Diversity is a core value of life at the University of Minnesota. Our campus community is made up of students and staff with different backgrounds, interests, and experiences. Living and learning in a diverse community prepares you for a future in a global society. Here, you’ll be encouraged to think critically, grow intellectually, and challenge the status quo.
How We Define Diversity
In the broadest sense. Our university community is strengthened by our students, staff, professors, and alumni representing different races, economic backgrounds, geographic origins, ages, genders, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, abilities, talents and beliefs, as well as those with disabilities both apparent and non-apparent.
African and African American Communities
History & Student Groups
The University of Minnesota has its own rich black history, including the Morrill Hall takeover in 1969 and the establishment of the African-American studies department. These events mark the beginning of a strong black student culture that still exists today in student groups like the Black Student Union, Afrocentric departments and courses, and black Greek organizations.
Nationally, there are nine historically black Greek letter organizations (the "Divine Nine"), and the U of M has seven of these: fraternities Omega Psi Phi, Kappa Apha Psi, Alpha Phi Alpha, and Phi Beta Sigma, and sororities Zeta Phi Beta, Delta sigma Theta, and Alpha Kappa Alpha.
Huntley House is a Living Learning Community in the 17th Avenue Residence Hall, dedicated to African American freshman males, bringing together students with a shared interest in leadership to form a community of talented and motivated students.
Charlotte's Home for Black Women
Charlotte's Home is a Living Learning Community that strives to support the academic, social, and personal endeavors of Black women through community building, leadership, identity exploration and personal growth to ensure their success during their time here at the University of Minnesota and thereafter. This house is named after Charlotte Crump Poole. Charlotte was a student activist at the University of Minnesota in the 1930's who fought against housing discrimination on campus.
Study African American Culture
If you are interested in exploring African American culture, then you can study history, art, literature, and policy as part of your academic experience through the African American and African Studies major or minor.
"The Black Student Union (BSU) has been very instrumental to my success on campus. It offered me a smaller community within a larger campus, allowed me the space to build my leadership experience, and supported me in pursuing my goals and passions. But at the core, the BSU is a family for me--a second home."
-Amber Jones, former president, BSU
Have a question?
Get in touch with the Coordinator for African-American Recruitment!
American Indian Communities
At the University of Minnesota, you'll find great opportunities to meet new people, build relationships with faculty and staff, and connect with the American Indian community on campus.
Participate in events like the American Indian Student Cultural House Fall Feast and Frybread Fridays with the American Indian Cultural Center (AISCC). Explore your interest in a STEM career in the American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES).
You can also live, socialize, and study with other students who are interested in American Indian culture in the American Indian Cultural House Living Learning Community.
Study American Indian Cultures
In the nation's oldest American Indian Studies program with departmental status, you can study indigenous languages (Dakota or Ojibwe), literature, art, philosophy, and socioeconomic issues.
Recent class offerings include "Law, Sovereignty, and Treaty Rights," and "American Indian Oral Traditions," or "American Indian Tribal Governments and Politics."
Circle of Indigenous Nations
The Circle of Indigenous Nations fosters an environment that allows students to feel a sense of community on campus, and contributes to the strengthening and development of all students through culturally specific services and activities.
In addition, the Circle of Indigenous Nations strives to connect the richness of the surrounding American Indian communities with the strengths of the University's research, education and teaching.
"My experience in the American Indian Cultural House (AICH) during my first year was wonderful. I really enjoyed having a group of people who I could share experiences with as Natives. I think we were all interested in learning more about ourselves and each other."
-Stephanie Zadora, Seneca Nation of New York
Have a question?
Get in touch with the Coordinator for American Indian Recruitment!
Asian and Pacific Islander Communities
The University of Minnesota has a vast array of Asian and Pacific Islander academic, cultural and community groups to become involved with on campus. We welcome you to join us and our vibrant community!
Founded in 1975, the Asian-American Student Union (ASU) is an affiliate organization to 13 separate student organizations, such as the Hmong Student Association, Korean Student Association, or Cambodian Student Association of Minnesota.
