Colleges in South Dakota

colleges in south dakota

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

In the Northern part of South Dakota is Northern State University which can be found in the city of Aberdeen. The city has a small-town feel mixed with big-city amenities. It is the third-largest town in South Dakota and has a lot of historic buildings and has a variety of restaurants, cafes, stores, and even an amusement park called Storybook Land.

The summer months in Aberdeen can be warm to hot and winter ranges from cold to subarctic temperatures. In the summer and spring, there are numerous parks to enjoy outdoor activities. In the winter, students here can ski, ice skate, sled, and snowmobile! There are also many day trips accessible from the area. 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. You can also just explore the countryside in neighboring villages and fishing towns.

NSU 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. For more information check out NSU’s website.

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. For more information check out SDSU’s website.

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. Check out DSU website for more information.

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 get to enjoy all that the southern part of South Dakota has to offer. City life, quiet country escapes, and numerous outdoor adventures. There is water activities such as fishing, boating, and swimming. As a bonus, there are plenty of vineyards where you can sample local wines. The weather offers 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! For more information go to the University of South Dakota’s website.

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. For more information go to South Dakota School of Mine & Technology website.

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