Minerva University focuses on the success of our students. We provide active learning in an all-seminar program because this form of pedagogy has been shown to be superior to traditional lecture-based instruction. Our students learn to work as individuals and as members of teams, and learn habits of mind and foundational concepts that will serve them in good stead for a lifetime. We also support co-curricular and extracurricular opportunities and provide robust student support services to assist students through challenges they may face while enrolled in our programs.
One of the key characteristics of Minerva University is its global character. Students come to Minerva from all over the world to study and live in seven major world cities during the four-year undergraduate program. All undergraduate students are full-time.
We have 618 students studying in the 2020-2021 Academic Year. This year students are studying in San Francisco, Berlin, and London in the Fall and San Francisco, Taipei, and Seoul. Because of the pandemic, approximately a quarter of our students are studying remotely. They come from approximately 60 different countries, with no single country dominating the enrollment. They are approximately half men and half women.
As demonstrated in the table below, Minerva's retention overall is currently at 92% (636+104+119/ 934). Retention from first year to second year for each cohort has ranged from 88% to 98%.
|Fall 2014||Fall 2015||Fall 2016||Fall 2017||Fall 2018||Fall 2019||Fall 2020|
4 years (8 semesters)
5 years (9 or 10 semesters)
|Founding Class Matric 2014||21 (75%)|
|Inaugurual Class Matric 2015||83 (77%)||5 (81%)|
|Matric 2016||114 (71%)||TBD|
|Status as of January 15, 2021||
2019 (18 mo)
2019 (6 mo)
2020 (6 mo)
2020 (3 mo)
|Continuing graduate education||16 (15%)||13 (13%)||12 (10%)||12 (10%)|
|Working in career-relevant jobs||73 (70%)||82 (79%)||82 (69%)||61 (51%)|
|Actively seeking employment||6 (6%)||5 (5%)||15 (13%)||33 (28%)|
|Serving in the military||0 (0%)||0 (0%)||1 (1%)||1 (1%)|
|Volunteering||1 (1%)||1 (1%)||0 (0%)||1 (1%)|
|Not seeking employment||0 (0%)||2 (2%)||2 (2%)||4 (3%)|
|Unknown||8 (8%)||1 (1%)||7 (6%)||7 (6%)|
|Total number of graduates||104||104||119||119|
Minerva expects all undergraduate students to meet Degree Learning Objectives (DLOs.) These DLOs are introduced in the first-year Cornerstone courses and consist of “habits of mind” and “foundational concepts” (HCs,) which are applied and assessed throughout the four years of study. A habit of mind is a mental skill that comes to be triggered automatically with practice; a foundational concept is fundamental knowledge that is broadly applicable, which typically does require deliberation. Each of the four core competencies, Thinking Critically, Thinking Creatively, Interacting Effectively, and Communicating Effectively, are broken down into more specific aspects (sub-competencies), and each of these aspects, in turn, includes a set of habits of mind and foundational concepts. Minerva uses both internal and external assessments to measure student learning.
The habits of mind and foundational concepts derived from Minerva’s core competencies are introduced in the first-year Cornerstone courses and continue to be assessed over the next three years in every Minerva course. This results in continuous evaluation of student performance on Minerva’s undergraduate degree learning outcomes. Outcome data are analyzed at the end of each year. The Benchmark is set at a benchmark of 3.0 (Knowledge) on the rubric scale of 1-5. Year indicates the cohort’s expected graduation or year of graduation in the case of 2020. Please note that it has been a trend over multiple years that the percentage of students achieving the Benchmark is lower in their first year and increases in subsequent years.
As students continue to be directly assessed in later courses on the habits of mind and foundation concepts introduced in the first-year curriculum, they receive feedback on their ability to transfer (utilize) these outcomes to their upper-division coursework. The percentages are the proportion of students receiving a mean of 3.0 (Knowledge) or higher on the rubric scale of 1–5.
|Arts & Humanities Courses||85%|
|Computational Sciences Courses||87%|
|Natural Sciences Courses||79%|
|Social Sciences Courses||88%|
Collegiate Learning Assessment + (CLA+)
Minerva administered the CLA+ test to provide an outside assessment of the effectiveness of aspects of the first-year curriculum (a subset of the critical thinking and problem-solving learning outcomes we teach). The assessment was given at the beginning and end of the fall and spring terms to first-year students and at graduation. The Council for Aid to Education administers the CLA+ each year to more than 20,000 undergraduate students attending approximately 100 different colleges and universities. More information about the CLA+ is available here. The table below gives the percentiles that Minerva students achieved when compared with freshmen and seniors at other institutions.
|Class||Level of Class When Tested||Comparison Level at Other Institutions||Fall Percentile||Spring Percentile||One-Year Gain|
Minerva administers multiple surveys throughout the year to collect self-reported data from students. The 2019–2020 surveys, plus other tracking measures, covered the Graduating classes of 2019 and 2020 and the four cohorts of 2020 through 2023, providing the following data on student self-reported engagement and learning.
This 21-month, part-time graduate program is designed to impart key professional skills, with an emphasis on research, analysis, and practical decision-making. Students learn how to interpret complex data, ﬁnd rational conclusions, devise potential solutions, and evaluate the implications of their choices.
The first pilot cohort of master's students participated in a 12-month full-time program and matriculated in September 2017. Upon their graduation, the program was redesigned as a 21-month part-time program and relaunched one year later. Master's students may extend their thesis work for up to one year from the expected graduation date. Because of Covid-19, we provided an additional extension for the current cohort.
|Year Matriculated||# Matriculated||Year Graduated||# Graduated|
|2016||10||2017 (1-year full time program)||10|
|2017||8||2019 (Changed to 2-year part-time program)||3*|
The following learning outcomes are associated with the MDA degree:
The Benchmark is set at a benchmark of 3.0 (Knowledge) on the rubric scale of 1–5 for the learning outcomes across the eight courses taken.
|Outcomes||MDA 2017||MDA 2019||MDA 2021|
MDA graduates work in a wide variety of sectors, including but not limited to science, education, government, technology, and finance. Their roles are similarly diverse, including founders (29%), chief executives (18%), and managerial/directorial roles (29%).
|Activity||MDA 2017||MDA 2019*|
|New role since graduation||60%||71%|
|Continuing previous role||30%||15%|