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Gustavus Adolphus: A Supportive Community And Individualized Attention

Gustavus Adolphus Fast Facts:

  • Type: Private, Lutheran affiliation
  • Enrollment: 2100 undergraduates
  • Location: Saint Peter, Minnesota

Gustavus Adolphus is a small private school located in the town of Saint Peter, Minnesota, about 70 miles from the Twin Cities. It’s home to 2100 undergraduate students from 40 states, including a large majority of Minnesotans. With a deep focus on continued education (75% of students attend graduate or professional school) and an average class size of just 18 students, Gustavus Adolphus promises a supportive community and individualized attention. 

Unique influences:

Created in 1862 by Swedish Lutheran immigrants, Gustavus Adolphus continues to be shaped by its founding influences. The school’s core values of excellence, community, justice, service, and faith can be tied to both Evangelical Lutheran teachings and Scandinavian culture. In addition to large Swedish language offerings, the college maintains exchange programs with three partner institutes in Sweden, encouraging study abroad and cultural exchange. 

Nobel Conference:

Each year, the campus hosts the only Nobel Conference in the United States, bringing together experts for lectures and discussions on timely scientific and ethical issues. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the conference invites Nobel laureates, researchers, and artistic practitioners. The theme changes yearly–2024’s upcoming 60th annual conference will explore “Sleep, Unraveled.” 

Updated curriculum:

Gustavus recently announced changes to its academic calendar and requirements. All introductory courses will count towards general education requirements, there will be fewer core and major requirements, and the calendar will include a new summer term in May. Interestingly, there will be a block in the afternoon reserved for performing arts rehearsals and athletic practices due to the high percentage of students involved in each (40% of students are involved in fine arts and 34% in DIII athletics). 

First-year experience:

All first-semester students take a required new student seminar in the liberal arts. This class provides a foundation for college, builds skills in critical thinking and writing, and introduces students to their advisors. Older students serve in peer mentoring/teaching roles, starting conversations about college success and providing approachable resources. 

Culture of service:

75% of Gustavus Students participate in community service, collectively volunteering as many as 15,000 hours per semester. The Community Engagement Center and its student coordinators connect Gusties to local outreach programs where they can make a difference and build real-world skills. 

Gustie Guarantee:

Every admitted Gustie can earn a minimum of $100,000 in scholarships over four years–just file your FAFSA! The “Gustie Guarantee” also promises graduation in four years and a required Signature Experience like internships, research, or study abroad.

If attending the Nobel Conference or participating in a Swedish exchange program sounds exciting, check out Gustavus Adolphus today!

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