North Dakota State University

North Dakota State University
North Dakota State University
Motto For the land and its people.
Established 1890
Type Public, Land Grant
Endowment $75.8 million[1]
President Dr. Dean L. Bresciani
Academic staff 821
Admin. staff 5,878
Students 14,399
Location Fargo, North Dakota, U.S.
Campus Urban - Fargo Campus: 258 acres (1.04 km²)
Athletics North Dakota State Bison
Colors Yellow and Green            
Sports 16 Division I
Nickname Bison
Mascot Thundar
Affiliations North Dakota University System


North Dakota State University of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, more commonly known as North Dakota State University (NDSU), is a public university in Fargo, North Dakota. NDSU has about 14,000 students and it is the largest university in North Dakota based on full time students and land size. [2] Founded as North Dakota Agricultural College in 1890 as a land grant institution, it sits on a 258 acre(1 km²) campus. The school also operates several agricultural research centers spread over 22,000 acres (89 km²). NDSU is part of the North Dakota University System.

NDSU offers 108 bachelor's, 75 minors, 63 master's, 44 doctoral, and 10 graduate certificate programs. NDSU is a comprehensive doctoral research university with programs involved in high research activity.[3] NDSU uses a semester system - Fall and Spring with two summer sessions. The majority of students are full-time with 54.7% male and 45.3% female.




The bill founding North Dakota Agricultural College (NDAC) was signed on March 8, 1890, seven years after initial plans to start an agricultural college in the northern portion of the Dakota Territory. NDAC was established as a land grant university.[4]

On October 15, 1890 Horace E. Stockbridge became the first NDAC president and the Board of Trustees was formed.[5]

Classes were initially held in six classrooms rented from Fargo College. A provisional course was held on January 6, 1891 and the first regular class of students was admitted on September 8, 1891. College Hall (Old Main), completed in 1892, was the first building and consisted of offices, classrooms, and a library to serve the four NDAC students.[5]

20th century

It was in 1909 that the school’s official colors, Yellow and Green, were ratified one year after the school’s alma mater The Yellow and The Green was written.[4]

NDAC continued to grow and became known as North Dakota State University on November 8, 1960. The name change was to reflect the increasing field of study breadth of the institution.[4]

A 36-acre (15 ha) area including 12 historic buildings was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as North Dakota State University District in 1986.[6]

21st century

At the turn of the century, NDSU began a phase of growth.

NDSU surpassed 10,000 students in the fall of 2000 for the first time, and by Fall Semester of 2009, NDSU increased enrollment by another 40% to 14,189 students.[7][8]

Research, athletic programs, and campus facilities benefited from increases in student enrollment. Between 2000 and 2007, NDSU added a number of undergraduate programs and 31 graduate programs. Research expenditures doubled to reach over $100 million to make the university the largest research institution in the State of North Dakota.[citation needed] Several buildings have been built or expanded and remodeled over the past seven years, including the Wallman Wellness Center, Memorial Union, and the College of Business.

In 2004, all athletic programs moved to Division I.[9]


Gates to North Dakota State University

North Dakota State University is primarily located in Fargo, North Dakota. NDSU consists of several campuses including: the main campus, NDSU Downtown, and several agricultural experiment station campuses.

Main campus

The main campus sits on 258 acres (1.04 km²) of land and consists of over 100 major buildings. The appearance of the main campus are maintained by the University’s extensive agricultural programs. The main campus is located by 19th Avenue to the North, University Drive to the East, and 12th Avenue to the South.

Located in the historic Minard – South Engineering quad is the Babbling Brook. The Babbling Brook is a large water feature that offers students a serene location to relax and unwind. Enhancing the area are several waterfalls, various fish and flowers, an amphitheater, and "buffalo-rubbed" rocks. This area also offers a space for the holding of classes outdoors as well as performances. Over the years NDSU’s main campus was aesthetically enhanced with many monuments including: the Bjornson Memorial Obelisk, Theatre Passion: Mask Sculpture, We Will Never Forget Memorial, and Noble's Golden Marguerite, among many others.

Southern area

The Southeastern area of campus consists of many of NDSU’s historic buildings including: the Old Main, Minard Hall, Ceres Hall, Putnam Hall, South Engineering, and Morrill Hall, and the Southwestern area consists of agricultural research centers, the USDA, State Seed, and many research plots.

