Administration Lane
Brookings, SD 57007-1898
p. 800-952-3541
w. www.sdstate.edu/

South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University Rating: 4.4/5 (65 votes)

Compare This School What's my Chance of Admission?

Nearby Schools

Schools geographically nearby

Similar Schools

Schools similar in rank, size, etc.


South Dakota State University (SDSU) was founded in 1881 as a land-grant institution and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association Association of Colleges and Schools. It is classed as a Doctoral Research University—Intensive by the Carnegie Institute. Located in Brookings, the university is the state’s “largest, most comprehensive higher-education institution.”


South Dakota State’s academic programs are offered through its nine colleges and departments, including the College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences, College of Arts & Science, College of Education & Human Sciences, Jerome J. Lohr College Engineering, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, Graduate School, University College, and Van D. & Barbara B. Fishback Honors College. SDSU also offers distance education programs for undergraduates who live far from the campus, nontraditional students, or students who are temporarily on leave. The Honors College offers outstanding students a smaller class setting, more demanding curriculum, and motivation to achieve above and beyond expectations. As a university, SDSU offers both undergraduate and graduate level academic programs.

Bachelor’s degrees are offered in a variety of fields. Degrees at the bachelor level can be received in such diverse areas as art education, dairy production, animal science, economics, landscape architecture, computer science, graphic design, microbiology, music, engineering, interior design, and nursing. A number of pre-professional programs thoroughly prepare students to move on to a professional school of their choice; examples include pre-law, pre-medicine, and pre-mortuary. Many of these fields have associated minors for students who want to broaden or augment the education they receive as part of their major.

Graduate programs are offered in more than 40 distinct fields. These include master’s level programs in agriculture, biology, English, geography, mathematics, education, engineering, operations management, nursing, and human sciences. Doctoral degrees are offered in animal science, wildlife and fisheries sciences, biological sciences, chemistry, and sociology; there is also a D. Pharm. through the College of Pharmacy. .

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

The Ethel Austin Martin program, named in honor of the SDSU alumnus who originally funded it, provides for the retention and support of an outstanding faculty member in the nutrition sciences, highlighting the university’s commitment to science and discovery in the light of human improvement. As part of the program, the Martin fund also supports programs that enrich all students and faculty at SDSU.

South Dakota State features an undergraduate honors program known as the Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College. Students seeking admission to the program need to meet the following requirements: an ACT score of 27 or higher and/or a class rank in the top 10%. Students not meeting these requirements, but otherwise showing great determination and ambition may also be allowed to participate. Once admitted to the program, students will enjoy smaller classes, including a first-year Honors Colloquium, be able to live on the honors floor of a residence hall, and work on an independent study project.

For the purpose of engaging with the community whose tax dollars help support its continued existence, South Dakota State manages cooperative extension programs in agricultural safety and wellness, climate, crops, family and consumer sciences, farm management/marketing, horticulture, and livestock.

Research at the university is supported at all levels; a journal of undergraduate research enables students to publish the results of their research. The Agricultural Experiment Station performs research on animal disease, offers seed and soil testing, and conducts studies of native and domesticated plants.


A successful applicant to SDSU must meet one of several academic requirements: graduate in the top 60% of his or her high school class, achieve a cumulative ACT score of 18 or above (cumulative SAT score of 870 or above), or achieve a high school grade point average of 2.6 on a 4.0 scale. In addition, an applicant must have completed four years of English; three years each of mathematics, laboratory science, and social science; and one year of fine arts. Applicants should have basic computer skills like keyboarding and use of the Internet. Any of these curricular requirements can be replaced by successful scores or credits from advanced placement.

Every new student goes through New Student Orientation, which allows students to meet others with similar interests, learn the layout of the SDSU campus, experience various disciplines of study, and become prepared for the university lifestyle. Admissions counselors from the university regularly visit high schools and high school students throughout the country in what are called “Jackrabbit Receptions.” These introductory events are an opportunity for high school students to learn about SDSU, meet with faculty, and even win scholarships.

Transfer students and international students will have varying requirements depending upon their prior educational background. Contact the Office of Admissions and/or the Office of International Affairs for more information.

Students applying to the graduate programs at South Dakota State University should consult the individual department and/or school to which they are applying for application requirements and deadlines. General requirements include the GRE or other appropriate test scores (such as the GMAT), subject GRE scores, two letters of recommendation, and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.

