- North Dakota University System, Accessed May 2017, http://www.ndus.edu/
- What is an Articulation Agreement? North Dakota University System, Accessed May 2017, https://www.ndus.edu/employees/articulation-transfer/articulation-agreements/
- A Brief History of MSU, Minot State University, Accessed May 2017, http://www.minotstateu.edu/president/history.shtml
- About NDSU, North Dakota State University, Accessed May 2017, https://www.ndsu.edu/about/
- About, Dickinson State University, Accessed May 2017, http://www.dickinsonstate.edu/about/
- About VCSU, Valley City State University, Accessed May 2017, http://www.vcsu.edu/info/
- Mayville State University: educating leaders since 1889, Mayville State University, Accessed May 2017, http://www.mayvillestate.edu/about-msu/more-info/history/
- About UND, University of North Dakota, Accessed May 2017, http://und.edu/discover/about-und.cfm
- About the University of Mary, University of Mary, Accessed May 2017, http://www.umary.edu/about/
- About Us, University of Jamestown, Accessed May 2017, https://www.uj.edu/about-us
- About Trinity Bible College, Trinity Bible College, Accessed May 2017, https://www.trinitybiblecollege.edu/about/
- Fargo Campus, Rasmussen College, Accessed May 2017, http://www.rasmussen.edu/locations/north-dakota/fargo/
- North Dakota Grants & Scholarships, North Dakota University System, Accessed May 2017, https://www.ndus.edu/students/paying-for-college/grants-scholarships/#NDAS
- Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. Copyright © 2017-18 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.
When it comes to higher education in North Dakota, students have a number of two-year and four-year institutions from which to choose. The North Dakota University System includes two research universities, four regional universities and five community colleges. Plus, there are private schools as well as online colleges for North Dakota.
Some of these schools — such as North Dakota State University — have a main campus and smaller satellite locations across the state. Other colleges are contained on a single campus. As for online North Dakota degrees, those are offered by fully online schools as well as traditional institutions with distance education divisions.
Thanks to articulation agreements, students who would like to start their education at a community college can often easily transfer credits to a four-year school. While the specifics of which credits will transfer can depend on the university, there are statewide agreements within the schools of the North Dakota University System for the fields of agriculture, nursing and early education.
Best 4-Year Colleges in North Dakota
Ranking the best schools in North Dakota requires using a methodology that considers metrics such as tuition, graduation rates and student debt. To show the best of the best, we have ordered North Dakota schools into the following top ten.
The top school in the state is one of the regional universities within the North Dakota University System. Minot State University was near the top of the rankings for many of the metrics analyzed.
MSU is not only a top North Dakota school, but it also ranks high nationally. That's in large part because of its affordability. The university has the third best tuition and fees in the state and ranks first for its average net price and its average net price for low-income students. MSU also ranks first for helping students minimize debt; its graduates have the lowest median student debt in the state.
Through its MSU Online program, the university has a number of undergraduate and graduate degrees that can be completed without setting foot in a classroom. Its on-campus programs are offered in Minot, situated in the north central part of the state.
Located in Fargo, the main campus of North Dakota State University offers more academic programs than any other school in the state. It also provides flexible learning options and a number of support services.
Traditional students can earn dual credit or AP credit while still in high school. Older students may be eligible for credit based on their previous work or life experiences. Both groups can benefit from NDSU's night, weekend and online courses which can make it easy to schedule classes around work or other obligations.
NDSU is one of the two research universities in the North Dakota University System. It has the second best three-year student debt repayment rate among its graduates. It also has the third best graduation rate in the state.
Dickinson State University is another affordable higher education choice in North Dakota. The school has the state's lowest sticker price for tuition and fees and the second lowest average net price. A generous financial aid program means DSU awards the third highest amount of institutional grant aid in North Dakota, when that money is calculated as a percentage of tuition and fees. Perhaps as a result, students graduate with the second lowest median debt in the state.
The university offers certificates, associate degrees and bachelor's degrees. It is arguably one of the best online colleges for North Dakota and has a number of fully online associate degrees and bachelor's degree completion programs.
Established in 1916, DSU is a regional university within the North Dakota University System. Its location on a hilltop in Dickinson has given the school the nickname of "College on the Hill."
Founded in 1890 as a school for teachers, Valley City State University still counts elementary education among its most popular majors. However, the school has expanded over the last century to now offer more than 80 undergraduate programs as well as master's degrees. To facilitate learning, each full-time student is given a laptop and access to high-speed internet.
The university ranks fourth in the state for the cost of its tuition and fees. Once financial aid is factored, VCSU lands in the number three spot for its average net price and the number two spot for its average net price for low-income students. Many of its students utilize online learning options, and the school ranks second for the percentage enrolled in distance education in 2015.
VCSU is a regional university within the North Dakota University System.
At Mayville State University, students will find nearly 80 majors, minors and pre-professional specializations. Those who want to earn an online bachelor's degree in North Dakota can sign up for a degree completion program through the school's extended learning division. These fully online programs are available to those who have already earned an associate degree or the equivalent number of credits.
The university ranks second in the state for its tuition and fees and first for the low price of books and supplies. MSU has the third highest percentage of students enrolled in distance education courses.
