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Bemidji State University

Bemidji, MN 56601
United States

Bemidji State University is the place to be...bold, real, innovative, creative, global, aware, successful, and so much more! Through our signature themes, BSU and its nearly 5,000 students are committed to environmental stewardship, community service, and global understanding. You'll see that commitment in what we teach and in what we do.

Located on the western shore of Lake Bemidji, our north woods campus environment reminds us daily of the need to be in tune with our world. Similarly, the American Indian culture of our region beckons us to begin our global journey by understanding our past as we prepare for the future. See for yourself by visiting us soon.bemidji_state_university3.jpg

Part of a diverse, statewide system of higher education, BSU provides a comprehensive educational environment with high quality baccalaureate and graduate programs that extend beyond the classroom through business partnerships, community service, internships, and travel. Integrating liberal arts with career development, our highly-skilled faculty prepares students for life-long learning and leadership in a global society.

Bemidji State University: Home of the Beavers

  • Named a top-tier Midwest university for 2009, 2010 and 2011 academic years by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A wooded, lakeside campus offering arts, sciences, and select professional programs in a personal learning atmosphere focused on the environment, civic engagement, and the global family.
  • Location: In the heart of northern Minnesota's lakes and forest region. Four hours northwest of St. Paul-Minneapolis; three hours northeast of Fargo, ND.
  • Approximately 5,000 undergraduate and about over 300 graduate students.
  • Degrees offered: associate, bachelor's, master's and graduate certificates.

Points of Distinction

  • One of the leading Minnesota state universities for the percentage of entering freshmen ranked in the top 25% of their high school graduating class.
  • BSU accounting graduates pass the CPA exam at a higher rate than the state average.
  • Industrial model making and exhibit design programs are nationally recognized for their uniqueness and quality.
  • One of only a handful of U.S. universities offering a bachelor of fine arts in creative writing.
  • Our American Indian Resource Center serves the campus and surrounding communities, including three area American Indian reservations, with outreach and educational programs.
  • A majority of BSU's faculty has reached the highest degree-level in their respective fields. Faculty are graduates of major U.S. institutions including Cornell University, Purdue, University of Minnesota, University of Iowa, University of Illinois, Texas A & M, Virginia PolyTech, and University of Wisconsin, as well as Bemidji State University.
  • Faculty research and expertise include: bioremediation, child development, women in the workplace, emergency responders and stress, poetry and creative writing, e-learning, digital literacy and computer-mediated communication, business in the Middle East, the internet in business, the therapy of sex offenders and sexual abuse within families, women and the criminal justice system, Minnesota environmental and economics issues, the Ojibwe language, and Native American culture.
  • Men's hockey: winner of 13 national championships, 22 conference championships and, with an all-time winning percentage of .664, has the highest winning percentage of any NCAA Division I team.
  • Other notables: 2006 NSIC football champions; 2008 graduate and two-time national champion Joe Remitz is BSU's most decorated male field athlete, amassing seven All-American honors, seven individual conference championships, and 12 All-NSIC honors. He participated in the shot put at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Oregon last year. Sheena Devine, a 2008 graduate, was named 2008 II Indoor Field Scholar Athlete of the Year by U.S. Track & Field.
  • A total of 95 BSU athletes earned academic achievement recognition in 2009-2010, including an ESPN/CoSIDA Second-Team Academic All-America award garnered by two-time All-America multi-event athlete Zac Preble.

Our students

  • 53% female; 47% male.
  • About 88% of our students come from Minnesota.
  • About 30% of incoming freshmen are from the St. Paul-Minneapolis area, while 55% are from northern Minnesota.
  • Over 10% of our students come from 36 different states and 38 different countries.
  • All students pay in-state or reciprocity tuition rates.
  • 82% of students receive some financial aid.
  • More than 800 students receive scholarships totaling more than 1 million dollars.
  • Because of BSU's banded tuition, students do not pay additional money for 12-18 credits.
  • Students from our pre-professional programs, i.e. medicine and law, often go on to attend such universities as University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, University of North Dakota, and University of Iowa.
  • 78% of BSU online students are over age 25.
  • Number of alumni in the St. Paul-Minneapolis metro area: 10,279.
  • Number of alumni in Minnesota: 25,805.

