There are many colleges in South Dakota. This article will focus on public colleges in South Dakota and their surrounding area. South Dakota is known for its vast prairie land and the famous Mount Rushmore, which is located in Black Hills National Forest and Badlands National Park both on the western side of the state. Pierre the capital and Sioux Falls are the most populated areas.
Northern State University (NSU), Aberdeen
Northern State University is in the city of Aberdeen and has a small-town feel mixed with big-city amenities. During the warmer months, there are a number of parks and activities for students to enjoy. In the winter, students can ski, ice skate, sled, and snowmobile! If you are a Little House on the Prairie fan, you can drive 2.5 hours and see Laura Ingalls historic home and school. The town of Stonehaven is only 15 miles south, with the famous castle of Dunnottar.
Northern State University in Aberdeen sits on 72 acres of land and a student body of about 4,000. It also offers numerous degree programs to fit the interests and needs of their students. Northern State University’s mascot is a Wolf and they are an NCAA Division II school. Along with a solid sports program, NSU also has plenty of other ways for students to be involved to include student government, campus activity boards, student organizations, recreational clubs, and on-campus living opportunities.
South Dakota State University (SDSU), Brookings
South Dakota State University has a large student body of over 12,000 students. Not only are there many student activities and organizations, SDSU even has a marching band. SDSU’s athletic conference affiliations include the Summit League for most sports, the Missouri Valley Football Conference (Division I FCS), the Big 12 Conference (wrestling), and Varsity Equestrian. Their mascot is the Jackrabbits and they have varsity and intramural sports.
SDSU is located in Brookings. Brookings is the fourth largest city in South Dakota, with a population of over 22,000. Just south of Brookings is Dakota State University in the city of Madison. Both schools reside in the Glacier lake and Prairies region of the state and Madison and Brookings offer warm summers and mostly cold and moderate snowfall in the winter.
Dakota State University (DSU), Madison
Dakota State University (DSU) is a much smaller school with only 3,300 students. It is still large enough to offer a variety of degree and certification programs though. Student Life is also active with campus clubs and student organizations. DSU participates in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) sporting league and their mascot is the Trojans.
University of South Dakota (USD), Vermillion
University of South Dakota (USD) is located in the city of Vermillion and is the only law and medical school in South Dakota. USD lies along the bluffs near the Missouri River in the southeast corner of the state. Students here also get to enjoy the weather that has an average of 200 sunny days, mild summers, and cold winters.
USD has over 9,000 students and offers a ton of degree programs. They participate in the NCAA Division I sports and their mascot is a Coyote!
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSMT), Rapid City
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSMT) is a small college located in Rapid City and offers science and engineering degrees. SDSMT is located near the Black Hills of South Dakota and offers 20 degrees in Science and Engineering with a student body over 2,100.
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has on-campus residences even though it’s a smaller college. The school is located within minutes from an active downtown with numerous restaurants and pubs, boutiques, and cafes. In addition, they participate in the NCAA Division II and their mascot is a Miner.
South Dakota Community Colleges
Along with universities and state schools, South Dakota also has numerous community colleges to choose from to include:
- Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown
- Mitchell Technical Institute, Mitchell
- Oglala Lakota College, Kyle
- Southeast Tech – George S. Mickelson Center, Sioux Falls
- Sisseton Wahpeton College, Sisseton
- Western Dakota Tech, Rapid City
- Bismarck State College, Bismarck
- Valley City State University, Valley City
- North Dakota State College of Science, Wahpeton