St. Cloud State University (SCSU) opened its doors to students in 1869, under the name Third State Normal School. The school consisted of one building, the Stearns House, a renovated hotel purchased by the state Legislature for $3,000. Classrooms were on the first floor, the "model school" was on second floor and a women's dormitory was housed on the third floor.
The five-member faculty was headed by Principal Ira Moore. Of the 53 original students, 43 were women. From this modest beginning, St. Cloud State has evolved into a university with a national reputation for excellence, a faculty of approximately 700, and a student body of more than 15,400 full- and part-time students. SCSU is one of the largest of the 31 institutions of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.
In 1898, the school began offering a junior college curriculum. In 1914, the school dropped its secondary education program entirely. The legislature authorized a name change in 1921, allowing the school to adopt the name St. Cloud State Teachers College (the word "teachers" was deleted in 1957). In 1975, St. Cloud State became a university, comprised of five colleges and a graduate school.
The first bachelor's degrees were awarded in 1925, with master's degree programs offered beginning in 1953. SCSU now confers degrees from the College of Liberal Arts, School of the Arts, College of Science & Engineering, School of Computing, Engineering & Environment, Herberger Business School, School of Education, School of Health & Human Services, and the School of Public Affairs.
Building on its rich history as a teacher preparatory college, SCSU has built strong academic programs in other areas. The Herberger Business School, for example, is recognized as one of the top business colleges in the country and is one of only seven in the state that is nationally accredited.
SCSU students can take British studies courses in one of England’s castles. Visit an Australian koala sanctuary between classes. Learn about political science in Laos, Thailand, and Malaysia. These are just a few of the opportunities St. Cloud State’s Education Abroad programming offers. St. Cloud State has more than 30 Education Abroad programs to get a global education while traveling the globe.
University life includes thriving and enriching recreation programs, arts and performance areas, athletic teams, lectures, and student organizations.