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Ever had an interest sea life, oceans, or ecosystems? We have the minor for you! The College of Biological Sciences has recently created a minor for Marine Biology. This new Marine Biology minor highlights the concepts of oceanography, sustainable use, and marine ecology using an intercollegiate curriculum.

What is unique about this minor is that the coursework is not restricted to the classroom or laboratory, but greatly emphasizes field trips, study abroad experiences, and internship opportunities in order to foster learning. Upon completion of this minor, students will have acquired the skills and knowledge "that will enrich their lives and provide a base for subsequent study in marine sciences."

A minor is a great way to enrich your education and learn more about a subject you are interested in. Minors can also help expand your knowledge on a specific area that also supplements your major. The University of Minnesota has over 110 minors that cover a large variety of subject areas.

For more information on the new Marine Biology minor, please visit http://www.cbs.umn.edu/students/cbs-minors/marine-biology. For information on our other minors, please visit http://www.catalogs.umn.edu/ug/. As always, visiting our campus and meeting with one of our admissions counselors is one of the best ways to get first-hand information about the U of M. To schedule a campus visit, please go to http://z.umn.edu/campusvisit.


Name: Megan Odom 

Hometown: Savage, MN
Major(s): Spanish and Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance
Year in School: Junior, Class of 2014

Why she chose the U of M: 
Megan ultimately chose to attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities based on the quality of academic programs as well as value: low cost of attendance and great scholarship opportunities.

Campus involvement:

Swing Dancing
• The Rock Church (click here to see a list of the variety of religion-based student groups available to all students on campus)
Admissions Ambassadors

Getting involved in research: "As a freshman, my research project included working with the speech-language-hearing sciences department to research effective language interventions for children and adolescents with both Down Syndrome and Fragile X Syndrome."

Highlight of her freshman year at the U of M: "Meeting a group of friends who are like family! We made 'family dinners' on Sunday nights a tradition."

Her advice to high school seniors: "Stay in touch with friends once you go off to college - everyone loves to get mail!"

Name: Alexander Sprenger
Hometown: East Troy, Wisconsin

Majors: Finance and International Business

Year of expected graduation: 2016

Why he chose the U of M: The U of M has all the exciting opportunities of a large university, but also closer circles of support. Also, I liked the opportunities offered by the Carlson School of Management, especially with the Twin Cities being such a vibrant center of business.

How he is involved at the U of M: I am an officer in the International Business Association and a member of the Investment and Finance Organization. I also play in the University Pep Band.

Highlight of his U of M experience so far: Going to my first ever Golden Gopher football game.

His advice to high school seniors: Don't be afraid to talk to your parents and counselors about the college search process. Talking about it with others is a good way to de-stress. Find out as much as you can, especially with a college visit, but don't worry too much. You're not alone in this process!

Hello Future Gophers!

My name is Jennifer Wang and I'm excited to introduce myself as the new student blogger for Gopher Tales. I will be sharing my U of M experiences with you, as well as spotlights on classes, student organizations, and campus events. Let's start with introductions first!

I am a junior in the Carlson School of Management majoring in marketing and minoring in retail merchandising. I'm a Minnesota-native from Woodbury, MN. I stay involved on campus through peer tutoring at the MacNamara Academic Center, being an active member of Alpha Kappa Psi, and through my internship in the Office of Admissions. (You can learn more about me by checking out my blogger bio.)

AKPsi, as we call it, is a professional co-ed business fraternity. Joining a student organization has been the best decision I've made in college. By joining AKPsi, I've surrounded myself with a network of like-minded, motivated business students who I also call my best friends. Being a part of AKPsi has definitely given me a community within the University.

Off campus, I am heavily involved with Chinese dance. My dance studio is called CAAM (Chinese American Association of Minnesota) Chinese Dance Theater and is a twenty-year-old non-profit organization. I have been dancing at CAAM for sixteen years and my involvement has ranged from dancing, to teaching, to volunteering. 

I am absolutely in love with the University of Minnesota and am so happy that I chose this school. I'm excited to be able to represent the U of M through my blog. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!

Name: Eliza Grames

Picking Tangelos.jpgHometown: Esko, Minnesota

Majors: Professional Strategic Communication, Communication Studies, & Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management

Year of Expected Graduation: 2013

Why she chose the U of M: Eliza shares her main reasons for choosing the University of Minnesota: "The first was that it is located in the heart of the Twin Cities which means there is always something going on and plenty of job and internship opportunities. The second was the University Honors Program which opened up opportunities for smaller class sizes and involvement with faculty."

How she is involved at the U of M: I've been playing on the University of Minnesota Quizbowl Team for four years and served as the President of the team for two years. In my time with the team, I've developed friendships, traveled across the country for tournaments, gained leadership experience, and connected to other on-campus activities through Student Unions and Activities.

I also serve as an officer for an environmental student group on campus for students who are passionate about climate change issues. Our goal is to work with the University to transition away from fossil fuel dependency by raising awareness of climate change issues and leading a divestment campaign.