Mayville State University was established in 1889 and is a regional university within the North Dakota University System.
As the second research university in the state, the University of North Dakota is also the largest institution. Nearly 15,000 students were enrolled in its programs in 2015. These students come from all 50 states and 85 countries. They can select from more than 225 programs of study. Of these, nursing, psychology and accountancy are among the most popular. The University of North Dakota competes in NCAA Division I athletics and has Big Sky Conference champions in several sports.
UND is a solid educational choice that offers reasonable tuition and has a strong track record of graduating students on time. It has the second best graduation rate in the state. Its tuition and fees rank the university fifth.
Founded in 1883, UND is the state's flagship institution. It has its main campus in Grand Forks.
Founded on Benedictine traditions and values, University of Mary is a private Catholic institution. Students enrolled at the school can choose from more than 60 undergraduate programs, 14 master's degrees and three doctoral degrees. The school ranks third for the total number of academic programs offered.
University of Mary can lay claim to having the best graduation rate in North Dakota. It has the third best retention rate. The school reports 96 percent of alumni are working or pursuing additional education within six months of graduation.
While the main campus of University of Mary is in Bismarck, the school has other locations in Arizona, Montana and Minnesota. Additionally, there are international campuses in Rome, Italy and Arequipa, Peru.
The University of Jamestown tops the rankings for a number of metrics. It ranks first for the amount of institutional grant aid it awards as a percentage of its tuition and fees. It also has the best three-year debt repayment rate among its graduates. That implies students go on to work in positions that allow them to pay their school bills on time. Finally, the school has the best retention rate in North Dakota.
While you won't find any online degree programs at the University of Jamestown, the school does offer more than 30 fields of study on its campus. The average class size is 19, and the 2015 placement rate for graduates was 99 percent.
A private, liberal arts institution, University of Jamestown was established in 1883. Its campus is in Jamestown.
Trinity Bible College is a small college offering specialized education to those interested in a career in ministry. Its Bachelor of Arts is available in majors such as children's ministry, biblical studies and business administration. Through Trinity Distance Education, students can earn an associate degree or a bachelor's degree in biblical studies online.
TBC is one of four schools tied for the first-place ranking for the low cost of books and supplies. It ranks second for the amount of institutional grant aid it awards as a percentage of its tuition and fees. Trinity Bible College is also notable for having the second best retention rate in North Dakota.
TBC had a student population of around 200 in 2015,is affiliated with the General Council of the Assemblies of God and was founded in 1948. It has its campus in Ellendale.
Students looking for one of the best online colleges for North Dakota will want to take a look at Rasmussen College. The school operates a network of campus locations in six states but is best known for its online learning options. Students can choose from undergraduate and graduate degrees in seven schools. Many of its programs can be completed at an accelerated pace.
Rasmussen College ranks first for the number of online North Dakota degrees it offers. It also ranks first for the number of students enrolled in distance education. More than 95 percent of its student body was taking online classes in 2015.
Those who prefer to study on-campus can do so at the college's Fargo campus. Rasmussen College is a private institution.
Most Popular Degree Programs in North Dakota
When it comes to selecting a degree program, these are the most popular choices among students in North Dakota.
In-Demand Careers in North Dakota
Will your degree land you a job after graduation? There's no guarantee, but it could if it prepares you for one of these fast-growing North Dakota occupations.
|Career Title||Projected Job Growth||Total Employment||Annual Salary|
|Wind Turbine Service Technicians||96.8%||200||$60,110|
|Operations Research Analysts||40.2%||130||$69,090|
|Personal Financial Advisors||40%||500||$95,400|
|Cartographers and Photogrammetrists||35.1%||40||$63,720|
|Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians||34%||110||$46,720|
|Diagnostic Medical Sonographers||34%||120||$68,190|
|Physical Therapist Assistants||32.3%||140||$47,560|
|Physical Therapist Aides||31.4%||120||$29,400|
|Personal Care Aides||31.3%||4,940||$31,890|
|Occupational Therapy Assistants||30.3%||100||$46,540|
|Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics||29.7%||1,040||$31,960|
|Software Developers, Applications||29%||1,220||$79,820|
|Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners, All Other||28.6%||90||$70,460|
|Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic||28.1%||200||$48,030|
|Home Health Aides||27.8%||1,420||$33,170|
|Occupational Therapy Aides||27.3%||40||$38,090|
|Public Address System and Other Announcers||27.2%||90||$44,460|
|Self-Enrichment Education Teachers||27.1%||450||$31,620|
|Information Security Analysts||26.8%||210||$74,780|
Financial Aid and Scholarships in North Dakota
To help students pay for college, the state of North Dakota maintains a number of scholarship and grant programs. These include academic scholarships and need-based grants. Plus, there are programs intended for specific populations, such as Native Americans or those pursing a technical education. State aid is in addition to any federal grants and loans for which a student may be eligible.
MAX. AWARD AMOUNT
MAX. AWARD AMOUNT
MAX. AWARD AMOUNT
MAX. AWARD AMOUNT
Renewable if recipient maintains a minimum 2.0 GPA.
- North Dakota University System
- Dakota Association for College Admission Counseling
- State of North Dakota Higher Education