Programs and Classes

  • Offer over 65 undergraduate majors and pre-professional programs as well as 14 graduate programs.
  • Largest undergraduate majors: education, business, science, technological studies, criminal justice, and psychology.
  • Examples of unique BSU majors or minors: aquatic biology, creative and electronic writing, Indian studies, marketing communications, exhibit design, model making, wilderness management, and outdoor recreation planning.
  • The Honors Program, an alternative to the regular liberal education core requirements, offers special academic challenges to talented students. Available only for baccalaureate students. Honors students may live in the Laurel House, an on-campus home especially for them.
  • 14 master's programs with master of science, master of arts, master of education, and master of special education degrees offered.
  • 65% of undergraduate classes are under 20 students.
  • Only 4% of undergraduate classes are over 50 students.
  • 19.5:1 student/faculty ratio.

Admissions Requirements

Intercollegiate Sports and Student Activities

  • Women's basketball, cross country, golf, hockey, soccer, softball, tennis, track, volleyball.
  • Men's baseball, basketball, football, golf, hockey, track.
  • Men's and Women's NCAA Division I Hockey; all other sports are Division II.
  • Intramurals: beach and indoor volleyball, flag football, broomball, hockey, basketball, dodge ball, softball, and soccer.
  • Activities: music and theatre productions, Madrigal Dinners, Funtastic Dance Follies, student-union sponsored activities, and nearly 100 student clubs and organizations.

Campus Facilities

  • Our wooded campus is on the shore of Lake Bemidji in northern Minnesota.
  • 27 service and academic buildings, 6 residence buildings, including suites and single parent apartments.
  • 89-acre campus and 240-acre private forest.
  • The nationally-recognized Outdoor Program Center has a lakeside facility for offering educational programs and renting kayaks, canoes, pontoons, sailboats, mountain bikes, and camping equipment. Weekend trips and semester break trips are available at student-discounted prices. The center also rents winter recreational equipment at the University's recreational center.
  • BSU recreation center offers 6 basketball courts, 8 outdoor tennis courts, 4 indoor tennis courts, 5 racquetball courts, 200-meter indoor track, 8-lane outside track, 6-lane 25-yard pool, 3 baseball and softball fields, 4 indoor volleyball courts, 2 sand volleyball courts, free and fixed weights, 13 cardio machines, and a state-of-the-art rock climbing wall; the center is located near the residence halls.
  • BSU's tunnel system keeps it a T-shirt and flip-flop season all year.


  • The Chippewa (Ojibwe) tribe settled here in 1750 and continue to hold an important place in the cultural fabric of the community.
  • Bemidji comes from the Ojibwe word Bay-me-ji-ga-maug, which means "flowing through or across."
  • The first city on the Mississippi River, Bemidji sits at the center of the legends of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. Statues of Paul and Babe, built in 1937, greet visitors as they drive in from the south along Lake Bemidji.
  • The 6,400-acre Lake Bemidji (76 ft. deep) has 6 public access points.
  • Lake Bemidji does freeze over. The average date is Nov. 26. The average date of ice-out is April 26.
  • Bemidji area is a vacation, as well as a college destination. From four-season outdoor fun to the food and culture of Bemidji itself, the area is a great place to call home during college.
  • Bemidji is a regional center with an area population of over 30,000.
  • The Bemidji Regional Event Center, on the south shore of Lake Bemidji, will be the new home of Beaver hockey beginning October 2010. The events center features a 4,000-seat arena around an NCAA-regulation ice sheet. The building also has luxury suites, club-level seats, and a concourse-level retail outlet for BSU merchandise.  The BSU hockey program will also have offices and a 2,000 square-foot weight room at the events center.


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