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Online Colleges in North Dakota

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This is your one-stop resource for information on online education in North Dakota. We begin with a general overview of higher education in the state and then document North Dakota’s state-specific initiatives and any progress they’ve made in supporting online education.

We also reviewed the entirety of North Dakota’s online offerings and then ranked the top online colleges based on affordability. After browsing these profiles, be sure to take note of the scholarships and higher education resources for North Dakota, located at the bottom of the page. Remember that the best option for your desired online degree may lie outside your home state, so feel free to browse our nationwide database of online colleges as well.

Postsecondary Education in North Dakota

The Center on Budget and Policies Priorities reported that from 2013 to 2014 there was a 20.3% increase ($1,911) in state spending per student in North Dakota ― the second highest percentage and the highest amount in the nation.

CollegeBoard reports that, for in-state students, 2014-15 tuition in North Dakota’s public four-year schools came to $7,513, compared to a national average of $9,139.

Private nonprofit four-year tuition and fees in North Dakota sit at $16,953 on average.

Online Education in North Dakota

NCES Report

According to a recent NCES report, in fall 2012, 22.9% of students enrolled in Title IV institutions in North Dakota (12,718 students) were in exclusively online programs.

  • 81.9% of those students were undergraduates
  • 61.5% were in public 4-year institutions
  • 3.7% were in private not-for-profit 4-year institutions
  • 6% were in private for-profit 4-year institutions
  • 61.7% were living in North Dakota
  • 37.2% were living elsewhere in the United States

The North Dakota University System offers over 1000 classes and more than 40 bachelor’s degrees online. Students attending a member school of the North Dakota University System can apply to earn collaborative student status, allowing them to take online classes from any member school.

Most Affordable Online Colleges in North Dakota

Below you’ll find the very best online colleges in North Dakota, sorted by affordability. These rankings identify the fully online programs in a school’s catalogue, explain how the school’s online interface works and spotlight the recognition a school has received for its online initiatives.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

Dickinson State University

Dickinson State University

An Online Education at Dickinson State University

DSU delivers its distance education offerings via the Moodle learning management system, which is supplemented by Tegrity and Blackboard Collaborate. Used together, this technology allows for productive collaboration with classmates and instructors. Most courses are taken asynchronously, but professors have the option to include components that require students to log on at a certain time. Not all quizzes and exams require proctoring, but the Respondus LockDown Browser is used for safe testing when a proctor is needed.

Students and faculty have 24/7 access to the Atomic Learning online resource. This tool provides training and best practices information on Moodle and 200 other software platforms and applications used in the virtual classroom. One-on-one live-chat tutoring is also provided free of charge via the SmarThinking distance education service.

DSU offers a number of bachelor's degree programs fully online, as well as a selection of associate degrees and professional certification in human resources.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • BS in Accounting
  • BS in Business Administration
  • BS in Finance
  • BS in Human Resource Management
  • Bachelor of Applied Science
  • Bachelor of University Studies

Online students at DSU receive the full breadth of student services that are offered to its campus students. Each student is assigned a distance learning advisor and an advisor within the field of study.

Students living outside of North Dakota are welcomed, however, DSU is unable to offer degrees in every state and potential applicants should check the state authorization page to ensure they are eligible to pursue a degree.

Contact Information

291 Campus Drive
Dickinson, ND 58601-4896
(701) 483-2507

Valley City State University

Valley City State University
Valley City

An Online Education at Valley City State University

VCSU offers a range of options for adult students seeking a bachelor's degree. Students may attend traditional classrooms on several North Dakota campuses, via interactive video in real time or by distance learning or correspondence courses. Some classes may be hybrids of online learning and face-to-face class time. Qualified distance learners can buy or rent laptops from the university.

Students in online-only courses complete class work asynchronously. All classes are hosted on the Blackboard Learn educational management platform. Technical assistance is provided through a help desk during business hours and the Right Answers online help database. VCSU is authorized to grant degrees in every state except Alabama, Arkansas and Maryland.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Business Education, B.S.Ed.
  • Business Process Integration Management, B.A., B.S.
  • Career And Technical Education, B.S.
  • English Education, B.S.Ed.
  • History Education, B.S.Ed.
  • Professional Communication - Corporate, B.A., B.S.

Distance students may also pursue a number of undergraduate minors and graduate-level certifications online. Graduates are encouraged to continue higher education online in the Master of Education (M.Ed.) program; master's degree candidates may concentrate their studies in technology education, teaching and technology, library and information science or ELL. In addition to degrees, licensed teachers may earn professional credentials in library media, ESL instruction and technology education.