Financial Aid

The vast majority of SDSU students receive some form of financial aid package. The university’s financial aid program provides packages that can include scholarships, federal grants or loans, federal work-study jobs, or some combination of all of these. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office with any questions regarding individual circumstances. The office or its website can be consulted for an estimate of the total cost of attending SDSU, including meal plans, books, and residence hall rent.

Tuition at South Dakota State University is highly competitive with comparable institutions. Students applying from out of state and graduate students naturally incur higher costs. Students from Minnesota, or from member states in the Western Undergraduate Exchange, pay reduced out-of-state tuition.

Graduate students are eligible for financial aid in the form of teaching or research assistantships, including a stipend and a waiver of some or all of the tuition and other fees. Graduate students should consult with their individual department about what sort of assistantships or fellowships are available and about the details of the application process.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 3111th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in South Dakota.


Student life includes opportunities to participate in a diverse range of activities and organizations. In total, there are more than 200 student organizations and clubs operating at SDSU. The campus is home to fraternities and sororities, academic and professional groups, religious organizations, cultural organizations, political groups, and special interest groups such as Block and Bridle, the Civil Air Patrol, and Collegiate 4-H. A college newspaper and a campus radio station disseminate information and offer entertainment. Sports clubs include boxing, karate, and rodeo; some popular intramural sports are softball, racquetball, and flag football. Students can stay toned and healthy at the Wellness Center.

A new student’s first experience at SDSU, New Student Orientation, helps him or her ease in to university life, make connections with new friends, meet advisors, and register for classes. All students are required to live in on-campus housing during their first two years out of high school. The SDSU Student Union provides a central location for students to meet, hang out, or get information. The Union offers an Information Exchange where inquiries can be made on campus events, and where students can cash checks, get their mail, and make copies.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The South Dakota State University Jackrabbits teams primarily compete in the NCAA Division I (Division I-AA in football). The Jackrabbit men compete in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, track & field, swimming, tennis and wrestling. The Jackrabbit women compete in basketball, cross country, equestrian, golf, track & field, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, and volleyball.


Hobo Day is perhaps the most time-honored tradition at South Dakota State. It began in 1912 when a group of students were trying to come up with an original idea for homecoming. Many different activities had been attempted in the past, but none truly united the entire campus. And so Hobo Day was born. On this day every year, students and faculty dress in their dingiest clothes, men do not shave, and women wear their hair in braids to celebrate the university’s spirit.

Local Community

South Dakota State is located in Brookings. The town’s population is approximately 19,000 and is surrounded by mostly rural farmland. Nearby attractions and events include a summer arts festival, a theater festival, the Sioux Water Festival, several museums, and a vineyard. Brookings is just minutes away from the border with Minnesota and a short drive from the state’s largest city, Sioux Falls.

Information Summary

Ranks 3rd in South Dakota and 499th overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

Add an image …

Contributed Photos

South Dakota State University South Dakota State University 2

Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in South Dakota and 106th overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 1 0.01
Robbery 1 0.01
Arson 6 0.05
Burglary 22 0.17
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 1 0.01
Arrest 63 0.50

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 6 0.03
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 1 0.00
Forcible Rape N/A N/A
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 6 0.03
Larceny 27 0.12
Vehicle theft N/A N/A

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Research Universities (high research activity)
UndergraduateProfessions plus arts & sciences, some graduate coexistence
GraduateDoctoral, professional dominant
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in
EnrollmentVery high undergraduate
Size & SettingMedium four-year, primarily residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District4600

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 1800th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $4,164 $4,164 $6,246
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $3,549 $3,549 $3,549
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $257 $257 $327
FT Graduate Tuition $5,050 $5,050 $10,687
FT Graduate Required Fees $2,839 $2,839 $2,839
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $329 $329 $564
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $19,446 $19,446 $21,528
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $21,118 $21,118 $23,200
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $13,018 $13,018 $15,100

Student Tuition Costs for Professional Fields

  In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Pharmacology Degree — Tuition $5,962 $14,346
Pharmacology Degree — Required Fees $6,424 $6,424

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $6,887 $7,404 $6,887 $7,404 $8,602 $9,350
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,152 $1,140
On-Campus – Room & Board $6,012 $6,246
On-Campus – Other Expenses $3,736 $3,826
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $7,352 $7,580
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $4,268 $4,372
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $4,268 $4,372

