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 46 doctoral degrees, 66 masters degree, an education specialist degree and 10 certificate programs. Our Fall 2011 enrollment was 2146 graduate students.