On-campus employment has also been valuable in connecting me to the University of Minnesota. I got to know one of my professors in the Department of Forest Resources through class, and she offered me a job doing communications for a branch of University of Minnesota Extension. In my position, I interact with professionals across the state, which helps to put a perspective on how valuable my time at the University of Minnesota is and how it can serve as a stepping stone for me to achieve my goals.

Highlight of her U of M experience so far: As I near graduation, I've been working on my honors thesis research project on climate-induced migration in Northwest Alaska. The experience has helped me to explore topics I'm interested in, gain confidence in my research and writing abilities, and develop relationships with professors in my field. I think that when I look back on my experience at the University of Minnesota, I'll remember the day-to-day aspects of student life and hanging out with friends, but what will stick out most is my thesis project because it's helping to shape my life goals and future plans.

Her advice to high school seniors: Don't decide what you want to major in right away. Look around and discover what is interesting to you, because if you study what you're interested in, your college experience will be more rewarding. You'll be excited to go to classes, you'll enjoy your internship experiences, and you'll be good at what you do because you'll love the topic that you're studying.

One of the best parts about being a student at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, is the endless amount of opportunities for hands-on experiences that can be gained through classes, research opportunities, and student organizations. 

One great example of these types of opportunities is a recent project by five U of M students through the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC). During the fall semester of 2012, SJMC joined up with Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) to take a closer look at education in Minnesota and role that immigration plays in education and curriculum.  

Nearly 65,000 English learner students are enrolled in Minnesota schools, representing more than 200 native languages. Through the "Teaching the World in Minnesota" project, five U of M students explored the role that cultures, perspectives, and languages play in Minnesota's educational system. They conveyed their findings through stories, videos, and photos.  Check out their tumblr blog and the "Teaching the World in Minnesota" page on the Minnesota Public Radio website, to read more about their discoveries. 

The student contributors represent a diverse background of majors at the University of Minnesota, but all share a common interest in journalism. Alexandra Sobiech and Mike Zittlow are students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Anthony Kwan is majoring in aerospace engineering, Frank Bi is studying computer science, and Alexander Holston is an individualized studies student with a focus in journalism, English, and social justice.

Name: Sheri Li

Sheri.jpg Hometown: Woodbury, MN

Major(s): Neuroscience

Year of expected graduation: 2016

Why she chose the U of M: It's funny, because I actually ruled out Minnesota at first because it was too close to home for me. In the end, I realized how much I love the campus. The great thing about college is that you can make it as close or as far away from home as you want it to be. Also, I love the Twin Cities! The University is located minutes from downtown Minneapolis, and is very close to St. Paul. Not only does this make an exciting environment, but it also brings a lot of companies to the University as well. The deciding factor for me was the wonderful opportunities that the University offered me and other National Merit Scholars. You simply can't get a better deal at a better school.

How she is involved at the U of M: So far I am involved in the Honors program, a student group called "U Students Like Good Food," and am involved in Admissions Ambassadors. I love how I get to express my interests here at the University. I'm a total food geek, yet no one really knew until I joined a club full of others who were passionate about the same things as me.

Highlight of her U of M experience so far: The hockey games! If you are a hockey fan, you'd love these. If you aren't a hockey fan, you'll still love these.

The science-based majors listed below are each offered through the College of Science and Engineering (bachelor of science degree) and the College of Liberal Arts (bachelor of arts degree). 

In addition to the benefits of learning from world-class faculty and utilizing state-of-the-art facilities, students who are seeking a science-based career can also utilize the Career Center for Science and Engineering to work on their resumé, participate in mock interviews, learn about internship and co-op opportunities, and more.

To learn more about U of M major options, visit: http://admissions.tc.umn.edu/admissioninfo/fresh_acadprog.html.

Major: Chemistry

(College of Science and Engineering, College of Liberal Arts)

Description: Chemists interact with nature at a fundamental, molecular level. This field of science impacts medicine, materials science, genetics, biology, pharmacy, food science, and environmental science. The curriculum encompasses the major subfields of chemistry including theories, techniques, and tools. It also includes chemistry, physics, mathematics, and the liberal arts. Students select an emphasis area from the following:

  • Bioscience and bioproducts
  • Chemical physics
  • Chemistry education
  • Environmental chemistry
  • Materials chemistry 

Examples of Careers: Biochemist, microbiologist, industrial hygienist, analytic chemist, pharmaceutical chemist, crime lab analyst, researcher, or food technologist


Major: Computer Science

(College of Science and Engineering, College of Liberal Arts)

Examples of Careers: Researcher, Computer Communication Specialist, Computer Engineer, Robotics Engineer, Software or Hardware Developer, Systems and Security Administrator or Web Designer

Description: Computer scientists develop programming languages and operating systems, design computer software and hardware, apply computational techniques to other sciences, investigate social uses of computing, and advance new technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics. Students will learn to design and analyze computer systems, to use them to solve practical problems, and to assess their limitations. They use state-of-the-art computing platforms and instructional facilities and also have access to special research facilities like the Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Vision Laboratory, which includes a lab devoted to undergrads.

