St. Cloud State opened its doors to students in 1869, under the name Third State Normal School. The school was one building, the Stearns House, a renovated hotel purchased by the state Legislature for $3,000. Classrooms were on the first floor, the model school was on the second floor and a women's dormitory was housed on the third floor. The five-member faculty was headed by Principal Ira Moore. Of the 53 original students, 43 were women. As the number of female students increased, Stearns House was completely transformed into a women's dormitory in 1874; male students organized a boarding club where they located a house near campus, overseen by a matron.
In 1898, the school began offering a junior college curriculum. In 1914, the school dropped its secondary education program. The Legislature authorized a name change in 1921 to St. Cloud State Teachers College. In 1957, the word "Teachers" was deleted. The first bachelor's degrees were awarded in 1925. Master's degree programs were first offered in 1953.
In 1975, St. Cloud State became a university, comprising five colleges and a graduate school. The Herberger Business School is one of only six nationally accred business schools in Minnesota. Six bachelor's degree programs in the College of Science and Engineering are accred through the Accration Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc.
In 1987, men's hockey became an NCAA Division I program. Two years later the team moved into a new two-rink arena called the National Hockey Center. The building, now called the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, is undergoing a $30 million expansion and renovation.
Applied doctoral degrees were first offered in 2007. Students can pursue an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration or Educational Administration and Leadership.
In 2010, the university teamed with the private sector to build a welcome center and student-housing complex at Coborn Plaza, adjacent to campus. The university leases the Welcome Center and Coborn Plaza Apartments.
The Integrated Science and Engineering Laboratory Facility (ISELF), which broke ground in October 2011, went into service in fall 2013. ISELF is the final project of St. Cloud State's three-part Science Initiative. The $14.5 million addition to the Wick Science Building was completed in January 2009. The $15 million renovation of Brown Hall was finished in December 2009.
Students can choose from more than 200 majors, minors and pre-professional programs in six colleges and schools. Undergraduate programs of note include accounting, land surveying and mapping sciences, nursing and meteorology. SCSU also offers 32 education-abroad programs, including a year-round program at Alnwick Castle in northern England.
SCSU is the only Minnesota university that offers an Accration Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accred manufacturing engineering program. It also offers ABET-accred electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer science programs. The Master of engineering management is the only Minnesota program certified by the American Society of Engineering Management.
The School of Graduate Studies offers more than 60 graduate programs and certificates, including specialist, Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration, Master of Engineering Management, Master of Music and Master of Science. Ed.D. doctoral degrees are offered in Higher Education Administration and Educational Administration and Leadership.
Master's programs of note include Master of Business Administration, Regulatory Affairs & Services, Medical Technology Quality and Applied Clinical Research. They are among the programs offered at St. Cloud State at Plymouth in Plymouth, MN.
Colleges and schools
St. Cloud State offers more than 200 undergraduate and more than 60 graduate programs of study through three colleges and five schools.
The Miller Center delivers library and information technology services.
On-campus students choose from among seven residence halls and apartments. Coborn Plaza Apartments, which can house 455 students, opened in 2010.
Residence halls and apartments:
Coborn Plaza Apartments
A plan to revitalize student housing is under way. Shoemaker Hall was renovated in 2011 and 2014. A $12 million renovation of Case and Hill halls was completed in 2012. Benton Hall is still standing but does not currently house students.
At the start of each academic year students are invited to "Mainstreet," a showcase for student organizations, campus services and community connections. Students are encouraged to participate in its more than 250 student organizations, including the Investment Club, which runs a student-managed investment portfolio.
KVSC 88.1 FM is an educational public radio station licensed to SCSU. The station started on May 10, 1967, and expanded broadcasting times in September 1994. Among other things, KVSC is renowned for its 50-hour trivia contest, which dates back to 1980, and community events, such as Granite City Radio Theatre.
The student newspaper, University Chronicle, has been published since 1921.
UTVS Television is a student-run television station that airs live newscasts, live sportscasts and other programming. The station is broadcast on Charter Communications' cable channel 188 in the greater St. Cloud area. Men's hockey and other Huskies events are typically broadcast on Charter channel 823 (high definition) and Charter channel 426 (standard definition). Some men's hockey games, produced by UTVS's Husky Productions division, air on other cable franchises.
Among the awards earned in 2013 were UTVS's five awards at the Broadcast Education Association's Festival of Media Arts, including a Best of Festival award for a Husky Productions broadcast of a men's hockey game.University Chronicle earned 19 awards at the Minnesota Newspaper Association College Better Newspaper contest.
Student Government plays an advisory role in campus governance and a management role in distributing student-fee dollars to student organizations and campus units. Notably, it allocates funding for athletics, technology and Student Legal Services for students. The Student Government president meets regularly with the university president.
Ballots allow students to vote on leadership positions, senator positions and advisory resolutions. The interim president and interim vice president are, respectively, John Becicka and Madie McLeod.
The university has 19 NCAA Division II teams and is a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The team name is the Huskies, represented by Blizzard, the mascot. In 2014, the University updated its secondary logo, which features a Husky dog face. The logo is being phased-in on team uniforms. In fall 2014, for example, women's hockey displayed the secondary logo on both shoulders of its home jersey.
The school's flagship intercollegiate sport is hockey. Men's and women's ice hockey teams compete in NCAA Division I. Men's Hockey is in the NCHC, and Women's Hockey is in the WCHA.
