Few public universities in South Dakota can claim that they’re as old as South Dakota State University, which was founded in 1881 as a public, land-grant institution, and has earned recognition as the second-oldest public university in the state. For more than a century, South Dakota State has been focused on helping students achieve a valuable, affordable college degree that equips them for professional success in their chosen field. In the 21st century, this means that SDSU often offers online, offline, and hybrid classes across several of its most popular programs. Alongside this commitment to affordability and flexibility, the university has an active sports program and offers students the chance to join some of the country’s largest and most prestigious honor societies, professional organizations, and interest groups.

South Dakota State University Accreditation Details

As should be expected of a school as large and prestigious as South Dakota State University, the institution has earned essential regional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges of Schools. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools has reviewed the school’s programs and policies, certifying them as appropriately rigorous and of high quality. Alongside this regional accreditation, which grants the school access to federal recognition, federal financial aid funds, and reciprocal transfer agreements with other accredited universities, SDSU also boasts several professional accreditations.

SDSU’s business school is accredited by the AACSB, which is the most prestigious accrediting body for business degree programs worldwide. Education students benefit from the top-notch accreditation of NCATE, a group that oversees the standards and curriculum of teacher preparation programs nationwide. The CCNE has accredited nursing programs at the school, while ABET has accredited engineering and computer science programs offered by South Dakota State University to both undergraduate and post-graduate students.

South Dakota State University Application Requirements

As with most universities nationwide, South Dakota State University requires its freshman applicants to submit official high school transcripts, official SAT or ACT test scores, and a formal, online application in order to be considered for admission. Due to the school’s large size and prestigious reputation, however, applicants must meet a few benchmarks in order to be truly considered for admission. First and foremost, all applicants must have at least a 2.6 high school GPA and they must rank in the top 60 percent of their graduating class. Students must also score a minimum composite score of18 on the ACT or 870 on the SAT in order to be considered for admission. Alongside these basic benchmarks, South Dakota State maintains rigorous content requirements for admitted students, with minimum credit-hours in history, foreign language, mathematics, fine arts, and computer science.

Graduate students must submit official college transcripts, an immunization record, and an official copy of relevant test scores for their program of choice. Test scores typically must come from the GRE or GMAT, though some programs may have slightly different requirements. At least two letters of recommendation must be submitted with the application, along with a professional resume and a statement of purpose for the graduate program being considered.

Tuition and Financial Aid

As a regionally accredited institution, students at South Dakota State University are eligible for Stafford Student Loans, the federal Perkins Loan program, and the need-based Pell Grant program. Additionally, regional accreditation allows students to take advantage of grants and loans offered by their home state in many cases.

South Dakota State University has one of the most affordable tuition rates of any major public institution in the United States. Undergraduate students who are South Dakota residents pay just $145 per credit, or $2,175 for a full-time, 15-credit semester. Residents of neighboring Minnesota pay slightly more, at $173 per credit or $2,595 per full-time semester. SDSU students from other states will pay the standard, non-resident tuition rate. This rate is still affordable, at $217 per credit hour. For a full-time semester load of 15 credit hours, non-resident students will pay $3,255. Residence halls are charged at the uniform price of $1,632 per semester, and this fee is the same for students from all states.

Online Degrees Available

SDSU offers a large number of online programs to undergraduate students, starting with an Associate of Arts degree in general studies. For students who wish to pursue a four-year degree instead, South Dakota State University has online programs in general studies, geography, interdisciplinary studies, and sociology. These programs are offered as traditional, four-year programs, and will take roughly that amount of time to complete.

Additionally, South Dakota State has two “completion” programs, called “upward mobility” programs, that are designed for students who already have a two-year degree in their chosen field. The first of these is the RN-to-BSN online degree program, perfect for nurses who have already completed an Associate of Science degree in nursing and passed the NCLEX certification exam. Another completion program, a Bachelor of Science degree in medical laboratory science, is also offered as a completion program for students who have already earned a two-year degree in a medical research or laboratory science program at one of South Dakota’s community colleges.

Do Colleges Offer Accelerated Degree Programs?

In addition to its various online degree programs and completion program, South Dakota State University allows online students to choose a minor that will add additional value to their completed major. For the most part, these minors are available in the same fiends that offer an A.A. or B.S. degree. There are some extra options, however, that will add interesting courses and career options to the student’s degree. Among the options for undergraduate minors are criminal justice, economics, gerontology, geography, psychology, religion, sociology, studio arts, and rehabilitation services. In most cases, students will be required to take a minimum of 18 credits in their chosen minor. Because the minor is part of an online program, all classes within each of these majors can be taken online. No offline or hybrid attendance policies will apply.

Students who want to further their interests even further can opt for a certification from the university in any of these concentration areas. This combination of majors, minors, and certifications makes South Dakota State University one of the most challenging, engaging, and affordable online education options for students in South Dakota, Minnesota, and in virtually every other state nationwide where SDSU’s tuition is still dramatically less expensive.