The University of Minnesota is one of the only Big 10 universities located in a major city, which provides outstanding access to transportation, internships, theaters, and more. The campus’s central location provides students with plenty of ways to fill free time, whatever their interests may be.

Twin Cities Bring Many Opportunities

The University of Minnesota is located near two of the state’s biggest and busiest cities, the “Twin Cities” of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Here’s a glimpse at some of the year-round happenings students can look forward to:


Walker Art Center
  • The Walker Art Center is one of the nation’s top five most-visited contemporary museums and the home of Minneapolis’ signature Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture.
  • The annual Uptown Art Fair is one of the largest art fairs in the nation.
  • The Minneapolis Institute of Art is a free admission museum, welcoming more than a half-million visitors annually.
  • The Twin Cities is home to two full-time professional orchestras, an internationally renowned opera company, and hundreds of theatrical, musical, and comedy troupes. It’s also the third largest dance market in the nation.
  • The Twin Cities is second only to New York City in the number of theater seats per capita, with more than two million theater tickets sold each year. Among its stars are the Guthrie Theater, the country’s first regional repertory theater, and the award-winning Children's Theatre Company.


  • The Hennepin County public library system has the third largest per capita public library collection of any major city in America with more than 2.4 million items.
  • The Science Museum of Minnesota exhibits focus on a range of topics, from the human body to the peoples of the Mississippi River. Some of the world’s top traveling exhibits are also displayed.

Northrop Auditorium at sunset.


  • Internationally-recognized acts often perform at Twin Cities large venues like the Xcel Energy Center and Target Center, in addition to smaller settings like the Varsity Theatre, located in Dinkytown right next to campus.
  • The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board sponsors music and movies in the parks during the summer months.
  • The University of Minnesota is home to Northrop Auditorium, which regularly hosts performances by internationally-recognized musicians and dance troupes.


  • With more than 400 stores, an amusement park, and an aquarium inside, Mall of America is the United State’s largest shopping mall.


  • Minnesota has teams in six professional sports: Twins baseball, Vikings football, Wild hockey, United soccer, Timberwolves basketball, and Lynx basketball.
  • Skiers and snowboarders can hit the slopes at one of Minnesota’s 14 ski resorts.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts can participate in off-campus programs like climbing, camping, and skiing through the University’s Recreation and Wellness Center.

Internship and Career Opportunities

  • There are 18 Fortune 500 companies based in the Twin Cities, including 3M, General Mills, and Best Buy.
  • The Twin Cities represent a diverse range of solid, sustainable industries such as healthcare and medical technology, financial services, general merchandising, specialty retailing, food consumer production, and more.


  • In 2009, Minneapolis was named the safest city in America by Forbes magazine, which cited the city's low crime rates,  high workplace safety, and reduced risk for traffic-related deaths and natural disaster.
  • Minneapolis/ St. Paul was named the second safest city by Travel+Leisure readers in the magazine's in its 2010 survey on America's Safest Cities.
  • A 2012 Gallup poll listed that eighty percent of Minneapolis residents feel safe walking in their neighborhood after dark—the highest percent in the nation.
  • The safety of students is of highest priority at the University of Minnesota. If students walk around, especially after dark, they can use the U of M Police Department’s free Security Monitor Escort Service. A security monitor can escort the student anywhere within the campus vicinity 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 
  • The Gopher Chauffeur is a free transportation service that promotes safety in the campus community by providing U of M students with safe rides home.