Earn Your Bachelor's Degree in 2.6 Years & Master's in 4

Year-Round Campus is a one-of-a-kind college career option that lets you achieve your bachelor’s degree in 2.6 years and your master’s in four years.

By adding a full summer semester to the school year, our innovative Year-Round Campus gives you the opportunity to study throughout the year so you graduate sooner and get a head start on your life and career.

The Net Result? A sweet deal. 

  • You’ll pay less…residence halls cost 1/3 less in the summer semester.
  • You’ll still work…summer jobs are available through Work Campus.
  • You’ll see the world…Study Abroad options are available in the summer.
  • You’ll get ahead…in your career and finances.
  • You’ll have fun…there’s no better place than North Dakota in the summer!

What is Year-Round Campus?

Year-Round Campus is the University of Mary's innovative answer to the growing problems facing higher education: rising costs, extended time to completion, and growing student loan debt.

Through this program, the university has taken the traditional eight-semester bachelor’s degree and applied it to a yearly calendar. By doing so, you can earn your bachelor’s degree in 2.6 years and a master’s degree in four. Mary's Year-Round Campus offers you the same course load as our traditional full-time degree programs. What's different is that instead of taking summers off you'll continue your studies for eight consecutive semesters. You receive the same education and formation, but in much less time.

Unlike sleepy summer school offerings at other campuses, YRC offers students a vibrant and flourishing summer term with many of the same amenities and opportunities offered during the fall and spring terms. Moreover, because students shorten their time to completion and enter the workforce more quickly, the financial benefits are staggering: an outside consultant estimates the lifetime financial benefit of over $320,000 for a bachelor's degree and over $600,000 for a master's degree through YRC. Another perk of Year-Round Campus is our career-oriented Work Campus offering where you can earn spending money, help pay for your student loans and jump-start your career in the process.

A lifetime of added earnings

Mary’s Year-Round Campus not only addresses the challenges of time, cost and debt—it also dramatically increases your long-term earnings and savings potential.

Because you’ll graduate earlier, you will enter the workforce sooner. This speeds up your career path and expands your earning and investment years, all of which gives you more choices and options for your future.

And while beginning your career, you can simultaneously enroll in one of our master’s programs designed for working professionals. This way, you can earn two degrees, and have a year of experience in the workforce, before many of your peers complete their bachelor’s!


YRC Fellows enjoy life-changing experiences and can receive the following benefits:

  • Membership in a YRC College under the mentorship of a dedicated University of Mary faculty YRC Tutor.
  • Enjoy formative social, cultural, and educational experiences throughout the year.
  • Reduced cost for room, a rate one-third less than you'd pay in fall and spring!
  • You benefit by completing three terms rather than two each year, staying ahead of periodic increases in tuition and fees.
  • Financial aid and scholarships follow you into the summer semester, too, making YRC the most affordable way to get an already-affordable University of Mary education.
  • A vibrant experience in the North Dakota summer, with visiting scholars from other universities, hiking in the Badlands, and sunny days with almost no humidity.
  • And at the end of your bachelor's degree YRC fellows receive their first class of the master's degree free if they choose to continue on following graduation.
  • YRC Fellows who are awarded a Work Campus position can work up to 20 hours/week for the entire summer, earning up to $3,000. More than a typical "work study" job, these work campus positions offer advanced responsibilities, and can offset tuition costs or help you to earn a bit of spending money! And they are built around your summer class schedule, so you are full steam ahead with your educational goals.

Still have Questions?  We've Got Answers!

Do traditional scholarships still apply?
Yes. All merit-based scholarships may still be received for 8 semesters, allowing students to maintain their aid during summer semesters.

Does this affect financial aid disbursement cycles?
Most Year-Round Campus students will be placed on a Borrower-Based Academic Year, meaning that they will receive financial aid disbursement every two semesters. 

Additionally, students who qualify for Pell grants or SEOG funding can also receive grant funds throughout the calendar year. Our financial aid team stands ready to help with this analysis for every individual case.

Can you tell me how I will benefit from this quick completion program?
There are many ways that students will benefit from this program and save money. While the long-term, overall lifetime financial benefits are best described using our total financial benefits chart (see infographic on the right sidebar) or calling us for a quick consultation, here are some quick points to consider:

1.  Early completion adds an extra year in the workforce, meaning an extra year of salary.
2. That extra year produces incredible value in terms of annual “cost of living” increases during employment, as well as compound interest in 401k contributions.
3. Students benefit by not incurring an extra year of tuition increases, as they complete their degree under two annual tuition adjustments rather than three.
4. With more open summer beds as the program grows, Year-Round students will take advantage of discounted housing costs and priority choices, along with many other benefits.
5. Plus, our Work Campus Program offers employment opportunities for students to earn money working right on campus! Full time students can work up to 20 hours/week for the entire semester, earning up to $3,000.

