About Gustavus

Gustavus Adolphus College is a highly selective, private, coeducational, residential liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Founded in 1862, it has valued its Lutheran and Swedish heritages throughout its history. The college is guided by five core values: excellence, community, justice, service, and faith.


Student Life

  • More than 120 special interest groups and organizations
  • 5 daily Sabbath services, a Sunday worshipping community service, and one evening praise service weekly
  • 12 student-run religious organizations
  • Designated in 2015 by the Carnegie Foundation as a “community-engaged campus”—the highest national distinction available for higher education.
  • More than 75% of Gustavus students participate in service each year, either through service programs or service-learning
  • Frequent on-campus entertainment and off-campus trips sponsored by the Campus Activities Board and other recognized student groups


  • Gifts and grants in support of the College for the fiscal year 2014–15 totaled more than $12 million.
  • More than 18.7% of alumni actively support the College
  • Campaign Gustavus ended at $170.3 million
  • In 2014-15, 40% of Gustavus faculty and staff made a financial gift to Gustavus.

Campus Facilities

  • 340 beautifully landscaped acres
  • 21 academic and service facilities, including Christ Chapel; Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library; C. Charles Jackson Campus Center; Alfred Nobel Hall of Science (biology, chemistry, geography, geology); Olin Hall (math, computer science, statistics, and physics); Schaefer Fine Arts Center (art, music, theatre/dance); Confer and Vickner halls (languages); Lund Center (athletics, health/exercise science); Mattson Hall (education, nursing); Old Main (classics, philosophy, political science, and religion); and Beck Academic Hall (communication studies, economics/management, history, psychological science, and sociology/anthropology)
  • 14 residence halls and apartment/town house complexes and 5 College-owned houses, accommodating more than 2,200 students
    on campus
  • Hillstrom Museum of Art
  • More than 25 bronzeworks by the late Paul Granlund, noted sculptor and alumnus, installed on the campus
  • The Melva Lind Interpretive Center and the 135-acre Linnaeus Arboretum


  • Intercollegiate program of 12 women’s and 11 men’s sports, with 27% student participation
  • Member of NCAA Division III; Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC); and National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA)
  • Top 25 finishes 15 times in the 20-year history of the Directors’ Cup national competition for overall athletics program excellence among the more than 400 schools in Division III
  • 75% participation in more than 30 intramural activities and 9 club sports

Fine Arts Programs

  • 40% participation in fine arts programs
  • Four choral groups, eight conducted instrumental ensembles, and numerous chamber groups and combos
  • Extensive theatre/dance program, offering opportunities for student-written and directed performances as well as four faculty-directed plays and a dance concert annually
  • Gallery and personal art studio space available
  • The Gustavus Artist Series, bringing renowned artists such as Wynton Marsalis, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Vienna Boys Choir, Shapiro & Smith Dance, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo to campus for concerts and master classes


  • Full-time faculty of 189; 51 part-time
  • 61% of faculty members are tenured.
  • 100% of tenured faculty members hold the terminal degree in their fields.
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
  • Average class size: 17


  • 30 computer labs including more than 400 student-use computers
  • Wireless Internet access in all academic and residential buildings on campus
  • The Technology Helpline—the first line of support for the Gustavus community: walk-up assistance, phone at 507-933-6111, email at helpline@gustavus.edu or via Twitter at twitter.com/gtshelpline.

Retention Rates

  • 89% of first-year students return for the following fall semester.
  • 79% graduate within 4 years.

Tuition and Expenses (Fall 2015)

  • Tuition: $41,140
  • Room / Meals: $5,820/$3,356
  • Fees: $187 (+ one-time $480 fee for first-years)
  • Books and Incidentals (estimated): $2,030

Academic Calendar

The academic year at Gustavus comprises a 4-month fall semester, a 1-month interim, and a 4-month spring semester.

