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University of South Dakota

5 Reviews

Salary Score







50% of 5 students said this degree improved their career prospects
60% of 5 students said they would recommend this school to others
By the OnlineU team | Updated 1/19/2023



The University of South Dakota (USD) is a four-year, public university with 5,684 undergraduate students, and it's the only public liberal arts college in South Dakota. USD has more than 50 online accredited programs and hundreds of online courses students can choose from. All of USD's online programs feature classes taught by the same faculty that teach in person, which means you'll get the same high quality education that you would on campus — only from home!

Find an Online Degree:

Salary Score for Online Degrees at University of South Dakota

Bachelor's Degrees

Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions $25,756 $34,694 64
Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences, General $23,477 $36,775 58
Criminal Justice and Corrections $23,750 $35,109 53
Business Administration, Management and Operations $21,450 $37,003 29
Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing $25,546 $57,262 21

Master's Degrees

Allied Health Diagnostic, Intervention, and Treatment Professions $119,446 $110,722 76
Business Administration, Management and Operations $20,700 $78,587 65
Mental and Social Health Services and Allied Professions Not Reported $43,296 53
Social Work Not Reported $45,434 52
Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Levels and Methods $20,500 $46,027 44
Educational Administration and Supervision $18,425 $52,161 39
Accounting and Related Services Not Reported $56,040 25

Doctoral Degrees

Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Professions Not Reported $65,801 18

FAQs About University of South Dakota

How Difficult Is It To Get Into USD?

USD can be considered a fairly easy school to get into because it accepts an overwhelming majority of applicants. In fact, College Scorecard lists the school's acceptance rate at 91%. The biggest roadblock to many students' college goals is often the high cost of tuition. USD makes the process easier for applicants by including various financial resources, such as upfront tuition costs, a net cost calculator, and a cost comparison worksheet.

Is The University of South Dakota Legitimate?

A school's accreditation status is the best way to determine its legitimacy. Accreditation is the process of evaluating a school's program offerings alongside its faculty and overall mission as an institution. This is done through a third-party organization that grades a school according to federal education standards. The University of South Dakota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. OnlineU only represents accredited schools on its site.


What Is The University of South Dakota Known For?

USD is home to the only law and medical schools in South Dakota and the only public liberal arts college in the state. This makes it stand out as a highly recognized institution in the region. The Sanford School of Medicine specializes in family and rural medicine, while the Knudson School of Law provides flexible learning paths that can be tailored to a student's specific career goals. While online students are unable to attend these schools remotely, they can still earn remote degrees in law and government and a wide range of fields in health and medicine.

Which Degrees at USD Provide the Highest Earnings for Graduates?

The highest earning degrees at USD are in the nursing field. College Scorecard data shows that graduates can expect to earn around $61,000 three years after graduation. The following degrees are available online: Bachelor of Science in NursingMaster of Science in Nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice

Not far behind are degrees in health and medical administration, where graduates earn approximately $59,200, and dental support and allied professions, which has an expected salary of about $53,200. While online students cannot access dental degrees, USD offers an online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences.

OnlineU's Salary Score — which compares alumni salaries from different schools using the same degrees on a scale of 1-100 — for USD is 43 for bachelor's graduates and 58 for master's graduates.

Does The University of South Dakota Have Online Degrees?

Even the most popular online schools offer in-person learning alongside their remote degrees. USD offers online degrees as well as traditional, in-person programs. Eight schools on campus — including the School of Health Sciences and College of Fine Arts — feature more than 200 programs. Online students have access to 50 degree programs, and 30-40% of USD students take classes exclusively online, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

What Are the Admission Requirements for USD?

The admission process for USD differs slightly depending on the type of students applying to college and whether they're military, transfer, first-year, or international students. Regardless of status, students must meet USD's general requirements, which include a high school GPA of 2.6 and a C grade average or better in English, math, social sciences, fine art, and laboratory science. 

If the above requirements are met, students can apply by following these steps:

  • Fill out an online application. This can be completed through the Common App or on the USD website
  • Submit a nonrefundable $20 application fee.
  • Students who fill out the application through the USD website must send their high school transcripts to, while the Common App allows students to upload their transcripts directly. 
  • Send SAT or ACT exam scores directly to USD from the testing agency. 

Students can expect to hear back from the school in less than two weeks.

Student Reviews

Student Reviews

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Gordon Tsubira

Reviewed: 12/19/2019

Degree: Occupational Therapy

As a working professional with a young family. I have enjoyed the structure of the Post-professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate program and the support from distinguished faculty. The low cost of credits for this accredited program is a bonus. And the small cohort of highly motivated and experienced clinicians has been invaluable.

Jay S

Reviewed: 9/25/2019

Degree: Substance Abuse Counseling

I was an online student in the Addiction Theory department. I withdrew after 1 month. I did so because it became evident quickly that USD didn't have the best interest of its students in mind. Let me explain. First, their graduate outline dictates that students aren't actually taught. They are supposed to teach themselves from the text books with occasional feedback from professors. Which works if the professors are responsive and give proper feedback. It fails miserably when they do not. One professor... Read More

Carmen Hendrix

Reviewed: 8/10/2018

Degree: RN to BSN

This program greatly helped to bridge the gap between the associate's degree in nursing and the bachelor's degree in nursing. For students who are pursing a degree in the non-traditional way, like this, the program offered by the University of South Dakota is highly recommended by myself. The program is offered online, making it ideal for non-traditional students who may already be working and for those who have priorities and responsibilities outside of school or for those with children. Personally,... Read More

USD Alum

Reviewed: 7/18/2018

Degree: Human Resources

I've now had to change my plan of study for graduate school twice in seven months. The course rotation provided is wrong and over half of the classes offered for my specialization aren't even really offered. "TBA" is listed behind 1/4 of the offered courses. Advisors recommend completely unrelated courses, just for you to stay full time. My course quality so far has been hit and miss. I have had one great course, and three courses that I learned nothing in. I feel that this graduate program is just... Read More

Linda H

Reviewed: 4/26/2018

Degree: Organizational Leadership

The MSA program needs a serious overhaul. The online classes are not challenging or engaging. Most graduate level classes have an undergraduate feeling by failing to challenge students and are lectured by the same professor. Students are expected to teach themselves by using the antiquated D2L system which does not allow adequate discussions nor is iPad or another device friendly. Severely limited class choices which will keep you from graduating on time. The MSA degree program has severe overlaps... Read More