The Best Online Colleges in South Dakota

TBS Staff Writers
by
Updated October 10, 2023
Get started with your search for top-ranked schools in South Dakota. Discover which colleges offer programs that fit your needs.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

South Dakota offers many affordable, accredited online degrees at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s levels.

South Dakota colleges are best known for their affordable tuition rates: The state’s four-year public and private universities charge below-average tuition rates compared to the national average. Colleges in South Dakota offer degrees in high-demand fields like business, healthcare, manufacturing, and technology, with many offered through online programs.

Rural students benefit from the accessibility of online learning, and many of the state’s educational institutions offer tuition discounts for South Dakota residents. Online degrees also appeal to working students and busy adults who must balance school with other responsibilities.

This list of online colleges in South Dakota only includes regionally accredited institutions. Regional accreditation is the highest standard for educating students and granting degrees. Credits earned at accredited schools easily transfer to other institutions, and only accredited schools distribute federal student aid to their undergraduate and graduate students. An accredited degree also meets requirements for professional licenses and certifications.

Prospective students use this list to find the best programs for their career goals. This article also offers employment data for South Dakota and information about online associate and graduate degrees.

Featured Online Schools

Loading...
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site
Loading...
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site
Loading...
Loading...Learn More
Visit Site

The Best Online Colleges in South Dakota

#1 The Best Online Colleges in South Dakota

Dakota State University

  • Location-markerMadison, SD
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,541
  • Out-of-state$10,611
  • Retention Rate66%
  • Acceptance Rate77%
  • Students Enrolled3,268
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment68%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 The Best Online Colleges in South Dakota

South Dakota State University

  • Location-markerBrookings, SD
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,697
  • Out-of-state$11,172
  • Retention Rate78%
  • Acceptance Rate90%
  • Students Enrolled11,512
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment38%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 The Best Online Colleges in South Dakota

University of South Dakota

  • Location-markerVermillion, SD
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,697
  • Out-of-state$11,172
  • Retention Rate78%
  • Acceptance Rate86%
  • Students Enrolled9,920
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment50%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 The Best Online Colleges in South Dakota

Northern State University

  • Location-markerAberdeen, SD
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,540
  • Out-of-state$10,611
  • Retention Rate73%
  • Acceptance Rate84%
  • Students Enrolled3,427
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment57%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 The Best Online Colleges in South Dakota

Black Hills State University

  • Location-markerSpearfish, SD
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,878
  • Out-of-state$11,024
  • Retention Rate62%
  • Acceptance Rate84%
  • Students Enrolled3,858
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment58%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 The Best Online Colleges in South Dakota

Presentation College

  • Location-markerAberdeen, SD
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$20,995
  • Out-of-state$20,995
  • Retention Rate49%
  • Acceptance Rate90%
  • Students Enrolled584
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment78%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 The Best Online Colleges in South Dakota

Dakota Wesleyan University

  • Location-markerMitchell, SD
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$27,700
  • Out-of-state$27,700
  • Retention Rate65%
  • Acceptance Rate67%
  • Students Enrolled880
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment15%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 The Best Online Colleges in South Dakota

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

  • Location-markerRapid City, SD
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,610
  • Out-of-state$11,920
  • Retention Rate78%
  • Acceptance Rate77%
  • Students Enrolled2,525
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment5%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 The Best Online Colleges in South Dakota

University of Sioux Falls

  • Location-markerSioux Falls, SD
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$18,610
  • Out-of-state$18,610
  • Retention Rate77%
  • Acceptance Rate91%
  • Students Enrolled1,675
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment47%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 The Best Online Colleges in South Dakota

Lake Area Technical College

  • Location-markerWatertown, SD
  • 2 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$2,904
  • Out-of-state$2,904
  • Retention Rate84%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled2,228
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment46%
  • AccreditationYes

Best Online Colleges

South Dakota

2022


The Best Schools

Online Colleges in South Dakota Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Rankings Methodology

Employment in South Dakota

South Dakotans with college degrees benefit from the state’s low unemployment rate and cost of living. Compared to the national average cost of living index, which is set at 100, South Dakota’s cost of living index is only 88.3. Similarly, South Dakota’s 2.9% unemployment rate is much lower than the 6.2% national unemployment rate, as of February 2021.

South Dakota’s top industries include healthcare, manufacturing, educational services, and public administration. Bioscience, value-added agriculture, and cybersecurity are also key industries in the state. Many careers in these fields require a bachelor-level education, though fewer than 29% of South Dakota residents hold a bachelor’s degree. As a result, professionals with college degrees face less competition in South Dakota than they would in more highly educated states.

The state’s highest-paying, fastest-growing jobs, including financial manager, industrial engineer, and operations manager, all typically require a bachelor’s degree. Many of these careers pay more than double the state’s mean annual wage of $44,960.

The following information details some of the highest-paying roles employing more than 500 individuals in South Dakota. Salary information applies specifically to South Dakota, while job growth data pertains to the entire United States.

Highest-Paying, Degree-Requiring Careers in South Dakota
CareerAnnual Mean Salary (2020)Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)Education Required
Financial Managers$144,98015%Bachelor’s
General and Operations Managers$131,8904%Bachelor’s
Pharmacists$121,130-3%Doctoral
Lawyers$111,9304%Doctoral
Physician Assistants$109,29031%Master’s
Medical and Health Services Managers$107,85032%Bachelor’s
First-Line Supervisors of Non-Retail Sales Workers$103,2304%Bachelor’s
Nurse Practitioners$103,08045%Master’s
Industrial Engineers$86,45010%Bachelor’s
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Online Associate Degrees in South Dakota

In addition to bachelor’s degrees, South Dakotans can earn online associate degrees in business, agricultural science, and general studies.

South Dakota State University (SDSU) offers online associate programs in subjects like sociology, construction technology, and data science. Dakota State University (DSU) has an online associate in business management program. The online associate degree in general studies at the University of South Dakota (USD) prepares graduates to enroll in bachelor’s programs.

After completing an associate degree, graduates can enter the workforce or transfer into bachelor’s programs. With transfer credits, students can earn their bachelor’s degrees in as little as one year.

Online Graduate Degrees in South Dakota

Many top-ranked universities in South Dakota offer online graduate degrees, too. For example, USD offers an online MBA program with concentrations in business analytics, finance, health services administration, and marketing. Graduate students can also earn master’s degrees in criminal justice administration, social work, or nursing at USD.

Online graduate programs prioritize flexible scheduling, which appeals to working professionals who must balance school with professional responsibilities. Online programs also typically allow students to complete in-person requirements in their local areas. With a graduate degree, professionals can advance their current careers or move into new fields.

Frequently Asked Questions

South Dakota’s popular online colleges include the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, and Dakota State University.

The state’s best colleges include the University of South Dakota, which is the state’s flagship public university, and South Dakota State University. The state also has private universities.

What school is the best school is different for every student, depending on their intended profession and learning style. Some of the best colleges in South Dakota include public institutions, like the University of South Dakota, and private schools, like Augustana University.

Learn more, do more.

More topic-relevant resources to expand your knowledge.
0