Winona State University offers academically inspired students the opportunity to obtain an education in the liberal arts and contemporary professions. The University’s comprehensive academic programs explore the application of knowledge in today’s world. The University prepares students to be skilled, competent, and active citizens with a strong sense of personal responsibility and service mentality.
Located in the beautiful Upper Mississippi River Valley, Winona State University is built on a powerful sense of place and compassion for the human condition. The University offers distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs that reflect the special character of the communities it serves. It contributes to the quality of life in Minnesota, and the region, through thoughtful research, service, and collaboration. Winona State University prepares the leaders of the 21st century to apply their knowledge to solve complex and ever-changing problems effectively - truly a community of learners improving our world.
Historical View: 160+ Years of Academic Excellence
Winona State University was founded in 1858 when the first Minnesota State Legislature established normal schools “to prepare teachers for the common schools of the state.” The first tax-supported school west of the Mississippi River was established at Winona to train teachers for the new frontier.
The State Normal School became Winona Teachers College in 1921 and was authorized to grant bachelor’s degrees. From the 1920s until World War II, significant curriculum changes enhanced the academic quality of teacher education. New courses were added, and departments emerged to organize a growing institution. Intramural and extramural athletics, social organizations, and co-curricular activities grew with the student population.
The boom following World War II saw rapid growth. In 1957, the institution became Winona State College. This new name reflected an expanded mission, which included the addition of Bachelor of Arts, Master of Science in Education, and Associate in Arts degrees. In 1975, the school became Winona State University. Winona State University is the oldest member of the colleges and universities of Minnesota State.
Today, the University is structured into five colleges spread across two campuses in Winona and Rochester. The original campus in Winona primarily serves traditional students. The Rochester campus offers a non-residential commuter campus with upper-division undergraduate and graduate programs that serve a wide range of of traditional and non-traditional students.
- Nationally Ranked: Winona State University is ranked as the best public university in Minnesota by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges,” and has been listed among the “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review for 18 years in a row.
- e-Warrior Digital Life and Learning Program: Winona State is the first public university in the Midwest to offer mobile device(s) to most students. Students are provided a Mac or PC laptop, and enjoy wireless access from anywhere on campus and at East Lake Winona.
- Be Well: The University’s Integrated Wellness Complex aligns health, wellness, academic and recreational programs & services into a single facility on the University’s tobacco-free campus.
- Set Sail: WSU’s floating classroom, the Cal Fremling, is a state-of-the-art 49-passenger vessel that offers experiential learning opportunities on the Mississippi River.
- Student Involvement: WSU offers students the opportunity to get involved in student government and more than 160 social, service, and professional clubs and organizations that reflect a broad spectrum of student interests. The University also sponsors professional cultural programs as well as student theatrical, musical, and dance performances.
- Darrell W. Krueger Library: WSU’s library is designed to provide a wealth of information resources and services to the WSU community and beyond. The library has over 479,855 print and e-volumes, access to more than 100 databases and is a U.S. Federal Depository with more than 20,000 government resources in paper and 100,000 in microfilm formats.
- Go Green: Winona State University is a signatory of the American Colleges and University Presidents Climate Commitment and has routinely been named one of the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges by The Princeton Review in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council.
- Transforming Education: The Education Village in Winona and the STEM Village in Rochester provides teachers with the preparation, support, and inspiration they need to be successful in the 21st-century classroom.
- Distinguished Programs: WSU is home to the first and flagship Child Advocacy Studies program, the only accredited undergraduate program in composite materials engineering in the U.S., as well as bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate programs in nursing. The largest programs on campus include nursing, elementary education, business administration, biology, exercise & rehabilitative science, psychology, social work, and marketing.
- High Caliber Athletics: WSU is home to 13 NCAA Division II and one NCAA Division III varsity sports teams: women’s basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics (Division III), soccer, softball, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, and volleyball; men’s baseball, basketball, cross country, football, and golf.
Winona State University has campus facilities in both Winona and Rochester.
The original campus provides a serene yet stimulating collegiate environment in the heart of the city of Winona, MN. Tree-lined walkways, fountains, prominent sculptures, and benches invite students and visitors to a learning community in tune with the natural beauty of the Driftless Area.
The Winona campus provides students ample facilities for educational activities that combine traditional charm with convenience and state-of-the-art technology. All academic buildings are extensively wired for computer access, and wireless Internet access is available throughout the campus as well as at Lake Winona. As a feature of the e-Warrior Digital Life and Learning Program, many classrooms offer data and power connections for each student.
In recent years, WSU has upgraded facilities and added new buildings specifically designed to support its academic initiatives. Recent enhancements include:
- Education Village: Consisting of three newly renovated historic education buildings, Education Village is a space focused on preparing teachers. From STEM and robotics labs to collaborative spaces for local K-12 involvement to the Outdoor Education & Recreation Center’s climbing wall, students have access to a variety of resources providing them an unparalleled experience.
