Points of Distinction

Return on Education

Gustavus Adolphus College prepares undergraduate students for fulfilling lives of leadership and service and is committed to the core values of excellence, community, justice, service, and faith. It is especially known for strong science, writing, music, athletics, study abroad programs, and its service learning programs. The College hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and is internationally recognized for its annual Nobel Conference sanctioned by The Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden. The students, faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees believe in a strong, open community where all citizens play a vital role. The oldest Lutheran college in Minnesota, Gustavus has consistently produced graduates who lead lives of uncommon purpose and passion, and demonstrate that they make their lives count.

  • Gustavus moved up 12 spots to No. 64 in the 2014 U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of “Best Liberal Arts Colleges.”
  • Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine ranked Gustavus No. 42 on its list of the top 100 liberal arts colleges for “Best Value.”
  • Washington Monthly magazine rated Gustavus the nation’s 63rd best liberal arts college based on social mobility, research, and service. The publication also ranked the College No. 21 on its “Best Bang for the Buck” list.
  • Gustavus was named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, a program of the Corporation for National & Community Service.
  • With three Nobel Laureates speaking at the 50th annual Nobel Conference in 2014, the College has now welcomed over 100 Nobel Laureates to campus in its history.
  • Gustavus was included in The Princeton Review’s “Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2013 Edition.”
  • James Trevathan ’14 became the 19th Gustavus student since 1992 to receive a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in 2013.
  • Three Gustavus seniors in the spring of 2013 received Fulbright Grants to pursue travel and study opportunities in Iceland, Spain, and Russia.
  • Gustavus has had 12 students receive Phillips Scholarships since 1998. The program rewards Minnesota private college students who strive to make life better for people with un-met needs in Minnesota communities.
  • The College’s student-led Building Bridges Conference was honored as the recipient of the Minnesota College Professional Association’s Voice of Inclusion Award.
  • Gustavus became the first institution of higher education in the Midwest to be named a Heart Safe Community by Allina Health through the placement of AEDs around campus.
  • Gustavus ranks third in the country among bachelor only degree granting institutions with 26 alumni who have gone on to earn their Ph.D. in physics during the time period 2001 through 2010. Only Harvey Mudd College (56) and Reed College (39) are ranked ahead of Gustavus.
  • The Gustavus Communication Studies Department received the 2012 Rex Mix Program of Excellence Award from the National Communication Association.
  • The Gustavus forensics program has established itself as a top 10 program among all collegiate programs in the nation after five consecutive top 10 finishes at the American Forensic Association’s National Individual Events Tournament.
  • Gustavus continues to be a leader in study-abroad opportunities and in 2012 announced the launch of a new semester-long program in Malaysia. The College also offers institutionally sponsored semester-long programs to Sweden and India as well as 150 other program offerings through various organizations.
  • Gustavus is in the top 10 among Division III schools for its number of CoSIDA Academic All-Americans with 105.
  • Gustavus is ranked in the top five in NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships since the 2004-05 academic year, with 26 total.
  • For 15 of the last 19 years, the College has finished in the top 25 in the NACDA Directors’ Cup national competition for overall athletics excellence.