Gustavus Adolphus College comes from a long line of both Lutheran and Swedish heritage and have been dedicated to providing a high quality education to students since the 1800s. The College offers students a solid foundation to build their professional and social futures upon, while engaging in a vigorous curriculum. By incorporating these important aspects of college life with experienced faculty, many holding advanced degrees in their subject area – Gustavus Adolphus students become well-prepared, trained and mindset ready to achieve their goals. With over 65 majors to choose from, many students pursue their degree in the Biology and Business Commerce programs offered at Gustavus Adolphus College. Other students take advantage of the Music and Performing Arts program that actively hosts live performances throughout the year.
The mission of Gustavus Adolphus College is established upon morals such as faith, justice, excellence, service and community – the 5 core values. Holding a long-standing affiliation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the College encourages students to become actively involved within their community, but to also venture outside of their comfort zone with opportunities such as the reputable study abroad program. There is a wealth of opportunities awaiting students on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus. The close-knit community that is made up of the student body and faculty enables students a strong support system to guide them through their college journey.
The early concept of Gustavus Adolphus College was founded in mid 1862 with $20 gathered by a group of Swedish Lutheran immigrants. It was these Minnesota natives and their pastor, Eric Norelius, who gathered the supplies to begin educating Swedish Lutherans in the church. For years prior, many of the local congregations under the Augustana Synod were lacking and anticipating a local school facility that would accept both younger and older students. After just one year, the school had over 11 students from local parishes in addition to the children of their parish. The school had operated as a coeducational facility for almost 20 years before any other in the Augustana Synod.
Gustavus Adolphus College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. Individual program studies also have accreditations such as the American Chemical Society, the National Association of Schools of Music and the National League for Nursing, to name a few.
After outgrowing the church, the school was adapted by the Minnesota Conference, moved to Carver County and operated under the name Minnesota Elementar Skola. However, in 1865, to honor the 1,000th death anniversary of St. Ansgar, the school was renamed to St. Ansgar’s Academy. By 1872, dissatisfied with how the school was operated, Norelius and a former student adapted the school back in possession in attempts to salvage the foundation. Successfully renaming the school under its current name, Gustavus Adolphus College has been educating generations of students to become leaders in their futures for over 150 years.
Campus life at Gustavus Adolphus College is a daily adventure as students operate the majority of clubs and organizations, keeping schedules jam-packed with events and activities. Greek Life on campus is both enriching and beneficial in helping students develop strong social and leadership skills. Many students also participate in the internationally recognized Peace Education Program, as well as the MAYDAY! Peace Conference, expressing their beliefs and showcasing their strong communication skills at national rallies. Displaying social activism and support is both encouraged and inspired at Gustavus Adolphus College through all of the special interests groups, live performances, and traditional semester events such as the annual Nobel Conference.
Personal and spiritual growth are respected and supported within the Gustavus Adolphus College community. Students can find several religious organizations operated by their peers, as well as attend the daily chapel services. Many of the students take advantage of the weekend trips off-campus sponsored by the Campus Activities Committee to enjoy various entertainment and leisure activities. Despite personal preference, there is something for everyone on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus, or just outside the grounds. For those who prefer a more low-key setting, the campus offers plenty of beautiful landscapes to enjoy on its 340-acre land, which include the Linnaeus Arboretum and the Hillstrom Museum of Art.
Since the majority of students live on campus, there are several housing options available throughout the grounds such as over 10 different residence halls and apartment complexes. Many seniors prefer to live in one of the campus owned houses located throughout the grounds, giving them a stronger sense of independence while finishing out their college career. All students have access to the health and fitness facilities offered on campus, as well as dinning services and laundry facilities.
At Gustavus Adolphus College, the faculty, board members, alumni and community supporters understand the difficulty some students have when it comes to the financial aspect of college. However, these members of the Gustavus Adolphus family also believe that no student should sacrifice a quality education based on financial affordability. For this reason, the College has been dedicated to helping students acquire the financial funding needed to attend school in a stress-free manner so that they can focus on their studies and advancing themselves toward their goals.
Need-based funding is available to all eligible students. Applications can be found online, as well as in the Office of Financial Aid, as well as the FAFSA loan application and other informational resource packets to assist students in the right direction. The annual Scholarship Day is held each year on campus to introduce incoming students to the available funding options that can help alleviate the cost of tuition. Over 95% of students that attend Gustavus Adolphus College receive financial aid.