Founded in 1890, North Dakota State University is a large, land-grant public research university in Fargo, North Dakota’s largest city. While the state’s flagship, the University of North Dakota, was founded as a liberal arts and sciences institution, NDSU took the land-grant mission of providing cutting-edge (for the era) agriculture and mechanical science education and ran with it. From a small agricultural college NDSU has become North Dakota’s premiere public STEM research university, with Very High Research Activity status from the Carnegie Classification (the only R2 research university in the state) and top-tier U.S. News & World Report national ranking.
Academic ProgramsAs a major public land-grant university, NDSU is heavy on research, with expenditures over $100 million and many programs ranked in the top 100 for National Science Foundation funding, including agriculture, chemistry, and computer science. NDSU’s Research and Technology Park is home to many of the university’s centers and labs, as well as the Technology Incubator, a center founded in 2007 to support entrepreneurial tech start-ups related to the RTP. Undergraduate and graduate students are actively recruited and engaged in serious research, giving students the chance to gain skills and earn credentials that will benefit them on the job market.
Though NDSU is highly concentrated in research, it remains student-centered, with more than 170 undergraduate degrees, more than 80 graduate degrees, and 50 doctoral degrees. NDSU’s strongest and most popular areas, of course, are in the sciences, with engineering standing as the largest college, but health sciences are rapidly gaining on engineering as the medical and nursing professions grow. Retention and graduation rates are excellent, well above national average, a reflection of student satisfaction and educational success, and Fargo has been named by Forbes as one of the nation’s best jobs cities for college graduates, giving NDSU graduates a strong sense of confidence.
Student LifeNorth Dakota State’s student body of just under 15,000 students is a little more than half male – not unusual for a STEM-centered university – and more than 85% of students come from North Dakota and Minnesota. However, despite the largely Northern Plains recruitment, NDSU is a home to students from nearly all 50 states and more than 75 different nations. The Student Affairs department alone employs more than 800 students engaged in taking care of student needs, organizing events, and other necessary operations, while the Office of Multicultural Programs works to make NDSU’s minority and international students feel welcome and supported.
Nearly 300 student-led organizations and clubs provide NDSU’s many students with a wealth of activities and events, from Greek Life to honor societies, professional networking organizations to Disc Golf and Rodeo. Multicultural programs include the Annual Woodlands and High Plains Traditional Powwow, gathering tribe members from four colleges and across the Northern Plains region. The North Dakota State Bison – called The Thundering Herd by fans and rivals alike – compete in NCAA Division I varsity athletics, and are nationally known as champions. The Bison Football team in particular is known as one of the winningest teams in national football history.