What is a Big Ten School?

You may have noticed on our website that we celebrate the fact we are a “Big Ten” school. But you may be wondering what that means. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! If you’re not from the U.S., you’ve probably never heard that term used before. But we guarantee you that once you set foot on campus, you’ll have a pretty good understanding!

In 1895, ten of the nation’s top public universities came together to form standards for intercollegiate athletics. The University of Minnesota was one of the original members. Since then, the Big Ten has grown to incorporate four more institutions, for a total of 14.  

The Big Ten universities are the Universities of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, MINNESOTA, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, along with Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, and Rutgers.

As stated on the the Big Ten website, “Even in its infancy, the conference established itself as the preeminent collection of institutions in the nation, where the pursuit of academic excellence prevailed as the definitive goal.” Since 1895, “Big Ten programs have combined to win more than 450 team and 1,800 individual national championships, consistently taking home individual honors for athletic and academic accomplishments and fulfilling the Big Ten’s mission of academic achievement and athletic success.”

Typically, Big Ten schools are known for being large institutions with competitive athletic programs and a tremendous amount of school spirit.

US News & World Report points out that, because of the size of a Big Ten institution, students “can choose from a wealth of course offerings unavailable at small four-year schools, plus hundreds of student organizations covering every imaginable interest. Drawing heavily from in-state populations, the Big Ten schools also inspire an extraordinary sense of pride and place, notably during major sporting events.”

This certainly describes the experience on the University of Minnesota campus. Here, students can select from thousands of course offerings, hundreds of student organizations, and participate in any number of Golden Gopher sporting events throughout the year.

We guarantee that once you’ve spent a summer, semester, or academic year with us, you’ll not only understand what a Big Ten university is, you’ll find yourself immersed in all of the benefits and excitement it has to offer.