Contact Information

101 College St SW
Valley City, ND 58072
(701) 845-7990

Acclaim for online programs

  • #111 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #54 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs

Minot State University

Minot State University

An Online Education at Minot State University

MSU provides interested students with the opportunity to pursue several undergraduate- and graduate-level degrees and certificates completely online. With a few degree-specific exceptions, classes are asynchronous and students are never required to appear on campus.

MSU employs the Blackboard Learn distance education software. This method of content delivery is augmented by Tegrity, Collaborate, SafeAssignment and the Respondus LockDown Browser; all of these technologies combine to create a dynamic, fully engaged learning experience. An exhaustive student services page links everything a distance education student could need, including the SmarThinking Online Tutoring tool, the writing center, advising and the Gordon B. Olson Library.

Undergraduates can choose from ten bachelor's degree programs and three professional certifications.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Management
  • Management Information Systems
  • Marketing
  • International Business
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing for Registered Nurses
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Services: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Bachelor of General Studies

Professionals in software, web development or management can earn specialized credentials online, as can educational professionals who work with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Science in Management (MSM)
  • Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS)
  • Master of Science in Special Education

Online courses follow the traditional school calendar, and degrees are completed in the same time frame as students' campus-bound peers, though courses can be accessed 24/7.

Contact Information

500 University Ave W
Minot, ND 58707
(701) 858-3000

Acclaim for online programs

  • #142 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #71 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Business Programs (excluding MBA)

Mayville State University

Mayville State University

An Online Education at Mayville State University

MSU delivers online courses via the Moodle learning management system. A mandatory online orientation provides student training a week prior to class. Instructors issue assignments on a weekly basis, and all access to class materials is asynchronous. Students are responsible for identifying a qualified proctor for their exams.

Online degrees follow the same curriculum map as on campus and is designed to be finished in an equivalent time frame. However, part-time students may appreciate that there is no minimum enrollment requirement for online classes. Distance learning students are granted access to the online and brick-and-mortar university library, academic advising services, the writing center and the bookstore. Additional training on electronic learning tools is provided via the Atomic Learning resource tool, and tutoring is available free of charge via the SmarThinking online service through Moodle.

Exclusively online students can pursue associate and bachelor's degrees or undergraduate-level certifications.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • B.A.S. in Business Administration
  • B.A. in Early Childhood
  • B.S.Ed. In Mathematics Education
  • B.S. in Mathematics
  • B.S. in Nursing
  • B.S.Ed. in Special Education
  • B.U.S. in University Studies

Contact Information

330 Third Street NE
Mayville, ND 58257-1299
(701) 788-2301

Acclaim for online programs

  • #211 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs

University of North Dakota

University of North Dakota
Grand Forks

An Online Education at University of North Dakota

The majority of online courses at UND are managed with the Blackboard learning management platform. The system allows students to access instructor-provided materials for each course, turn in assignments, participate in chats and other forms of class collaboration and view grades. Other software applications that enhance the virtual learning process include Tegrity, Collaboration Stations, SafeAssign, Adobe Connect, Adobe Presenter, Citrix and Clickers. Online self-help is accessed via the SmarThinking tutoring service and Atomic Learning training modules.

The university's tech support staff is highly trained in Apple and PC maintenance and the intricacies of educational software. Help is available via live chat, email or over the phone.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Nursing - RN to BSN Program
  • Communication
  • Psychology
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Petroleum Engineering

Students who wish to continue their education, or working professionals returning to school, also have an impressive number of choices among distance-only degree plans.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Elementary Education
  • Social Work (MSW for BSW Students)
  • Nursing
  • Space Studies
  • Applied Economics
  • Public Health (MPH)

Over a dozen certification programs are on the distance learning menu as well. Working professionals can advance their knowledge and marketability through study in education specialties, nurse education, environmental engineering, policy analysis, social entrepreneurship and others.

Contact Information

264 Centennial Drive, Stop 8193
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8193
(800) 225-5863

Acclaim for online programs

  • #194 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs
  • #25 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Business Programs (excluding MBA)
  • #32 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online MBA Programs

North Dakota State University

North Dakota State University

An Online Education at North Dakota State University

NDSU uses Blackboard to deliver online components for their classes. Instructors also use tools like Tegrity and Collaborate to facilitate meaningful discussion and idea exchange among students, and some professors record podcasts on iTunes. Students have access to additional resources, such as a writing center, online tutoring via SmarThinking and TutorND, the Atomic Learning training tool and full access to the digitally optimized NDSU Library.

Degree-seeking students may choose among more than 30 completely online programs.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • B.S. in Human Development & Family Science
  • B.S. in Agricultural Communication
  • B.S. in Journalism
  • B.S. in Health Communication
  • B.S. in Sociology
  • Bachelor of University Studies

Students may also pursue undergraduate minors and certificates completely online.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Construction Management
  • M.Ed. in Educational Leadership: Teacher Education Option
  • M.S. or M.A. in Mass Communication
  • Master of Transportation & Urban Systems
  • M.S. in Dietetics (Great Plains IDEA)
  • M.Ed. in Family & Consumer Science Education (Great Plains IDEA)
  • M.S. in Merchandising (Great Plains IDEA)

Working adults can also take advantage of a wide range of professional certification courses that can grow their careers.

