Mayville State was founded in 1889 as a normal school, or a school that specialized in educating future teachers. Since then, MSU has steadily grown and diversified into a comprehensive university. Excellence in the classroom continues to be the top priority. To enhance the college experience, students can participate on intercollegiate athletic teams and be involved in music and drama opportunities and a host of student clubs and organizations.

Mayville State University is experiencing an exciting renaissance period. Numerous all-time high enrollment records have been set during the past several years. This growth has outpaced the next-fastest growing campus in North Dakota by more than four times. MSU’s latest record was 1,140 students in the fall of 2017. The physical campus has been renovated and improved through a nearly $30 million effort, and MSU has been nationally recognized as one of the most attractive, yet affordable campuses.

The State Board of Education has recently approved a new mission statement for Mayville State University. With the development of this new mission statement, new core values were identified. Core values are the basis upon which the members of an organization make decisions, plan strategies, and interact with each other and their stakeholders. These reflect what is
important to the organization and its members. MSU’s core values include integrity; student-focus; teaching and learning excellence; importance of a diverse community; and integration of leadership in all that we do.

Student success is of utmost importance at Mayville State University, and a fundamental component of our historic and current mission as “The School of Personal Service.” Among the university’s approved purposes is delivery of flexible programs, instruction, and student services to meet the needs of the individual.

Our students enjoy personal attention, state-of-the-art technology, quality courses, and instructors who truly care about the quality of education each student receives. The combination of high quality curriculum and
cutting-edge technology makes for satisfied students with high job placement rates. Currently, between 78 and 80% of our graduates find employment in the state and contribute to North Dakota’s way of life socially and economically.

Mayville State continues with new initiatives to address critical workforce needs for North Dakota with the new Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree, Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) degree in special  education, and the RN-to-BSN online nursing program.

Distance learning has prospered. In the fall semester of 2017, 630 students enrolled in only distance/online undergraduate and graduate courses; 744 students enrolled in at least one online class. This number includes those who enrolled in online courses exclusively, along with those who are also enrolled in on-campus courses.

Since its establishment in 1889, the institution has gone by the names of Mayville Normal School, Mayville State Teachers College, Mayville State College, State University of North Dakota at Mayville, and Mayville State University.