Valley City State University is a comprehensive institution of higher education offering a range of academic programs leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Subject areas include art, business, communication, computer systems and software engineering, education, health and physical education, language and literature, mathematics, music, science, social science, and technology.
Two-thirds of the 1,500-member VCSU student body come from North Dakota, but all told, more than 40 states and 10 countries are represented. The student body spans a diverse range of ages, ethnicities, and learning objectives. VCSU makes courses and degree programs available using traditional on-campus courses, distance learning (online or interactive video), and hybrid formats that combine elements of both.
VCSU emphasizes the use of the latest technologies to enhance the learning experience. Each full-time, on-campus student is issued a notebook computer, and all students have easy access to high-speed wireless networking throughout campus, the latest multimedia technology, and classrooms equipped with the current educational technology. Students use these tools as an integral part of their education to enhance their learning and become skilled in using technology to excel in their careers.
The scenic VCSU campus, located on the banks of the Sheyenne River in southeastern North Dakota, is listed as a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. The campus features a combination of beautifully restored historic buildings and modern facilities fully equipped with technology. In May 2017, the campus was named “the most beautiful college campus in North Dakota” in an article on BuzzFeed. Valley City—located less than an hour’s drive from Fargo, North Dakota’s largest city—is known for its small-town charm; the city was named “the most beautiful town in North Dakota” in an article on Expedia in March 2017.
VCSU’s long and proud history goes back to 1890 when it was founded as the State Normal School—chartered in the original North Dakota Constitution—with a mission focused on training teachers. In 1921, the school was authorized to offer bachelor’s degrees as the first major expansion of its curriculum beyond teacher education. In 1963, the school was renamed Valley City State College. In 1987, the college was renamed Valley City State University, a regional baccalaureate university of the North Dakota system of higher education. In 2005, VCSU began offering its first graduate program, a Master of Education degree. The university began offering a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in 2016.
Partnerships with private and nonprofit corporations provide unique and outstanding opportunities for both students and graduates. These partnerships enhance student development, provide valuable work experience through internships, and offer access to outstanding career opportunities. Examples of VCSU’s partnerships have included Microsoft, Eagle Creek Software, Oracle, Cisco Systems, and many others.
The annual U.S. News and World Report college edition has listed VCSU as a “Best College” each year from 1999 through 2019, and for 2019, VCSU was ranked No. 3 among the Top Public Regional Colleges in the Midwest in U.S. News America’s Best Colleges. VCSU has been ranked among the Top 3 Public Regional Colleges in the Midwest each year since 2010.
In 2019 (and 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018), VCSU’s online graduate education program earned national rankings in the U.S. News editions of Top Online Education Programs. VCSU’s online Bachelor’s programs are also ranked nationally by U.S. News.