Why This Matters


    The state is home to both large universities and specialized liberal arts colleges. According to College Navigator, there are nine public colleges, five private non-profit colleges, and one private for-profit school in North Dakota.


    The average cost of in-state tuition in North Dakota that students paid during the 2020-21 school year was $9,690, according to College Board.


    College students pursuing an undergraduate degree were awarded an average of $14,940 during the 2019-20 school year.

Our Research

We evaluated the best colleges in North Dakota to create our list of bachelor’s degree programs. Large research universities and liberal arts schools are included in this guide. During our selection, we considered factors such as the cost of tuition, the number of credits required to graduate, and how coursework is delivered (in-person, online, and hybrid).

The schools on this list are accredited at the national and regional levels. These accreditors include the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS), the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 64 hours to write this article
  • 67 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 83 education programs we compared

The Top 9 Colleges in North Dakota

Best Colleges In North Dakota
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What You Should Know About Graduating From College in North Dakota

When deciding which state you’d like to study in, consider your post-graduation job opportunities. By evaluating the biggest industries in North Dakota, you can get a better understanding of the job market. The top five industries in North Dakota, according to an October 2020 study, are trade, transportation and utilities; government; education and health services; goods-producing; and retail trade.

Graduates who have a bachelor’s degree have several career opportunities available to them in North Dakota. The five fastest-growing careers in North Dakota are information security analysts, operations research analysts, petroleum engineers, software developers, and film and video editors.

To gain insight into the job outlook in North Dakota, examine the largest employers in the state. The top 50 employers in North Dakota include North Dakota State University, Sanford Broadway Medical Center, Altru Health Syst-Audiology, Altru Health System, and Lighting Design Center.

What’s Next?

Financial aid is available from both federal and state agencies to help cover the costs associated with higher education. The list below includes resources to assist you in finding potential funding opportunities for your studies.

  • North Dakota University System. The North Dakota University System provides a comprehensive overview of the state’s higher education system and information about how to cover academic-related costs.
  • Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Every year, over $120 billion is allocated by the U.S. Department of Education to students who need financial assistance to cover tuition fees. Check your eligibility and apply for free using the online FAFSA form.
  • CareerOneStop. Research financial aid, including the 153 scholarships and grants that are available in North Dakota, via CareerOneStop. Use the filter options to narrow your search by degree level and state. The database of more than 8,000 scholarships includes information about eligibility requirements, the monetary amount awarded, and application deadlines.