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South Dakota State University

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Degrees Offered at South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University appears in our ranking of The 100 Most Affordable U.S. Colleges Online.

South Dakota State University has more than 200 program options and is home to more than 200 student organizations, making it a highly sought-after school for students interested in a larger university with a small school feel.

The university has both undergraduate and graduate schools, and it also offers online programs for students who cannot or do not wish to attend class on campus. There are also hybrid courses, which feature both online and on-campus classes. The degree programs are divided into nine different colleges, including the College of Agriculture, Food, & Environmental Sciences, the College of Natural Sciences, and the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering.

South Dakota State University is ranked at 129 when compared to all other public schools in the country according to U.S. News & and World Report, and the doctorate engineering program is ranked at 179 when compared to all other engineering programs in the country.

Though the setting is rural, students tend to enjoy the campus, which covers more than 360 acres, and with so many degree track choices, there is something for almost anyone at this university. Research is a heavy focus at the school, with graduate students jumping in head first and performing the research alongside the school’s faculty. The school is one of the top agricultural research facilities in the nation, and it is well-known for its agricultural, biology, and engineering programs.

About South Dakota State University

Located in Brookings, South Dakota, the university is home to more than 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It is the largest institution of higher learning in the Mount Rushmore State, and it is focused on providing a comprehensive experience for all of its students.

The university began as South Dakota College when it was founded in 1881 thanks to the Morrill Act, which was signed by President Abraham Lincoln and gave the founders land to create a school. The college was about to give both liberal arts and practical classes and focused on those who wanted an education but still had to work for a living. The only caveat to the legislation was that the college had to offer agricultural classes to its students.

In 1914, the college opened up its focus from mostly agricultural to adding homemaking courses, and in 1917, the school opened a teaching college. The school remained largely unchanged for about 30 years, but in 1956, it added a nursing school, and then in 1957, the college’s graduate school was organized. In 1964, South Dakota College became South Dakota University, and it added several new colleges including the College of Arts and Science and the College of Engineering. In 1965, the school introduced Ph.D. programs.

Today, South Dakota University offers more than 82 majors available to undergrads, 35 master’s programs, and 15 Ph.D. tracks. Classes are available both on campus and online, and it hires more than 2,000 faculty.

South Dakota State University Accreditation Details

South Dakota State University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1916. In addition to being an accredited university, several of the university’s programs have accreditation, too, including from the following organizations:

  •  Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism & Mass Communication
  •  American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  •  Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  •  National Architectural Accrediting Board, Inc
  •  National Association of Schools of Music
  •  Society for Simulation in Healthcare

The university also has several certified programs including the following:

  •  B.S. in Chemistry
  •  Leadership & Management of Non-Profit Organizations minor
  •  Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College
  •  Army ROTC
  •  Tutoring/Supplemental Instruction (SI) Program

South Dakota State University Application Requirements

There are certain requirements for people who wish to apply to South Dakota State University. Incoming freshman must submit ACT and/or SAT scores. The minimum ACT score required for admission is 18 and the SAT combined score minimum is 950. Potential students must also have a GPA of 2.6 or must rank in the top 60 percent of their graduating class. These applicants must also have the following core courses on their transcripts with a “C” average:

  •  Four years of English
  •  Three years of laboratory science
  •  Three years of advanced math, i.e. Algebra I
  •  Three years of social science
  •  One year of fine arts
  •  Demonstrate basic computer skills including word processing, spreadsheets, typing, and internet skills.

Applicants who meet these requirements are invited to submit an application along with a $20 application fee. Official scores are also required, as are official high school transcripts.

Applicants who are home-schooled or who come from a non-accredited high school must submit ACT or SAT scores. The SAT scores must be a minimum of 950 combined or higher, and the ACT composite score must be 18 or higher.

For those applicants who do not have a high school diploma, there are additional requirements. These applicants must submit a GED or complete a High School Equivalency Test with a minimum score of 15 or a Test Assessing Secondary Completion with a minimum score of 500 in each category.

The graduate application requirement is a bit simpler. Applicants must fill out and submit an application to the graduate school and a transcript from their undergraduate degree. Some programs have specific application dates and require additional requirements.

South Dakota State University Tuition and Financial Aid

South Dakota State University has a reputation for being a good value for the money. The average estimated cost to attend the university as an undergraduate is $17,590 for residents of South Dakota and $21,040 for non-residents. This not only includes tuition, but it also includes room and board and a meal plan. This cost does not include books or fees.

Online courses at South Dakota State University are charged at a different rate, as are graduate courses, which start at $465.80 per credit hour.

Financial aid is available for all students who qualify, including online students, undergraduates, and graduate students. More than 87% of students at the school receive financial aid, and to qualify, applicants must submit a FAFSA form. Some of the types of aid that South Dakota State University offers include loans, grants, work-study, and scholarships, all of which make getting an education more affordable.