South Dakota Colleges Summary

Students thinking about attending one of the South Dakota colleges can choose between universities and technical colleges when it comes to a higher education at the public level. In fact, South Dakota's higher education system includes six universities and four technical schools in all. There also are numerous private universities in South Dakota, such as the University of Mary, in Bismarck, and Augustana University, in Sioux Falls. Distance learning is an option, too, with the state's Electronic University Consortium providing information on various training opportunities and online degree programs in the state.

Transfer and Reciprocity Agreements in South Dakota

An articulation agreement put in place by the state's higher board of education allow students to continue their education from a technical institute in South Dakota to one of the public universities in South Dakota that best fits their skills and needs. Students also can find reciprocity agreements between public schools in South Dakota and Minnesota. Finally, dual credit programs and the South Dakota Corp Scholarship Program help to keep students attending a postsecondary institute within the state instead of heading elsewhere.

South Dakota Colleges: A Few Highlights

The University of South Dakota, in Vermillion, offers on-campus and distance education to about 10,000 students. It's known as the state's flagship university and has a mixture of buildings more than 100 years old and new structures, such as the Sanford Coyote Sports Complex, on campus. Black Hills State University, on the western side of the state, covers 123 acres and offers online learning, graduate programs, a focus on sustainability and even a second location in Rapid City. Among the other colleges in South Dakota is the South Dakota School of Mines and Technologies, founded in 1885, and providing an education into mining, a major area industry in the Rapid City area. Additionally, the school is known for its science and engineering programs.

For more information on the South Dakota Higher Education System, see


  • About USD, University of South Dakota, Accessed March 2018,
  • Black Hills State University, Black Hills State University Accessed March 2018,
  • SD Board of Regents, South Dakota Board of Regents, Accessed March 2018,
  • SD Mines, South Dakota School of Mine and Technologies, Accessed March 2018,
Education Institutes in South Dakota
Total Number of Educational Institutes
Total Enrollment in all institutes
Number of Public Educational Institutes
Number of Private For-Profit Institutes
Number of Private Non-Profit Institutes
Graduation Rate
Total Graduates With Bachelors Degree
On Campus and Online Programs in South Dakota
Number of Institutes Offering on-campus programs
Number of Institutes Offering on-line programs
Number of Institutes Offering both

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics,