Overview

Macalester College is a selective liberal arts college with a long history of providing an international education in a global community. Our students come from more than 90 countries and all 50 states. They gain the experience and skills to lead fulfilling lives and change the world. Set in a beautiful neighborhood just a few miles from the city centers of St. Paul and Minneapolis, a metropolitan area of 3.5 million, students have valuable access to an enormous array of internships and research opportunities within a few miles of campus. The campus is a lush display of stately trees and sustainable flower beds. It feels like a beautiful park between two great cities.

Academic, social, spiritual, community and professional endeavors are all amplified by Macalester’s location in the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Being in the heart of a metropolitan area allows for over 60 courses to readily partner with organizations in the Twin Cities, as well as provide access to internships and service opportunities. Within five blocks of Macalester, there are at least 20 restaurants, eight coffee houses, five places of worship, two bookstores, a movie theater and stores for art supplies, flowers, bike repairs, pharmacies and music, as well as Breadsmith, Jamba Juice, Patagonia, Whole Foods and more.

Religious affiliation: None

Student body profile

Students at Macalester are curious, highly motivated, serious about their academic pursuits and supportive of each other. Macalester students are more likely to work together for collective academic success than to compete. Every Macalester student takes a First Year Course (FYC) in their first semester. Seminar-style FYCs are limited to 16 students and the professor is the academic advisor for each student in the class. FYCs set the stage for an academic journey based on small classes, individual attention and collaboration.

Academics
Macalester's location in the heart of a metropolitan area of 3.5 million people augments academic opportunities. Over 60 courses partner with organizations in the Twin Cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Example classes include:
  • Legislative Politics, where students intern as legislative aides in the nearby Minnesota State Capitol;
  • Cultural Atlas, where students collaborate to create a cultural atlas of Saint Paul (see macalester.edu/curiouscity);
  • Community Psychology and Public Health, in which students engage in off-campus shadowing opportunities;
  • Drama: Theater and Politics, which incorporates theatrical performances in multiple Twin Cities theaters including the world-class Guthrie Theater.

I wanted a college where I felt I could belong: somewhere I wasn't going to be seen as purely a number; a home away from home. Macalester gave me that feeling from my first visit and has not left me since. Everyone is so welcoming and so open to different ways of life.

Audrey Kellar '22

Admissions

Macalester approaches admissions with a holistic and rigorous assessment of a student’s potential for success. Experience and research have consistently show that the most important factor for predicting success is academic performance in high school. The Admissions Committee evaluates high school performance by reviewing students’ access to and performance in courses (i.e., grades), as well as numerous other factors such as teacher recommendations and personal essays. 

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Cost & financial aid

Each admitted student receives a financial aid package that meets 100% of demonstrated need for financial aid. Two out of three Macalester students receive need-based financial assistance. The average financial aid award for full-time students with demonstrated need in 2019-20 was $49,693. Grants and scholarships made up 85% of the average financial aid package.

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Tuition and fees

First-time, full-time students receiving grants and scholarships
85%

Financial aid application deadline
Jan. 22 (Regular Decision)

FAFSA code
002358

Learn more about financial aid at Macalester College.

Student activities

Contributing to long-lasting friendships and a sense of community, there are over 100 student organizations available at Mac. They help articulate students’ values as part of the campus culture and reflect the diverse interests of our students. Topics and shared interests for these organizations and clubs range in focus from art, athletics, comedy, culture, dance, entrepreneurship, forensics, gaming and Mac radio, to politics, Quiz Bowl, recreation, religion, rocketry, slam poetry, software development and more.

Number of student organizations
100+

Types of student organizations
Academic clubs
Community service
Cultural or ethnic
Honor societies
Political
Pre-professional
Religious
Student interest/hobbies
Student government

Fine art offerings
At Macalester, majors are offered in areas of study such as art, dance, music and theater. Students also participate in ensembles and coursework within the performing and visual arts without declaring a major in that area of study. Completed in 2019, the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center ushered in a new wave of creativity and collaboration for students and faculty, with expanded theaters, new studio spaces, the Mairs Concert Hall and the Law Warschaw Gallery.

Athletic programs

Conference membership
NCAA Division III - Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (beginning fall 2021)

After graduation

When you graduate from Macalester, you might become a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, write a bestselling novel or be chosen as one of Popular Science’s “Brilliant 10 Young Scientists.” You wouldn’t be the first graduate to do so, and like students through our history, you’ll find a liberal arts education is designed to help you discover a path to success. Your professors, Macalester alumni, and career exploration counselors and staff create an extensive network aimed at supporting your personal and professional goals. 

Disciplines with largest number of graduates
1. Social sciences
2. Biological and biomedical sciences
3. Psychology

Alumni majors
Use LinkedIn’s alumni tool* to explore what Macalester graduates majored in and the types of careers they have and with which companies.

*based only on those who have accounts on LinkedIn

Contact information

Other Student paths

Transfer

Learn more