Undergraduate Academic Information

Introduction and Background

This section of the catalog summarizes many of the academic policies and procedures which will apply to the student during his or her undergraduate years at UND. Particularly important are the passages describing the University’s essential studies program. Since institutional policies may change between catalog publication dates, students are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor whenever appropriate. Students with questions also should request information from their academic department, the dean’s office of their college, and the various administrative offices on campus.

Before utilizing the information found in this catalog, it may be useful to review the following basic patterns of undergraduate education at the University of North Dakota. 

The student’s place in the University organization

New students are admitted, according to the major they wish to pursue, to one of UND’s undergraduate degree granting colleges, e.g., Arts and Sciences. All students who have an “undeclared” major under General Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences will receive assistance from the Student Success Center. Once a student declares a major they will be enrolled in the undergraduate degree granting colleges for that major. Each college is made up of a group of academic departments and/or program areas (e.g., history). Courses in the student’s major will normally be taken in a specific department, although UND offers many interdisciplinary majors as well. It should be noted that course work in one’s major field normally makes up only a fraction of the total credits required for graduation (typically about one-fourth). Thus, throughout their undergraduate days, students have the opportunity to take courses in many departments outside their home college. Indeed, this diversity is one of the advantages of attending a multipurpose university such as UND.

As an institution of higher education, the university is committed to ongoing assessment of student learning at all levels and in all programs. Assessment of student learning is essential in order for the university to improve educational programs and the experiences of students. Students are urged to respond positively when asked to participate in assessment activities. Students are also encouraged to collaborate in the planning and development of assessment activities and to make suggestions for improvements.

University, college and departmental requirements

Undergraduate students must meet three sets of requirements to graduate from the University of North Dakota:

  1. University graduation requirements,
  2. requirements of the UND college or school granting the student’s degree, and
  3. the requirements of the student’s major department or program area.

Which catalog to use

The graduation requirements of the University and its colleges, schools, and departments, as published in the catalog in effect at the beginning of the first semester the student is enrolled at the University, are those which must be met for completion of an undergraduate degree program. Subsequent changes in policies and requirements, as published in the catalog or amended by the University Senate and the Board of Higher Education, may be substituted. The faculty reserves the right to make changes in curricula at any time when in its judgment such changes are for the best interests of the students. Courses listed in this catalog are subject to change through normal academic channels. New courses and changes in existing course work are initiated by the responsible departments or programs and are approved by the appropriate dean and college or school curriculum committee, the University Curriculum Committee, the University Senate, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Board of Higher Education.


The University encourages continuing communication between faculty and students to enhance the advisement process. The student has final responsibility to meet the stated requirements for the degree sought, as listed in the appropriate catalog or bulletin. Every student is held accountable for complying with the information contained in this catalog and the Schedule of Courses for each term. The University provides an electronic degree audit for each student as a guide and for discussion with the academic advisor. Registration is the student’s personal responsibility.

Academic Advising Philosophy Statement

Academic Advising is an integral component of undergraduate education at the University of North Dakota. The focus of all academic advising is to assist students in taking responsibility for developing meaningful educational plans which are compatible with their life goals. It is a decision-making process by both student and academic advisor. The sharing of information occurs in a caring and comfortable environment which promotes responsible and appropriate academic choices. Through a quality advising process, academic advisors strive to facilitate a successful academic experience for students. Successful advising is an interactive relationship in which both student and advisor must take responsibility for a successful outcome.