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College of University Studies

Morrill Hall 112, 701-231-7014,

Programs in the College of University Studies are designed for students with general needs or unique goals. These programs involve general studies for undeclared students and the Bachelor of University Studies degree (a tailored degree program) for students with distinctive educational goals.

General Studies

The general studies program is designed to serve new students who wish to enter college but are unsure about their plans for the future. Special attention is given to selecting the best advisers, giving students a chance to explore a variety of fields, and acquainting them with people who are familiar with post-graduation opportunities.

Undeclared students in general studies may elect any pattern of courses for which they have satisfactory preparation. They are encouraged to carry a full load of fifteen credits; however, they may carry as little as one course (usually three hours of class a week), a full load of four or five courses, or on rare occasions, as many as six or seven courses.

Transfer to other colleges on campus from this program or into this program is possible at any time. Most students elect to pursue a major in one of the other academic colleges at North Dakota State University no later than their third semester.

Bachelor of University Studies Degree

Students with no fewer than 15 semester credits remaining and wishing to tailor their own degree may do so by proposing a plan of study. Upon approval, this plan of study leads to a Bachelor of University Studies (B.U.S.) degree.

Students seeking the Bachelor of University Studies degree usually begin by visiting the Associate Dean’s office and talking with an adviser about their long-range hopes and aspirations. Together, they select an adviser whose professional skills and interests most closely coincide with those of the student. The adviser will work with the student in preparing a statement of goals, a summary of previous education and experience, and a plan of study for the degree. After both have signed the proposal, it is forwarded to the Academic Policies/Program Review committee of the College of University Studies for approval. If the proposal is approved by the committee, it becomes a set of requirements for graduation. Each plan of study must meet the general education requirements and the graduation requirements of the university. The Bachelor of University Studies degree does not allow a designated major or an academic minor, but students are encouraged to create an area(s) of emphasis.

Experiential Learning Credit

Students may gain credit for university-level experiential learning depending on how their experience relates to their educational objectives and the pattern of formal education they plan to pursue. Students requesting credit for university-level experience must prepare summaries of their learning, including time periods, job descriptions, responsibilities, on-the-job training, verification of employment, and any other pertinent information according to published guidelines. Credit may be requested for any type of experience provided the experience leads to university-level learning and is related to educational goals. Ultimately, students must be prepared to demonstrate increased knowledge, problem-solving ability, ability to understand people, or some other significant personal growth as the result of their experience.

Cooperative Education and Internships

Cooperative Education and Internship Program , an offering of the Career Center, provides students an opportunity to integrate classroom study and career goals with paid, career related work experience for academic credit. Work must be engaged learning experience and may be full or part time. A Cooperative Education or Internship experience may substantially improve students’ employment opportunities after graduation. See the Career Center web site for further information.

Degree Plan Proposal

The degree plan must be submitted to the Academic Policies/Program Review committee through the Office of 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 approval) 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 proposals during the junior year with approximately 30 credits proposed.

A program must include the following: at least 15 credits of study to be completed after approval; a total of no fewer than 122 credits (including credit for military experience, previous college work, work experience, etc.); 37 credits of junior- and senior-level courses (300-400 level); a cumulative grade-point average of 2.00 based on all work completed at NDSU; 60 credits from a four-year institution; and the residency requirement (36 credits must be completed at NDSU). Ordinarily, the last 30 credits must be resident credits. In addition, each program must fulfill the General Education requirements including the Capstone Experience, Cultural Diversity and Global Perspectives categories, and have as a minimum the following:

First-Year Experience1
Communications (C)12
Quantitative Reasoning (R)3
Science & Technology (S) (A laboratory course is included in this requirement.)10
Humanities & Fine Arts (A)6
Social & Behavioral Sciences (B)6
Wellness (W)2
Total Credits43

Approval of a student’s proposal means that the committee believes that the approved plan is the best educational program available to that student and that it is a baccalaureate-level program.

It is the policy of the College of University Studies that students seeking a B.U.S. degree will, following approval of the B.U.S. proposal , be expected to make continual progress toward completion of their degree. Discontinuing enrollment for a period of two continuous academic years or more indicates lack of progress. The approved proposals of students who lack progress will no longer be considered valid for graduation with a B.U.S. degree. If these students choose to continue to seek a B.U.S. degree, it will be necessary to submit a new proposal for consideration by the committee.

In addition to the College of University Studies' continual progress policy, NDSU requires that any student who discontinues enrollment for more than one year is subject to completing the General Education requirements in effect at the time of re-entry. B.U.S. proposals are subject to the NDSU baccalaureate degree requirements.

For further information, contact:

  • Carolyn A. Schnell, Associate Dean
  • College of University Studies
  • 112 Morrill Hall
  • NDSU Dept. 2800, P.O. Box 6050
  • North Dakota State University
  • Fargo, ND 58108-6050
  • Telephone: 701-231-7014