I transferred here from Concordia College, Moorhead (read my review on that place as well). I was not expecting the program down here to be quite as good or the academic work to be quite as challenging (comparatively), but I can honestly say I would not recommend this place. I was able to get straight As my first semester of study without even trying and was quite bored with the work half the time.
If a person plans to major in music, especially Music Education, I would highly recommend a different place. For Dual-License (Instrumental and Vocal), the curriculum is designed for a six year degree (two different required classes are offered simultaneously and on an every other year basis, making it impossible to finish a degree in five). The core curriculum (Music Theory, Aural Skills, and History) is simplified so everybody has the ability to pass no matter how little they try as long as they understand the key points. (minor exaggeration, but it is much easier compared to the boot camp I experienced at Concordia)
Private Music Lessons are rather hit or miss. The instrumental lessons go from pretty good (from the adjunct faculty) to pretty mediocre (faculty on campus that would rather do their other jobs). In studio class, it seems as if the faculty (this is just my opinion, take it with a grain of salt) does not trust the students with giving other students constructive feedback and only seeks to mention what was missed when students do give feedback.
Voice lessons have the possibility to emphasize contemporary music over traditional music if a student desires. I do not think that kind of curriculum (up to 60% contemporary music) is relevant to a Music Educator in Minnesota (as solo contemporary repertoire is not appropriate at High School Contest). It seems to be more suited for Bachelor of Arts, Performance, and Industry majors than Education majors.
All in all, the only thing saving that music department is the quality of the ensembles. Both the Concert Wind Ensemble and Concert Choir are of extraordinary quality (especially for a public school). The disadvantage is that students can only be in one of those ensembles at a time. Since I need at least one of each, I had to be in the non-auditioned choir (which was quite disappointing).
This University has a decent campus, yet to live on it a person must spend a large amount of money (up to $3000 a year more than where I am going next year).
If a person wants to live on campus and/or purchase a meal plan, I would recommend the Maverick 160 and convert all of the meals to Flex Dollars. I would not recommend the cafeteria here (Carkoski Commons) at all because the food is the same day after day and is of sub-par quality.
I found it hard to get talk to students outside of my major. If they are not music majors or people I went to high school with, I have difficulty making real conversation with them (with a few exceptions).
There is 100 times the diversity here than there was at my old school, yet there is less to do because there is so much getting divided between every group. I lived in Stadium Heights Apartments for about 3 weeks (just off campus, but owned by the University) and as soon as Thursday night hit, parties would start right across the street. There seems to be many students getting pulled into that, which concerns me about what will happen in the long run.
Finally, the scholarships in my department did not amount to much. $1,500 the first year. $1,000 each additional year. *phew* Enough venting for one session. Long story short, by the end of my first semester here, I decided that it was not going to work out after a year. I am going to Bemidji State next year. On a positive note, Mankato State did help me figure out my values and who I really am, but had I the opportunity to rewind to one year ago, I would have gone up to Bemidji and skipped this place. The overall quality is not worth the money being paid.