Central area

The central area consists of the Engineering Complex, Shepperd Arena, and many academic buildings, and the Industrial Agricultural Communications Center (IACC) which is a technology powerhouse for the entire state. The IACC contains several hundred computers and computer servers for many of the Universities in the North Dakota University System; and many other technologies and communication devices.

Old Main at North Dakota State University

The NDSU Memorial Union is also situated within the central campus serves the sole purpose of serving student social needs. The NDSU Memorial Union recently completed a multi-million dollar addition and renovation, which including the addition of over 68,000 square feet (6,300 m2) used for dining facilities, student offices, lounges, meeting and a new ballroom. The renovation includes redesigning the main concourse to better serve students, the addition of the Bison Connection, which is a one stop shop to meet many of the student’s administrative needs, and more.

The NDSU Memorial Union consists of six restaurants, a coffee shop, a dining center, a rec center, including a bowling alley, the NDSU Bookstore, the Herd Shop convenience store, large, spacious lounges and meeting rooms, a radio station and much more. The large outdoor area to the east of the NDSU Memorial Union, known as Churchill Field, will be converted to a large quad consisting of plazas, water features, amphitheaters, and landscaping features. The quad will provide a great area for students to hang out and relax and will serve as a focal point for outdoor perversions and recreations.

North area

Just north of the central area of campus is a large area that consists of many academic buildings, residence halls, and dining centers. This area is easily recognizable as four residential high-rises rise above the landscape. The high-rises are surrounded by grassy quads, and sand-volleyball and basketball courts. In between the four identical high-rises is a dining center that serves the 1000+ residents of the high-rises. Tunnels connect the high-rises and the dining center to ease travel. A large new upper-class student residence facility, known as the Living Learning Center (East and West), is to the west of the high-rises. To the east is another dining center serving other nearby residence halls and 1000+ residents.

This area of campus is also home to the NDSU Wellness Center and YMCA. The Wellness Center, which was completed in 2002, is nearing completion of a multi-million dollar addition. The addition will include several basketball courts, a multipurpose gym, several racquetball courts, a large free-weight area, spinning and cycling rooms, martial arts facilities, and the state’s tallest rock climbing formation, among many other features.

Athletic area

Further north is area of campus that consists of many athletic facilities including the Bentson/Bunker Fieldhouse, Bison Sports Arena, Fargodome, Newman Outdoor Field, Ellig Sports Complex, McCormick Wrestling Complex, Dacotah Field, Schlanser Track, and others.

A 20 to 25 million dollar addition and renovation of Bison Sports Arena (commonly referred to as the BSA) is currently in the fundraising stage. A new basketball arena attached to the Fargodome is being considered. The proposed arena would seat just over 6,000 and cost $31.6 million.

Research and technology park

The Research and Technology Park is a 55-acre (220,000 m2) site of innovation and technology, residing to the west of the north area of campus, consists of entities that research and develop nano technologies, RFID, polymers and coatings, high performance computing, and others.

The Center of Technology Enterprise was developed to assist startup entities and to compliment the Research and Technology Park, and the NDSU Development Foundation built an extended stay hotel.

NDSU Downtown

NDSU Downtown is a growing campus of North Dakota State University. This mini-campus started in 2004 with the purchase and renovation of the Northern School Supply building at NP Avenue and 8th Street north in downtown Fargo serves as the home of NDSU's visual arts program including part of its architecture program. In 2006, the NDSU Development Foundation purchased the Pioneer Mutual Life Insurance Building and Lincoln Mutual Life & Casualty Insurance Building along 2nd Avenue North between 8th and 10th Street in downtown Fargo from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Dakota. The buildings and subsequent additions house the College of Business and some architectural programs. The area surrounding these buildings will be developed into a "mini-campus" with large grass areas, trees, and other amenities. To further supplement the area, local developers immediately expressed interest in developing the area after campus expansions were reported. For travel between NDSU Downtown and the main campus, the Fargo-Moorhead Metro Area Transit offers transportation every 15 minutes during the school day. All NDSU students ride on the entire MAT system free by using their student ID cards.

