Accredited colleges and universities have had their educational programs and faculty evaluated by an outside agency. Those agencies ensure that the school provides a high-quality education to its students, so to have your degree recognized by employers, it’s critical to attend an accredited institution. Below you’ll find information on higher education in the state and helpful resources on online colleges in North Dakota.
- School Search
- Accreditation Agencies
- Education Links
- Notable Schools
Accredited Online Colleges Database
The following agencies accredit schools in North Dakota. However, it’s important to understand that this list only includes institution-wide accreditors, rather than agencies that only award program-specific accreditation. For details on program-specific accreditation, look through our subject pages.
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission (NCAHLC)
- Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
- Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
- Council on Occupational Education (COE)
- Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
- Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS)
Higher Education Links
For more information about higher education reforms and propositions in the state, visit the state’s higher education boards and council websites. In addition, contact them or individual schools for more general college and university information.
Picking a school can be a daunting task, especially when considering the sheer number of accredited colleges there are in the state. Our database below can help with narrowing down your options for your specific area. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most notable accredited online and campus-based schools in the state to help you begin your school search.
Although it is mostly rural, North Dakota offers several viable public university options to choose from. Learn more about some of these choices below.
University of North Dakota
The UND is North Dakota’s largest university, and it is a thriving research community. The U.S. News and World Report ranks UND at 97 among the “Top Public Schools” and places UND on the list of “Best Undergraduate Business Programs.” Forbes ranks UND 97th among universities in the Northeast and 173rd nationally for research.
North Dakota State University
The Carnegie Commission on Higher Education has named NDSU among the top 108 research universities in the nation – the only university in North Dakota to achieve this honor. Not far behind its rival UND, the U.S. News and World Report ranks NDSU at 108 among the “Top Public Schools” and places NDSU on the list of “Best Undergraduate Business Programs.” As recently as 2010, Money magazine included Fargo in its Top 100 “Best Places to Live,” and Livability.com added Fargo to its own Top 100 Best Places list in 2013.
Dickinson State University
Specializing in teacher education, Dickinson State University offers bachelors degrees in more than 75 fields of study through 10 academic departments. Coursework at DSU is based on liberal arts core courses, including fine arts, humanities, natural sciences, mathematics, and the social and behavioral sciences for the first two years of study; students then pursue a major field of study as upperclassmen. While DSU is mostly unranked, the student retention rate is 82%, well above the average for North Dakota, which seems to indicate that students enjoy their time there.
While the vast majority of students in North Dakota attend public universities, there are a handful of private options. Find out more about the most notable ones below.
University of Mary
The University of Mary is a private, Catholic university devoted to the study of Leadership and Moral Courage. The U.S. News and World Report ranks the university 86th among Regional Universities (Midwest). The Bismarck area is ranked the “Least Stressful Place to Live” by Sperling, fourth on the Forbes list of “Best Small Places for Business and Careers,” an official “boomtown” by ABC News, as reported here, and fourth on the Farmers Insurance Group “Safest Place to Live” list.
University of Jamestown offers more than 40 areas of study and features a “Journey to Success” program which includes a four-year graduation guarantee and a guaranteed internship. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks U of J is in the Top Tier in its annual “Best Colleges” report. The Princeton Review also ranks University of Jamestown as a Best Midwestern College. Most U of J classes have fewer than 30 students; average class size is 19 students.
Mayville State University
Mayville State was the the nation’s first tablet PC university; every MSU student receives a free tablet PC, which is required for use in their studies; all students complete a core of IT classes for which they receive an Information Technology (IT) Certificate, and all classrooms, the library, and residence halls have internet connections and network access. The U.S. News & World Report ranks Mayville State fourth for Top Public Schools (Regional Midwest) and 58th in the region overall.