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Meet the Flock

UND records strongest enrollment growth in a decade, bucking national trends and making us the largest public university in the Dakotas.

More students are flocking to UND. Our enrollment, for the fourth straight year, is growing, with 14,172 students attending classes this fall – an increase of 296 students or 2.13% over fall 2022. This year marks UND’s strongest growth in 10 years in both absolute terms and percentage figures.

“It is an exciting time to be at UND,” said Janelle Kilgore, Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management. “Throughout our admissions cycle, we have had the energy and desire to educate prospective students about the value of UND. It is humbling that new students are selecting us, as we truly believe we have the best education and student experience around.”

UND is experiencing this growth when schools across the nation and in the Upper Midwest are reporting enrollment declines. Nationwide, total graduate and undergraduate enrollment fell 7% from spring 2019 to spring 2023, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

All sectors of the UND student population are growing, including the number of freshman Presidential Scholars – up 16%. Additionally, retention of first-time, fulltime students increased from 78.87% to 82.96%, which is credited to an increased emphasis on connections with faculty mentors and other first-time students, as well as access to more experiential learning opportunities and additional resources.

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“When our students graduate, we want them to have all the skills and activities on their resumes to be able to go out into the world of work and feel confident that they’re going to be successful,” said Art Malloy, Vice President of Student Affairs.

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“The students I interact with are career focused. They want to solve problems. They want to help however they can. They’re very grateful for all the opportunities,” said Janelle Kilgore, Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management.

Using 2022 enrollment figures as a comparison, enrollment increases include:

  • New freshman enrollment: +0.74%
  • New transfer students: +10%
  • Total undergraduate enrollment: +2.9%
  • New freshman Presidential Scholars: +16.63%
  • First-time, full-time student retention rate: +4.09%
  • Student credit hours: +1.6%

Growth Factors

Increased scholarship offerings are a key reason UND has been able to grow its enrollment. “Scholarships allow us to stress how valued the students are to the University.

Through them, the University is able to place monetary value on the importance of hard work,” Janelle Kilgore said. “They also reduce financial barriers to enable more students access to a UND education.”

Enhancing the student experience helps UND retain students. Art Malloy,Vice President of Student Affairs, said the University has been intentional about its focus on student involvement and leadership. “We have more student organizations than we’ve had in the past. We have more students serving as peer educators and getting involved in their residence halls. Graduate and professional students are getting involved in the types of things that help them develop networks they need to be successful.”

“I certainly think that a place like the University of North Dakota is going to provide all the opportunities to help students be successful,” he said. 

Meet the Flock

thomas wearing army uniform holding backpack on pink background

Musician, physicist, and soldier. Not only is Thomas Iken pursuing the 4+1 accelerated master’s program in physics and math, he’s also an enlisted member of the North Dakota National Guard as a member of the 188th Army Band.

Thomas Iken

Physics & Math

Like many, Thomas joined the military as a way to help pay for college. In his case, he also got to hold onto a lifelong love: music, where he was involved with everything from piano to orchestra to brass band. “So if I joined the Army Band, I could pay for college and keep music,” he said.

On campus, Thomas first signed up as a tutor in the physics department, and now works as a lab assistant. He followed this path after nurturing passion for math. “It was always interesting. I like the process of solving equations. But then physics was like the connection of, ‘Oh, I want to know how the world works.’ Physics uses math to do all of that.”


Bismarck, N.D.


Working out and making music with friends.

Why UND?

Initially, Thomas planned to take the astrophysics track in UND’s College of Arts & Sciences, but eventually switched to material science. His collaborative research on thermoelectric materials is opening doors to future opportunities for his education, research, and career. “I enjoy UND’s sense of community. There are countless organizations or clubs to find others that share similar interests and plenty of helpful faculty to guide students into their future careers.”

emma rudolph holding children's book and laughing on green background

As a child, Emma says she would stay up late into the night reading books. “I would get caught for that, as opposed to other things,” she said. “I love, love, loved to read and play teacher.”

Emma Rudolph

Elementary Education

As an elementary education major at UND, it was time to declare a minor. Emma says that she serendipitously came upon literacy education. “It’s all just books and teaching kids to love reading.”

In addition to her studies, Emma is a literacy coach for Haley’s Hope, a nonprofit that provides reading education for children and adults with dyslexia. Someday, she hopes to have her own classroom in an elementary school setting, but she’s not ruling out specializing in reading education. “At this point, it changes day to day.”



Campus Involvement

President of Future Educators of UND, Member of Letters of Love

Emma Loves UND Because ...

