About Minerva

A Smarter, Wiser World


The Minerva Schools at KGI were established in 2012 to provide an extraordinary liberal arts and sciences education to top students around the world. We believe that preparing students to lead, innovate, and solve complex challenges will enable them to positively impact our collective future.

 In an alliance with the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI), Minerva offers four-year undergraduate degrees in five accredited majors: Arts & Humanities, Computational Sciences, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Business.

Introduction to Minerva
Video Icon

Ben Nelson, Founder of Minerva, and Stephen M. Kosslyn, Ph.D., Founding Dean of the Minerva Schools at KGI, provide an introduction to the vision, pedagogy, and learning platform at the heart of the reinvented university experience.

Video: Josh Hittleman
The Alliance
“Minerva’s mission fits in perfectly with KGI’s commitment to challenge higher education conventions and to provide students with the tools necessary to become leaders who will shape the future. The KGI-Minerva partnership is a reflection of the values we hold close that foster innovation, active learning, and entrepreneurship.”
Sheldon Schuster
President of KGI

Common Goals and Uncommon Vision

Minerva entered into a strategic alliance with KGI, a member of the Claremont University Consortium, to establish the Minerva Schools. A shared belief in the need for innovation in higher education and a focus on the practical application of knowledge led the two organizations to pursue accreditation for a completely reinvented undergraduate university experience.

In fall 2014, with its degree programs accredited by the Western Senior Commission on Universities and Colleges, the Minerva Schools at KGI admitted its Founding Class of students. With a second class of students matriculating in fall 2015, the Minerva Schools quadrupled its student body, furthering progress toward its extraordinary vision.

A proven innovator in higher education, KGI created the first-of-its-kind professional science master’s degree in 1997, which has been replicated nearly 300 times by more than 130 institutions. Establishing the Minerva Schools at KGI is another step in advancing learning for the twenty-first century.

Minerva is dedicated to ensuring our students are equipped to fulfill their enormous potential. By combining a rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum, advanced learning technology, and immersive cultural experiences, we teach our students to solve the most complex global challenges. Our expert instruction, based on the science of learning, instills the fundamental cognitive skills and critical knowledge needed for success in any field.

All our courses are taught as intimate seminars, with direct professor engagement. Because rigorous, active learning is central to our pedagogy, there are no large introductory classes, nor lectures of any kind. Every class involves face-to-face interaction between classmates and their professors.

A Minerva education is highly selective and uniquely accessible. Our demanding admissions process, including a series of assessments and interviews, ensures all admitted students meet the highest levels of individual drive, commitment and academic achievement. This entirely merit-based admissions policy and our distinctly scalable approach, allows us to accept all applicants who qualify.

This unparalleled education, together with our Professional Development Agency, positions graduates to thrive in an increasingly interconnected global context.
Our Values
Critical Wisdom
We believe analytical thinking, reasoning and inquiry are the foundations for deep knowledge, insight and comprehension; such rich understanding is critical for truly inspired leadership. We will continuously question, evaluate and explore in service of increasing proficiency and improving cognition.
Meaningful Creation
We believe ingenious, original, breakthrough ideas have the power to change our world, but they need to be realized to have meaningful impact. We will extend higher education beyond theory to the practical application of creativity and inventive approaches.
Amplified Potential
We believe a rigorous, interdisciplinary, multicultural curriculum, together with richly collaborative environments and deeply engaging experiences will significantly increase innate potential, aptitude and motivation. We will deliver the finest education available, enhanced by career placement and sustained support.
Purposeful Integrity
We believe in the virtue of individual responsibility in service of collective benefit. Trust, commitment, diligence and mutual respect are central to our culture. We will maintain the highest standards for ourselves, as well as those we work with and serve.
Minerva Project
Founded in 2011 by Ben Nelson, Minerva Project is a privately-held service provider to the Minerva Schools at KGI. With headquarters in San Francisco, the team comprises business and academic leaders dedicated to student education, growth, and success. With funding from a range of investors, including Benchmark Capital, TAL, Zhen Fund, and Learn Capital, Minerva is poised to realize its ambitious vision for the future of higher education.
Minerva Institute
Led by Executive Chairman Bob Kerrey, the Minerva Institute for Research and Scholarship is a non-profit organization that attracts and directs financial support to academic programs for Minerva students and cutting-edge research for Minerva faculty. The Minerva Institute houses the Minerva Academy, an honorary, members-only forum, which awarded the prestigious Minerva Prize to Dr. Eric Mazur in 2014.
Take Action
Join the select students, who are changing the face of higher education.

Rolling Decision Applications for Fall 2016 are closed. 

If you missed our application deadlines, proceed to the application and request special consideration by contacting:


Above: Bethany Jana experiences the hands-on learning environment at San Francisco’s Exploratorium.

Photo: Bob Milller
Register For Updates