Higher Education for the 21st Century

An Education Built For You


Minerva offers a unique undergraduate education. The intensive four-year experience is deliberately designed to enhance your intellectual growth and prepare you for success in today’s rapidly changing global context.


Unique Experience
Minerva students collaborate with the Mayor’s Office on Homeless Policy at San Francisco City Hall.

Photo: Martin Klimek/Getty
Global Immersion
Live and learn in seven of the world’s greatest cities during four years of rigorous study in our accredited residential program.
Innovative Learning
Participate exclusively in small interactive seminars, built on the science of learning, that demand the full engagement of your professors and classmates alike.
Accessible Admissions
Attend the only highly-selective undergraduate institution to admit all qualified students based on merit alone, with no consideration given to gender, nationality, ethnicity, or social status.
Community of Equals
Join a diverse group of accomplished students united by a shared sensibility — deep intellectual curiosity, humility, passion, and the drive to make a difference.
“There is no better way to understand how we can come together, as citizens of the world, than to actively immerse ourselves in it. As a deeply curious soul, I try to look beyond the obvious to capture a deeper appreciation for our differences.”
Rana Abu Diab, Minerva Student
Jerusalem, Palestinian Territory
Photo: Martin Klimek/Getty
Student Life
“Minerva is an amazing option for that smart kid that wants to experience college by seeing the world not just studying about it.”
Hector Martinez
Director of College Guidance at The Webb Schools

The World as Your Campus

Where is Minerva located?

Because of the increasing need for well-educated global citizens, Minerva encourages you to live in up to seven of the most prominent technological, economic, political, and cultural centers in the world. After the first year in San Francisco, you will have the opportunity to travel to another global location each semester.

Why do students live in more than one city in a year?

By exposing you to a broad diversity of perspectives and cultures, you gain a deeper understanding of the issues you will tackle in class. Living in seven locations, instead of four, allows you to experience a range of distinct societies on nearly every continent.

Are the selected cities safe and affordable?

The foremost criteria for selecting cities for our residential locations were global significance and student welfare. From cost-of-living, population size, and diversity of culture to stability of civic, political, economic, and energy systems the cities were selected to provide both a rich view of the world and a safe, affordable student experience.

The world needs global citizens. Living in up to seven of the great world cities you will experience a diversity of vibrant cultures, while gaining access to a wealth of educational resources far beyond those available in a traditional campus environment.

Each Minerva residential location is selected for its global significance, providing multiple vantage points for deep cultural understanding. While in each city, you will have numerous educational, social and community-building opportunities — from access to exclusive co-curricular programs to student-led extracurricular activities.

These location-based programs, events, and activities supplement your academic studies. Extending the learning environment into a diversity of urban contexts, you enhance your understanding of subject matter by applying knowledge in new ways.

Whether engaging with breakthrough entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and community icons; working with the best artistic, cultural and scientific organizations; or organizing a yoga retreat, you are constantly building upon your coursework by making the entire world your campus.
Data visualization showing global flight patterns

Credit: Michael Markieta
Global Immersion
7 world cities
7 different worlds

Residential Locations
Open 2014 San Francisco
Open 2016 Berlin, Buenos Aires
Open 2017 Seoul, Bangalore
Open 2018 Istanbul, London
“The pedagogical best practices [Dean] Kosslyn has identified have been programmed into the Minerva platform so that they are easy for professors to apply.”
Graeme Wood
The Atlantic Magazine

What and How You Learn Matter

How does your curriculum support student success?

We define “success” as both doing well in school, and doing well in life after graduating — both professionally and personally. We accomplish this through "what" we teach — the entire curriculum is built on the goal of imparting “practical knowledge”— knowledge students can use to achieve their goals; as well as, "how" we teach — we have moved both the homework and lectures to outside class, and reserve class time for active learning where the information acquired through lectures and homework is actively used in critical thinking, creative thinking, effective communication, and effective interaction. The Active Learning Forum technology enables us to apply the science of learning systematically.  Learn more about Minerva's model for lifelong student success

Where can I find a list of courses and concentrations?

