Academic Degree Information
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To receive a baccalaureate degree from NDSU, students must complete all of the requirements listed in this section as well as those specified for the particular degree program by a college within the university. Consult the curriculum guide or contact the academic department for further information on degree requirements. Degree candidates must satisfactorily complete one of the degree curricula offered at NDSU. Because curricula are subject to change annually, students are responsible for determining curricular expectations according to the following guidelines:
- Intended degrees, as well as second majors and minors, must be declared to become official by providing notice to the Office of Registration and Records, 110 Ceres Hall. Students follow the published curricula declared with the university from the semester/year of entrance at NDSU or from the year of admission to a limited- or selective-enrollment program, whichever applies, to graduation provided enrollment at NDSU has not been discontinued for more than one year.
- Students who change or declare additional majors, minors, or degrees are subject to meeting the requirements in effect during the academic year in which the new curriculum was declared. Students may follow any published curricula from the year the new curriculum was declared to the year of graduation provided enrollment at NDSU has not been discontinued for more than one year.
- Students who advance in limited- or selective-enrollment programs will have their academic program/plan status changed accordingly by the appropriate academic department.
- Any student who discontinues enrollment at NDSU for more than one year is subject to meeting the curricular requirements in effect at the time of re-entry.
Each program of study presented by a candidate for the baccalaureate degree is audited for meeting the degree requirements by the Office of Registration and Records. Degree candidates are certified by the Office of Registration and Records according to total credits earned, institutional grade-point average, and other university requirements.
A degree is the title that the university confers on a graduate who has completed university requirements for graduation. NDSU defaults students to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree plan of study unless a specialized degree is awarded in a program of study. Students may pursue a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree, if available for their selected major, by completing the B.A. requirements as specified by their academic college and/or on the program curriculum guide (see Bachelor of Arts Requirements Using a Second Language).
NDSU confers the following degrees at the undergraduate level:
- Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
- Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)
- Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (B.L.A.)
- Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.)
- Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
- Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (B.S.A.B.En.)
- Bachelor of Science in Architecture (B.S.Arch.)
- Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (B.S.C.E.)
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering (B.S.Cpr.E.)
- Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering (B.S.Con.E.)
- Bachelor of Science in Construction Management (B.S.Cons.M.)
- Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (B.S.E.E.)
- Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and Management (B.S.I.E.Mgt.)
- Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering (B.S.Mfg.E.)
- Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.M.E.)
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)
- Bachelor of University Studies (B.U.S.)
In addition, NDSU awards graduate degrees at the following levels:
- Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
- Education Specialist (Ed.S.)
- Master of Accountancy (M.Acc.)
- Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)
- Master of Arts (M.A.)
- Master of Athletic Training (M.Atr.)
- Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)
- Master of Construction Management (M.Cons.M.)
- Master of Education (M.Ed.)
- Master of Engineering (M.Engr.)
- Master of Music (M.M.)
- Master of Managerial Logistics (M.M.L.)
- Master of Natural Resources Management (M.N.R.M.)
- Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)
- Master of Science (M.S.)
- Master of Software Engineering (M.S.E.)
- Master of Transportation & Urban Systems (M.T.U.S.)
- Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.)
- Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)
- Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Bachelor of Arts Requirement using a Second Language
The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree may be conferred upon students who complete the major requirements for their chosen field of study and have functional proficiency in at least one language other than English. The B.A. degree recognizes these students as having acquired the foundation for enhancing their ability to communicate, work, and study in an internationalized world. The B.A. signifies that these students have chosen to develop, through the equivalent of at least four semesters of coursework, both practical language skills and a comparative perspective on their own language and culture. The B.A. second language requirement fosters an awareness of the culturally conditioned nature of the students' assumptions about the world, and it better equips them with the mental agility needed to understand ways of thinking different from their own as they encounter the diversity of professional and personal relationships, as well as the intellectual and practical challenges of their future careers.
The second language requirement of the B.A. degree involves student demonstration of functional language proficiency over a sustained period of time, typically 14 credits of coursework. Given the sequential nature of language courses, the assessment of their abilities across the range of skills in speaking, reading, writing and listening comprehension is continuous and demanding. For this reason, NDSU requires that those students who have prior language-learning experience or who present language examination scores (CLEP, etc.) take, at minimum, the exit-level (202) course in order to verify their broad functional ability and basic cultural competence. It is important to note that the language requirement is not defined in credits but in terms of proficiency or communicative competence in all four skills of speaking, reading, writing and listening comprehension.
