North Dakota Colleges

North Dakota Colleges

Schools In North Dakota – An Overview

Wide, sparse and rich in shale oil deposits, North Dakota’s state motto is “Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable.” This highlights the spirit of unity and individual freedom that North Dakotans embrace. These beliefs understandably shift over into the post-secondary atmosphere within the state. Despite having a relatively small population (under 800,000 people, or the 3rd least populated state in the country), North Dakota has a very large number of colleges and universities. As the state was not accepted into the Union until 1889, there are very few colleges in North Dakota that have a history stretching back that far. Regardless, North Dakota is home to many well established institutions, both public and private, as well as several tribal colleges that service that state’s First Nations population.

north dakota road trip from college, out in the sticks.

There are 6 universities in North Dakota’s public university system and 4 community colleges. North Dakota has their universities identified in two separate categories: regional universities, and research universities. The regional universities are spread out in the across the state, situated close to four major population centers. These universities are: Dickinson State University, Maryville State University, Minot State University and Valley City State University.

The two research universities, North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota are both located on the eastern side of the state, but still located in two of the state’s largest city centers: Fargo (NDSU) and Grand Forks (UND). Meanwhile, the community colleges can be found across the state as well, mostly situated in much smaller city areas. North Dakota’s community colleges are unique in that they are not labeled as “community colleges” in their nomenclature. Although they are categorized as such, it is easy for prospective students to assume that they are traditional 4-year institutions without conducting further research.

The best schools that can be found in North Dakota are mostly the public institutions. There are only a handful of private post-secondary institutions (7 in all), 2 of which are tribal colleges. The private schools in the state are: The University of Jamestown, Medcenter One College of Nursing, Rasmussen College, Trinity Bible College, Turtle Mountain Community College (tribal), United Tribes Technical College (tribal) and the University of Mary. The top 5 schools in the state are the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, University of Jamestown (private), University of Mary (private), and Valley City State University. Prospective students will find somewhat favorable U.S. News and World Report rankings for these schools as well.

The University of North Dakota is reasonably ranked at #180 for national universities. North Dakota University finds itself ranked at #185 in the same category. This makes the state’s two research universities nationally ranked in the top 200 of all nationally ranked schools. The private University of Jamestown is favorably ranked at #36 for regional colleges (Midwest). Valley City State University is close in ranking, at #43. Indeed, 6 of the 10 colleges in the state that are ranked by U.S. News and World Report find themselves in either the top 100 regionally, or the top 200 nationally. U.S. News and World Report does not rank tribal colleges, and indeed, the only tribal college on the list, Sitting Bull College, is given with no information beyond location.

Students interested in the state’s public and private institutions will be happy to know that most of the schools in the state come in at or under the national average for tuition rates. The only school in the state that has a tuition rate significantly above the national average Rasmussen College-North Dakota, a for-profit private institution that has campuses in several states: Minnesota, North Dakota, Florida, Wisconsin, Illinois and Kansas. While the graduation rates at the school are far from impressive, most of the schools have at least 30%, with the state’s two premier research institutions both at slightly over 50%. Fortunately, almost every school in the state, to include public, private and community colleges, boasts post-graduation salaries at or above the national average. Prospective students should be warned that one school, Fort Berthold Community College, is currently under federal monitoring. This occurs when there are concerns over the school’s financial and administrative capabilities. While Fort Berthold is a tribal school, and therefore not open to most prospective students, it is important to note.

Traditional Colleges in North Dakota

Bismarck State College

Dickinson State University

Jamestown College

Mayville State University

Minot State University

North Dakota State College of Science

North Dakota State University

Trinity Bible College

  • Site –
  • Phone – 800-523-1603
  • Admissions –
  • Financial Aid –

University of Mary

University of North Dakota

Valley City State University

Community Colleges – North Dakota

devils lake, north dakota
Photo by afiler

Cankdeska Cikana Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 214 1st Ave, Fort Totten, ND 58335
  • Phone – (701) 766-4415

Dakota College/ Bottineau

  • Site –
  • Address – 105 Simrall Blvd, Bottineau, ND 58318
  • Phone – (701) 228-2277

Fort Berthold Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 220 8th Ave E, New Town, ND 58763
  • Phone – (701) 627-4738

Lake Region State College

  • Site –
  • Address – 1801 College Dr N, Devils Lake, ND 58301
  • Phone – (701) 662-1600

North Dakota State College of Science

  • Site –
  • Address – 800 6th St N, Wahpeton, ND 58076
  • Phone – (800) 342-4325

United Tribes Technical College

  • Site –
  • Address – 3315 University Dr, Bismarck, ND 58504
  • Phone – (701) 255-3285

Williston State College

  • Site –
  • Address – 1410 University Ave, Williston, ND 58801
  • Phone – (701) 774-4200

Trade, Vocational, Career Schools

north dakota, pembina
Photo by afiler

Grand Forks

University of North Dakota

Online Degrees and Programs In North Dakota

North Dakota has a very active and impressively developed online educational scene. According to a 2012 National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) report, as of 2012, 22.9% of students enrolled in Title IV institutions were enrolled in fully-online programs. This places North Dakota around the top in the nation for students enrolled in online programs. This also does not include students taking blended courses or taking courses online partially, but not fully.

North Dakota’s state university system offers most of these courses through its online system. Students across the state have the option of enrolling in one of these schools, with more than 1000 possible classes and over 40 Bachelor’s degree programs available. North Dakota has even made it possible for students enrolled in any one of the schools in the public university system to take courses and earn degrees at any of the state’s member schools, regardless of which school they originally applied for and were accepted to.

Prospective students will find that the best online degree programs can be found primarily at the state’s regional and community colleges. This includes Bismarck State College, Valley City State University, Minot State University, Mayville State University and the University of North Dakota. The most affordable programs can be found at Dickinson State University, Valley City State University, Minot State University, Mayville State University and the University of North Dakota. In all, there are 20 colleges and universities in the state that offer some form of online certificate or degree programs.

Most of the degrees that can be found within the state focus on the common types of programs that prospective students from across the nation have come to expect: education, communication, nursing, business and technology-related degrees. However, because North Dakota is big on energy and energy production as a career option, the state’s schools are unique in their offering of energy-related degrees. Bismarck State College, for example, has Associate’s degree programs in Electric Power Technology, Electrical Transmission Systems Technology, Nuclear Power Technology, Petroleum Production Technology, Power Plant Technology, Renewable Generation Technology, Process Plant Technology, Bachelor of Applied Science in Energy Management, Instrumentation and Control Technology and Water and Wastewater Technology (as a certificate). As a leader in domestic energy, the state is able to offer experts in the field to teach these classes as well.