Polytechnic Advantage

Bismarck State College
North Dakota's Polytechnic Institution

As North Dakota’s only polytechnic institution, Bismarck State College gives students a unique advantage by providing the hands-on learning to make students workforce ready! Specialized polytechnic programs developed by industry leaders create distinctive majors within nine career areas, allowing students to pursue a career they’re passionate about.
BSC polytechnic students will find flexible pathways to rewarding careers and work-learn opportunities like internships, professional practice, and field experience that ensure they graduate ready to be relevant, invaluable contributors to their workplaces and communities.

Career Pathways

Programs offered by polytechnic institutions are developed in partnership with employers, alumni, and other working professionals. BSC has dozens of business leaders sitting on our Program Advisory Committees. These groups provide strategic advice and feedback to our faculty and leadership on industry trends directly impacting the curriculum for programs and courses. It’s part of the reason why polytechnic students have such a high employment rate — they have access to the current knowledge that industry leaders and employers look for when hiring.

Experiential Learning 

At BSC, students learn through an experiential approach that combines in-depth study with practical, technology-based skills training. This applied learning approach is a unique characteristic of polytechnics — it’s intense and highly technical, but also incredibly rewarding. As a polytechnic, BSC offers integrated technical degrees that cross disciplines and build upon each other. As they pursue certificates, two- and four-year degrees, students engage in hands-on learning grounded in the principles of STEAM, readying them to solve complex social, economic, and community problems and achieve success in the real world.


STEAM education is an integrated approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics to guide students and open their minds to the world around them. Advancing on the foundation of STEM, which embraces creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication, STEAM complements by further embracing curiosity and connection.

Hands-on education and experiential learning afford students a unique opportunity to gain an understanding and awareness for how they learn. Through this awareness, relevant and purposeful learning occurs. The concepts of STEAM are woven throughout programs that align with business and industry demands. Students learn and develop employable skills that are job specific: leadership, initiative, entrepreneurship, reliability, planning and organizing, critical thinking, problem solving, communications, teamwork.