South Dakota State University Online

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South Dakota State University (SDSU), a public, land-grant, space-grant, sun-grant university founded in 1881, is among the oldest universities in the state. SDSU enrolls 12,500 students in a host of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs.

Undergraduate online students can complete 8 bachelor degrees in areas such as geography, early education and care, general studies, and interdisciplinary studies, as well as three associate degrees in general studies, construction technology, and sociology.

Students can pursue more than a dozen online master's degree programs, covering agricultural education, human sciences, public health, sociology, and more.

The university also offers a number of undergraduate minors, and undergraduate and graduate certificates.

The same instructors teach the university’s online and on-campus courses.

Some courses may require on-campus visits.

The university’s online students have access to academic advising, career services, and library resources.

The university belongs to the Great Plains IDEA consortium.

SDSU is not authorized to offer online education in New York, Massachusetts or South Carolina.

South Dakota State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The university also holds accreditation from National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

South Dakota State University Recognized as an Online College Leader

TBS has recognized SDSU as a leader of online education in the area of liberal arts & humanities for having several ranking online programs in this area, offered through the following departments:

School of Communication and Journalism

The School of Communication and Journalism, part of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at South Dakota State University, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates in communications fields. Students may pursue topics of study such as mass communication, journalism, advertising, and public relations. Regardless of their chosen path, students develops the knowledge and skills they need to advance careers in serving the public and conveying information, with curricula that balance theory, practice, and specialization. With online degree programs and professional experience opportunities, the school provides flexible opportunities for students to grow and advance.

The School of Communication and Journalism offers online degree programs featured in the following rankings:

Department of Sociology and Rural Studies

The Department of Sociology and Rural Studies, part of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at South Dakota State University, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the sociology field. Building on a foundation of liberal arts education and sociology concepts, students may specialize in human resources or human services. Students develop a strong critical foundation useful in a wide range of careers, even outside of sociology. With flexible online degree programs, the department meets the needs of non-traditional students.

The Department of Sociology and Rural Studies offers an online degree program featured in the following ranking:

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at South Dakota State University, offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs across 13 departments and schools. Building on a liberal arts core, students have a wide variety of fields to choose from, including English, history, languages, music, psychology, journalism, sociology, and aerospace science. With online degree programs and professional experience opportunities, the college serves traditional and non-traditional students.

The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences offers an online degree program featured in the following ranking:

Department of Geography

The Department of Geography, one of four departments in the College of Natural Sciences at South Dakota State University, offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates in geography, geographic information sciences, and community and regional planning. Developing fundamental and advanced knowledge in geography fields, students prepare to pursue or advance careers such as GIS analyst, urban planner, land manager, and tourism planner. With online degree programs, professional experience opportunities, student organizations and conventions, and the Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence, the college serves traditional and non-traditional students in their professional development.

The Department of Geography offers an online degree program featured in the following ranking:

South Dakota State University Featured in TBS Rankings

Accreditation Regional (HLC)
Public/Private Public Nonprofit
Region Plains
Acceptance Rate 92%
Retention Rate 76%
Graduation Rate 56.3%
Requires ACT or SAT SAT or ACT
Cost Per Credit
(In-State/Out-of-State)
Undergrad: $333/$346
Grad: $442/$442

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