“of the sense of community that campus has. There are so many ways to be involved academically as well as extracurricularly, and campus is the perfect size to find a community. I know my professors and my professors know me.”

Emma on Scholarships

Emma is a Barry Foundation Scholar, recipient of the KB and Elvira Sandven Scholarship, and the John and JoAnn Muus Scholarship. “With student teaching coming up, to know that there’s that little bit of financial stability to rely on is just so important.”

alex sits on stool on green background

Alex pursued law school because she had family on both sides of the law: Some in law enforcement, and others who found themselves seeking legal help. “I realized I want to be a public defender. In my opinion, they’re really unsung heroes.”

Alex Drews-Narine

Philosophy, Law

Alex worried about succeeding in law school. After excelling in a semester of philosophy studies, however, she immediately switched to the accelerated program, in which she’s finishing her undergrad while starting her law school studies. This semester, her peers elected her the 1L representative of the Law School Honor Board. “I find it to be a tremendous honor,” she said.”


Champlin, Minn.

Campus Involvement

Law Women’s Caucus, Mortar Board, German Cooking Club, Criminal Law Association, Alternative Dispute Resolution Board, National Society of Leadership and Success

Inked Up

On her right wrist, Alex has a tattoo of the Beatles lyrics “Living is easy with eyes closed” from their song “Strawberry Fields Forever.” “I wanted to get something to remind myself that I knew what the world was like and to keep my eyes open. I still know that the world can be a pretty place even in the darkness.” On her upper arm, a druid  priestess is a nod to her Germanic ancestry, and a witch on her left side remembers the Salem Witch Trials. “These women were pointed out for being independent, strong  women. So I wanted to get a woman that was just really confident and proud. I wanted to emulate that when I grew up and I wanted to emulate that throughout my life and  specially in the legal field where women are still a minority. I wanted to be able to be like, ‘No, I’m here, I am a proud, independent woman who can accomplish whatever I want to accomplish.’”

arjun with camera on gray backdrop

In high school, Arjun Jagada was enrolled in an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, with a fast track to law school in Europe. But when he realized the excellent potential an aviation career could offer, he quickly pivoted.

Arjun Jagada

Aviation Management

He thought, “Flying planes seems to be a career that I can make something out of. I can go into management, I can do safety. And then you look at the industry right? What schools have the best reputation, which of them are partnered with the most airlines, which of them have the best flight training programs – and that’s UND.” A triple-major in Commercial Aviation, Aviation Management, and Aviation Safety and Operations, Arjun is a proud Aerospace Ambassador for the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences and president of the Student Aerospace Advisory Council.


Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas


photography, travel

Why Do You Love UND?

Industry reputation, along with the familial relationships between students and faculty/administration that allow for genuine leadership opportunities. ... Coming from Dallas, it’s a bit of a change. I remember going home for winter break. It was minus 30 here, and when I got home, it was 60 degrees. It’s like, oh, this is a nice change. But it’s a close-knit community here. And it’s great because you can make an impact that way.

Arjun Snaps

If you receive Aerocom Magazine as an alum of UND Aerospace, you’ve probably seen some of Arjun’s work. An accomplished photographer, Arjun is proud to have had his images published on the cover of Aerocom. “Photography is a great hobby to have. Combine it with travel and that leads to something pretty cool.”

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Miriah Forness
West Fargo, N.D.
Doctor of Medicine

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Laura Prussia
Detroit Lakes, Minn.
Human Resource Management & Public Affairs

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Max Eriksrud
Chaska, Minn.
Biology Pre-Dentistry, Entrepreneurship

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Cobi Pimental
Kailua, Hawaii
Commercial Aviation

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Mario Medeles
Manvel, Texas
Computer Science

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Ella Nelson
Stillwater, Minn.
Biology Pre-Dentistry

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Nichole Dumlao
Philippines & Valley City, N.D.

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Skye Hertel
Bismarck, N.D.
Master of Accountancy

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Jaden Norby
Ashby, Minn.
Kinesiology & Master of Business Administration

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Parker Johnson
New Prague, Minn.

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Lexi Wacker
Rockford, Minn.

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Precious Dada
Nigeria & Williston, N.D.
Health Studies

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Irene Jirasevijinda
Bangkok, Thailand
Commercial Aviation

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Grace Adelman
Bellingham, Minn.
Master of Accountancy

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Carrie Carpenter
Billings, Mont.
Mechanical Engineering

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Skyler Strand
Bismarck, N.D.