Hallmarks of a Gustavus Education

Return on Education

  • A highly qualified and accessible faculty whose primary focus is on classroom teaching supported by an 11 to 1 faculty-to-student ratio with an average class size of 15.
  • A wide range of academic opportunities with 72 majors and 15 Pre-professional programs, which allows students to pursue a variety of interests in a rigorous liberal arts environment.
  • Retention and graduation rates that rank among the highest in the nation with an average of 90% of first-year students returning for the following fall semester and 81% graduating within four years.
  • A fully developed career services department that results in over 90 percent of graduates participating in some type of experiential education (internship, career exploration, clinical, student-teaching, domestic study, study abroad, service-learning, etc.) during their years in college.
  • Generous financial assistance, which allows students of high aspiration, access to a liberal arts education of recognized excellence. Seventy percent of the Gustavus student body receives need-based financial assistance including nearly $45 million in institutional scholarships.
  • Academic excellence, which leads to postgraduate study as nearly 35% of Gustavus graduates enroll directly in graduate or professional school and nearly 75% of graduates receive a graduate degree at some point in their professional career. Gustavus graduates are regularly accepted at many of the top graduate programs nationally and internationally.
  • A creative new approach to on-campus living called the Residential Learning Plan – an outcome-based outside-the-classroom curriculum that creates intentional opportunities for personal and community development through a sequential set of lesson plans that includes student meetings and events.
  • Exceptional academic achievement exhibited by Gustavus students receiving Fullbright, Goldwater, Marshall, National Science Foundation, and Truman Fellowships as well as NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships for advanced study. Gustavus ranks third (behind Stanford and Emory) in all colleges in the country in the number of student athletes to receive the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship since 2004-05 with 26.
  • State of the art facilities ranging from the recently built Beck Academic Hall (which was dedicated in the Fall of 2012) with the latest in classroom technology, to the fully integrated Jackson Student Union with one of the finest food services in the country, to the Lund Center for Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation and the Schaefer Fine Arts complex. Gustavus offers some of the finest facilities in the nation for a student to pursue a variety of academic and co-curricular interests.
  • Significant opportunities for undergraduate research with dedicated funding for students to attend conferences and competitions for multi-discipline specific research, scholarship and creative works, support for faculty-student research and scholarship through Presidential Faculty-Student Collaboration grants, and the annual Celebration of Creative Inquiry, a showcase for undergraduate research.
  • The innovative Center for Servant Leadership, which weaves together four areas of emphasis—career development, vocational reflection, community-based service and learning, and engagement with church and community partners. The Center’s many programs and resources help you to explore your calling to learn, live, and lead “from within” in ways that serve others and help to address the world’s deep needs.
  • A comprehensive mentoring environment that permeates all aspects of campus life from faculty relationships, to athletic and the arts coaching and teaching philosophies, to student employment opportunities to the student peer assistant program. It is a mentoring community that values nurturing, learning, and growth both personally and professionally.
  • The renowned Nobel Conference at Gustavus, which attracts 5,000 visitors annually and streamed worldwide. It has welcomed 100 Nobel Laureates to campus and allows students the opportunity to interact with world-class experts in science.
  • Global opportunities readily accessible to students with over 50% of graduating seniors studying abroad during their four years on campus.
  • An intentional institutional focus on “holistic living” shared through the College’s Wellbeing Initiative. At Gustavus, wellbeing is a choice to assume responsibility for the quality of one’s life. It begins with a conscious decision to shape a healthy lifestyle.
  • The indomitable “Gustie Spirit” created around a caring and nurturing community and based on the principles of acceptance and respect.