Saint Paul campus scene

Our UMN Story

Held in trust since 1872

We are Minnesota’s natural history museum and a proud part of Minnesota’s land-grant university—one of the most prestigious public research universities in the nation. At the University of Minnesota, we are driven to discover—changing lives through research, education, and outreach.

The museum is powered by the great minds on campus–from our faculty curators, student lab assistants, and interpretive guides to our dedicated staff and collegiate partners–with the curiosity and innovative spirit to confront the world’s great challenges from every angle. The University of Minnesota is vibrant, filled with ideas, and fueled by boundless human energy. The university overflows with unique promise that drives the economy, culture, and innovation of the state of Minnesota. And now we have an opportunity to make an impact on the world.

“I’m excited about the future of our new, world-class museum and planetarium as a means to engage with our community, introduce the next generation to university discovery, and bring thousands of museum-goers to our campus to explore our Earth and the universe.” – President Eric Kaler, University of Minnesota

We are CFANS

Within the vast UMN system, the Bell Museum’s organizational home is in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences – better known as CFANS. The college consists of 13 academic departments and 10 research and outreach centers across Minnesota, plus the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and dozens of interdisciplinary centers that span the college, the university, and the globe. 

With a legacy of bringing discoveries to life through science, CFANS educates the next generation of leaders to anticipate and adapt to a changing state and world and solves the real challenges of nourishing people while enriching the environments in which we live.

Ribbon of images depicting the natural world.