Institutional Profile

Return on Education

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: community, excellence, faith, justice, and service.


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, international management, Japanese studies, Latin, management, mathematics, music, nursing, philosophy, physical education, physics, political science, psychology, religion, Russian and Eastern European studies, 13 different secondary education specializations, Scandinavian studies, sociology/anthropology, Spanish, theatre, 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


  • Full-time faculty of 201; 51 part-time
  • 71% of full-time faculty are tenured
  • 100% of tenured faculty members hold the terminal degree in their fields.
  • Student-to-faculty ratio is 11:1

Student Life

Enrollment (Fall 2013)

  • 2,434 (FTE) representing 43 states and 15 foreign countries
  • Gender ratio: 53.0% women, 47.0% men
  • Racially underrepresented students: 301, 13%
  • International students enrolled in degree programs: 66
  • Residence hall occupancy: 2,063, 97%
  • 85% of students studying on campus live in College housing

Admission Statistics (Class of 2017)

  • Applications received from 4,805 prospective students for a 1st-year class of 610
  • 33% of first-year students were in the top 10% of their high school graduating classes.
  • Composite ACT (middle 50%): 24–30

Tuition and Expenses (for Class of 2017)

  • Tuition: $38,660
  • Room/Meals: $5,820/$3,230
  • Fees: $873
  • Books and Incidentals (estimated): $1,827

Financial Assistance

  • 70% of Gustavus students receive need-based financial assistance.
  • Nearly $45 million in institutional scholarship assistance is available.

Campus Facilities

  • 340 beautifully landscaped acres
  • 21 academic and service facilities, including Christ Chapel; Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library; Alfred Nobel Hall of Science; Olin Hall (for math/computer science, physics); Schaefer Fine Arts Center; Confer and Vickner halls (languages); Lund Center (athletics, health and exercise science); C. Charles Jackson Campus Center; Old Main (religion, philosophy, classics, and political science); and the newly completed Beck Academic Hall (communication studies, economics/management, history, psychology, and sociology & anthropology)
  • 13 residence halls and apartment complexes and 7 College-owned houses
  • Hillstrom Museum of Art
  • The Melva Lind Interpretive Center and 135-acre Linnaeus Arboretum

Athletics Program

  • Intercollegiate program of 13 women’s and 12 men’s sports, with 27% student participation
  • Member of NCAA Division III; Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC)
  • Top 25 finishes in 15 of the past 18 years in Directors’ Cup national competition for overall athletics program excellence in Division III
  • 75% participation in more than 30 intramural activities and 9 club sports
  • Over the past 13 years, 21 of Gustavus’ 25 athletic teams have qualified for NCAA Tournament competition making 122 championship appearances. The 2004 men’s golf team won the NCAA Championship, while the men’s basketball (2003), men’s hockey (2009), women’s golf (2006, 2010, 2011), men’s soccer (2005), and men’s tennis (2000) teams have posted second place NCAA Championship finishes. Gustavus ranks 10th in Division III (out of 435) in number of NCAA Championship appearances over the past 13 years.

Fine Arts Programs

  • 40% participation in fine arts programs
  • Five choral ensembles, two wind orchestras, one symphony and one chamber orchestra, two jazz ensembles, and numerous instrumental and chamber ensembles
  • Extensive and national award winning theatre/dance program, offering opportunities for student-written and directed performances as well as four faculty-directed plays and two dance concerts annually
  • The Hillstrom Museum of Art, along with gallery and personal studio space available for student artists
  • A nationally ranked forensics team, which has won three straight state titles and finished among the top 10 in the nation for four consecutive years
  • 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

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

Post-Graduation Activities

  • After graduation, approximately 32% of the Class of 2012 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 2012 reported being situated (i.e., employed, in graduate schools, etc.).


  • 30 computer labs including more than 400 student-use computers
  • Multimedia equipment available includes digital still and video cameras as well as voice-to-text and text-to-voice software.
  • Wireless Internet access is available in all academic and residential buildings on campus.
  • Technical support available 14 hours a day, Monday-Thursday, with additional hours scheduled during weekends

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, 2013)

  • 280,430 volumes
  • 431 print periodical subscriptions
  • 252 electronic subscriptions
  • 178,505 total government documents


  • Annual operating budget (2013–14): $84 million
  • Plant value: $360 million
  • Endowment (as of May 31, 2013): $121.5 million


  • 26,057 located, living alumni (as of September 23, 2013), residing in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, 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, website, reunions, national and regional chapters, career networking and Gustie Pages, college merchandise, and insurance programs.


  • Gifts and grants in support of the College for the fiscal year 2012–13 totaled more than $7.7 million.
  • More than 24% of alumni actively support the College