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NDSU Overview


With energy and momentum, North Dakota State University addresses the needs and aspirations of people in a changing world by building on our land-grant foundation.


We envision a vibrant university that will be globally identified as a contemporary metropolitan land-grant institution.

Core Values

NDSU is guided by the following key values and principles:


  • We reflect and serve geographically and culturally diverse populations.
  • We share institutional success across the university.
  • We anticipate and welcome growth and service that will occur in ways yet to be conceived.
  • We embrace our unique complexities as a land-grant university on the Northern Great Plains.
  • We remain committed to serving people globally.


  • We derive strength and vitality from each other and from the diverse communities we serve.
  • We envision an academic and social environment that is conducive to intellectual and personal development by promoting the safety and welfare of all members of the university community.
  • We promote excellence through individuals participating in decisions and value cooperation for the common good.


  • We are an engaged university and acknowledge and pursue scholarship of all forms, including discovery, teaching, integration, and application.
  • We uphold the rights and responsibilities of academic freedom.

Teaching and Learning

  • We provide a superior teaching and learning environment within and outside of the traditional classroom.
  • We promote and value liberal, graduate, and professional education in a collegial environment where divergent ideas can be shared.
  • We foster an environment that promotes life-long learning with individually-defined goals.


  • We maintain our integrity through principled action and ethical decision-making.


  • We will be the land-grant university that we want to be by welcoming and respecting differences in people and ideas.
  • We support the goals of the North Dakota University System and value collaboration with colleges and universities around the world.
  • We foster accessibility to our programs and services.


  • We have a special relationship with, and are accountable to, the people of North Dakota.
  • We actively strive to contribute to our region's economic prosperity and to improve the quality of life.

A Vibrant Educational and Research Environment

NDSU is a highly regarded and often recognized student-focused, land-grant, research institution. With a land-grant mission to provide quality education, leading-edge research and excellent service, NDSU is acknowledged as a national leader among its peers, and seen by many as a model for success.

NDSU is listed at 84 among 402 public universities based on NDSU’s research expenditures reported to the National Science Foundation. In addition, NDSU is listed in the National Science Foundation’s top 100 in several areas, including: agricultural sciences, social sciences, physical sciences, chemistry, psychology and computer sciences. 

NDSU has enjoyed consistent growth, with enrollment now exceeding 14,400 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs. Annual research expenditures at the university surpass $150 million.

NDSU plays a significant role in the local economy and serves a region that comprises the entire state of North Dakota and 18 counties in western Minnesota within a 100 mile radius of Fargo.  According to an economic impact survey conducted by EMSI in 2016, NDSU adds to the local economy annually through its operations, research, students and visitors an estimated $366.9 million. The workforce skills acquired by past and present students who are employed in the regional service area contributes an additional $560.4 million each year. NDSU’s total economic impact to the region is roughly $927.3 million annually.

In addition, NDSU's 55 acre Research and Technology Park is an award-winning example of success. It is a place where University researchers and private industry can combine their talents to develop and commercialize new technologies, methods and systems.  Founded in 1999, the Research Park is host to nationally known companies John Deere Electronic Solutions, Bobcat, Cargill and Appareo.  The Park has a 50,000 square foot Incubator building that accelerates the success of startup companies. Successful Incubator graduates include Appareo, Intelligent InSites, Pedigree Technologies and Myriad Mobile.

NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani describes the university as a place where students can succeed academically and personally through learning, involvement, service and leadership. "NDSU is unique nationally in that it is a land-grant, research-based and student-focused university," he said. "That combination provides what few others institutions do, and our students are realizing the benefits."

An Historical Perspective of NDSU

A Bit of History

North Dakota had been a state less than a year when Governor John Miller signed a bill on March 8, 1890, designating a square mile of land adjoining Fargo as the site of the new campus and demonstration farm under the name North Dakota Agricultural College and Agricultural Experiment Station.

