NSU Catalog 2016-2017 
    Apr 21, 2024  
NSU Catalog 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Welcome to NSU

On behalf of all of our faculty, staff, and administrative teams, I welcome you to the Northern family.

Our ultimate goal is to help you graduate from Northern and begin the next phase of your life. During your journey at Northern, our faculty and staff members are committed to helping you succeed in the classroom as well as enjoy a full collegiate experience outside the classroom.

As a Northern student, your role is to be an engaged learner who asks for help whenever you need it. Our faculty and staff members are dedicated to your learning and development. We want to not only challenge you to improve as a learner and leader, but also support your development in order to assure your learning experiences will meet, and mostly exceed, your expectations. The key to your success is for you to reach out to our faculty and staff whenever you need help. In fact, our committed faculty and staff members will be disappointed if you do not call upon them during your time at Northern.

While you’re a student at Northern, you will be encouraged to learn both in and out of the classroom. Students who attend lectures and special events on campus and engage in leadership activities, clubs and organizations, fine and performing arts, or intercollegiate or club/intramural sports will enjoy a much more robust college experience. In fact, I encourage you to challenge yourself to learn and engage in activities that are new or unfamiliar to you. At Northern, we want your college experience to expand your knowledge and world view, and learning about other cultures, countries, and languages is crucial to living, working, and succeeding in our global society.

In addition to your work in the classroom, you are encouraged to seek opportunities to work with faculty, to complete an internship related to your area(s) of study, and to focus your efforts on being well prepared for jobs and careers as well as lifelong learning opportunities. These activities will help you distinguish yourself among other new graduates entering the workforce and confirm your potential as an excellent employee, learner, and leader.

Having been appointed President of Northern in May of 2016, I want to tell you how exited I am to be part of such a special university. I was drawn to Northern because this campus community genuinely cares for the success of its students, and it’s important to me that you know if you work hard and ask for assistance when you need it, our faculty and staff members will do everything they can to help you have a positive collegiate experience.

I look forward to meeting you and welcoming you into a community that strives to make your experience at Northern outstanding and life changing!

Best regards and GO WOLVES!

Dr. Tim Downs

About Northern State University

Northern State University is a premier residential institution characterized by outstanding instruction, extraordinary community relations, and unparalleled extracurricular opportunities.

Since 2007 NSU has been consistently named by US News and World Report as one of the best undergraduate public institutions in the Midwest. For more information about NSU, visit our web site at www.northern.edu.

Mission Statement

The legislature established Northern State University to meet the needs of the State, the region, and nation by providing undergraduate and graduate programs in education and other courses or programs as the Board of Regents may determine. (SDCL 13-59-1)

The Board implemented SDCL 13-59-1 by authorizing graduate and undergraduate programs in education to promote excellence in teaching and learning, to support research, scholarly and creative activities, and to provide service to the State of South Dakota, the region, and the nation. The Board approved a special emphasis on E-learning in the university curriculum and service.


Degrees are authorized at the associate, baccalaureate, and masters levels. The following curriculum is approved for the university.

  1. Undergraduate Programs

    Associate degree programs in arts and sciences, business, education and fine arts. Baccalaureate degree programs in arts and sciences, business, education, and fine arts.
  2. Graduate programs

    Masters degrees in banking and financial services, education, E-learning and music education.


NSU is a University dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in the liberal arts and in graduate and professional education. Its distinctiveness in its pursuit of mission derives from its coeducational and residential character; its size and location; and its role as a public, state-sponsored University.


Northern State University will be a nationally-recognized, student-centered institution committed to academic and extracurricular excellence, and global learning opportunities in a beautiful Midwestern setting.


NSU’s students, faculty, and staff are drawn together by the following values:


  • Valuing relationships by maintaining the highest ethical integrity in all we do.
  • Valuing our community through a commitment to responsible stewardship.
  • Valuing the future through the development of human, intellectual, cultural, financial, and environmental resources.


  • Creating a vibrant community through teamwork, cooperation, and mutual respect in an environment that is diverse in knowledge, culture, and world view.


  • Expanding research and teaching to issues of importance to our community, state, and region.
  • Assuring academic rigor and the highest standards of excellence in all intellectual inquiry.


We believe the following principles will guide use as we work to uphold those values:

Maintaining Extraordinary Standards in: Fostering Engaged Learning through: Cultivating Stewardship through:
Academic rigor Evidence-based inquiry Beneficial partnerships
Intellectual inquiry High integrity Responsibility
Rich life experiences Global experiences Efficiency


Academic Freedom and Responsibility

  1. Academic freedom is guaranteed to faculty members subject only to accepted standards of professional responsibility including, but not limited to, those herein set forth:
    1. The importance of academic freedom to teaching and learning is recognized and accepted. Academic freedom includes the right to study, discuss, investigate, teach and publish. Academic freedom applies to both teaching and research. Freedom in research is fundamental to the advancement of truth. Academic freedom in its teaching aspect is fundamental for the protection of the rights of the teacher in teaching and of students to freedom in learning. It includes the freedom to perform one’s professional duties and to present differing and sometimes controversial points of view, free from reprisal. The faculty member is entitled to freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the performing of other assigned academic duties.
    2. Faculty members are entitled to freedom in the classroom in the discussion of their subject. They have the freedom to include the presentation of various scholarly views.
    3. The concept of freedom should be accompanied by an equally demanding concept of responsibility. The faculty members are members of a learned profession. When they speak or write as citizens, they must be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As learned people and as educators, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence, they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others and should indicate that they are not speaking for the institution.
  2. To secure student freedom in learning, faculty members in the classroom and in seminar should encourage free and orderly discussion, inquiry and expression of the course subject matter. Student performance may be evaluated solely on an academic basis, not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.
    1. Students should be free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion, but they are responsible for learning the content of any course of study for which they are enrolled.
    2. Each institution shall establish an academic appeals procedure to permit review of student allegations that an academic evaluation was tainted by prejudiced or capricious consideration of student opinions or conduct unrelated to academic standards. These procedures shall prohibit retaliation against persons who initiate appeals or who participate in the review of appeals.
    3. Students are responsible for maintaining standards of academic performance established for each course in which they are enrolled.


Northern State University is an accredited institutional member of

Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
11520 West 119th Street
Overland Park, KS 66213

National Association of Schools of Art and Design
11250 Roger Bacon Drive Suite 21
Reston, VA 20190-5248

National Association of Schools of Music
11250 Roger Bacon Drive Suite 21
Reston, VA 20190

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
2010 Massachusetts Avenue NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036-1023

Higher Learning Commission
Commission of North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
30 North LaSalle Street Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602

South Dakota Department of Education
800 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501

Member of
Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
American Association of State Colleges and Universities
American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers
American Council of Learned Societies
American Council on Education
Association for Institutional Research
College and University Personnel Association
Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences
National Association College Admissions Counselors
National Association of College and University Business Officers
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
National Association of Schools of Art and Design
National Association of Schools of Music
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
Network of International Business Schools
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Upper Midwest Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers