Best Online Colleges in South Dakota

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 3/11/2020
2020 Best Online Colleges in South Dakota Badge

This list highlights the best colleges and universities for students who want to pursue an online degree in South Dakota. University of South Dakota, the #1 school, has a reported median alumni salary of $81,500, and offers online programs such as a Bachelor of Science in Health Science or a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. South Dakota State University, ranked #2, offers a low tuition of $10,537. Distance students at SDSU can pursue programs such as a Bachelor of Science in Sociology or a Bachelor of Science in Early Education and Care.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

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RankSchool Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 University of South Dakota $10,537 $81,500
# 2 #2 South Dakota State University $10,537 $77,400
# 3 #3 Dakota State University $10,537 $66,900
# 4 #4 Presentation College $22,495 $68,000
# 5 #5 Northern State University $10,537 $66,100
# 6 #6 Dakota Wesleyan University $11,250 $64,300
# 7 #7 University of Sioux Falls $11,470 $63,200
# 8 #8 Black Hills State University $7,902 $56,000
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

Online Colleges in South Dakota Ranking Details

For each school, we conducted manual research to provide prospective students with more details about the schools' online programs. Explore online degrees offered and accreditation information below.

#1 University of South Dakota

  • Annual Tuition: $10,537
  • Median Salary: $81,500
  • Locations: Vermillion
  • Accreditation: HLC

Founded in 1862, the University of South Dakota is the flagship university for South Dakota and the state’s oldest public university. It is home to South Dakota’s only medical school and law school. Online degree programs—associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral—are offered through the university’s various schools. Popular programs include business administration, public health, addiction studies, dental hygiene, nursing, social work, and kinesiology and sport management. An online PhD in health sciences and several online certificate programs are offered as well. Support services for online learners include academic preparation, IT support, disability services, and library services. Coursework is delivered via the Desire2Learn platform, and tutorial videos are provided.

#2 South Dakota State University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,537
  • Median Salary: $77,400
  • Locations: Brookings
  • Accreditation: HLC

Founded in 1881, South Dakota State University is the largest and oldest continually operating university in the state. Thirteen online undergraduate degrees—bachelor’s and associate programs—are available, and popular fields include geography, medical laboratory science, nursing, psychology, and sociology. Additionally, the school offers a variety of graduate programs in subjects such as agricultural education, dietetics, English, human sciences (available with four different concentrations), mass communication, and nursing. Several online graduate and undergraduate certificate programs are also available. All distance programs are accessible via the Desire2Learn online learning platform. A number of video tutorials and guides provide an overview of the system. The university’s website contains an online survey to help prospective students determine if they are well-suited for distance learning.

#3 Dakota State University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,537
  • Median Salary: $66,900
  • Locations: Madison
  • Accreditation: HLC

Dakota State University (DSU), founded in 1881 as a teacher training school, is a public university located in Madison. A variety of online degree programs are offered at DSU, including associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Several online certificates are available as well. Popular degree subjects include accounting, elementary education, marketing, software development, analytics, cyber defense, and web development. PhD degree programs are offered in cyber defense, cyber operations, and information systems. Student support services at DSU include career and disability services, library access, veteran benefits, a bookstore, tutoring, and academic as well as personal counseling services. Distance learners can interact with peer tutors using a web conferencing program that enables students to collaborate using video chat, file sharing, and an interactive whiteboard.

#4 Presentation College

  • Annual Tuition: $22,495
  • Median Salary: $68,000
  • Locations: Aberdeen
  • Accreditation: HLC

Founded in 1951, Presentation College (PC) is a private, coeducational Catholic college with its main campus in Aberdeen and an auxiliary campus in Fairmont, Minnesota. The college’s curriculum is focused on health and medical-related programs. A total of seven online programs are offered through the institution’s PC Virtual system: LPN to BSN (completion), RN to BSN (completion), a bachelor's in radiologic technology (completion), bachelor’s degrees in health science and healthcare administration, and a master’s in family nurse practitioner (available in both full-time and part-time formats). The college delivers coursework via the Moodle online learning management system. Online students have access to the same advising and counseling services that on-campus students enjoy.

#5 Northern State University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,537
  • Median Salary: $66,100
  • Locations: Aberdeen
  • Accreditation: HLC

Northern State University is a public university located in the city of Aberdeen. The university offers a number of online degree programs—associate, bachelor’s, and master’s—in areas like accounting, banking and financial services, criminal justice, management, and music education. Several online minors are offered as well, including Chinese, marketing, and public history. Coursework is delivered via the Desire2Learn platform, the South Dakota Board of Regents’ learning management system. Support services for distance learners include career, disability, and health services as well as financial aid and IT support. Online students have access to the Smarthinking 24/7 live online tutoring service.

#6 Dakota Wesleyan University

  • Annual Tuition: $11,250
  • Median Salary: $64,300
  • Locations: Mitchell
  • Accreditation: HLC

A four-year university located in Mitchell, Dakota Wesleyan University was founded in 1885 and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Several online degree programs are offered by the university, including an RN to BSN, a master's in education, and a master's in business administration. Additionally, two online certificate programs are available. All coursework is done asynchronously, with students accessing lectures, coursework, and discussions at their own convenience. Students may have to participate in a live chat with either a professor or classmates, but this is done on a case-by-case basis, and students agree to a time in advance of the actual discussion. Financial assistance is available for online students, and it is possible to transfer credits from previous coursework.

#7 University of Sioux Falls

  • Annual Tuition: $11,470
  • Median Salary: $63,200
  • Locations: Sioux Falls
  • Accreditation: HLC

Founded in 1883, the University of Sioux Falls (USF) is a Christian liberal arts university located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s largest city. It is religiously affiliated with the American Baptist Churches, USA. USF offers online certificate, bachelor’s, and master’s programs. A degree can be earned online in such subjects as business, nursing, management, healthcare, and health administration. Online degree completion and accelerated programs, ideal for those busy with family, work, or other obligations, are offered in accounting, business, and health administration. They are available fully online.

#8 Black Hills State University

  • Annual Tuition: $7,902
  • Median Salary: $56,000
  • Locations: Spearfish
  • Accreditation: HLC

Located in Spearfish, just outside of the Black Hills National Forest, Black Hills State University (BHSU) has been in continuous operation since 1883. BHSU offers online graduate programs in the following fields: strategic leadership, curriculum and instruction, secondary education, sustainability, and reading. Additionally, two online bachelor’s degrees are available in business administration and general studies. Rounding out BHSU’s online programs are two minors and a certificate program. Coursework is delivered via the Desire2Learn online learning platform. Support services for online students include library resources, a course management system, computer support, training, a bookstore, and more. Each semester, a virtual orientation session is conducted to educate distance learners about various university resources and services that are available. Advising is done via email, telephone, or live chat.


This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the school by this site.

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