MSU is an integral part of the state and region it serves, and its mission and purposes are linked inextricably to the needs, aspirations and commonwealth of the people of North Dakota Since its founding in 1913, MSU has evolved steadily in fulfilling its commitment in service to ND and creating opportunities for its citizens. Today, the University offers a wide array of undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and the professions, and graduate education in 11 specialized masters programs & one specialized degree. Originally established as a two-year normal school devoted to preparing teachers for service in the prairie schools of Northwestern ND, the institution soon expanded its offerings in response to the needs of the region. A pattern that has been repeated many times in Minot State’s subsequent history. Those who governed the institution recognized the need to add to teacher preparation programs and the areas of fine arts, and social sciences were developed. Later, programs in special education , speech pathology, business and nursing were added. In 1964 the school’s name was changed to Minot State College and its mission expanded to include graduate education at the masters level. In 1987 the institution’s name was changed to Minot State University, and today the University offers Masters Degrees in audiology, criminal justice, education of the deaf, elementary education, learning disabilities, management, mathematics, music, and a specialist degree in school psychology, science, special education and speech language pathology. Minot State is an interactive university, an institution committed to two-way communication and cooperation between the campus and the public. The University seeks active and reciprocal partnerships with the community, its region, the University system and the state of ND. These partnerships are focused on the common goal of building strong and thriving communities. This vital interaction between MSU and its citizen shareholders, communities, businesses, entrepreneurs, civic organizations, schools, agencies and political subdivisions is viewed by both the University and the public as essential. In supporting this interaction, Minot State’s orientation is proactive and predominantly others-centered. Its energies are focused outward toward the public rather than inward on its own concern. Minot State seeks the involvement of its community citizens as stakeholders or co-owners in the university’s future. Teaching, service, and research are interdependent and mutually-supportive at Minot State. The University’s curriculum and programs are shaped by aspirations, problems, and opportunities of the people of ND. Minot State faculty continually look for innovation in instruction and research, and work to apply their knowledge through public service to societal needs. Minot State’s interactive approach is seen in numerous instances in which faculty expertise and the discoveries of their classrooms, laboratories, clinics, studios and computer facilities are organized in service and research activities that bear directly on problems facing the state and create special opportunities for North Dakotans.
Minot State University’s Center for Extended Learning provides flexible, accessible and quality educational opportunities for people of all ages. Offerings include late afternoon classes, evening classes, classes at Minot Air Force Base, more than 100 courses offered in the catalog, correspondence courses and a variety of noncredit activities such as College for Kids and business and corporate training. The Center for Extended Learning also administers outreach programs for Minot State University.