Tri-College University (TCU) is a consortium of five regional institutions of higher education: NDSU, Concordia College, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, and North Dakota State College of Science. Students at the five schools may benefit from what each school offers individually and cooperatively through the consortium.
Through the Tri-College course exchange, students enrolled at one campus may take courses at the other institutions at no extra cost and without going through separate admission procedures. Tri-College expands discipline offerings and course availability for students beyond their home campus.
Details continue to be finalized throughout summer 2015 for the TCU expansion agreement to include Minnesota State Community and Technical College (M State) and North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS); contact home campus TCU registrar office for additional information.
Tuition and Fees
Tuition is paid to the home campus. Courses not eligible for Tri-College registration are those offered through NDSU's Division of Distance and Continuing Education, off-campus or weekend courses offered through MSUM's Continuing Education program, most workshops, most graduate courses, independent study courses at Concordia College, private music instruction at Concordia, and international travel programs.
Students enrolling in classes that require special fees (lab/course fees, lessons, supplies, etc.) beyond the home-campus tuition and fees assessed at the time of registration will be responsible for remittance of payment to the provider institution.
The TCU Course Exchange is limited to one course per student per semester per participating campus, and only if the course is not catalogued or offered on the student's home campus in a given semester. Exceptions to the one course/semester limit among campuses are detailed, along with other TCU registration information, on the TCU Registration Information Guide. All students must be registered at their home campus before being eligible to enroll in Tri-College courses (excludes summer for MSUM and NDSU). Concordia students—and NDSU students wanting to take a course at Concordia—may take only one course per term and then, only if they are full-time students and only if that course is not available on their home campus during that academic term. Concordia does not participate in the TCU course exchange during the summer. Concordia and MSUM business courses taken via Tri-College may not be applied to professional programs (majors and minors) in the College of Business at NDSU without special permission by the college.
Credits and Grades
Courses taken through TCU course exchange will appear on a student's home campus transcript within the term they were taken and may be applied toward graduation requirements. Credits and grades are calculated into home campus grade point averages and cumulative totals.
Students need to obtain advanced approval to substitute TCU courses for required courses in a major or minor, unless otherwise stipulated in the major/minor requirements.
Students taking a TCU course to repeat a course previously taken at the home campus must indicate this on the Tri-College Registration Form. Duplication of credit is not permitted.
Policies and Deadlines
Students must observe all registration and academic policies and deadlines of their home campus, including arrangements for withdrawals, drops/adds, pass/fail options, audits, and incomplete grades.
The Tri-College partners recognize minors earned through the TCU course exchange. Students receive recognition on their graduation transcripts for minors completed on one of the other TCU campuses. This policy applies only to minors earned in programs not available on a student's home-campus. The Tri-College Minor Form is available online.
Majors may be earned only at the school from which a student earns a degree. Most students enroll initially at the school from which they intend to graduate. However, the TCU course exchange agreement between MSUM and NDSU allows a student to begin their studies at one of the schools prior to transferring to the other school to complete their degree. Tri-college students typically are restricted to pre-professional coursework at a campus that offers a professional program of study. Students should work with the chair of the department in which they intend to major to make sure their program includes all requirements for the major and for graduation. Students may apply for tuition reciprocity prior to transferring from their home state.
Students, faculty, and staff of the TCU institutions may use all of the libraries in the consortia. Circulating materials from TCU libraries are available free of charge for direct checkout or through inter-library loan.
A regional computer-based catalog shows availability of materials at the TCU and other libraries.
Bus and Parking Services
A Tri-College bus schedule provides inter-campus transportation to Concordia, MSUM, and NDSU every half hour. The bus is operated weekdays by the City of Fargo during the NDSU/MSUM academic year; it is not available during the summer. Bus schedules are available at the TCU office and at several locations on each campus.
A separate parking permit is not issued for Tri College University parking. If vehicles have a current home-campus permit, they may be parked in the following lots on other campuses.
- Concordia: TCU students, faculty, and staff can park in Parking Lot C.
- MSUM: TCU students can park in Lots P and K. TCU faculty and staff may park in Lots P, K, and F.
- NDSU: TCU students can park in T or R Lot. TCU faculty and staff permits are valid for T-1 Lot.
All drivers are subject to traffic regulations of the respective institutions. Lot restrictions are eased after 5 p.m., and there is no overnight parking.