Minnesota Student Survey

The Minnesota Student Survey (MSS) is one of the longest running youth surveys in the nation. It is a triennial survey that began in 1989. The survey is an anonymous statewide school-based survey conducted to gain insights into the world of students and their experiences.

The survey asks students about their activities, opinions, behaviors and experiences. Students respond to questions on school climate, bullying, out-of-school activities, health and nutrition, emotional and mental health, relationships, substance use and more. Questions about sexual behaviors are asked only of 9th- and 11th-grade students. All responses are anonymous.

The MSS can be administered to 5th-, 8th-, 9th-, and 11th-grade students in public schools, charter schools, Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) tribal schools and non-public schools. It is also offered to students in alternative learning centers and juvenile correctional facilities. In 2016, 282 of 330 school districts (85.5 percent) participated in the survey--nearly 169,000 students.

The survey is voluntary for schools and students. Schools have the option of not participating in the survey. If a school chooses to participate, it must notify parents and inform them of their right to review the survey questions and opt out their child. This notification requirement is an obligation under the federal Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA). Students also can decide not to take the survey or stop at any point while taking it.

View the MSS FAQ document for more information on the survey.

View “Snapshots on Minnesota Youth: 2016 Minnesota Student Survey Whole Child Report.”

Key Changes in 2019 Minnesota Student Survey

2019 Minnesota Student Survey Timeline

Protection of Pupils' Rights Amendments (PPRA) Notification

Where to access MSS data

State, county and district data from 2013 and 2016:
Data are available in an online interactive format on the Data Analytics webpage. Scroll down and select “Minnesota Student Survey Data Reports 2013-2016.” Select “Download” in the upper right-hand corner to download contents into an Excel or PDF file.

State, county and district data from 2007 and 2010:
Data are available in PDF reports on the Data Analytics webpage. Scroll down and select “Minnesota Student Survey Tables 2007-2010.”

State results from 2013 and 2016 are available from the links below.
View the 2016 MSS State Results.

Individual-level data files:
Individual level data files may be requested in order to conduct additional statistical analyses. The requestor must complete a data user agreement and data request form. Requests for district or school level data files must be accompanied by permission from the district’s superintendent.

2019 MSS Parent Letter Templates

Schools may use the following parent letter templates to communicate information about the Minnesota Student Survey and inform parents of their right to review the survey and/or opt their child out of participation.