With President Horace E. Stockbridge and five faculty members, the university opened for its first collegiate year on September 8, 1891. A total of 30 students were listed in the 1891 Prospectus as being "matriculated in the Special Course."

Through its proud history, the campus has gained a strong reputation for outstanding education, research and service. An engaged university, NDSU is recognized as a leader among its peers. Acknowledged nationally, NDSU is among 108 institutions listed in the "Research University/Very High Research" category by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.

The Land-Grant Heritage

Honoring the commitment of the Morrill Act of 1862, the land-grant universities were established to provide studies that were a blend of technical and academic subjects. Known as a "people's college," NDSU was part of the bold experiment to provide access to a college education for the common person.

NDSU, the state's first land-grant institution, is well positioned to prepare graduates for the global marketplace and technologically oriented economy. Through a statewide network of centers and electronic technology, NDSU provides a growing capability for delivering education, cultural activities and information to schools and homes throughout North Dakota. NDSU is a publicly supported comprehensive land-grant institution, with a strong agriculture and applied science tradition.

The College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies

Graduate students were first accepted in 1895, and a formal announcement of graduate studies has been carried in the bulletins since 1902.

The Graduate College was formalized July 1, 1954, by approval of the North Dakota Board of Higher Education. Graduate studies were administered by a Graduate Council from November 1949 to June 1954, and before that by a Graduate Committee.

The first Master of Science degree was awarded in 1899. Since then, graduate students have been in regular attendance and have participated in the scholarly activity of the campus. The number of degrees awarded increased noticeably after 1920 and again after 1950 in reflection of general trends in higher education in the United States.

In 1959, the North Dakota Board of Higher Education first authorized certain departments to offer the Doctor of Philosophy degree. The first Ph.D. degrees were awarded in 1963.

NDSU Today

NDSU has experienced a remarkable period of growth and expanded academic opportunities, and it is recognized as a national model of the contemporary land-grant institution. NDSU has an enrollment of more than 14,400 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs, and its research expenditures surpass $150 million annually.

NDSU is listed at 84 among 402 public universities based on NDSU’s research expenditures reported to the National Science Foundation. In addition, NDSU is listed in the National Science Foundation’s top 100 in several areas, including: agricultural sciences, social sciences, physical sciences, chemistry, psychology and computer sciences. 

An institution committed to progress, NDSU continues to advance in all areas because of the energy and dedication of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends.

About NDSU

Academic Programs

NDSU offers more than 100 undergraduate and approximately 135 graduate degree programs of study in nine academic colleges. Degrees are awarded at the doctoral, master’s, professional, and baccalaureate levels. Various undergraduate minors and certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels also are available. Programs offered at the time of this publication are listed in the Programs of Study section of this bulletin or may be viewed online at .

The Faculty

As of Fall 2015, NDSU has 836 ranked faculty, lecturers, and program administrators, as well as 152 part-time academic staff within Academic Affairs. Because of the nature of a land-grant university, many faculty hold joint appointments with affiliated research organizations on the campus.


The Campus

The NDSU campus in Fargo includes more than 95 buildings on approximately 44 square blocks or 261 acres. The campus has expanded into downtown Fargo, and is a small city within itself. Statewide, NDSU is located on 19,869.39 acres of North Dakota land, which includes the main Agricultural Experiment Station in Fargo and eight research centers throughout the state.

The Fargo-Moorhead Community

The home of NDSU, Fargo is a bustling metropolitan area that is often listed as one of the best places to live in the country. Fargo is quietly earning a reputation as a perfect place to make a home. Nestled in the rich farmlands of the Red River Valley, the Fargo-Moorhead community has many qualities that contribute to this reputation, including a highly respected educational system; advanced medical technology; a progressive business community; numerous cultural and arts opportunities; clean air and water; and good-hearted, friendly people.

Fargo-Moorhead is among the largest metropolitan centers between Minneapolis and Seattle. More than 230,000 people make their home in Cass and Clay Counties. One of the reasons people choose NDSU as a place to get a good education is that the F-M community provides students access to part-time jobs, internships, parks and other recreational facilities, entertainment, and cultural amenities.