Year-Round Campus savings when compared to the standard semester:

  Standard Fall '19/20  YRC Summer '18/19 
 Tuition & Fees $9,537  $9,222 
 Housing $1,630  $1,053 
 Meal Plan $2,165*  $1,792 
 Savings $1,130  8.5% 

+ Work Campus earnings!
+ Overall lifetime financial benefit!
* Base meal plan is sapphire. Students may opt into a lower valued meal plan.

However, there are some points to consider. Year-Round students finish more rapidly but that also compresses the total payment time for themselves and their families from 4 to 7 years of study to 2.6 years (see infographic on the right sidebar); so the sticker price is less but the payment time is shorter. For many, this will require careful planning, and the University works with YRC students and their families through this process. The financial benefits of the YRC program, however, far outweigh the challenges for most families.

What’s the summer schedule? 

Unlike the traditional sleepy summer semester, YRC enables you to take a full load of classes while enjoying a vibrant campus life just like fall and spring--complete with outdoor activities, excursions, guest speakers and visiting scholars, and employment opportunities.

Do Year-Round students have to sacrifice all of their vacation?

Year-Round Campus students still enjoy seven full weeks of vacation throughout the year. In addition to an extended Christmas vacation and built-in breaks at Easter and Thanksgiving, they enjoy generous breaks on either side of the summer semester, along with an Independence Day (July 4th) rest as well. In total, Year-Round students can expect seven full weeks of structured vacation built into their academic year, in addition to several scheduled holidays.

In addition, several summer courses are offered in block format, or over shortened durations, resulting in added flexibility for students who have important events in the midst of the summer semester

Am I locked into Year-Round Campus?

No. We have “on-ramp” and “off-ramp” options to meet your specific needs. No matter what, we will work with you to develop a degree plan that minimizes your time to completion.

I’m a student athlete. How does this affect me?

The NCAA has given its stamp of approval to the University of Mary’s one-of-a-kind Year-Round Campus (YRC) initiative. This decision now allows Mary student-athletes the option of completing their degree in 2.6 years or getting their master’s degree in four years without negatively impacting any athletic eligibility. Click here to read the full press release.

How will this benefit student athletes already planning on being at Mary during the summer?

Due to the highly competitive nature of Division II athletics, many student-athletes already stay at Mary over the summer, working out with their respective teams, taking a class, and working a part-time job. This program allows these student-athletes a more robust and vibrant experience!

Will I still have fun?

Absolutely! The summer term has a particular “sparkle” and it is hard to find better weather than a North Dakota summer! While many campuses offer sleepy “summer school” classes, the University of Mary is doing something far better. Our campus life is vibrant, with intramural sports, music concerts, outdoor activities, and other events for students to enjoy. 

All in all, Mary's campus operates in the summer in a very similar way to the traditional fall and spring semesters, including the amenities our students enjoy.

Where will I live? Eat?

The summer semester is treated just like the fall and spring, offering students full housing and meal plans to meet their needs—and best of all, it comes at a discounted rate.

What work will be available on campus over the summer?

The University’s Work Campus Program offers students meaningful employment on campus. Full time students can work up to 20 hours/week for the entire summer, earning up to $3,000.

Some of our students also engage in a meaningful work or internship experience in the Bismarck-Mandan community over the summer term.

Does this program only start at fall semesters?

Most year-round campus students will still begin their coursework in September following their final year of high school. While some transfer students and others may begin in spring due to various circumstances, our advisors will work with them individually to set up a degree plan that best utilizes the year-round campus model and decreases time to completion.

Can I still travel abroad?

Yes! Students in Year-Round Campus will absolutely have the opportunity like all other students to encounter history and faith in the Eternal City of Rome or mission and service in the mountains of Peru. Additionally, our faculty-led study abroad opportunities coordinate carefully with the Year-Round Campus schedule to ensure that all students can take advantage of global education while also participating fully in YRC. 

How is this different from summer school?

Unlike traditional summer school, YRC offers a full semester of classes, complete with campus life similar to the fall and spring terms. As a student in the Year-Round Campus program you will carry an average course load of 15-16 credits for nearly every term. 

Will all of my required classes be available?

To ensure that the summer courses have sufficient numbers, the courses offered will be high-demand courses in the liberal arts or those required for multiple academic programs.

If I choose Year-Round Campus can I still double major?

Our dedicated advisors will work with each individual student to achieve the soonest completion date possible based upon their chosen majors and circumstances. Our goal is to reduce your time to completion, which results in profound financial benefit. 

Can transfer students participate?

Many students will benefit from the Year-Round Campus model, including transfer students. One of the best aspects of the program is that it is set up so that nearly every student can utilize this program to reduce their time to degree completion and receive financial benefit!