request information


South Dakota State University: Degree Programs and School Info

Learn what degree programs South Dakota State University offers. Research its academics, and read about its admission and financial aid info to make an informed education decision.

About South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University (SDSU) is the largest university in South Dakota and offers a variety of degrees in more than 170 subject areas. Located north of Sioux Falls in Brookings, South Dakota, the university has grown from its beginnings as a land-grant university in 1881 to South Dakota's top research institution (as ranked by the Carnegie Foundation) with more than 12,500 students enrolled each year. Students have the options of participating in more than 200 different student organizations, including performing arts, religious and sports clubs.


SDSU offers a wide range of programs, in areas such as dairy science, theater and pharmaceutical science, and courses are held on campus, at select off-campus locations and online. Numerous programs at SDSU boast job-placement rates close or equal to 100%, including those in the dairy science, plant science, electrical engineering and computer science departments. The nursing undergraduate and graduate programs have placement rates of 90% and 100% respectively.

A significant feature of the university's Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Science is the South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory. This facility allows for the quick and precise diagnosis of animal diseases and is unique in its status as one of just 36 accredited labs of its kind in the United States.

SDSU's College of Pharmacy was ranked by U.S. News and World Report in 2012 as the 62nd best in the nation. This college is housed in the Avera Health and Science Center, which was built in 2010 and includes classroom and laboratory space for teaching and research.


Applications for South Dakota State are accepted on a rolling basis, but the school recommends that students apply 8-10 months before the semester in which they would like to enroll. The application is accessible online and had an associated fee of $20 in 2012. To be considered for entrance into a degree program, students must submit transcripts and ACT scores, although SAT scores are also accepted. SDSU accepts some Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) exam scores for credit.

In the 2011-2012 academic year, the student population at SDSU was almost equally split between male and females, and about 65% of the students were South Dakota residents. About 79% of undergraduate students were enrolled full time.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition rates vary for students depending on the type of program chosen and the student's state of residency. In 2012, tuition costs for undergraduate South Dakota residents were $1,950 a semester (based on 15 credits a semester). Non-resident tuition costs were $2,925 a semester, with the exception of Minnesota residents, who paid $2,550 a semester based on a reciprocity agreement. In addition to tuition, students pay about $1,755 in fees per semester. On-campus housing costs vary by residence hall, but averaged about $1,420 per semester in 2012 and the average meal plan was around $1,373 a semester. In total, SDSU estimated that an in-state student could expect to pay $13,896 per year, and an out-of-state student about $15,846 per year, including tuition, housing, books and fees.

Diverse forms of financial assistance are available to students, including grants, work-study programs, loans and scholarships. South Dakota State's Jackrabbit Guarantee program (named after the school's mascot) is a scholarship that contributes at least $1,000 per year for four years to students who have a minimum ACT score of 24 or SAT score of 1090 and attend main campus. To continue receiving this award, students must apply annually.

School Type 4-year, public**
Degrees Offered Certificates, associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctorate**
Religious Affiliation None*
Academic Calendar Semesters*
School Setting Small town**
Student Body 11,143 undergraduate students and 1,582 graduate students (2011-2012)**
Student Housing Nine residence halls and apartments available; students less than two years out of high school are required to live on campus*
Schools and Programs Nine colleges and schools; over 175 fields of study*
Student-Faculty Ratio 19:1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011:
Associate's: General Studies (18)
Bachelor's: Registered Nursing (287)
Master's: Counseling Psychology (57)
Doctorate: Pharmacy (66)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 31% in four years
60% in six years**
Admission Rate 92% (Fall 2011)**
Entering Class Size 2,147 (Fall 2011)*
First-Year Retention Rates 73% (Fall 2011)**
Average ACT Score of Admitted Students Middle 50% of scores are from 19 to 25 (2011)**
Application Due Date Rolling admissions*
Decision Notification Date Rolling notifications*
Tuition $13,896 in-state, $15,846 out-of-state per year (2012-2013, includes all estimated student expenses)*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) Federal grants (37%)
State/local government grant or scholarships (23%)
Institutional grants or scholarships (50%)
Student loan aid (73%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 93% (2010-2011)**

Sources: *South Dakota State University, **National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Information

  • Address: South Dakota State University, Admissions Office, Box 2201, Brookings, SD 57007
  • Phone: 800-952-3541
  • Website:

Find Your Program:

Get Admission Info

Take the first step by getting admissions information directly from South Dakota State University. Simply answer a few questions to get started.