With its vast, sprawling landscape and rich cultural heritage, North Dakota consistently ranks among one of the best places to live in the United States, earning the title of “One of the Top 100 Communities for Young People” in 2005 and coming in tenth on Sperling’s best places to live in 2004.
The University of North Dakota, which boasts a student population hovering near 15,000, offers a diverse student population and sits in Grand Forks, North Dakota’s third largest city. While nearly half of all students hail from their home state of North Dakota, students from all 50 states, eight provinces in Canada, and more than 50 countries also call the University of North Dakota home.
Grand Forks provides a scenic background and plenty of cultural, artistic, and outdoor activities for students looking for a break from studying. The curtain rises on Broadway performances at the Chester Fritz Auditorium, conveniently located on the campus of the University of North Dakota while the Crimson Creek Players bring classic musicals to the stage.
North Dakotans enjoy a plethora of outdoor activities year round in Grand Forks. Biking, birding, canoeing, golfing, and fishing all offer ideal ways to spend a summer afternoon while winter brings plenty of opportunity for cross country skiing and snowmobiling. The city also features 43 miles of biking trails with the North Star Trail ending at Turtle River State Park, providing bikers with a workout as the trail winds over hills and flatlands.
North Dakota’s largest and oldest university dating back to 1883, the University of North Dakota has become a part of local family tradition, with generations of family members graduating from the university. Boasting NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg among its esteemed graduates, the University of North Dakota prides itself on offering a “world class education in a low-key, friendly environment.”
The educational environment at the University of North Dakota, which is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, goes beyond learning what’s in a textbook. In fact, the university focuses on the collaboration of creativity, research, and scholarly activity to ensure its students receive the richest, most rewarding academic experience possible. (UND Discovery Magazine)
With 219 fields of study, the University of North Dakota offers more than 85 majors and 70 minors in topics ranging from air traffic control and chemical engineering to literacy education and writing and editing. Graduate students can also take advantage of one of the University of North Dakota’s 59 master’s degree programs and 24 doctoral programs.
The College of Business and Public Administration holds the distinction of being the first accredited business school in the state and includes nine separate departments, including entrepreneurship, accounting, marketing, economics, and technology. The Entrepreneurship Program caters to students who hope to start their own businesses, and students are encouraged to develop their business ideas and start their businesses during the program or upon graduation.
The University of North Dakota also offers an increasing number of online degree programs, which allows students to earn their college degree – bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate – completely online, making higher education more accessible to students.
Students who want to pursue a career in nursing can earn both their undergraduate and graduate degrees online. The University of North Dakota offers online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in nursing. Undergraduate students may opt for the accelerated program, allowing them to earn their bachelor of science in nursing degree in only 16 months.
Those students who are unsure if they want to earn a degree or who want to continue their education can also opt for online certificate programs or take individual online classes for personal enhancement or professional development.
Students are encouraged to participate in the University of North Dakota’s study abroad programs, which are offered throughout Europe, Australia, Africa, Asia, Canada, and Mexico. In addition to summer programs, the University of North Dakota offers both semester and full year study abroad options. Students interested in studying abroad have access to the Study Abroad Office, which provides a wealth of resources, including stories from students before, during, and after their study abroad experiences.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Admission to the University of North Dakota is competitive, with 70 percent of all applicants receiving acceptance letters. All incoming undergraduate transfer students and freshmen who meet the University of North Dakota’s automatic admission standards are accepted into UND. High school graduates must have completed a set of core high school classes, maintained a minimum grade point average, and have achieved a certain score on the SAT or ACT to receive automatic admission.
Students who don’t meet the automatic admission standards are encouraged to apply and may still be admitted under the provisional admission. Provisional admission limits students to a set number of credits their first semester. In addition, provisional students have stricter advisement requirements and must complete one of two courses focusing on university life or study skills.
Applicants to the University of North Dakota are encouraged to apply as far in advance as possible before they want to begin study at UND. Applications are reviewed up to a year in advance, so keep that in mind when applying to the university. Incoming freshman under 25 years old must take either the SATs or the ACTs to be considered for admission. However, students 25 and over are exempt from that requirement.
In addition to completing the application for admission, students must also submit transcripts from high school and any other universities previously attended and a non-refundable application fee. The application fee, as of April 2011, is $35.
Navigating through the financial aid process can be murky at times, especially for new university students. The University of North Dakota understands that sometimes students can have questions and concerns and provides a substantial support system for students, including Financial Aid TV. Financial Aid TV, available on the school’s website, offers short videos that answer some common questions students have about financial aid.
Students can also get instant help by using the Live Chat on the University of North Dakota’s website.
Funding education at the University of North Dakota can be accomplished through loans, grants, and/or scholarships. In addition to federal student loans, which require students to fill out a FAFSA form to be eligible, students can use private loans acquired through a variety of companies, including the Gabriel J. Brown Loan Fund. The Gabriel J. Brown Loan Fund is available to North Dakota residents who are full time students and have been in college for at least two academic years.
The University of North Dakota Financial Aid Office can provide students with guidance on what other private loan options are available to them.
