Students in South Dakota who are interested in earning a degree in psychology may choose from a wide range of public and private schools. Available degree programs include those leading to bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees as well as graduate certificates. Some of the schools in South Dakota to offer psychology programs are affiliated with a religion and include faith-based classes. Most programs incorporate some practicum element, such as internships, supervised counseling experiences, or other work in the field. Graduate programs usually include a senior project, thesis, dissertation, and/or comprehensive exam. Bachelor's degree programs are designed to prepare students for various graduate programs at the master's and Ph.D. levels, which can qualify graduates to work as licensed counselors or psychologists, respectively. Read on to learn about the psychology programs available at these public and private schools, including program requirements and in the comparison at the bottom, tuition cost.
Established in Sioux Falls in 1860, Augustana is a small liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Undergraduates pursuing a bachelor's degree can major or minor in psychology. Augustana's psychology program is interdisciplinary and encourages students to explore the relationship between psychology and faith. Off-campus practica and research opportunities are available. Students may also consider several study-abroad program options.
Black Hills State University
Internships and undergraduate research are also emphasized in the psychology bachelor's degree program at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, in western South Dakota. Psychology students may engage in their own research studies or participate in faculty-led research projects. Students must take courses in research methods and statistics as well as courses in areas that include social and personality psychology, developmental psychology, and clinical application. A minor is also available.
Dakota Wesleyan University
The Department of Psychology at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell offers a psychology major, leading to a bachelor's degree, and minor. Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, the school promotes its values among psychology students through a variety of service-learning opportunities in local agencies, including an emergency shelter in Mitchell. The department encourages students to join the psychology club and/or Psi Chi (an honors society for psychology students), attend professional conferences and engage in independent research projects. A senior thesis is required.
Mount Marty College
Mount Marty is a private Catholic liberal arts college in Yankton affiliated with the Benedictine order. Students, who are of diverse faiths, can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the main campus or at the Watertown campus. A minor is also available. Providing a broad overview of psychological theories, training in research methods and ethical inquiry, the program prepares students for graduate school or entry-level positions.
Requirements include participation in the depression and anxiety disorders national screening day at senior centers in Yankton and Watertown. To graduate, students also complete a senior seminar, which involves a research project, exam, and interview.
Northern State University
A public school in Aberdeen, in northeastern South Dakota, Northern State University offers a bachelor's degree program and minor in psychology as well as a Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) in School or Clinical Mental Health Counseling. For the undergraduate major, students take core courses in general psychology, neuroscience and research methods and select courses in major areas of the field, such as experimental, social and developmental psychology. All psychology majors take a senior capstone course, in which they consider applied ethics and controversies in the field. The minor consists of 18 credits.
Graduate students pursuing the M.S.Ed. program in counseling select concentrations in school or mental health counseling. The 50-to-54-hour programs meet state requirements for licensure as a professional mental health counselor or qualify graduates for certification and licensure as South Dakota school counselors. Additional program requirements for this degree include completion of research methods courses, an internship, a practicum, and a thesis.
A Catholic college founded in 1951 in Aberdeen, Presentation College provides certificate, associate's, and bachelor's degree programs, many in the health sciences. In addition to offering a Bachelor of Science in Psychology program on its main campus, Presentation College offers the program on its Fairmont and Eagle Butte campuses. The psychology major has two concentrations: general psychology or sports psychology. A field internship is a requirement for graduation. Students may also minor in psychology.
South Dakota State University
The largest university in the state, South Dakota State University has a student population of over 12,500 on its campus in Brookings. Undergraduates enrolled in the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences can pursue a bachelor's degree in psychology, with two emphasis options: graduate school preparation or psychological services. Students may also earn a specialization in secondary school teaching. The graduate school emphasis requires a research project, and students in the psychological services track complete an internship. The psychology minor consists of 18 credits, including general psychology and biopsychology.
Through the Department of Counseling and Human Development in the College of Education and Human Sciences, undergraduates can earn a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies and/or pursue minors in human development and family studies, gerontology and rehabilitation services. At the graduate level, a science degree in Counseling and Human Resource Development is available, with four accredited areas of specialization: college counseling, rehabilitation and mental health counseling, clinical mental health counseling and school counseling. The college, clinical mental health, and school counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and prepare graduates to meet other state licensing requirements, including an exam and supervised clinical experience.
