We are a research powerhouse

Research is at the core of our institutional mission. It informs how we educate students and how we advance knowledge and its application to solve challenges and improve wellbeing locally and globally. The University of Minnesota continues to grow and lead in research output and excellence, delivering benefits for the state and beyond.

US News Ranking

The University of Minnesota’s status as one of the nation’s most exceptional and accessible universities was solidified recently in the 2023 U.S. News and World Report rankings. The U of M’s position throughout the rankings showcases the results of investments made at all five campuses and demonstrates the University’s continued excellence in fulfilling its mission. 

The Twin Cities campus met its MPact 2025 goal to be ranked among the nation’s top 25 public schools by being ranked No. 23—the campus’s highest ranking in 12 years. Among all 440 institutions (public and private), the U of M Twin Cities improved by six places from last year, from No. 68 to No. 62, placing the campus among the top 15 percent of all ranked universities. 

In addition to the Twin Cities campus ranking:

  • The University of Minnesota Crookston retained its No. 1 status among public Midwest Regional Colleges. 
  • The University of Minnesota Duluth moved up two places to the No. 6 ranking among public universities, and improved by eight places in the Regional Universities (public and private) in the Midwest category, ascending to No. 33, which places UMD in the top 25% of the category.
  • The University of Minnesota Morris retained its No. 8 status among public National Liberal Arts Colleges, and improved by five places in the combined public and private category from No. 141 to No. 136.

The University of Minnesota Rochester is accredited with the Twin Cities campus. As a result, its information is included in the Twin Cities ranking.

$1 billion in research awards. Two years in a row.

Research awards are one measure of a research engine's productivity. The University of Minnesota system’s research awards in FY22 were $1.05 billion, the second year in a row that awards have exceeded $1 billion. The University of Minnesota System continues to invest initial resources into promising ideas, attracting competitive external funds from a wide array of federal and state agencies, as well as private companies and foundations.

UMN R&D Awards, FY2018–FY2022

The University also continues to demonstrate research excellence through expenditures, with $1.08B in research expenditures in 2021, ranking 14th among US public universities according to NSF HERD, the most authoritative and accepted measure of a university’s research enterprise.

Source: Office of the Vice President for Research, UMN Research Statistics

A student talking with a professor
Students in a Lab
Students talking outside

Catalyzing Innovation

And a milestone 200 startups have launched since 2006.

Startup creation is a key indicator of innovation in the University's MPact 2025 Systemwide Strategic Plan. In 2022, the University launched a record-setting 22 new startups across a variety of sectors, surpassing a milestone 200 startups since 2006.

The University continues to be the largest single creator of startup companies in Minnesota, with more than 70% of University startups located in the state. Ten companies have either been acquired or gone public since 2017.

University of Minnesota Startup Companies

Startup by SectorFY22FY06-FY22
Med Device547
Outside Minnesota1060
% in Minnesota55%72%

Source: Office of the Vice President for Research, UMN Research Statistics

In fiscal year 2022, the University was issued a record 241 patents, up from 181 patents the previous year. Patents were boosted this year by the University's long-term strategy to include more patent filings in foreign countries in its patent portfolio and by patent offices worldwide catching up from the COVID-19 pandemic.

UMN Issued Patents (US and Foreign), FY2018–FY2022

Source: Office of the Vice President for Research, UMN Research Statistics

Research Awards by Source: All Campuses, FY22

  • Federal $617.9M
  • All Other Sources $296.9M
  • State of Minnesota $135.5M

The State of Minnesota is the second largest sponsor of research awards to the University of Minnesota, after the federal government. University researchers were awarded $135.5 million in competitive awards from the state in FY2022, $488.2 million over the past 5 years.

The following is a partial list of projects receiving state funding. 

Source: Office of the Vice President for Research, University of Minnesota