Bismarck State College

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Accredited, Affordable Associate Degrees on BSC Online

Bismarck State College appears in our ranking of the Top 15 Affordable Associate’s in Web Development Online

On Blackboard Learn 9.1, BSC Online helps 44 percent of Bismarck State College undergrads use their Campus Connection ID to log into 18 associate, one bachelor’s, and two certificate programs with a 15:1 student-professor ratio after 58 online start dates. For example, North Dakota’s third-largest college has a 76-credit Cybersecurity & Computer Networks AAS led by Prof. Matt Frohlich with a unique Laptop Ownership Initiative for tech-savvy online students to pursue CCNA or MCSA certification. Chaired by Prof. Lisa Hoynes, the Human Services AAS plots a 60-credit 2+2 curriculum online with fast, five-week courses like Healthy Aging for transfer to Dickinson or Minot State.

Since September 2008, Bismarck State has been a National Energy Center of Excellence offering a 67-credit Power Plant Technology AAS online under Prof. Bruce Emmil with Smart Grid courses and apprenticeship training for 97 percent job placement at average $82,950 pay. The Business Administration AAS builds a 60-credit, HLC-accredited major directed by Prof. Shirley Wilson with online 200-level courses like Management Information Systems for entry careers at Scheels, Cloverdale, Varistar Corp, Basin Electric, and more.

Other online options are the Criminal Justice AAS, Petroleum Production Technology AAS, Web Page Design AAS, and Information Processing Specialist AAS.

About Bismarck State College

Bismarck State College originated on September 4, 1939, when Bismarck High School devoted its third floor to technical post-secondary courses for an inaugural class of 107. After World War II, growing enrollment forced the North Dakota Legislature to purchase a 15-acre Boulevard Ave campus in 1951. Eight years later, Gold Seal Company CEO Harold Schafer donated 70 acres along the Missouri River. In 1984, it was welcomed into the North Dakota University System for public, lower-division courses. The Bismarck State College name was adopted on April 27, 1987, by the 50th Legislative Assembly. In 1989, Governor George Sinner transferred the Burleigh County Memorial National Guard Armory to BSC. In 2007, the Mandan Campus was also launched for the Mechanical Maintenance Technology AAS.

Budgeting $49.1 million yearly, Bismarck State College now educates 3,756 full-time and 1,689 part-time Mystics from age 16-66 online or in North Dakota’s capital with 25+ clubs like Phi Beta Lambda. In January 2019, BSC won the Third Place Award at the North Central Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. In 2018, Bismarck State had three students named to the All-North Dakota Academic Team. The Best Schools crowned BSC the #1 most affordable institution statewide. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Bismarck State College among the Midwest’s top 79. On Niche, BSC boasts America’s 325th best dining and 492nd best campus. College Factual placed Bismarck State 14th for engineering technology and 24th for precision metal working. WalletHub noticed BSC for the 54th best education outcomes nationally too.

Bismarck State College Accreditation Details

On April 29, 2019, Bismarck State College will undergo its next comprehensive evaluation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA) to hopefully extend the Level II accreditation through 2028-29 under its sixth president, Dr. Larry C. Skogen, who accepted the Making Bismarck a Healthier Place to Live Award. Located 834 miles southeast via Interstate 94 in Chicago, Illinois, this giant 19-state Great Plains Region accreditor is authorized by the U.S. Education Department to ensure quality in BSC’s 44 associate, two baccalaureate, and 33 certificate programs. The Institutional Effectiveness Office also listed these approvals:

  • National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
  • National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
  • North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners
  • Committee on Accreditation for Emergency Medical Services Professions

Bismarck State College Application Requirements

Getting into Bismarck State College is classified “non-competitive” by Peterson’s because 100 percent of the 1,068 Fall 2017 applicants received acceptance letters for open access. First-year Mystics must still culminate a high school diploma or its equivalent. General Educational Development certificates earned with a 580 or better will qualify. Minimum GPAs of 2.0 are customary, but the average is 3.03. Non-native English speakers must finish two years of U.S. high school or score above 70 on the TOEFL internet test. Accuplacer exams for scores of 60+ are often required. Several online programs like the Instrumentation Control Technology AAS have testing benchmarks. Freshmen must present a 16 ACT Math and 15 ACT English or better. SAT subject sections above 430 are sufficient. Compass marks over 34 for Pre-Algebra and 70 for Reading are preferred. Online transfers are also permitted with up to 45 accredited credits graded “C” or higher.

Bismarck State College keeps the admission process rolling for 58 online start dates yearly. However, international I-20 students must file by June 1st for Fall or November 1st for Spring. The BSC Foundation has a January 25th deadline for scholarship consideration too. Potential online Mystics can accordingly complete the BSC Application digitally with $35 non-refundable fees. Mail official transcripts to PO Box 5587 at 1500 Edwards Avenue in Bismarck, ND 58506. Other requested materials include the placement test scores, English proficiency verification, declaration of finance form, passport copy, counselor or teacher recommendation, MMR immunization record, and transfer evaluation. Find out more by contacting (701) 224-5494 or

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, Bismarck State College charged North Dakota residents $133 per credit for liberal arts and $160 per credit for technical courses. Local high school students were billed $126 per credit. Non-resident U.S. tuition ranged from $199 to $240 per credit. Minnesota undergrads received a discount to $148 or $179 per credit. Foreign learners paid the most at $232 to $280 per credit. Each online course incurred a $45 distance fee per credit. Mandatory add-ons included the $20 BSC fee, $5.50 ConnectND fee, and $7 technology fee per credit. BSC budgeted $6,284 for off-campus living, $1,000 for books, and $3,400 for miscellaneous. Annual associate attendance averaged $14,676 in-state and $16,272 out-of-state total.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Office of Financial Aid on Schafer Hall’s 1st Floor gets 86 percent of new BSC Mystics enrolled with median assistance of $3,712 for $1.9 million combined. Institutional funds include the Frank Bavendick Scholarship, Great River Energy Scholarship, Jack Schuchart Memorial Scholarship, Nuclear Power Technology Scholarship, Hites Family Foundation Scholarship, Norma Fiedler Scholarship, Steven Harris Memorial Scholarship, Alec Anagnost Memorial Scholarship, and Patrick Atkinson Scholarship. The Harvey Thorson Memorial Scholarship gifts $2,000 to 14 students living south and west of the Missouri River. Online Cybersecurity & Computer Networks AAS majors with minimum 2.5 GPAs qualify for the $2,500 Palo Alto Networks Scholarship. Submitting FAFSA forms coded 002988 processes Federal Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, and Direct Loan money. The North Dakota State Grant provides $975 per semester to full-time, in-state associate undergrads. The ND Scholars Program has a July 1st deadline for entire tuition coverage based on merit.

Explore the 20 accredited Blackboard offerings at Bismarck State College on the BSC Online website.

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