On March 8, 1890, the state's first governor, John Miller, signed the bill designating the land to establish a college of agriculture and mechanic arts, the North Dakota Agricultural College, as a part of the Morrill Act of 1862. In 1960, the name was changed to North Dakota State University.
The Graduate School
Graduate students were first accepted in 1895, and a formal announcement of graduate studies has been carried in the bulletins since 1902. The Graduate School was formalized July 1, 1954, by approval of the North Dakota Board of Higher Education. Graduate studies were administered by a Graduate Council from November 1949 to June 1954, and before that by a Graduate Committee. The first Master of Science degree was awarded in 1899.
Since then, graduate students have been in regular attendance and have participated in the scholarly activity of the campus. The number of degrees awarded increased noticeably after 1920 and again after 1950 in reflection of general trends in higher education in the United States. In 1959, the North Dakota Board of Higher Education first authorized certain departments to offer the Doctor of Philosophy degree. The first Ph.D. degrees were awarded in 1963. Currently, NDSU offers 50 doctoral degrees, 86 masters degrees, an education specialist degree and 12 certificate programs.
NDSU's campus is about 41 square blocks and includes more than 100 major buildings. NDSU renovated a historic building in downtown Fargo that now houses the art department and classroom, studio and office space for the architecture and landscape architecture departments. NDSU's downtown presence is expanding with two additional buildings. The architecture and landscape architecture programs occupy Klai Hall, which also includes the architecture library. Barry Hall houses the College of Business and the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics. It is the third-largest building at NDSU. In all, NDSU is located on more than 22,000 acres of North Dakota land, which includes the main Agricultural Experimental Station in Fargo and seven research centers located throughout the state.