Library (as of May 31, 2015)

  • 280,616 volumes
  • 411 print periodical subscriptions
  • 273 electronic subscriptions
  • 178,010 total government documents


  • Annual operating budget (2014–15): $89 million
  • Plant value: $380 million
  • Endowment (as of May 31, 2015): $141.8 million

Academic Programs

  • Majors in accounting, public accounting, studio art, art history, athletic training, biochemistry, biology, chemistry, ACS chemistry, classics, communication studies, computer science, dance, economics, elementary education, English, environmental studies, French, gender/women/sexuality studies, geography, geology, health education, health fitness, history, Japanese studies, Latin, Latin American/Latino/Caribbean studies, management, mathematics, music, nursing, philosophy, physical education, physics, political science, psychological science, religion, Russian and Eastern European studies, Scandinavian studies, sociology/anthropology, Spanish, statistics, theatre, 13 different secondary education specializations, and 17 honors programs as well as an individualized major, all leading to the bachelor of arts degree
  • Pre-professional programs in actuarial science, architecture, arts administration, church vocations, dentistry, engineering, law, materials science, medicine, ministry, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, and veterinary medicine
  • 21 departmental and academic honor societies
  • About 48% of 2014 graduates studied abroad during their college careers.


  • 26,622 located, living alumni (as of September 1, 2015), residing in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands as well as 58 other nations.
  • Alumni Association services include college magazine, class letters, and monthly electronic newsletter; alumni board, class officers and chapters; website; reunions; career networking; Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media; and insurance programs.

Enrollment (Fall 2015)

  • 2,357 undergraduates (FTE), representing 42 states and 18 foreign countries
  • Gender ratio: 53% women, 47% men
  • Racially underrepresented students: 313 (14%)
  • International students enrolled in degree programs: 90
  • Residence hall occupancy: 2,086 (96%)
  • 86% of students studying on campus live in College housing.

Undergraduate Research

  • The annual Celebration of Creative Inquiry, a showcase for undergraduate research that features the work of nearly 200 students
  • Dedicated funding for students who attend conferences and competitions for discipline-specific research, scholarship, and creative works
  • Support for faculty-student research, scholarship, and other collaborative projects through Presidential Faculty-Student Collaboration Grants.

Admission Statistics (Class of 2019)

  • Applications received from 4,657 prospective students for a class of 614 first-time, full-time degree seekers
  • 31% of first-year students were in the top 10% of their high school graduating classes.
  • Composite ACT (middle 50%): 24–30

Financial Assistance

  • More than 70% of Gustavus students receive need-based financial assistance.
  • Over $50 million in institutional grant and scholarship assistance.

Post-Graduation Activities

  • After graduation, 32% of the Class of 2013 enrolled directly in graduate or professional schools, based upon responses to Career Development's annual six-months-out survey.
  • Six months after graduation, better than 99% of the Class of 2013 reported being situated (i.e., employed, in graduate schools, etc.).


St. Peter (population approx. 10,000) is nestled in the scenic Minnesota River Valley. The community is accessible by car on U.S. 169, about 70 miles southwest of the Twin Cities and 10 miles north of Mankato. Greyhound bus line serves the area. Commercial airline service is available through regularly scheduled shuttle to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Frequently Called Numbers

Office Number
Academic Affairs (Provost's Office) 507-933-7541
Academic Support Center 507-933-7027
Admission 507-933-7676
Advancement 507-933-7512
Alumni & Parent Engagement 507-933-7511
Campus Safety 507-933-8809
Career Development 507-933-7272
Chaplains' Office 507-933-7446
Church Relations 507-933-7001
Counseling Center 507-933-7027
Dean of Students' Office 507-933-7526
Dining Service 507-933-7608
Disability Services 507-933-7027
Diversity Center 507-933-7449
Finance Office 507-933-7501
Fine Arts Programs 507-933-7013
Gift Planning 507-933-7512
Health Service 507-933-7630
Human Resources 507-933-7304
International & Cultural Education 507-933-7545
Johnson Center for Environmental Innovation 507-933-7206
Library (Bernadotte Memorial) 507-933-7556
Marketing & Communication 507-933-7520
Peer Education 507-933-7169
Registrar 507-933-7495
Residential Life 507-933-7529
Special Events 507-933-7520
Sports Information 507-933-7647
Ticket Center 507-933-7590

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