$247.40 per Credit (No Fees)
POLS116: State and Local Government
Undergraduate College Credit Courses
Is the University of North Dakota accredited?
Yes! The University of North Dakota as a whole is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. UND has been accredited since 1913, when the Association was first organized.
For information on special accreditations the University has at the college, department, or program level, please see UND Accreditation.
Do independent study courses follow the same curriculum as traditional courses?
Yes. UND’s independent study courses have similar course content and rigor as traditional courses. They are written and taught by UND faculty members.
Can I use financial aid for independent study courses?
No. Open-enrollment, independent study courses that do not follow the semester schedule do not qualify for federal or state financial aid.
If you are enrolled in a combination of semester-based courses and open-enrollment, independent study courses, only your semester-based course enrollment will be considered for federal or state financial aid programs.
Private Education Loans
You may apply for private education loans to assist with your educational expenses.
Will the credits earned at UND transfer to another school?
The transfer of credits is always at the discretion of the institution to which the credits are being transferred. In general, credits that are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission transfer to other regionally accredited institutions.
Please check with your institution to verify if the course(s) will apply toward your degree.
How do I register for independent study courses?
In order to take independent study college courses offered online or by mail, you must be admitted to the University of North Dakota.
If you are not admitted to UND, you have 2 options. Regardless of which option you choose, you will need to show proof of English proficiency if you are not a U.S. citizen.
To register for up to 15 credits with non-degree status, simply click on the "Register Now" button to add the course to "Your Shopping Cart" and follow the check out process.
Tuition and a $35 (U.S. funds) non-refundable admission fee are due at the time of enrollment.
If you are a degree-seeking student and plan to register for more than 15 credits, you must apply for full admission to the University of North Dakota.
Please visit UND Office of Admissions for undergraduate admission requirements and application forms.
What grading options are available for independent study courses?
During the registration check-out process, you will have the option to choose between two grading options: letter grading and S/U grading.
Letter grading includes the traditional grading scale A through F, with grade points (on a 4.0 scale) calculating into your grade point average. S/U grading only uses grades of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory, and in most cases does not calculate into your grade point average.
For more information about grading options, please refer to the UND Academic Catalog.
How many independent study courses can I take at a time?
You may enroll in up to 4 courses at a time. For your academic success, we recommend that you take no more than 2 courses at the same time.
How do I order my textbooks?
Refer to the "Course at a Glance" or your course syllabus for a list of required textbooks. IF textbooks are required, you should order them at the same time you enroll so you may begin your course promptly.
The cost of textbooks is not included in your course tuition. You may order your textbooks through the University Bookstore or through the textbook provider of your choice. To order through the University Bookstore on the Grand Forks campus, call toll free at 866-791-4888 or order online.
To order online:
- Go to: University Bookstore
- Click on "Books" and then "Textbooks & Course Materials."
- Select Your "Program" as CORRESPONDENCE/PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.
- The "Term" of your course will be CORR/PROF DEVELOPMENT ENROLL ANYTIME.
- Select the "Department" of your course. For Certificates, select CERT.
- Select your "Course" by TITLE or COURSE #.
- Select your "Section" as ALL.
- Follow the checkout process.
The system will prompt you to register, which allows you to revisit your order if you need to make a change.
Your textbooks can be shipped to you, or you may pick them up at the University Bookstore in Grand Forks, ND.
IMPORTANT! You cannot place your order or pay for your textbooks through UND Online & Distance Education.
What’s the difference between independent study and online, semester-based courses?
Independent study and online, semester-based courses are both college courses you can complete from anywhere at the time and place of your choice. You pick your time and place for studying, and can review materials as many times as you want to learn the information. With both course formats, you will receive in-state tuition regardless of where you live.
However, there are differences between independent study and online, semester-based courses:
Independent Study Courses
Independent study courses are self-paced college courses you complete when, where, and how you want. With these courses, you can:
- enroll at any time and take up to 9 months to complete your course.
- complete courses in an online or correspondence by mail format.
- learn independently at your own pace.
- complete lessons/exams on your own schedule.
IMPORTANT! Open enrollment, independent study courses that do not follow the semester schedule do not qualify for financial aid.