Continuing Education

Continuing Education is an outreach unit of the university that makes the resources of the institution available in a variety of ways, including distance-based education. Courses, locations, and delivery systems are planned in response to requests and identified needs.

Continuing Education activities fall into three main categories: on- and off-campus credit courses, non-credit activities, and learning opportunities mediated via technology. Admission to NDSU is required to enroll in Continuing Education courses, which are numbered 2000 or above. Individuals interested in enrolling in degree eligible credit activities must complete application procedures through the Graduate School.

Tri-College University

Tri-College University is a consortium of five regional institutions of higher education: North Dakota State University, Concordia College, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, and North Dakota State College of Science. Through the Tri-College course exchange, students can take courses on the other campuses without going through separate admissions procedures. Tuition is paid only to the home school. Guidelines are available in the general NDSU Bulletin and from the registrar.  The scope of opportunities for students is expanded by the sharing and coordination of programs and services among the many academic departments within the five institutions.

State Board of Higher Education

Created by constitutional amendment in 1939, the State Board of Higher Education is the governing body of North Dakota State University and all other state-supported institutions of higher education in North Dakota.The nine-member State Board of Higher Education is the policy-setting body for the North Dakota University System and consists of seven citizen members who serve four-year terms and who are appointed by the governor, one student who is also appointed by the governor for a one-year term, and one faculty member who is selected by the Council of College Faculties.


NDSU is accredited as an institution by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Inquiries may be directed to the Higher Learning Commission , 230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411. In addition, many programs are accredited or approved by their respective professional organizations and agencies.

Accrediting Agency Degrees and Programs

The following programs of study are accredited as listed below and in the college sections of this bulletin:

  • Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET): Bachelor of Science in: Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Construction Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Management, Manufacturing Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
  • Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration: Hospitality and Tourism Management (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science)
  • Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE): Pharmacy Doctorate
  • Accrediting Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics: Dietitian Education Program (Bachelor of Science); Didactic Program in Dietetics (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science)
  • American Council for Construction Education: Construction Management
  • American Society of Health-System Pharmacists: Pharmacy (Doctor of Pharmacy)1
  • American Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (AVMA): Veterinary Technology (Bachelor of Science)
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business: Business (Bachelor Science and Master of Business Administration)
  • Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards: Family Financial Planning (Master of Science and Graduate Certificate)
  • Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care: Respiratory Care (Bachelor of Science)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs: Exercise Science (Bachelor or Arts and Bachelor of Science)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE): Athletic Training (Master of Athletic Training)
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): Bachelor of Science in Nursing; Master of Science in Nursing; Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Council for Interior Design Accreditation: Interior Design (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science)
  • Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH): Public Health (Master of Science)
  • Institute of Food Technologists: Food Science (Bachelor of Science)
  • Joint Review Committee for Education in Radiologic Technology: Radiologic Sciences (Bachelor of Science)2
  • Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board: Bachelor of Landscape Architecture
  • National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science: Medical Laboratory Science (Bachelor of Science)3
  • National Architectural Accrediting Board: Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Master of Architecture
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children: Center for Child Development
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design: Visual Arts (Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science) and Interior Design (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science)
  • National Association of Schools of Music: Music (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, Master of Music in Music Education, Doctor of Musical Arts)
  • National Association of Schools of Theatre: Theatre (Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science)
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE): Teacher Education (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Education and Master of Science); Education Administration (Master of Education and Master of Science); Counselor Education (Master of Education and Master of Science)
  • National Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related: School and Clinical Mental Health (Master of Education and Master of Science); Counselor Education and Supervision (Doctor of Philosophy)

 NDSU affiliates with 5 ASHP accredited programs that hold primary responsibility for accreditation.


 NDSU affiliates with 10 JRCERT accredited hospital-based programs that hold primary responsibility for accreditation.


 NDSU affiliates with 6 NAACLS accredited hospital-based programs that hold primary responsibility for accreditation.