Students should set the direction for their individual learning path. At many schools, the curriculum is either unstructured or rigidly defined. Minerva’s curriculum is intentionally designed to balance breadth and depth. Explore course listings

For an education to be effective it must be both an active experience and provide an intentional intellectual progression. The Minerva curriculum is expressly designed to teach the critical skills touted in nearly every university brochure, but absent from most curricula of these same institutions.

Unlike the passive lectures most other students experience, all Minerva classes take place in small seminars. Top professors lead students through lively discussion, intensive debate, and collaborative work. This active learning approach is designed to stimulate deep cognition, enhancing your understanding of course material and furthering your ability to apply concepts to unfamiliar situations in novel ways.

Minerva offers Bachelor’s degrees in a broad range of concentrations, through five accredited colleges — Social Sciences, Computational Sciences, Natural Sciences, Arts & Humanities, and Business. The curriculum is structured to enable both broad exploration across these disciplines and deep mastery in your chosen field.

Each semester at Minerva builds on the previous one. In the first-year Cornerstone courses you learn four core capacities — critical thinking, creative thinking, effective communication, and effective interaction — the very skills employers and graduate programs seek. These foundational skills are reinforced in every class, throughout all four years. When you select the college you will major in, you set the basic direction for your course of study, which culminates in individualized tutorials and the final Capstone project during your senior year.
“Why did I leave established, elite universities, like Harvard and Stanford, for a radically new concept in higher education? The answer is simple: I wanted to help build something better.”
Stephen M. Kosslyn, Ph.D.
Founding Dean
Photo: Martin Klimek/Getty
of admitted students matriculate — a higher rate than most of the Ivy League

An International Community of Equals

Should I apply to Minerva if I may not be able to afford the cost?

We believe all qualified students, irrespective of financial situation, should be able to attend Minerva. Unlike most top universities, Minerva offers financial aid regardless of your country of origin — every student with financial need is eligible.  If you would like to apply for financial aid, please do so as soon as possible.

For a university’s admissions to be fair it must treat each applicant equally. Every highly-selective American university gives preference to students from the US, with advantage given to groups like legacy applicants and recruited athletes. At Minerva, students are selected based purely on merit, so there is no favoritism or majority student group of any kind.

Highly selective admissions standards are balanced by low tuition costs — $10,000 per academic year — and a financial aid program that makes a Minerva education accessible to all eligible students. The resulting community is both incredibly diverse and talented.

Because your classmates are selected for merit alone, you will be learning alongside true peers — other students who share your humility, ambition, intellectual ability, and global consciousness. These qualities define the student community and contribute to Minerva’s high matriculation rate of admitted students.

Because the opportunity to attend is accessible to top students from around the world, the makeup of the student body is the most diverse of any American university. Composed of students from 34 different countries and nearly every continent, the Class of 2019 is truly an international group unified by a collective spirit of equality.
Minerva students Joy Okoro, Nigeria and Lucy Chen, China, embrace during the Sumobot co-curricular event.

Photo: Brian Frank
Global student body
Global student body pie chart


of students come from outside the United States


Minerva attracts students with extremely diverse backgrounds, who share a common sense of purpose. They are energized by learning how to solve complex challenges and make a positive impact on the world.

Explore the stories of these multi-faceted students, as they begin their first year at Minerva.

Videos: Shaul Schwarz/Getty
Embark on a unique educational journey that will transform how you think about the world and yourself.
Alisha Fredriksson, Sweden, Guillaume Picard, UK, and Or Segal, Israel walk down Market Street in San Francisco.

Photo: Bob Miller
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New and notable
Regular Decision Applications Open for the Fall of 2016
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The New York Times
Minerva spotlighted for a unique approach to upending traditional education.
Reinventing the University
Founder Ben Nelson discusses his life-long passion for improving education.
Introducing Minerva RAs on Facebook
Life at Minerva, as told by our Resident Advisors.
Coffee with a Classmate
Join Minerva students in a live discussion about their personal experiences and insights.
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1145 Market St
San Francisco, CA
94103 USA
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