Minnesota State University - Moorhead
Minnesota State University - Moorhead - Comments and Student Experiences|
I'm a student who went here years ago a little more than a year and is now finally coming back to resume progress this spring 2013 on a degree I still haven't nailed down yet. Maybe physics, maybe even pre-med related classes.
The best and worst thing is that Moorhead State is a "real college" on a budget, near as I can tell the least expensive real college on a budget in MN for in-state students. It doesn't feel like a 2 year or tech college, and considering it doesn't cost much more than tech colleges (an extra $1000/semester for a real college) I see no reason to go to a 2 year to "save money" as you wont save much. I considered taking 2 year tech college general classes then transfering to MSU but was too depressed at their tech school feel... i'm choosing to pay 25% more to take them at MSU. Example - english teachers who have actually written books and articles, as opposed to someone who got trained to "teach" and then taught english. However I wouldn't travel from well outside the area to come here, and no way in hell would I pay out of state tuition rates or pay extra for dorming just to be in Moorhead to go here.
As a "college on a budget" there is hit and miss. Professors vary from extremely passionate to disinterested, the two physics profs I talked to were an absolute A+, the business prof about a D+, the foreign language professors somewhat unapproachable C- who didn't seem to have any real time for you. People in the main office vary from completely unhelpful to somewhat interested but mostly wanting to talk you into things that make money for the school ie only discussing courses at MSU, not encouraging CLEP or transfering elsewhere or similar, one of the few schools trying to block CLEP credit if not taken before your first freshman year and college attendance ever. If your major has you transfering somewhere else, the general advisory staff seem uninterested in putting much into you, but individual college departments may be helpful and interested.
I can't quite tell if things are great vs delusional at times. Some passionately interested people in art departments as an example but nobody is going to get name recognition saying they went to MSU. I know not one person of note in art, film, drama, music, and similar who ever said they came from here nor is teaching here. If I were truly talented i'd look to transfer elsewhere after basics, if I was looking to dabble or get some basic understanding the classes here probably be fine to start.
The science departments seem to have some stronger people. The degree is not a "joke" but it has zero namedropping recognition outside of even the city, it's absolutely superior to any 2 year/tech college and probably any online college I can think of (and MSU is cheaper than online courses i've seen if you live here) since it's at least real, but serious students may want to transfer elsewhere to finish out. About the only official program here supporting that is a 3 years MSU physics study/2 years engineering down at UofM in minneapolis dual degree. I'm seriously considering that one myself.
To the surrounding city, or the nature of the student body, you can't really complain about the college because it just reflects the "deep north" attitude including the surrounding conservative farming communities and the extremely christian subgroups coming in from north dakota. Very little cultural diversity, white people stay around white people, other groups are insulated and don't seem to interact. People can be a bit cold, cliqueish and closedminded but that's just part of the midwest culture it seems. Paradoxically they can be friendly in limited ways, it's like there are barriers up.
So in short the University itself: not too great but better than tech colleges. The indiivdual colleges and professor vary, more are good than not good/I at least felt like I was getting an actual education and not like disinterested tech college teachers, a decent number are great but yes some are just punching a clock. The student body IS cliqueish like the midwest in general. Not very LGBT friendly, I wouldn't want to be out here, especially on top of the cliques.
Among the safest campuses i've walked on, never felt the slightest concern at 3am coming back from the computer lab. Go 3 blocks off campus and the intervening streets are a bit dark at 3am and I wouldn't walk obliviously but that goes anywhere, but about 8 blocks out your past houses and to major well lit downtown roads again to go barhopping and such. I've never even heard of an incident of someone being waylaid in the surrounding 7 blocks though I just don't like dark-dark.
Surrounding city is a definate "college town". Jobs ARE availalbe off campus. Taken advantage of for the absolute bottom wages only because there are lots of college students wanting them. But at least there are some jobs.
Pretty limited selection of majors, seems more oriented towards turning out alot of low grade (not meaning horrible, but I mean guys that will be running Bobs Propane Shop, not people even hitting middle management at Microsoft) business MBA's and teachers which is where most of the money seems to go into, plus a bunch of computer science programmers and such. The art and science departments take a bit of back seat there in university policy/interest, yet the science depts being more passionate by what I can tell and making up for their lack of resources by being inspiring. Any prof who you can walk in without an appointment on for a "5 minute talk" and end up shooting the breeze about related science in general for 35 minutes obviously enjoys his subject.
If you are mostly here to learn, are already living in Moorhead (or can secure accomodation with friends for reduced cost, or maybe your spouse gets a job up here since the job market is still decent even in the recession) it's probably the best value of the 3 real local colleges. (MSU, NDSU and Concordia) It's barely more than 2 year colleges pricewise but superior quality wise.
Plus marks for going into run of the mill business, teaching, or computer programming directions. Still solid and usable art and science departments and certainly fine to do your first few years at too.
Down marks if you have to pay to dorm here, are coming from out of state paying that tuition, are here to party (there is a party subculture just like everywhere, but you wont find nothing like the big cities), need diversity, or need an exciting town to be in.
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