University police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said it appeared the woman, whose name had not been released, fell accidentally about 4:30 p.m. Saturday while trying to get to a small rooftop portion of the Mark G. Yudof Hall on the Minneapolis campus.
Miner said it appeared the victim tripped and fell into a courtyard below the apartment-style building that houses more than 400 students, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.
The young woman was not a university student but was visiting a friend who is, the newspaper said.
"We take the safety and security of all our visitors on campus, if they are a student or not, very seriously and our thoughts go out to the family and friends of this young lady," Miner said. "It was obviously a very tragic death at a young age."
Miner said there was alcohol in the unit she was visiting but it had yet to be determined if it had any bearing on her death.
The Hennepin County medical examiner was to conduct tests to learn whether drugs or alcohol played a role in her fall, Miner said.