jobs, while the Natural Resources Research Institute is working on projects that will help manufacturers in the state make products from industrial waste materials.
Employment Outlook in Minnesota
Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that as of June 2013, Minnesota's unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, down from the five previous months and lower than the national average. The BLS also reports that as of May 2012, biological technicians made an average salary of 48,020 per year in Minnesota (bls.gov/oes, 2013). According to MDEED, this profession is on the rise -- between 2010 and 2020, a 13.8 percent increase in employment is expected within the state, just above the state average (possitivelyminnesota.com, 2013).
Minnesotans may also be able to find good-paying jobs in the insurance sector with a master's degree, including positions as actuaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, actuaries earned an average salary of $106,410 per year in May 2012 (bls.gov/oes, 2013). Occupational growth should be well above the state average of 13 percent, with employment of actuaries expected to increase by nearly 31 percent between 2010 and 2020 (positivelyminnesota.com, 2013).
Higher education in Minnesota, Education Minnesota, http://www.educationminnesota.org/en/community/mnschools/highered.aspx, Accessed August 2, 2013
Our Campuses, Regents of the University of Minnesota, http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/campuses/index.html, Accessed August 2, 2013
Facts About Institutions, Minnesota Office of Higher Education, http://www.ohe.state.mn.us/mPg.cfm?pageID=869#1, Accessed August 2, 2013
May 2012 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Minnesota, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mn.htm
Minnesota, Lumina Foundation, http://luminafoundation.org/stronger_nation/report/#minnesota, Accessed August 2, 2013
Biosciences in Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, http://www.positivelyminnesota.com/Business/Locating_in_Minnesota/Major_Industries_Sectors/Biosciences.aspx, Accessed August 2, 2013
Minnesota Economy at a Glance, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, August 02, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.mn.htm
"Biological Technicians," Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Life-Physical-and-Social-Science/Biological-technicians.htm March 29, 2012,
Financial and Insurance Services, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, http://www.positivelyminnesota.com/Business/Locating_in_Minnesota/Major_Industries_Sectors/Financial_Insurance_Services_2.aspx, Accessed August 2, 2013
Facts About Enrollment, Minnesota Office of Higher Education, http://www.ohe.state.mn.us/mPg.cfm?pageID=945, Accessed August 2, 2013
University of Minnesota -- Twin Cities, U.S. News & World Report, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-minnesota-twin-cities-174066/overall-rankings, Accessed August 2, 2013
Minnesota State University -- Moorhead, U.S. News & World Report, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/minnesota-state-university-moorhead-174358/overall-rankings, Accessed August 2, 2013
University of Minnesota -- Duluth, U.S. News & World Report, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-minnesota-duluth-174233/overall-rankings, Accessed August 2, 2013
About Us, Center for Economic Development, http://www.umdced.com/about.html, Accessed August 2, 2013
About Us, Natural Resources Research Institute, http://www.nrri.umn.edu/default/about.htm, Accessed August 2, 2013
"Actuaries," Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/actuaries.htm, April 5, 2012
Minnesota Employment Outlook, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Accessed August 13, 2013, http://www.positivelyminnesota.com/apps/lmi/projections/