University of Sioux Falls
Affiliated with the American Baptist Churches, the University of Sioux Falls is a small, private liberal arts school. Students can pursue the scientific study of psychology within a faith-based context, leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. The program is designed to prepare students for graduate school or a variety of entry-level jobs in fields like management, marketing, teaching, and social services. Students may elect concentrations in mental health or applied science. Core course requirements include behavioral sciences statistics, research methods, biological psychology, and general psychology. Psychology majors are required to engage in independent or faculty-led research projects.
University of South Dakota
In the town of Vermillion in the southeastern part of the state, the University of South Dakota offers the widest range of psychology degree programs, from the bachelor's degree through the Ph.D. levels. Undergraduates can earn a B.A. or B.S. in Psychology and have the option of pursuing a specialization in disaster response. The department offers a minor, and psychology is available as an alternative minor for teacher education majors.
The Department of Psychology also offers several graduate education options in psychology, including a Ph.D. program in psychology with specializations in clinical psychology or human factors psychology. The Master of Arts (M.A.) awarded isn't a terminal degree program; students earn this degree to advance to Ph.D. candidacy. An additional specialization offered within the clinical psychology Ph.D. program is disaster psychology, a field for which a graduate certificate program is also available. The clinical psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association and makes graduates eligible for professional licensure as psychologists.
A variety of accredited graduate programs are also available through the School of Education at the master's and doctoral levels in counseling and psychology in education, each of which is designed to prepare graduates for state licensure, where required. Students in the CACREP-accredited master's degree programs in clinical mental health or school counseling, for example, are eligible for professional licensure on graduation.
A minimum of a master's degree is required to be eligible to practice in professions like mental health counselor or marriage and family therapist in South Dakota. Becoming an alcohol and drug abuse counselor also requires licensure or certification from the South Dakota Department of Social Services, which recognizes seven levels of alcohol and drug abuse counselors and prevention specialists. In addition to passing a professional knowledge exam, state approval to practice in one of these common psychology professions usually requires preparation through specific academic programs and supervised experience.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Psychology Degree Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Augustana College||4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city||Bachelor of Arts in Psychology||$33,018 (undergraduate)*|
|Black Hills State University||4-year, public; distant town||Bachelor of Science in Psychology|| $8,733 in-state
$11,778 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
|Dakota Wesleyan University||4-year, private not-for-profit; remote town||Bachelor of Arts in Psychology||$27,640 (undergraduate)*|
|Mount Marty College||4-year, private not-for-profit; remote town||Bachelor of Arts in Psychology||$27,276 (undergraduate)*|
|Northern State University||4-year, public; remote town|| Bachelor of Science in Psychology,
Master of Science in Education in School or Clinical Mental Health Counseling
| $8,497 in-state; $11,470 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$6,468 in-state; $11,452 (graduate)*
|Presentation College||4-year, private not-for-profit; remote town||Bachelor of Science in Psychology||$20,375 (undergraduate)*|
|South Dakota State University||4-year, public; remote town||Bachelor of Science in Psychology,
Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies,
Master of Science in Counseling and Human Resource Development
| $8,764 in-state; $12,128 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$8,875 in-state; $16,094 out-of-state (graduate)*
|University of Sioux Falls||4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city||Bachelor of Arts in Psychology||$18,280 (undergraduate)*|
|University of South Dakota||4-year, public; distant town|| Bachelor of Arts/Science in Psychology;
M.A. in Addiction Studies;
M.A., Education Specialist (EdS), Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychology in Education (CPE) - Human Development and Educational Psychology;
M.A., EdS in CPE - Counseling;
Ph.D. in CPE - Counselor Education;
EdS, Ph.D. in CPE - School Psychology;
Ph.D. in Psychology - Clinical or Human Factors Psychology;
Graduate Certificate in Addiction Studies, Disaster Mental Health or Mental Health Counseling
| $9,061 in-state; $12,425 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$6,835 in-state; $12,249 out-of-state (graduate)*
Sources: NCES College Navigator.