- Integrated Wellness Complex: The 90,000-square-foot Integrated Wellness Complex combines health and physical education, fitness, recreational sports, intercollegiate athletics, student health services, counseling services, and teaching and research space to educate a new generation of health care professionals.
- Phelps Hall: The oldest building on campus underwent a major transformation to provide upgraded facilities for the Mass Communications department, including a photo studio, TV studio, multimedia editing lab, and new quarters for the campus radio station (KQAL).
- Maxwell Hall: The renovated Maxwell Hall features an integrated academic services center (the Warrior Hub) to assist students in accessing all the information they need in one convenient location. The building is also home to a state-of-the-art training facility for WSU’s Child Advocacy Studies program, including mock courtrooms and a mock house where simulated investigations are conducted.
- Kryzsko Commons: The campus’ student center houses dining facilities, lounge and recreation areas, offices for student organizations, student study space, and meeting rooms. Major renovations were conducted on various areas in 2014, 2017, and 2020.
- Science Laboratory Center (SLC): This contemporary facility offers modern academic space. The SLC has 118,000 square feet of space devoted to laboratories, a multimedia-equipped auditorium, student study spaces, and a vast atrium where even the floor and massive rock wall promote learning opportunities.
- Kirkland Hall/Haake Hall: This 408-bed residential complex features suite-style living for upperclassmen in Kirkland and transfer and first-year students in Haake. In a typical year, more than 2,100 students choose to live on-campus, and on-campus residents enjoy resources and experiences that complement their academic work. The University features six residence halls on the main campus, with three residence halls on the west campus and University Apartments at East Lake connected by shuttle service.
- College of Business Engagement Center: A newly designed and renovated space in Somsen Hall, the College of Business Engagement Center supports experiential learning for students, faculty and community partners by providing physical space and technology to enhance collaborative opportunities. Physical amenities include The Strauss Center for Sales Excellence, The WNB Financial Markets Lab, The Federated Insurance Role Play Room, and abundant open collaborative space.
Winona State University-Rochester Campus
Winona State University-Rochester has been an integral and steadfast part of the Rochester, MN, community for over 100 years. Since 1917, the University has served students in Rochester and the surrounding area, which has a population of more than 110,000 people. Area residents have a high level of education attainment and are highly receptive to the professional development opportunities offered by WSU-Rochester.
Over the past century, WSU-Rochester has actively connected with the community, through numerous partnerships across the region. These partnerships not only advance and support those partner organizations, but also help WSU-R students gain authentic, service-based learning experiences within the key industries in the area: healthcare, education, human services and social work, business, and computer science. WSU-Rochester’s strong “commitment to community” is evident as students, faculty, staff, and alumni from a variety of programs engage with their communities and make meaningful contributions to their professions.
Serving the region with distinction, WSU-Rochester’s numbers tell the story. More than 1,700 students are served each year at the WSU-Rochester campus through day, evening, weekend and online classes. There are more than 5,000 bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates who have graduated from WSU-Rochester, with roughly 275 students currently graduating from the campus each year. Approximately 48 resident faculty are located on the Rochester campus; in addition, Winona campus faculty also teach at WSU-Rochester, and several adjunct faculty professionals from area industries serve Rochester students.
WSU-Rochester is housed in various locations throughout the community, including within the Rochester Community and Technical College campus and the STEM Village at the nearby Heintz Center. WSU recently expanded to the heart of downtown Rochester at the WSU-Rochester on Broadway campus suite which now houses offices for the Master of Social Work program, the department of Graduate Nursing, Adult & Continuing Education, Academic Affairs, and Healthforce MN, along with classroom, study, and meeting spaces. WSU-Rochester features modern facilities, technology-enhanced classrooms, and clinical nursing labs and high fidelity simulation. Interactive communication and instructional technology links WSU-Rochester students with the Winona campuses and the world.
WSU-Rochester students are served by the Winona campus Krueger Library as distance students. Students should visit the Krueger Library website where they can request physical books and media be sent to them through US Mail, which includes a return mailer free of charge. On the shared main campus in Rochester, students have access to a cafeteria and snack bar, lounge and study areas, and a sports center with indoor courts and a running track.
The city of Winona, MN, has a population of approximately 27,000 and is nestled between the bluffs and banks of the Mississippi River - one of the most scenic areas in Minnesota. Once one of the Midwest’s wealthiest cities because of its location on the river, Winona enjoys a rich legacy of historic buildings and vintage homes. Winona State University is located in the heart of the city, giving students convenient access to shopping, recreation, social activities, and community resources. Additional cultural opportunities are available in La Crosse, WI (30 miles away), Rochester (45 miles away), and Minneapolis-St. Paul (120 miles away).
