Tri-College University

This is an archived copy of the 2021-22 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Tri-College University (TCU) is a consortium of five regional institutions of higher education: NDSU, Concordia College, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, and North Dakota State College of Science. Students at the five schools may benefit from what each institution offers individually and cooperatively through the consortium.

Through the Tri-College course exchange, students enrolled at one campus may take courses at the other institutions at no extra cost and without going through separate admission procedures. Tri-College expands discipline offerings and course availability for students beyond their home campus.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition is paid to the home campus. Courses not eligible for Tri-College registration are those off-campus or weekend courses offered through MSUM's Continuing Education program, most workshops, most graduate courses, independent study courses at Concordia College, private music instruction at Concordia, and international travel programs.

Students enrolling in classes that require special fees (lab/course fees, lessons, supplies, etc.) beyond the home-campus tuition and fees assessed at the time of registration will be responsible for remittance of payment to the provider institution.

Course Limits

The TCU Course Exchange is limited to one course per student per semester per participating campus, and only if the course is not cataloged or offered on the student's home campus in a given semester. Exceptions to the one course/semester limit among campuses are detailed, along with other TCU registration information, on the TCU Registration Information Guide. All students must be registered at their home campus before being eligible to enroll in Tri-College courses (excludes summer for MSUM and NDSU). Concordia students—and NDSU students wanting to take a course at Concordia—may take only one course per term and then, only if they are full-time students and only if that course is not available on their home campus during that academic term. Concordia does not participate in the TCU course exchange during the summer.

Credits and Grades

Courses taken through TCU course exchange will appear on a student's home campus transcript within the respective term and may be applied toward graduation requirements. Credits and grades are calculated into home campus grade point averages and cumulative totals.

Course Substitutions

Students need to obtain advanced approval to substitute TCU courses for required courses in a major or minor unless otherwise stipulated in the major/minor requirements.

Course Repeats

Students taking a TCU course to repeat a course previously taken at the home campus must indicate this on the Tri-College Registration Form. Duplication of credit is not permitted.

Policies and Deadlines

Students must observe all registration and academic policies and deadlines of their home campus, including arrangements for withdrawals, drops/adds, pass/fail options, audits, and incomplete grades.  Courses are applied to resident credit requirements only at the institution where they pay tuition.


NDSU students register by submitting the Tri-College Registration Form to the Office of Registration and Records, 110 Ceres Hall.

Tri-College Minors

The Tri-College partners recognize minors earned through the TCU course exchange. Minors are available to students at Concordia, MSUM, and NDSU.  Students receive recognition on their academic transcript for minors completed on one of the other TCU campuses. This policy applies only to minors earned in programs not available on a student's home campus. The Tri-College Minor Form is available online.


Majors may be earned only at the school from which a student earns a degree. Most students enroll initially at the school from which they intend to graduate. However, the TCU course exchange agreement between MSUM and NDSU allows a student to begin their studies at one of the schools prior to transferring to the other school to complete their degree. Tri-college students typically are restricted to pre-professional coursework at a campus that offers a professional program of study. Students should work with the chair of the department in which they intend to major to make sure their program includes all requirements for the major and for graduation.

Library Services

Students, faculty, and staff of the TCU institutions may use all of the libraries in the consortia. Circulating materials from TCU libraries are available free of charge for direct checkout or through inter-library loan.

A regional computer-based catalog shows the availability of materials at the TCU and other libraries.

Bus and Parking Services

A Tri-College bus schedule provides inter-campus transportation to Concordia, MSUM, and NDSU every half hour. The bus is operated weekdays by the City of Fargo during the academic year; it is not available during the summer. Bus schedules are available at MATBUS.

A separate parking permit is not issued for Tri-College University parking. If vehicles have a current home-campus permit, they may be parked in the following lots on other campuses.

  • Concordia: TCU students, faculty, and staff can park in the O parking lots.
  • M-State: Apply for free parking at the Moorhead campus.
  • MSUM: TCU students can park in the G parking lots.
  • NDSCS: contact Campus Police in the Student Center for parking permit information.
  • NDSU: Parking Lots R, TA, and Fargo Dome lots B, C, D, and E . Faculty/staff permits are honored in AE and TA lots. Individuals with state-issued mobility-impaired permits may park in any mobility-impaired space on campus provided the Tri-College institution permit and the state-issued mobility-impaired permit are clearly displayed in conjunction with one another. Free parking is not available at NDSU, for Tri-College faculty and staff possessing a retiree parking permit, not issued by NDSU.

All drivers are subject to traffic regulations of the respective institutions. Lot restrictions are eased after 5 p.m., and there is no overnight parking.