Agricultural experiment stations

North Dakota State University has many experiment stations across the state that encompass over 22,053 acres (89.24 km²) in total. Major NDSU research and experiment stations are located near Carrington, Casselton, Dickinson, Fargo, Hettinger, Langdon, Minot, Streeter, and Williston.


North Dakota State University is well known for many of its academic programs. Not only are many of NDSU's academic programs nationally known, but NDSU offers many unique degree programs including: Communication and Signal Processing, Emergency Management, Health Communication, and Behavioral Statistics.

North Dakota State University is divided into the following colleges:

  • Agriculture, Food Systems & Natural Resources
  • Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
  • Business
  • Engineering and Architecture
  • Human Development and Education
  • Pharmacy, Nursing, and Allied Sciences
  • Science and Mathematics
  • University Studies

Additionally NDSU has the following academic divisions:

  • Continuing Education
  • Cooperative Education
  • International Programs

108 bachelor's, 58 minors, 97 options, 59 master's, 42 doctoral, and three professional degrees make up North Dakota State University. NDSU offers a unique major known as University Studies that allows a student to study in nearly any area that interests them. To enhance learning among its students, NDSU offers online classes, online academic portals, or technology enhanced classrooms.


Total collections at NDSU libraries include about 1.4 million units.

Libraries at NDSU:

  • Main Library - As of 2003, the main library contained over 400,000 books and 100,000 individual periodicals. The library also offers electronic books, government documents, maps, electronic resources, Microforms, non-print materials, slide sets, and computer resources.
  • H.J. Klosterman Chemistry Library - This library contains nearly 7,300 books as well as serials, periodicals, a reference collection, a number of microfilms, theses, and indexes.
  • Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library - This library contains more than 13,000 books. Other offerings include periodicals, slides, microfilms, theses, and audio-visual equipment.
  • Philip N. Haakenson Health Sciences Library - Contains various material relating to health sciences.
  • Institute of Regional Studies

A feasibility study was recently completed regarding the construction of a new library at North Dakota State University. The feasibility study makes recommendations in excess of $65 million .


In the US News & World Report Best Colleges rankings for 2010, North Dakota State ranked 191st in the Tier 1 - National Universities category. In the same category, it ranked 107 out of all public universities.[10]


NDSU is a major component of the Red River Valley Research Corridor and does research in many areas. According to the National Science Foundation, NDSU is the largest research institution in the state of North Dakota. NDSU’s position is the highest National Science Foundation ranking in the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho and is also among the top 100 research universities in the United States in six research categories including both federal and non-federal research expenditures. NDSU's annual research expenditures exceed 100 million dollars. NDSU is among North America's "35 Best Places to Work for Postdocs”, according to a survey published in The Scientist's March 1, 2006 issue.

Major fields of research at NDSU include nanotechnology, RFID technology, agriculture, chemistry, and polymers/coatings. NDSU also has a 55 acre (223,000 m²) Technology Park located on the north side of the main campus.


The Bison's current athletic logo.

NDSU's sports teams are known as the North Dakota State Bison, or simply The Bison; however, they are also known as "The Thundering Herd". NDSU's athletic symbol is the American Bison.

On March 10, 2009, North Dakota State gained a bid to the NCAA Basketball Tournament in its first year of eligibility for Division I postseason play by defeating Oakland 66-64 in the Summit League Tournament Championship game.

North Dakota State's intercollegiate sports teams participate in NCAA Division I in all sports (Division I Championship Subdivision in football). NDSU was a charter member of the Division II North Central Conference (NCC), and made the move to Division I sports in the fall of 2004. NDSU spent the next two years as an independent in Division I in all sports other than football in which it is a member of the Great West Football Conference. The school was accepted into The Summit League on August 31, 2006 and began play in that conference on July 1, 2007. The football team left the Great West Football Conference and joined the Missouri Valley Football Conference on March 7, 2007. They became a full member of the conference during the 2008 season.

