University of Minnesota Morris
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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the STEP program at the University of Minnesota, Morris?

The University of Minnesota, Morris provides a great education, which involves students participating in undergraduate research or other creative activities. Additionally, the Morris campus was an Indian Boarding School in the late 1800s. The boarding school closed in 1909, and the campus was transferred to the State of Minnesota with the stipulation that American Indian students “shall at all times be admitted to such school free of charge for tuition,” a policy still proudly honored. So a program that is dedicated to supporting Native Americans through undergraduate research is a perfect fit at Morris.

Why is undergraduate research important?

Research provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to work closely with a faculty member and other students in an academically stimulating and fun setting. Students learn, gain experience, and become more confident.

Is there a cost to the students?

Students who participate in STEP get paid a $2,500 stipend to conduct research during the summer. They also receive funding for their research expenses (equipment, materials, or travel). This combined with free tuition at Morris makes the STEP program a great deal.

What do you study when doing research?

That’s up to you! Faculty in biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, mathematics, physics, and statistics supervise undergraduate research projects. If you are interested in these fields, or fields like engineering, the environment, medicine, or veterinary medicine, there are many research opportunities available to you.

How many other students participate in STEP?

We are now in the fourth year of the program and have over 50 students participating.

What are the academics like?

UMM is challenging–that’s part of being a nationally recognized institution. But, the Native American graduation rate is about the same as the graduation rate for all University of Minnesota, Morris students. At Morris, there are caring and supportive faculty and staff that want you to succeed. While it takes a lot of work, for the right student, the Morris campus STEP program can be perfect.

What if I'm a junior in high school?

The University of Minnesota, Morris STEP program has opportunities for high school juniors as well. The STEP program will provide a scholarship that will cover the programs cost and provide for some expenses. You will receive college credit, meet Morris STEP students, and learn about UMM. E-mail Professor Jim Cotter at to learn more.