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North Dakota State University (NDSU) is a public land-grant research institution located in Fargo, North Dakota. Founded in 1890, it is part of the North Dakota University System. It’s recognized as an R1 research institution, as defined by the Carnegie Classification of Institutes of Higher Education. This is the highest status presented to only the top research institutions in the country.

Overview of North Dakota State University (NDSU)

Featured in the Top 25 Best Non-Profit Colleges and Non-Profit Online Colleges in 2021 by Best Value Schools, North Dakota State University (NDSU) strives to educate leaders who solve national and global challenges.

The total student population is 12,461, with 10,199 enrolled in undergraduate programs. North Dakota State University employs approximately 868 full-time and 140 part-time faculty members. Of these, 657 provide instruction and 351 spend time performing research and public service. Overall, the school’s student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1, which is comparable to the national average. The university also maintains 916 graduate assistants, 341 of whom provide instructional support and 575 who perform research.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Midsize
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 18:1
Graduation Rate 65%
Year Founded 1890

Student Enrollment

Total Students12,461


Undergraduate Student

Male 5,100
Female 5,099

Graduate Student

Male 1,131
Female 1,131

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NDSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 3,487
Female 4,656


Male 3,278
Female 4,470

Acceptance Rate95%

Male 94%
Female 96%

Enrollment 2,475

Male 1,180
Female 1,296
Application Fee $35
High School GPA Required
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Required
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Considered But Not Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) NA
Application Deadline Rolling
Common Application Accepted No

NDSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

North Dakota State University attempts to provide an education that is academically rigorous and affordable. The cost of attending the institution can vary significantly from student to student. Residency, area of study, learning format, and the type of degree sought all play important roles in determining how expensive enrollment will be.

The base undergraduate tuition and fees for North Dakota residents attending classes on campus full-time is $9,682 per academic year. This cost increases for out-of-state students, however, who are charged $14,522 per year for the same course load. Notably, Minnesota, Montana, and South Dakota residents receive an out-of-state discount. Minnesota residents will pay $10,844, while Montana and South Dakota residents will pay $11,616. It’s important to realize that these are base rates, as the institution charges more for certain programs. For examples, those studying architecture, business, computer science, engineering, nursing, and pharmacy will owe more in tuition and fees.

Prospective students should also expect to pay for student fees associated with the area of study chose, as well as books, supplies, transportation, housing, meals, and miscellaneous personal expenses. North Dakota State University estimates those enrolled will spend about $800 on books and supplies per year. Personal expenses and transportation is likely to cost $3,476 per year.

To help pay for tuition and other costs, North Dakota State University offers a variety of need-based and merit-based awards. In order to be considered for need-based awards, students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application helps the institution determine expected family contribution, which in turn indicates how much money may be awarded in the form of scholarships, grants, federal work-study, and student loans.

During the 2020-2021 academic year, 95% of students entering postsecondary education for the first time at North Dakota State University received some form of financial assistance. Even with this assistance, 63% of these students still required some aid from loans.

Average net price 2020-2021
Net Price $16,677
Average Total Aid $4,089
Students Receiving Financial Aid 95%
Room & Board $9,300

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $10,992
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $15,646
  • Books and Supplies - $800
  • Room & Board - $9,300
  • Other - $3,476

Popular Educational Academics at NDSU

As a student-focused, land-grant research institution, North Dakota State University provides affordable access to an excellent education that combines teaching and research in a rich learning environment. Graduates are prepared to shape a better world.

Students can choose from a wide variety of undergraduate majors, master’s, and doctoral degree programs in many different fields of study offered by the following colleges:

  • College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources
  • College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Health Professions
  • College of Human Sciences and Education
  • College of Science and Mathematics
  • College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies

According to data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the retention rate for first-time, undergraduate freshmen who began their studies at North Dakota State University in 2020 was 76% for full-time students and 43% for part-time students. Notably, the national average is 68%. Overall, this indicates that most students enrolled at the university chose to return to further their educations.

The overall graduation rate is comparable. Of the students who began their studies in fall 2015, 65% were able to complete requirements within 150% of normal time, or about six years. Most students strive to graduate within four years, however, which was achieved by 41% of those included in the data. The transfer-out rate reported was 22%, which means that their graduations were not included in the previous data.

North Dakota State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which is recognized by the US Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Student Population Total

Student Population 12,461

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Engineering Majors 385 Total Graduates / 17%
Mechanical Engineering 154 Graduates
Civil Engineering, General 73 Graduates
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 56 Graduates
Computer Engineering, General 39 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 345 Total Graduates / 15%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 204 Graduates
Pharmaceutical Sciences 58 Graduates
Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer 45 Graduates
Dietetics/Dietitian 15 Graduates
All Business Majors 341 Total Graduates / 15%
Business Administration and Management, General 96 Graduates
Finance, General 66 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 59 Graduates
Accounting 44 Graduates
Agricultural/Animal/Plant/Veterinary Science and Related Fields 197 Total Graduates / 9%
Crop Production 50 Graduates
Agricultural Economics 36 Graduates
Animal Sciences, General 32 Graduates
Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician and Veterinary Assistant 23 Graduates
Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences 154 Total Graduates / 7%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 139 Graduates
Microbiology, General 15 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 37%

Outcome & Salary

North Dakota State University publishes annual employment reports of graduates with baccalaureate degrees. The most recent data provides a snapshot of students who graduated in August 2021, December 2021, and May 2022. An overall response rate of 93% was reported. Of these, 72% were employed and 21% were continuing their education. Notably, 82% of graduates stayed in North Dakota. Additionally, the median salary of respondents was $54,000. Some of the top employers for all degree types included Sanford Health, North Dakota State University, Essentia Health, Doosan Bobcat, Fargo Public Schools, Scheets, West Fargo Public Schools, John Deere, and EAPC Architects Engineers.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $58,800
College Grads Average Salary $72,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $104,000
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $720,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,760,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $66,708
10 Year Projected ROI $653,292
20 Year Projected ROI $1,693,292
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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