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South Dakota State University


south dakota stateSouth Dakota State University is the largest university in South Dakota and was founded in 1881. The university is home to over 12,000 students from all 50 states and 79 countries. It is located in Brookings, South Dakota. The university was recently awarded the distinction of being an Innovation & Economic Prosperity University by the Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity, which is housed by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The university boasts that 95 percent of its students move into jobs, further education or internships following their successful completion of a degree.

South Dakota State University offers 183 fields of study for their undergraduate and graduate students as well as over 200 extracurricular programs and activities to participate in. South Dakota State University also offers five undergraduate and nine postgraduate degrees available in an online format.

South Dakota State University Accreditation Details

South Dakota State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Its individual programs also accredited by different organizational bodies such as the Aviation Accreditation Board International, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education and many more. Its teacher certification programs are accredited by the South Dakota Department of Education, and these degrees include both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

South Dakota State University Application Requirements

On-campus and online students are required to meet the same admission requirements. The admissions requirements for undergraduate freshmen admissions are as follows:

  • ACT composite score of 18 or an SAT score of 870
  • Ranking of top 60 percent in high school class
  • A GPA of 2.6 or higher on the 4.0 scale

Undergraduates who wish to be accepted to the university also need the following class requirements prior to admission:

  • English classes (4 years)
  • Advanced mathematics (3 years)
  • Laboratory sciences (3 years)
  • Social sciences (3 years)
  • Computer skills
  • Art classes (1 year)

A new graduate student pursuing a master’s degree at South Dakota State University must have achieved a minimum GPA of 3.0 and present a bachelor’s degree transcript from their previous degree or school. Prospective students must also submit:

  • Online Application
  • $35 application fee
  • Official bachelor’s degree transcripts
  • Proof of immunity from common diseases
  • Letters of recommendation
  • CV
  • Statement of Intent

Tuition and Financial Aid

Online and off-campus courses cost $325.25 per credit hour for undergraduates and $431.25 per credit for graduate degrees, as of 2015.

For those attending the university campus, undergraduates will pay $257 for each credit if they are a South Dakota resident and $288 per credit if they are a Minnesota resident. The total yearly costs for a South Dakota resident is estimated to be $14,948.

Those attending the university campus to study a master’s degree can expect to pay $347.05 in tuition and fees for every credit they take. Many discounts are available at the graduate level for state employees, those over 65, and graduate assistants.

South Dakota State University offers a number of finance options for its students. These include:

  • Graduate Assistantships
  • Private student loans
  • Federal student loans (FAFSA)
  • Grants
  • Work-study programs

South Dakota State University also offers tuition reciprocity with the state of Minnesota.

Online Degree(s) Available

South Dakota State University offers five undergraduate and nine postgraduate degrees.  Here is some information on a few of their offerings.

Medical Laboratory Science (BSc)

An undergraduate degree in Medical Laboratory Science provides a pathway for aspiring scientists, as well as for scientists already working in the field. The nature of this program provides a background in many areas including:

  • Hematology
  • Hemostasis
  • Chemistry
  • Molecular Diagnostics
  • Immunohematology
  • Immunology

This program also prepares students to take the examination required for the certification of medical laboratory scientists which is given by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. In order to apply for this program, you must submit evidence of a minimum of two years of working experience in a clinical laboratory environment. You must also complete the general education requirements proposed by South Dakota State University to complete this program.

General Studies (BA)

The General Studies undergraduate degree provides students with the opportunity to choose three specializations while expanding their general knowledge. This program is designed for adults who have already started college and want to return to college to finish their degree. Students can take classes and specialize in the following areas:

  • Allied Health
  • Business
  • Education
  • Fine Arts
  • Humanities
  • Social Science
  • Science Engineering and Math
  • Technology
  • Wellness

At the end of the program, students are required to create a project that encompasses their knowledge of their specialized fields and relays it into a practical scenario. This project is the highlight of the program because it provides a pathway for students to utilize skills learned in their coursework in real life scenarios and case studies.

Educational Administration (M.Ed)

A master’s degree in Educational Administration allows the student to choose from two specializations: elementary education or secondary education. This degree is designed to prepare students to become leaders in their schools. This degree program also meets the requirements for principalship in South Dakota. Some of the core classes include:

  • School Finance
  • The Principalship
  • Supervision
  • School Law
  • Community and Public Relations
  • Informational Literacy
  • Exceptional Learners
  • Education Technology
  • Current Issues in Education

Mass Communications (M.M.C.)

A master’s degree in Mass Communication is designed to prepare the student for communication on a large scale. This program is particularly suited to future journalists as well as those who want to work or currently work in professional communication in print, digital, broadcast or public relations. The degree program works to help students hone both their interpersonal communication skills as well as speaking to large audiences. Many of the courses are skills-based and the program offers many electives in areas such as:

  • International media
  • Opinion writing
  • Media law
  • Health campaigns
  • Social marketing
  • Media management and administration

Many of the online degree programs offered at South Dakota State University are designed for people who are already in the workforce or are trying to reenter their undergraduate degree after spending time away from the university setting. The courses are designed to be general with practical applications, and they provide a pathway for the examinations and certifications required by many fields in both science and humanities. The courses are taught online by the same teachers and professors who teach at the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings. South Dakota State University offers practical online degrees and boasts of a high employment rate upon the successful completion of a degree.