The Bison football team, which plays their home games at the Fargodome (cap. 19,287), was the winningest program in NCC history with twenty-six conference championships. A dominant force in NCAA Division II, and its predecessor NCAA College Division, they won eight national championships (1965, 1968, 1969, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990) before moving to Division I Championship Subdivision in 2004. In November 2006, the Bison football team won their first Division I Championship Subdivision Great West Football Conference title against the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits. NDSU football is a major event in the city of Fargo and the region, averaging over 15,000 fans per home game. The men's and women's Bison basketball teams play in the Bison Sports Arena. The women's basketball team was also a dominant force in Division II throughout the 1990s. They won five titles during the decade (1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996). In January 2006, the NCAA recognized NDSU's four consecutive Division II Women's Basketball Championships (1993–1996) as one of the "25 Most Defining Moments in NCAA History." NDSU's men's basketball team gained national recognition in 2006 with an upset win at #13 ranked Wisconsin, and again in the 2006-07 season with a win at #8 ranked Marquette. In 2009, the Bison earned an automatic bid the NCAA tournament as winners of the Summit League.

The Bison wrestling program has also had great success winning four Division II team titles (1988, 1998, 2000, 2001). The team is fully eligible for the Division I tournament competition. They recently joined with six other institutions to create the Western Wrestling Conference.

Student life

Campus media

Thunder Radio, an NDSU radio station, operates on KNDS-LP 96.3 FM and offers online streaming. The Bison Information Network, founded in 2009, is a student run TV station. It focuses on student and athletic news, and is broadcast on campus channel 84 and Fargo public-access television cable TV channel 14.


The Spectrum is NDSU's student newspaper. It has been in print since 1896 and is the longest continually printed collegiate newspaper in North Dakota.[citation needed] Bison Illustrated is a magazine covering North Dakota State Bison athletics.

NDSU Magazine is a magazine produced by NDSU, published in full color twice per year and is distributed to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the university. The magazine is a collaborative effort and includes several articles and excerpts on various topics. The magazine is available at no cost.[11]

Performing arts

The Division of Fine Arts offers four performance facilities:

  • Festival Concert Hall - An acoustically tuned 1000-seat hall, opened in 1981. FCH is the concert home for all NDSU music major ensembles, such as the Gold Star Concert Band and the NDSU Concert Choir, and the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony and Fargo-Moorhead Opera.
  • Beckwith Recital Hall - A smaller setting with a seating capacity of 200. It is used as a classroom for art and music as well as faculty, student and small group recitals.
  • Askanase Auditorium - A 380-seat proscenium theater. The Little Country Theatre uses the theater for a majority of their plays.
  • Walsh Studio Theatre - A flexible studio-laboratory black box theater. It is located in Askanase Hall.

NDSU's marching band, the Gold Star Marching Band, performs for Bison football games at the Fargodome.

Residence Dining Center at North Dakota State University

Residence Life

North Dakota State University's department of Residence Life is responsible for the learning environment provided to students living on the campus. NDSU Residence Life currently operates 14 residence halls and apartment complexes serving over 3000 students.

Greek life

Greek life has been a part of the NDSU campus since 1913 and there are currently 15 national fraternities and sororities. The Greek community has over 500 students. In 2005, the 15 fraternities and sororities at NDSU raised nearly $100,000 and served over 5,500 hours to local and national charities.[12]

Notable alumni


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved March 3, 2010. 
  2. ^ "NDUS enrollment up 1.9 percent". Fargo Forum. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  3. ^ "The Carnegie Foundation...Classifications". The Carnegie Foundation. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  4. ^ a b c "NDSU History and Traditions Council: Did You Know?". NDSU History and Traditions Council. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  5. ^ a b "University Archives - NDSU History". NDSU Archives. Archived from the original on 2007-09-11. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  6. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  7. ^ "North Dakota State University" "Fall Enrollment Report 2009". North Dakota State University. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  8. ^ "Fall Enrollment Report 2006". North Dakota State Board of Higher Education. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  9. ^ "NDSU: State of the University Address - 2007". NDSU. Retrieved 2007-10-07. [dead link]
  10. ^ "North Dakota State University - Best College - Education - US News". Retrieved 2010-09-05. 
  11. ^ "NDSU Magazine". Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  12. ^ "Greek Life". NDSU Memorial Union. Archived from the original on 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 

External links

Coordinates: 46°53′30″N 96°48′01″W / 46.891582°N 96.800252°W / 46.891582; -96.800252

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