In addition to WSU, the city of Winona is home to two other institutions of higher education: Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and Minnesota State College Southeast. WSU cooperates with these institutions, as well as the colleges and universities of Minnesota State, and the University of Minnesota, to enrich the educational and cultural opportunities for students at all institutions by sharing their programs and resources.
WSU-Rochester is located in the city of Rochester, MN, a rapidly growing community with an international population of 115,000 residents. Consistently recognized as one of “the best places to live in America,” Rochester is the third largest city in the state and home to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, one of IBM’s largest facilities and the second busiest airport in Minnesota. The city offers extensive cultural, dining, shopping, and recreational resources, including the Mayo Civic Center, Rochester Athletic Club, Rochester Art Center, Rochester Civic Theater, Cascade Meadow Wetlands and Environmental Science Center, National Volleyball Center, and Quarry Hill Nature Center. The city also has more than 3,500 acres of parkland with 85 miles of paved trails, six indoor hockey rinks, and four public and four municipal golf courses.
Academic Mission and Goals
Winona State University is an exemplary arts and sciences institution with select professional and graduate programs. With an enrollment of over 6,500 undergraduate and graduate students, WSU is a mid-sized public university committed to small class sizes and rigorous academic standards.
Faculty and administrators are involved with students, facilitate cooperative and active learning, and demonstrate respect for diverse talents and knowledge bases. Faculty members are dedicated to creating an optimal learning environment for students by using contemporary technology and by building learning communities, which help students maximize their post-graduation successes. Students acquire disciplinary expertise, enabling them to pursue careers or to enter graduate or professional schools. They learn the value of aesthetics and ethical integrity as well as the importance of becoming community leaders and furthering the public good.
Winona State University recognizes that many learning experiences occur outside the classroom. Therefore, the University is committed to building and maintaining a caring community. Community members strive for amicable relationships based on shared values and an affirmation of the principle of freedom of speech within an atmosphere of civility and mutual respect. Governed by collective bargaining agreements and guided by principled leadership, the University community respects diversity and collaborates to resolve issues that affect all its members. We celebrate our common successes and our distinctive heritage.
The University is committed to measuring results against self-defined and national standards. Through this ongoing assessment in which students, faculty, and staff participate, WSU will continuously improve and establish accountability for results. Thus, Winona State University reaffirms its social contract to provide educational benefits to the people of Minnesota, the nation, and the world.
Five distinct colleges comprise the University: College of Business, College of Education, College of Liberal Arts, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and the College of Science and Engineering. Through these colleges, Winona State University offers one associate’s degree program, 70 bachelor’s degree programs, 17 master’s degree programs, seven doctoral degree programs, two special degree programs, one undergraduate certificate program, and 20 graduate certificate programs.
All programs are offered by highly qualified faculty in an environment that encourages a passion for learning and student service. There are 298 full-time and 153 part-time faculty members who dedicate themselves to delivering challenging rigorous academic programs while maintaining “small school closeness,” with classes averaging 24 students and a student-faculty ratio of 17:1.
Accreditations and Memberships
Winona State University is accredited by the following organizations:
- Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB)
- Commission for Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
- Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)
- National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST)
Winona State University is recognized by the following organizations:
- Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI)
- Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
- National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
- National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
- National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
Winona State University programs are approved by:
- American Bar Association (Paralegal Program)
- American Chemical Society (ACS)
- Minnesota Board of Nursing (Entry Level Undergraduate Nursing)
- Minnesota Board of School Administrators (BOSA)
- Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB)
The Undergraduate or Graduate Catalog or Supplement is not a contract nor an offer to enter into a contract. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in the Undergraduate or Graduate Catalog or Supplement, it must be understood that all courses, course descriptions, designations of instructors, curricular and degree requirements and other academic information described herein are subject to change or elimination at any time, without notice or published amendment to the Undergraduate or Graduate Catalog or Supplement. In addition, Winona State University reserves the right to make changes at any time, without prior notice, to other programs, policies, procedures and information, which are described in this catalog only as a convenience to its readers. Fees and all other charges are subject to change at any time without notice. Students should consult the appropriate academic or administrative department, school, college, graduate division or other service provider for currently accurate information on any matters described in the Undergraduate or Graduate Catalog or Supplement.
Winona State University is committed to providing equal education and employment opportunities to all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, or any other group or class against which discrimination is prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments, 1972, Minnesota Statutes Chapter 363, Section 402 of the Vietnam Era Veteran’s Readjustment Assistance Act, 1974, and other applicable state and federal laws. Inquiries regarding compliance should be referred to the Affirmative Action Officer at 507.457.2766.