To fulfill the B.A. language requirement a student must demonstrate competence equivalent to that normally attained after four semesters of college study (NDSU level 202). Competency may be demonstrated in the following ways:
- Completion in any second language of coursework at the NDSU 202 level or its equivalent with a grade of 'C' or better. Note that this requirement cannot be fulfilled by coursework taken pass/fail.
- Successful completion of any second language course with a grade of 'C' or better that has the equivalent of NDSU 202 or higher as a prerequisite.
- For students having previously passed the CLEP Examination in French, German or Spanish with a CLEP score high enough for second-year college credit (59 in French, 60 in German and 63 in Spanish) or the AP exam with a minimum score of 4 in French, German or Spanish, taking one additional college-level language class at the 202 level or higher in order to demonstrate competency in all four skill levels. Students must complete this course with a 'C' or better.
- English satisfies the B.A. language requirement for students whose official, certified transcripts demonstrate that their secondary or higher education was completed in a language other than English. It is the responsibility of the student to provide all necessary untranslated, official documentation to the Department of Modern Languages for verification. No credit will be awarded.
- Students who are unable to provide the above mentioned certified documentation but who are native speakers of languages other than English may fulfill the second language requirement through proficiency in English by successful completion of the three-semester General Education English composition sequence and by passing an additional English (ENGL) course with a 'C' or better. Students having completed this sequence may apply to the Department of Modern Languages for a waiver of the Second Language requirement.
- Requests for determination of proficiency in languages not taught at NDSU are considered by the Department of Modern Languages. If a student would like to demonstrate proficiency through testing in a language that is not taught at NDSU, it is his/her responsibility to arrange for such testing. The proficiency test must be completed by a faculty or staff member at a college or university; the evaluator must hold at least a master's degree (in any discipline). The test must evaluate reading, writing, listening and speaking through the fourth semester (intermediate NDSU 202) college level. The student must provide documentation from the evaluator which includes a copy of the test, a letter from the evaluator assessing the level of proficiency, and a statement of the evaluator's credentials, including an explanation of his/her expertise in the language being tested, if the evaluator does not teach that language at the college level. No credit is awarded but proficiency requirement is fulfilled.
A second baccalaureate degree may be earned at NDSU with all of the following provisions:
- All curriculum requirements are satisfactorily completed.
- A 30-credit minimum is earned in residence beyond all of the credits and degree requirements for the first baccalaureate degree. All requirements for both degrees must be met, including the separate residency requirements at NDSU for each (36 for the first; 30 for the second). Any repeated courses do not count toward the 30 credits.
- Each baccalaureate degree must be different. However, students may complete requirements for more than one major within a given degree, if available (see second /multiple majors).
Majors and Minors
Majors and minors are integral parts of baccalaureate degree curricula. Specific curriculum requirements for majors may be acquired from the appropriate departmental office or from Registration and Records. Students are responsible for following the requirements in place at the time a major or minor is officially declared with the university.
Major: A major is a planned grouping of related courses that totals a minimum of 32 credits.
Minor: A minor is a similar grouping of courses that totals a minimum of 16 credits. A minimum of eight credits must be earned in residence at NDSU.
Second or Multiple Majors: A second (or multiple) major may be earned by completing the requirements of both (or all) majors offered under the same baccalaureate degree. At least 15 unique credits must exist between the majors. When requirements for multiple majors are met concurrently, all majors are displayed on the diploma.
Multiple majors or minors may be completed and recorded on the student's academic record after the degree for the first major has been awarded. When majors under different degrees are involved, the requirements for a second degree apply (See Second Degree).
A certificate program is a specialized course of study requiring at least 16 credit hours at the undergraduate level or eight credit hours at the graduate level. Certificates may be earned while in pursuit of a degree or as standalone programs of study. Prospective students interested in certificate programs, but not seeking a degree, must be accepted to the university. Contact the Office of Admission or the Graduate School for further information. Curricular requirements and verification forms are available in academic departments offering certificates. Completed forms must be signed by the appropriate department chair (and Graduate School, if applicable) and submitted to Registration and Records in order for the certificate to be posted to a student's academic record and official documentation issued.
Exceptions to Academic Program Requirements
Academic policies and requirements are designed to ensure that programs at NDSU are consistently of high quality. All academic requirements prescribed by the Faculty Senate must be met. Students may request substitutions or waivers for college or departmental requirements when extenuating circumstances prevail.
In cases where deviation from the requirements might affect a student's eligibility to enroll in a particular course, the student should begin the process early during the previous term to ensure timely processing.