Tri-College University

Tri-College University Logo

Tri-College University (TCU) is a partnership of five institutions of higher education: North Dakota State University, Concordia College, Minnesota State University Moorhead, North Dakota State College of Science and Minnesota State Community and Technical College. Students at the five schools may benefit from what each school offers individually and cooperatively through the partnership.

Through the Tri-College course exchange, students enrolled at one campus may take courses at the other partner campuses at no extra cost and without going through separate admissions procedures. Tri-College expands discipline offerings and course availability for students beyond their home campus. Tuition is paid only to the home-base campus. Courses not eligible for Tri-College registration are those offered through NDSU’s Division of Distance and Continuing Education, off-campus or weekend courses offered through MSUM, most workshops, independent study courses at Concordia College and private music instruction at Concordia.

The following courses are not eligible for Tri-College registration at NDSCS:

Selective Program Courses
Dental Assisting All DAST courses
Dental Hygiene All DHYG courses
Practical Nursing All NURS courses
Registered Nursing All NURS courses
Occupational Therapy Assistant All OTA courses, except OTA 101
John Deere Technology All JDAT courses
Caterpillar Dealer Service Technician All DCAT courses
Diesel Technology - Case IH All CIH courses
Diesel Technology - Komatsu All KMTS courses
Paramedic (EMT) Technology All EMS courses
Other Programs Courses
Any subject Cooperative Education, Internship, Practicum or Seminar
Music All courses, except MUSC 100 & MUSC 101
HPER HPER 220 and all athletic participation classes

Students enrolling in classes that require special fees (lab fees, lessons, supplies, etc.) beyond the home-campus fees assessed at the time of registration will be responsible for remittance or payment to the billing department or institution.

Course Limits

The course exchange is limited to two (2) courses per student per semester per participating campus. Students are required to take at least one course at their home campus when participating in the Course Exchange Program (excluding summer session). Exceptions to the two-course/semester limit among campuses are as follows:

  • Students who have declared a Tri-College minor (one not offered by their home campus). The minor must be declared and on file with the home institution, and will be confirmed by the home campus at the point of registration. The host campus will confirm that the courses being requested are required for the minor;
  • Students who request enrollment in either the AerospStudies/Air Force ROTC (AS) or Military Science/ArmROTC (MS) courses at NDSU (regardless of declaring the Aerospace Studies or Military Science minors);
  • An exception is not required for a student that requests enrollment in a course/lab pairing (if the lecture and corresponding lab are considered two separate courses.);
  • Other requests for exceptions may be reviewed on an individual basis (i.e., second degree at partner institution), but will be granted on a very limited basis only after consultation and agreement between registrars at the impacted campuses.
  • Concordia does not participate in the course exchange during summer semester.


Grades received through TCU course exchange will be applied to the student’s home campus grade point average.


Credits earned through TCU course exchange will appear on a student’s transcript and be applied toward graduation requirements as though they were taken at their home-campus.

Course Substitutions

Students need to obtain advanced approval to substitute TCU courses for required courses in a major or minor.

Course Schedule

Students follow the host campus's start and end date for classes, holidays and breaks, and final exam schedules. 

Drop/Add Deadlines

Students follow their home-campus deadlines to drop or add a course, or to enroll as pass/fail, instead of at the TCU partner school where the course is offered or hosted.

Registration Procedures

Students register for TCU exchange courses at their home campus and pay their home campus tuition and fees.


Majors may be earned only at the school from which a student graduates. Most students enroll initially at the school from which they intend to graduate, but the TCU course exchange agreement between MSUM and NDSU allows a student to enroll at one of these schools for two or three years, while pursuing a major they will complete after transferring to the other school. Select programs have specially-designed articulation agreements intended to provide a seamless transfer process for TCU students. Students should work with the chair of the department in which they intend to major to make sure their program includes all requirements for the major and for graduation. Students may apply for tuition reciprocity prior to transferring from their home state.

Bus and Parking Services

A Tri-College bus schedule provides intercampus transportation to Concordia, MSUM and NDSU every half hour. The bus is operated weekdays by the City of Fargo during the NDSU/MSUM academic year; it is not available during the summer. Bus schedules are available at the TCU office and at several locations on each campus.

A separate parking permit is not issued for Tri-College University parking. If vehicles have a current home-campus permit, they may be parked at the following lots on other campuses:

  • Concordia: TCU students, faculty and staff can park in Parking Lot MH/C.
  • MSUM: TCU students can park in Lots P and K. TCU faculty and staff may park in Lots P, K and F.
  • NDSU: TCU students can park in R Lot. TCU faculty and staff permits are valid for T-1 Lot.

All drivers are subject to traffic regulations of the respective institutions. Lot restrictions are eased after 5 p.m., but there is no overnight parking.