Unlike loans, grants do not have to be paid back and are generally awarded based on financial need. Residents of the state may be able to receive the North Dakota State Grant which, as of April 2011, provides eligible students with $1200 to fund their education. Eligibility requirements for the North Dakota State Grant include full-time admission and undergraduate status, with students earning their first undergraduate degree only. As long as students remain eligible, they can apply to renew the grant for four years.
Students may also be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and the Federal Competitiveness Grant. The UND Financial Aid office can help you determine the grants for which you may be eligible.
The University of North Dakota offers a range of scholarship opportunities for undergraduate students, including:
- The University of North Dakota Presidential Scholarship is available to incoming freshmen who meet eligibility guidelines, including a minimum GPA.
- Returning undergraduates, who do not have a bachelor’s degree, may be eligible for The Returning Student Scholarship which ranges from $500 to $1000.
- The Cultural Diversity Tuition waiver provides eligible students – those students who are disadvantaged economically or who are not well-represented at UND – with either partial or full tuition waiver. Students are still responsible for expenses, such as housing and books, not related to tuition.
A full list of scholarships available through the University of North Dakota can be found on the financial aid pages of the university’s official website. Students can also find outside scholarships through a number of resources, including FastWeb.com, which matches scholarships with the student’s listed criteria.
Student Financial Aid Details
College life is about more than acquiring an education. It also allows students the opportunity to develop lifelong friends, to experience new cultures and ideas, and to grow as individuals, several of the reasons many University of North Dakota students opt to live on campus rather than commute.
Upperclassmen who want to live on campus may opt for University Place, which offers one and two bedroom apartments, including a kitchen and a living room. All apartments are fully furnished, and students can sign academic or full year leases.
Students may also live in one of more than a dozen residency halls on campus. Each residency hall offers different amenities: Some offer in-room bathrooms while others require students to share a bathroom with other rooms. Conference Center, for example, caters to undergraduate and graduate female students of all ages, offering double rooms and shared bathrooms.
Fulton Hall, on the other hand, allows both male and female undergraduate and graduate students with no age restrictions. Like Conference Center, students share bathrooms.
The total cost of living in a residency hall includes internet, cable television, and utilities.
Out-of-state students who cannot get to North Dakota before starting classes can check out 360-degree view photographs of the residency halls and University Place, on the school’s website, to give them an idea of what to expect when they arrive on campus.
In addition to dining centers which provide meal plans to students who live on campus, the University of North Dakota also features Old Main Marketplace and is available for all students. Old Main Marketplace offers popular eateries including Dakota Deli, Sbarro, and A&W American Foods.
Named the top school for students who study the least by The Princeton’s Review’s The Best 373 Colleges, students on the campus of the University of North Dakota have plenty of activities to keep them occupied when they’re not hitting the books.
The central hub of activity on the University of North Dakota’s campus is Memorial Union. Dubbed “The Heart of UND,” Memorial Union hosts events and conferences and provides a full list of services and features – a student lounge, a computer lab, a credit union, a design studio, and ticket sales for events – for students.
In addition to spending their down time at Memorial Union, students may also want to get involved in student organizations. The University encourages student involvement by hosting an annual Involvement Expo where student organizations come out in force to chat with interested students and welcome them into their organizations.
The University of North Dakota features dozens of eclectic clubs – ranging from Amnesty International and Females for Firearms to the Asian Student Association and Club Francophone – and students may also want to get involved with the on-campus newspaper, The Dakota Student.
Students who want to experience real fraternity and sorority life can pledge at one of nearly a dozen fraternities and six sororities.
- Sigma Phi Epsilon
- Sigma Nu
- Sigma Chi
- Sigma Alpha
- Beta Theta Pi
- Kappa Sigma
- Pi Kappa Alpha
- Delta Theta
- Pi Kappa Phi
- Delta Upsilon
- Delta Tau Delta
- Pi Beta Phi
- Kappa Alpha Theta
- Delta Gamma
- Alpha Phi
- Gamma Phi
- Alpha Chi Omega
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Sports often play a pivotal role in university life. The University of North Dakota, represented by the Fighting Sioux, features a Sioux Indian as its mascot. The university’s most decorated men’s team is its hockey team, which holds claim to seven NCAA championships, the most recent in 2000 and 1997.
The Fighting Sioux women’s basketball team, the Great West Conference champs in 2010, have won three NCAA championships and 12 conference championships in their history. Both the women and men’s basketball teams play at the Betty Engeldstad Sioux Center, a state-of-the art arena that seats 3,000 fans.
The Fighting Sioux are represented by both men and women’s teams, including:
- Cross Country
- Track and Field
- Swimming and Diving
- Cross country
- Swimming and Diving
The University of North Dakota also offers intramurals through its Wellness Center. Students can either join intramural teams and play regularly or play as free agents on teams in one of 20 sports, including flag football, ultimate Frisbee, broomball, basketball, and volleyball. Free agents don’t belong to a team but can join a team any time during the season.
- FightingSioux.com: Official Web Site of University of North Dakota Athletics. Web. 20 Apr. 2011.
- Orvick, Jan. “All in the Family.” Dimensions Magazine Winter 2010: 10-11.
- Princeton Review. The Best 373 Colleges, 2011 Edition (College Admissions Guides). 2011 ed. Framingham: Princeton Review, MA.
- The University of North Dakota. Web. 20 Apr. 2011.