Major: Computer Engineering

(College of Science and Engineering)

Description: Computer engineers design, build, test, and install high-tech computing devices or everything from supercomputers to toys. This in-demand field includes hardware, software, and systems that contain microprocessors or microcontrollers. Students in this major learn to integrate hardware and software into systems that deliver power, performance, safety, security, and reliability. Seniors choose one of the following emphasis areas:

  • Computer Architecture
  • Computer Networks
  • Software Engineering
  • Microprocessor and Microcontroller Systems
  • Computer-Aided Circuit Design

Examples of Careers: custom computer designer, computer chip designer, software designer, computer network engineer, electronic systems designer, hardware engineer, development engineer, or systems engineer

Major: Physics

(College of Science and Engineering, College of Liberal Arts)

Description: Physics students study the basic principles that govern time, space, energy, and matter from the smallest subatomic particles to the entire Universe. Students learn how everything fits together while preparing for a career in industry, research, or teaching. Undergraduates in this major choose from five emphasis areas:

  • Professional physics
  • Engineering
  • Biology
  • Teaching
  • Computation

Examples of Careers:  Advanced research in industry, government laboratories, or universities, teaching in a high school or college, public policy, gateway to economics, engineering, journalism, law, or medicine, product development, technical sales, or investments management.

What? It's the end of summer! How did this happen?!? Sadly, I guess it's my time to say farewell as your Gopher student blogger. 

Throughout the summer I've had the opportunity to work closely with amazing colleagues that have taught me about about good work ethic, teamwork, and dedication (especially to all things maroon and gold). I have never been more proud to be a University of Minnesota student as I have been this summer. Seeing high school students touring campus (and giving my very first campus tour!) brought back the excitement that I had just four years ago when I first stepped foot on Gopher territory.

I could give you a plethora of advice as you embark on your college journey, but instead I will stick to a few essential bits of advice to help you succeed as a student...

1) Never take anything for granted. Every class you have and every person you meet will shape you over the course of the next four years. Some of my closest friends today are people who I thought I had nothing in common with. Friends are like leaves, some fall away and some stay on the branch, but either way, the more you rake up, the more fun you will have! (Who doesn't love jumping into leaf piles? Right?)

2) Take pictures. I feel like someone told me this just yesterday as I began my college career, but college goes by way too fast! Take it from a soon-to-be-graduating senior who feels like she just moved to the U of M. (At least I'll always have this great photo of my Welcome Week experience!)

LOW RES- presentation and internet only 1.jpg


3) Take advantage of your surroundings. Step away from the screen you're looking at (only after you have read the rest of this post...obviously) and remind yourself that you're in the Twin Cities! Anything you could ever want is at your fingertips! Go to the zoo, go to a Twins game, sip coffee on West Bank of campus, shop until you drop at the Mall of America, rent paddleboards on Lake Calhoun, and so much more! Students at the U of M truly have a great location to take advantage of. 

4) Always remember that dreams DO come true! This summer I lived my dream by going to a movie premiere in Hollywood, California. The U of M has given me infinite opportunities to grow as a student, a young adult, and a working professional. Take advantage of these opportunities. Whether it be through extracurricular clubs, internships, or volunteer positions, the U of M has the resources and opportunities that can help you achieve your goals and dreams too! 

5) Most importantly... don't spend all your Flexdine at Starbucks! Your funds will dwindle faster than you can say "orange mocha Frapuccino." But seriously, live like a college student now so that you won't have to later. There are many free and discounted opportunities for fun on and off campus, so you can have fun and not break the bank.

With that said, I will give you a digital tip-of-the-hat and hope that your college career unfolds as beautifully as mine did.


CLA Photo.jpg
In today's digital age, people are continuing to trade in their flip phones for the latest and greatest smart phone on the market. Many people have returned their paperbacks to the library and are now operating Kindles, Nooks, and iPads. What makes these new devices so enticing? The wide variety of apps, of course!

In a world full of bloggers, Tweets, Facebook, and other fast-paced and technologically advanced programs, many institutions are now only a click away. If clothing stores and restaurants have apps, shouldn't art museums? 

Recently, I learned about a new course offered by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Department of Art History, and College of Design at the U of M. The goal of the course will be to conceptualize an interactive app for the world-renowned Weisman Art Museum (WAM), which is located on the U of M east bank campus. The course will combine research, writing, design, observation, and discussion to create an exciting new app. 

I was so excited to learn about the amazing opportunity, and I signed up for the course right away. It's great to see the University constantly offering new coursework and opportunities that are following the trends of technology and society, and helping us stay ahead of the curve in our knowledge and skills. I look forward to learning a lot from this class next semester!

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