BISMARCK, N.D. — The University of Mary in Bismarck says it’s welcoming its largest incoming class in the history of the school, North Dakota’s only private, Catholic university.

More than 600 new students begin classes at the main campus Wednesday, the first day of school. That’s 13 percent more than last year. University officials say the students are coming from 36 states, two Canadian provinces and seven countries.

Overall enrollment at Mary currently stands at about 3,200 students, an increase of nearly 5 percent since last year.

Besides the traditional four-year degree option, the university offers a year-round option that enables students to earn a bachelor’s degree in about two and a-half years and a bachelor and master’s degree in four years.

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