Semester-Based Online Courses
Online, semester-based courses are online classes that follow the semester’s schedule for completing lessons and exams. For most courses, you are not required to attend class at a set time. Some instructors may have set times for “live” Web discussions, which means that you may need to “log on” to your online course at a specific time.
With online, semester-based courses, you can:
- enroll in and complete your courses based on semester timelines.
- complete courses online using Web-based tools.
- interact with your instructor and other students through a virtual classroom.
- complete lessons and exams by set deadlines during the semester.
- use financial aid toward the tuition of your courses.
Can I enroll in both independent study and semester-based courses at the same time? Can I use both to complete my degree?
Yes. You can enroll in both course types at the same time and both course formats can be used to complete your degree from the University of North Dakota. Keep in mind that there are differences between independent study and online, semester-based courses, including registration deadlines and processes, eligibility for financial aid, ordering textbooks, time to complete, and other important policies.
How do I take exams? Who can serve as a proctor?
Exam information will be noted on the course syllabus. If proctored (monitored/supervised) exams are required to complete your course, you will need to designate an approved proctor to administer those exams at a location near you.
Please note that you are responsible to pay for any fees that proctors may charge for their services.
Approved proctors CAN be:
- UND Online & Distance Education (if living near Grand Forks, ND - There is NO fee for UND students.)
- Bismarck State College Testing & Assessment Services (if living near Bismarck, ND - There is NO fee for UND students.)
- School or Public Librarians
- Educational Administrators (principal/superintendent)
- Local College Testing Center Staff
- Adult Learning Centers
- Guidance Counselors
- Commanding Officers
- Military Education Officers or Embassy Education Officers
- Human Resource Representative
- Others (must be pre-approved by UND Online & Distance Education)
Proctors may NOT be:
- Direct Supervisors
- Direct Reports / Employees
- Colleagues at Same Level
- Athletic or Assistant Coaches
More detailed information about designating a proctor and taking exams is provided once you begin your course.
Does UND offer support services for independent study students?
Yes! We know that you will have different needs as a distance student, so we work hard to provide you the support services you need, such as:
- Academic Advising
- American Indian Student Services
- Assessment and Testing
- Career Services
- Center for Student Involvement and Leadership
- Communications (Institution-To-Student)
- Course/Program Catalog
- Disability Services
- International Programs
- Multicultural Student Services
- Online Library Services
- Online Tutoring
- Personal Counseling
- Schedule of Classes
- Student Accounts
- Student Activities
- Tech Support
- TRIO Programs
- UND E-Mail Account
- Veteran Services
Are disability services available to distance students?
Yes. Disability Services for Students (DSS) provides reasonable accommodations to eligible UND students, including distance students. Accommodations are individualized to address specific functional limitations resulting from a disability.
You must be an admitted UND student before applying for accommodations with Disability Services for Students. You are encouraged to apply for accommodations IMMEDIATELY after being admitted to UND and registering for distance courses in order to facilitate DSS's ability to provide accommodations in a timely manner.
If you have any questions about this process, please contact UND Online & Distance Education.
What happens if I do not finish the course in 9 months? Can I get an extension?
If you need more time, you may apply for a 3-month extension for $35 prior to your 9 month completion date. Only 1 extension is allowed.
The letter I for incomplete will be permanently noted on your transcript.
If you do not withdraw, get an extension, or complete the course within 9 months, a failing grade will be permanently recorded on your transcript.
What happens if I need to withdraw from an independent study course? What is your refund policy?
If UND receives your Withdrawal Request Form (PDF) 1 to 30 calendar days after your registration date, you will be refunded 100% of the course tuition. No record or academic penality will be recorded on your transcript.
If UND receives your Withdrawal Request Form (PDF) 31 to 60 calendar days after your registration date, you will be refunded 50% of the course tuition. A W will be recorded on your transcript.
No refunds are available if UND receives your Withdrawal Request Form (PDF) 61+ calendar days after your registration date. A W will be recorded on your transcript.
If you do not withdraw, get an extension, or complete the course within 9 months, a failing grade will be permanently recorded on your transcript. If you wish to withdraw, you must do so prior to submitting your final lesson or exam.
Note: The 1-time UND Admission Fee of $35 is non-refundable.