Men's Huskies Hockey has earned 19 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship appearances. The team advanced to the 2013 Frozen Four. The 2012–13 team's co-captain Drew LeBlanc was named WCHA Player of the Year and earned numerous national honors, including the Hobey Baker Award, the most prestigious award in men's college hockey. The 2013 team also earned a share of the WCHA league title and the MacNaughton Cup. The 2014 team earned the Penrose Cup, league title trophy for the inaugural season of the NCHC. In 2016 the team won the NCHC post-season tournament, the Frozen Faceoff. In 2018, the team won the NCHC regular-season title, the Penrose Cup, with a 16-4-4 record.
Herb Brooks National Hockey Center at One Herb Brooks Plaza.
St. Cloud State men's hockey has a storied history, with powerhouse teams of national repute emerging in the 1930s. Among these teams was the 1933–34 squad that featured goaltender Frank Brimsek, a two-time winner of the NHL's Stanley Cup and a 1966 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
In the 1986–87 season, Herb Brooks, the 1980 USA men's Olympic hockey coach, became the coach of the Huskies and helped men's hockey attain NCAA Division I status. That season he led the Huskies to a 25–10–1 record and a third-place trophy at the NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Championship. He also guided efforts to build the two-rink arena, Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, that now bears his name. In 2001, the men's team won the WCHA post-season tournament, symbolized by the Broadmoor Trophy.
In 1998, the university added a women's hockey team at the NCAA Division I level. The coach is Eric Rud.
Huskies Wrestling is one of the nation's leading Division II programs, winning the NCAA Wrestling Championship in 2018, 2016 and 2015 and placing second in 2017, 2013, 2012, and 2011.
Women's Huskies Basketball took shape in 1973 with the arrival Coach Gladys Ziemer. From 1982-90, Ziemer's teams dominated the North Central Conference, compiling a 179-58 record in that timespan and advancing three times to the NCAA Women's Division II Basketball Tournament quarterfinals. Ziemer coached 20 seasons and amassed a 321-212 record. Coach Lori Ulferts coached 14 seasons, advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals in 2005 and semifinals in 2006.
Built in 1929, Eastman Hall will be repurposed for student services and health sciences academic programs. Construction is expected to be complete by spring 2019. The Legislature backed the project with $865,000 in design funds in 2014 and $18.6 million in construction funds in 2017.
SCSU was recognized with the 2013 Simon Award for excellence in integrating international education across all aspects of the university. The Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization is named for the late Senator Paul Simon (D-Ill.), who supported international education and foreign language learning. In its 11th year, the award is presented annually by NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
ISELF, a science and engineering building composed almost entirely of interdisciplinary laboratories.
SCSU was among 83 colleges and universities honored for creating diverse and inclusive environments on their campuses, according to INSIGHT Into Diversity’s 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Awards. The HEED Award, given by the oldest and largest higher education diversity-focused publication, recognizes broad-ranging efforts to support diversity at U.S. colleges and universities. These efforts include gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community.
Harlander lands NASA contract
Emeritus physics professor John Harlander is part of NASA's Ionospheric Connection team, which developed instruments for a satellite mission to be launched in 2018 near the Reagan Test Site in the Pacific Ocean. Harlander teamed with his students and other scientists to design, fabricate and test an instrument that will measure winds and temperatures in the thermosphere, an upper layer of Earth's atmosphere.
Hockey arena renovation
In 2013, the University reopened the renovated and renamed Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, a two-sheet arena at the south end of campus. The first phase of a multi-year $30 million renovation included a four-story glass atrium, luxury suites, apparel store, and murals and signs celebrating the history of Huskies Hockey.
Lawrence Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus.
ISELF serves mostly upper-level and graduate-level science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medical technology and radiology classes. University officials say ISELF's function, collaboration, flexibility, scale and sustainability will transform how faculty work and students learn.
The Twin Cities Graduate Center in Maple Grove, MN had classes in programs such as business administration, higher education administration, counseling and regulatory affairs and services are offered.
In January 2017 SCSU moved its Twin Cities programs to Plymouth, MN. Renamed St. Cloud State at Plymouth, it is home to graduate programs in business administration, engineering management, educational administration, applied clinical research, regulatory affairs and services and medical technology quality.
Riverview Hall renovated
On the National Register of Historic Places, Riverview Hall reopened in 2010 after a $6.2 million renovation. The project retained the original building's historic features while adding high-tech innovations. Two historic classrooms, furnished in 1913 style, stand next to smart classrooms and modern communication labs. Riverview was opened in 1913 as a laboratory school. From 1958 to 2008 it was home to the Department of English. It now houses the Department of Communication Studies.
Lawrence Hall renovated
Built in 1905, Lawrence Hall housed students and academic offices for generations before being closed in 1999. It was restored in 2002–03 with funding from the 2000 Legislature. Today the four-level building houses international students, the Center for International Studies and the Department of Languages and Cultures.
Naming of Ruby Cora Webster Hall
When the Herberger Business School moved to Centennial Hall, its original building became known as Building 51. In 2018, Building 51 was renamed Ruby Cora Webster Hall after St. Cloud Normal School's first African-American student. SCSU ethnic studies professor Chris Lehman learned about Webster and petitioned the university to rename Building 51 after her. Ruby Cora Webster Hall houses the English, ethnic and women's studies, and political science departments.