Rochester skyline

UMR Mission and History

The University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) is a campus of the University of Minnesota system.

UMR offers distinctive health sciences and biosciences education to prepare students for a broad spectrum of current and emerging careers, ranging from patient care to pure and applied research.

The campus community serves approximately 950 undergraduate and graduate students in the heart of downtown Rochester. By continuing to meet the needs of the state of Minnesota through its programmatic offerings, UMR proudly leads the way to a brighter future for our community, our state and our world.

UMR students enjoying outdoor activities

Campus Mission

The University of Minnesota Rochester promotes learning and development through personalized education in a technology-enhanced environment.

The University of Minnesota Rochester empowers undergraduate and graduate students to be responsible for their own learning and provides appropriate support to prepare them to succeed in a global and multicultural society.

UMR serves as a conduit and catalyst for leveraging intellectual and economic resources in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota through its signature academic, research and public engagement programs in collaboration with other campuses of the University of Minnesota, higher education institutions throughout the state and nation, governmental and non-profit organizations, and private enterprise.

University Square

Campus Vision


The University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) will inspire transformation in higher education through innovations that empower our graduates to solve the grand health challenges of the 21st century.

Unique Excellence

Our riveted focus on undergraduate education creates innovations that significantly enhance student learning and development. We are committed to sustaining and optimizing these six established arenas of distinctiveness.

  • Customized undergraduate health education

  • Individualized care, attention and guidance

  • Connected curricular experiences

  • Collaborative culture

  • Learner-centered core shaped by ongoing learning research

  • Community immersion and engagement

UMR students enjoying outdoor activities

Grounding Values

UMR's values, as developed by the entire UMR community, are embedded in our vision and emanate from our collective belief in the transformative power of higher education, a belief evident in the ambitious work of our Rochester founders.

  • Respect. We value habits of interaction that demonstrate the worth and dignity of each person.

  • Human Potential. We value every person’s capacity to learn, develop, imagine, create and contribute.

  • Community. We value collective work and a culture of trust that promotes collaboration, problem-solving and partnerships while creating belonging, accountability and courageous action.

  • Diversity & Inclusiveness. We value the range of human differences and the active pursuit and involvement of varied perspectives.

  • Evidence-Based Decision Making. We value strategic collection and careful assessment of data to inform our choices in all matters, including student learning and development.

Centering Aspirations

  • Devote our expertise and energy to student learning and development, choosing habits that enable us to thrive as a healthy, high-integrity community characterized by our values.

  • Generate transformative contributions to the renewal of higher education, providing a collaborative environment of inquiry that allows innovative thought-leadership in teaching and learning, educational research, public engagement, organizational efficiency and community integration.

  • Enhance the diversity of the health care workforce, through intentional inclusivity emanating from our core commitment to respectful human relationships and permeating our habits of interaction in recruitment, teaching and learning and the ongoing life of our UMR community.

  • Optimize the established arenas of distinctiveness, assessing results to provide ongoing evidence for decision-making and mindfully aligning emerging innovations with these established strengths.

  • Sustain UMR as an innovative, educational enterprise, through increased enrollment of passionate, resilient students commensurate with the goals established in our enrollment management plan as well as increased strategic generation of mission-driven resources.

  • Contribute significantly to the continued development of the Rochester community, through intentional partnerships and initiatives.

A downloadable version of the Vision, Values and Strategic Framework can be found here.

Academic Accreditation

In 2015 the University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) completed a full Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools evaluation and accreditation visit. In 2016 UMR received a full 10-year accreditation approval along with the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus.

Exterior shot of block M

University History

The University of Minnesota Rochester began as a concept in the 1950's when Rochester legislators and community advocates started the campaign to increase University of Minnesota’s presence in Rochester, Minnesota.

Several decades later in 1998, Rochester was recognized by the legislature as a branch of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. This designation allowed the Rochester site to develop its own leadership structure and to begin expanding its programs. In 2000, the University heightened efforts to grow the programs and reach of the Rochester branch by adding a new Provost to lead the campus and increasing staff to accommodate this growth. In 2006, UMR was designated as a full and official coordinate campus of the University of Minnesota system, and shortly after, selection of a downtown location to grow the campus began.

In fall 2007, UMR staff moved into the new facilities at University Square in downtown Rochester and welcomed its new Chancellor, Dr. Stephen Lehmkuhle who was inaugurated in April 2008.

Programs offered through UMR were delivered in partnership with other U of M campuses, but in 2008 and 2009, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BICB) and a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) respectively, became the first two programmatic offerings administered and delivered by UMR.

As programs grew and enrollment increased, UMR developed a campus master plan containing guidelines for the development of a permanent campus in downtown Rochester. As part of the plan, UMR announced its intention to collaborate with existing resources in the community to provide students with housing and recreation and to work in partnership with the city of Rochester to develop a plan for the growth of downtown and the future campus.

UMR has continued to grow its programmatic offerings to respond to the needs of the region, adding the Bachelor of Science in Health Professions (BSHP) degree program in fall 2011. The BSHP is an educational collaboration with Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences. Students in the BSHP Program graduate with a degree from UMR and a certificate from Mayo Clinic School of Health and Sciences in one of four health-related fields: Respiratory Care, Echocardiography, Sonography and Radiography.

On May 18, 2013, UMR graduated its first class of undergraduate students in the B.S. in Health Sciences and B.S. in Health Professions programs at the Mayo Civic Center in downtown Rochester. As of spring 2018, UMR has graduated 527 students.

On September 21, 2018, Lori Carrell, PhD was inaugurated as UMR’s second chancellor. Prior to being named Chancellor, Dr. Carrell was Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Student Development.