Big Ten

As a Big Ten school, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities offers great academics, exciting athletics, rich traditions, and a vibrant campus community. Read on to learn more about life as a Golden Gopher student!

Big Ten Academic Alliance

As part of the world-class Big Ten Academic Alliance, the U of M is able to offer students unique opportunities in conjunction with, or at, participating Big Ten universities. From innovative research fellowships to access to campus libraries, this partnership is a model for effective collaboration among research universities.

History and Traditions

University of Minnesota Marching Band in the stands on Gameday

University of Minnesota Marching Band

Officially started in 1892, the Minnesota Marching Band is one of the most vibrant and visible organizations on campus. With more than 300 members, the "Pride of Minnesota" performs at all home football games and at an annual indoor concert at Northrop Auditorium. Pep bands perform at basketball, hockey, and volleyball events throughout the year as well. Check out the marching band!

Spirit Squad running onto the field on Gameday

Spirit Squad

Did you know organized cheerleading started at the University of Minnesota? In 1898, U of M student Johnny Campbell offered to lead cheers at football games. After Campbell and his "yell leaders" pepped up the crowd during a Gopher victory, the tradition of cheerleading was born. And it continues today, with the cheerleading and dance teams performing at all home football games. In fact, the U of M dance team is one of the top in the nation, with over 19 UDA National Championships. In 2019, the U of M All Girl Cheer team took second place in the nation. Now that is something to cheer about!


The University of Minnesota has a long-standing tradition of excellence both inside and outside the classroom!

Goldy Gopher opens his arms wide at a Gopher Basketball game
Gopher football players run onto the field on Gameday carrying the Minnesota and American flags
A U of M hockey player plays on the ice

Just as important as the play on the field is the student support for athletics at the University.

  • Watch the Gopher football team at the Huntington Bank Stadium! Jingle keys before kick-offs or remove one of your shoes to show support for a field goal.
  • Celebrate Gopher hockey at Mariucci Arena by celebrating a weekend “sweep” of a rival school
  • Join the crowd at Williams Arena, “The Barn”, one of the most intimidating and loud venues in all of college basketball! Surround the opposing team (the student section extends lower than the playing surface, literally!) and get excited for Gopher basketball.

Student support at the U of M is a long-standing and proud tradition. We welcome all students and fans to join in!

Annual Events

Welcome Week

Welcome Week is an action-packed experience that you will share with your classmates the week before classes begin. This program includes events planned to connect and welcome you to the campus, your college, and the Twin Cities community. During the program you will have an opportunity to:

  • participate in New Student Convocation, the traditional kickoff to your college experience
  • build a sense of community
  • take ownership of your college experiences
  • lead and work among students from diverse backgrounds
  • establish relationships with your classmates
  • discover the incredible resources and opportunities available to you
  • learn about U of M school spirit and traditions at Pride and Spirit Day


Homecoming is the annual fall tradition where the campus community, alumni and friends gather to celebrate school spirit. A tradition at the University of Minnesota since 1914, Homecoming features events such as student sports and philanthropy competitions, lip sync performances, a bonfire, pep fest and parade, the traditional Gopher homecoming football game, and more.

Spring Jam

Spring Jam is a week-long celebration in April that celebrates warm weather and the end of another great school year. This U of M student-run event features a live music festival, a student band competition, ballyhoo (a dance competition), sports, an art festival, philanthropy, contests, free food, carnival rides, and an outdoor campus community block party. The 2019 Spring Jam lineup featured artists like Waka Flocka Flame, Jay Rock, Ella Vos, and Mason Ramsey!