Contact Information

1301 12th Avenue North
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
(701) 231-8011

University of Mary

University of Mary

An Online Education at University of Mary

UMary uses the Canvas LMS to deliver all of its online content and courses to students and instructors. Through its interface, students communicate with their peers and teachers and access and submit coursework; the learning management system is mobile-friendly. Students can watch several instructional videos to familiarize themselves with Canvas before they begin class.

This private, Catholic school bases all programs in the teachings of the church. It strives to prepare students for a life committed "to the common good" within their professional fields. With several online programs available at the undergraduate- and graduate-levels, students with an interest in a Benedictine-based education have many options.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Accounting
  • Business: Accounting Concentration
  • Business: Human Resources Concentration
  • Business: Management Concentration
  • Business: Marketing Concentration
  • Nursing: R.N. to B.S.N. completion program
  • Organizational Leadership

Online Graduate Degrees

  • M.B.A. in Healthcare
  • M.B.A. in Management
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • M.S. in Strategic Leadership
  • M.S. in Human Performance: Exercise Physiology
  • M.S.N. Nurse Administrator B.S.N. to M.S.N.
  • M.S.N. Nurse Educator

Contact Information

7500 University Dr
Bismarck, ND 58504
(701) 255-7500

Acclaim for online programs

  • #172 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor's Programs

Scholarships and Financial Aid in North Dakota

Diversity Award

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Amount varies See Scholarship

This tuition waiver is available to undergraduates at Minot State University. To be eligible, students must have a GPA of 2.25+, and belong to a historically under-represented ethnic or economic group. North Dakota residents receive a 50% tuition reduction; Non-residents receive a 10% reduction.

Melvin R. Arnold Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $9,000 See Scholarship

Open to University of Jamestown students majoring in biochemistry, chemistry, biology, math, or clinical lab science. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.7+ and an ACT score of 26+ (SAT 1180+). The total award is $9,000, distributed over 4 years of undergraduate study.

North Dakota Indian Scholarship

Deadline: open
Scholarship Amount $2,000 See Scholarship

The North Dakota University System provides between 150 and 175 scholarships to members of the North Dakota Indian tribes who are enrolled in a North Dakota college or university. Selection is based on academic ability and financial need. Maximum award is $2,000 per year for 4 years.

North Dakota Scholars

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Full tuition See Scholarship

Provided by the North Dakota University System, this scholarship is available to North Dakota high school students planning to pursue an undergraduate degree. To be eligible, students must have an ACT score within the upper 5th percentile of all test takers in the state. Award is full tuition for 4 years.

North Dakota State Student Incentive Grant Program

Deadline: April 15, 2015
Scholarship Amount $1,650 See Scholarship

Provided by the North Dakota University System for students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree at a public, private, or tribal college within the state. To be eligible, students must have graduated from high school or earned a GED in North Dakota. The award is distributed based on applicants’ financial need. Maximum award is $1,650 per year.

Presidential Freshman Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $3,000 See Scholarship

The University of North Dakota offers the Presidential Scholarship to incoming freshmen. Students are automatically considered upon admittance to the university. The award will be given to students with the highest GPAs and SAT/ACT scores. Maximum award is $12,000 per year for 4 years.

Sister Thomas Welder Leadership Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount Amount varies See Scholarship

University of Mary awards the Welder Leadership scholarship to full-time undergraduate students based on their academic performance. Selection is competitive; award amounts vary.

Transfer Student Scholarship

Deadline: April 15, 2015
Scholarship Amount $2,000 See Scholarship

Open to transfer students entering the University of North Dakota. Students are evaluated based on their application to the university. The award amount varies based on academic merit: students with a GPA of 3.5 – 3.89 may receive $1,000; students with a GPA of 3.9 – 4.0 may receive $2,000.

Treacy Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: May 1, 2015
Scholarship Amount $2,000 See Scholarship

The Treacy Foundation provides this scholarship for freshmen and sophomores who are residents of North Dakota. Students are evaluated and selected based on their financial need, academic performance, and extracurriculars or community service. The award is $2,000 per year, renewable for up to 4 years.

Wilson Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $14,000 See Scholarship

The University of Jamestown awards the Wilson Scholarship to four qualified students each year. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.6+ and an ACT score of 26+ (SAT 1180+). Participation in a Scholarship Day competition and personal interview is required. Award amounts range from $14,000 to full tuition for 4 years.

Higher Education Resources in North Dakota