Opened in 1967, Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) is a four year college located in the town of Marshall. The surrounding area is part of the American prairie, and the university colours of brown and gold reflect this.
There are over 45 undergraduate degrees offered at SMSU between the colleges of Arts, Letters & Sciences, and the college of Business, Education & Professional Studies. The graduate school offers an MBA and MS in education both on campus and within a localised learning community, in which adults in a Minnesota region may study together part time for two academic years.
The SMSU Natural History Museum offers a multimedia approach to its exhibits and is open to all students and local Minnesota residents, who can co-ordinate tours with the university’s greenhouse and planetarium. The Centre for Electroanalytical Studies is an undergraduate research facility on campus that is dedicated to developing electrochemical methodologies that serve the region.
The SMSU Theatre Arts programme offers learning courses and seasons of plays open to auditions from all students. The department also offers the Isiah Whitlock Jr. Endowed Scholarship for theatre improvements and financial assistance, and is named for the university alumni and star of The Wire.
Athletics teams at SMSU are known as the Mustangs, and compete in the NCAA Division II. There are six men’s sports programmes and eight women’s, a well as a cheerleading squad and co-ed wheelchair basketball.
Residence halls on campus were named by students during the early 1970s, such as Armstrong Hall in honour of the first man on the moon, and Manchester hall for Melissa Manchester, after the American singer-songwriter performed on campus.