Students often enter the University without a declared major but with the goal of exploring various majors and career opportunities. At North Dakota State University, approximately 14 percent of entering students are undeclared and exploring various career paths. It is the mission of the College of University Studies to provide the information and advising necessary for students to make an informed decision about course choices and, eventually, the choice of a major.
Our administration and academic advisors are prepared to support students in their quest for a major and career. Support services are provided in many ways:
- Advisors in the College of University Studies are available to answer academic questions.
- The college provides a list of exploratory major courses.
- Students work one-on-one with advisors who have experience working with undeclared students.
- A one-credit course with the goal of facilitating the transition to college is offered to all new students.*
- Assistance is provided to determine math placement.
- Career planning courses are offered each term.
- The Counseling Center provides additional information regarding careers and has a wealth of information to help each student select a career path.
- Many campus faculty and staff members are willing to visit with students and answer questions regarding careers.
Students are encouraged to select a major by the end of their first year and to contact their advisors or Bison Connection for assistance in transferring to one of the seven other colleges at NDSU. We believe that the flexibility provided through the university studies program and the excellent advising system combine to provide a very good beginning for students who want time to explore before deciding on a career and major. Our attention is on the individual student. Our goal is to see that each student receives the best possible degree.
The First Year Curriculum
The College of University Studies works with students on an individual basis. There are several areas that all students study in any program, such as humanities and fine arts, communication, quantitative reasoning, science and technology, social and behavioral sciences, and wellness. Beginning students are encouraged to include courses from each area during the first year. First year students are encouraged to plan the strongest program they are capable of mastering and are encouraged to take courses in fields that are of high interest to them. Interests are often reflected in the courses that a student enjoyed in high school, hobbies, books and magazines selected for leisure reading, and part-time jobs.
Suggested First Semester Courses
After consultation with an academic adviser, students are encouraged to choose approximately 15 credits from the following selection of courses:
First Year Experience
First Year Experience*
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Humanities and Fine Arts
Science and Technology
Exploratory course of interest
The Bachelor Of University Studies Degree
The Bachelor of University Studies (B.U.S.) degree is designed to provide a unique, nontraditional program for students whose goals and objectives cannot be met via a traditionally established academic major or minor. Courses taken include General Education requirements, as well as courses chosen for their appropriateness in achieving the goals of the individual student. Each student meets with an academic advisor to design a program of study that will be reviewed and approved by a committee. Many nontraditional students are able to combine current and prior traditional course work with college-level experience from nontraditional areas such as military schools, business or trade schools, and/or work experience. The evaluation of such nontraditional learning is made in relation to the individual's future plans, previous formal education and total degree plan.
A student desiring to pursue such a degree must work closely with an academic advisor. A degree plan must be submitted to the Academic Policies/Program Review Committee through the associate dean of the College of University Studies by guideline due dates: October 1 for spring or summer graduation; February 1 for fall graduation. No fewer than 15 credits must be proposed (remain to be taken after the proposal) and included in the proposal. Students who submit proposals after the due date will not be considered for graduation the following semester. Students are encouraged to submit their degree plan during their junior year with approximately 30 credits proposed. Further information about graduation requirements is available in The Bulletin, which can be found at: www.ndsu.edu/bulletin.
For students interested in meeting the challenge of creating a degree program, the College of University Studies will provide advice, support and guidance during all phases of its implementation.
Employers have expressed enthusiasm for this degree program. It encourages students to think about the future long before graduation and helps them prepare for the kind of life they hope to lead following graduation. Students completing this degree may plan careers in a wide variety of fields. Graduates work in health care, government, business, banking, sales, social work, publishing, and the military. Others have used their course work to prepare for further education and have attended medical school, law school and seminary, in addition to graduate schools. If one can identify a career, one can make plans to achieve that goal.
Morrill Hall is located on the south end of campus on Albrecht Boulevard (Campus Map)
College of University Studies
North Dakota State University
Dept 2800, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Office: Morrill Hall 112
Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Dept 5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802