There are also opportunities to join the Chinese American Student Association, Vietnamese Student Association, and Lao Student Association for new year celebrations with traditional activities and foods, or get involved with the Hmong Minnesota Student Association.
Help plan ASU's Spring Conference, a popular event featuring a variety of speakers, dancers, poets, musicians, and professors representing many Asian American cultures. Or, enjoy the Indian Student Association's annual Diwali Show in the fall.
Study Asian cultures
As a U of M student, you will have the option to study the world's diverse cultures as part of your academic experience. Recent class offerings include "Hmong History Across the Globe," and "Contemporary Perspectives on Asian America."
The U of M offers a minor in Asian American Studies, in which you can explore Asian American history, politics, literatures, and cultures. Students can explore current events, identities, and experiences. Or, in the Asian Languages and Literatures major, you can study languages such as Chinese, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
"The Hmong Minnesota Student Association (HMSA) is a place I can feel comfortable, meet new people, and find myself culturally. As activities co-chair, HMSA has given me the chance to be a leader and have my voice heard... It's just a great place to be and everyone is always welcome."
-Ashley Yang, Journalism and Mass Communications (Advertising) and Communication Studies
The University offers over 30 interest-specific Living Learning Communities (LLCs) where students live together in a dedicated area of a residence hall. Each LLC is co-sponsored by an academic department or college and is designed to deliver a variety of events and services to support students in their academic and personal growth. Here are a few examples of LLCs to explore. Learn more online!
- Chinese Language and Culture House: Surround yourself with students who are passionate about Chinese
- TRIO Multicultural LLC: A vibrant multicultural community of scholars, leaders, and change-agents.
- Tsev Hmoob: Live and build a long-lasting support system with other Hmong students on campus.
Find meaningful opportunities that add to your overall learning and development as a leader and engaged member of the University community. Take control of your co-curricular involvement by joining a group, attending an event, working on campus, developing leadership skills, and be recognized for taking an active role in the University community.
Examples of groups you may want to explore—learn more online!
- Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association
- Asian-American Student Union
- Asian Pacific American Law Student Association
- Asian History and Economic Association
- Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers at the U of M
- Asian Business and Economics Student Association
- Asian Collective Theatre
- Oriental Music Club
- Alpha Phi Gamma Sorority
- Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity
- Korean Student Association
- Phillipine Student Association
- The Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association- Young Generation- U of M chapter
- Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences at the U of M
- Chinese Students and Scholars Association
- Taiwanese Student Society
- Korean International Student Organization
- Cambodian Student Association of Minnesota
- Vietnamese Student Association
- Malaysian Student Association
- Hmong Minnesota Student Association
- Minnesota-Mongolian Student Association
Have a question?
Get in touch with the Coordinator for Asian/Pacific Islander Recruitment!
Hispanic, Chicanx, and Latinx Communities
At the U of M, you'll discover many ways to celebrate your culture and share it with others. Get involved in La Raza Student Cultural Center and participate in El Grito Celebration, a celebration of the independence of different countries in Latin America, or Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Live and learn with other students interested in Chicanx/Latinx culture in the CASA SOL Living Learning Community. Tutor and mentor youth in the Twin Cities Latino community through EDUCATE (Engaged Department Undergraduates Challenging Access to Education).
Study Chicanx Culture
The U of M Department of Chicano & Latino Studies has a long history of serving students and was the first ever Chicano Studies program in the Upper-Midwest. In Chicano & Latino Studies, you can explore the social, historical, and cultural experiences of the Mexican and Latino populations in the United States. Recent class offerings include "Chicana Studies: La Chicana in Contemporary Society," and "Latino Social Power and Social Movements in the U.S."
"There are many opportunities on campus to live out and explore Hispanic culture. It may be by going to LISA's salsa night, or attending one of LA RAZA's forums, or mentoring younger Spanish-speaking students in the community."
-Gabriel Ramirez-Hernandez, Past President of the Latino International Student Association
Have a question?
Get in touch with the Coordinator for Hispanic, Chicanx and Latinx Recruitment!