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$20
Graduate Application Fee$35
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 4,851 (2,426 male / 2,425 female)
Admitted 4,458 (2,210 male / 2,248 female)
Admission rate 92%
First-time Enrollment 2,306 (1,160 male / 1,146 female)
FT Enrollment 2,192 (1,118 male / 1,074 female)
PT Enrollment 114 (42 male / 72 female)
Total Enrollment12,525

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Missouri Valley Conference
NCAA Basketball Conference Mid-Continent Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Mid-Continent Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Mid-Continent Conference

ACT Test Admission

620th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 94%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 19 / 25
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 19 / 26
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 20 / 25

SAT Test Admission

473rd for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 5%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 440 / 590
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 460 / 600
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 900 / 1190

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity4,833
Meals per WeekN/A
Room Fee$3,010
Board Fee$3,538

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 79 16 25 19 22 2,152 11 2,358
Advertising 1 1 15 18
Aeronautics/Aviation/Aerospace Science and Technology, General 1 1
Agribusiness/Agricultural Business Operations 32 32
Agricultural Communication/Journalism 5 5
Agricultural Economics 3 3
Agricultural Engineering 1 10 11
Agricultural Mechanization, General 18 18
Agricultural Teacher Education 1 13 14
Agriculture, General 33 1 34
Agronomy and Crop Science 3 52 56
Animal Sciences, General 1 68 70
Apparel and Textile Marketing Management 1 1
Applied Horticulture/Horticulture Operations, General 5 5
Art History, Criticism and Conservation 4 4
Art Teacher Education
Athletic Training/Trainer 1 1 19 21
Aviation/Airway Management and Operations 1 1
Biochemistry 1 4 5
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 10 2 6 2 80 1 105
Biotechnology 4 4
Ceramic Arts and Ceramics 2 2
Chemistry, General 1 13 14
Civil Engineering, General 7 1 55 64
Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology/Technologist 15 16
College Student Counseling and Personnel Services
Computer Software Engineering 6 7
Computer and Information Sciences, General 9 17 28
Construction Engineering Technology/Technician 26 26
Consumer Economics 1 56 1 61
Consumer Services and Advocacy
Counseling Psychology 2 58 61
Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services
Curriculum and Instruction 20 3 23
Dairy Science 13 13
Dietetics/Dietitian 1 1 12 14
Digital Arts 3 3
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 4 4
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 3 1 60 64
Economics, General 3 1 1 81 86
Educational Leadership and Administration, General 1 24 3 28
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 11 1 1 21 34
Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology/Technician 1 1 17 19
Engineering Physics/Applied Physics 2 2
Engineering, General
Engineering/Industrial Management 2 1 1 14 1 19
English Language and Literature, General 2 34 37
Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies 1 20 21
Environmental Science 3 3
Family Resource Management Studies, General 3 3
Family and Community Services
Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education 4 4
Fine/Studio Arts, General 6 6
Flight Instructor 1 13 15
Foods, Nutrition, and Wellness Studies, General 21 21
French Language and Literature 1 1 2
General Merchandising, Sales, and Related Marketing Operations, Other
General Studies 1 34 35
Geographic Information Science and Cartography 6 6
Geography 1 26 27
German Language and Literature 3 3
Graphic Design 2 18 21
Health Communication
Health Teacher Education
Health and Physical Education/Fitness, General 4 2 2 40 48
Health and Physical Education/Fitness, Other 24 24
History, General 1 40 41
Hospitality Administration/Management, General 2 7 9
Hotel/Motel Administration/Management 4 4
Human Development and Family Studies, General 51 51
Human Nutrition 5 10 15
Interior Design 8 8
International/Global Studies 1 1 7 11
Journalism 1 1 36 38
Journalism, Other 1 1 1 13 16
Landscaping and Groundskeeping 10 10
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 1 1 14 17
Manufacturing Engineering Technology/Technician 28 28
Mass Communication/Media Studies
Mathematics, General 1 38 40
Mechanical Engineering 4 1 1 49 55
Microbiology, General 2 12 15
Music Management 1 1
Music Teacher Education 9 9
Music, General 6 6
Natural Resources Management and Policy 1 1
Nursing Education
Operations Management and Supervision
Painting 5 5
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Facilities Management, General 1 14 15
Pharmaceutics and Drug Design 75 75
Physics, General 2 2
Political Science and Government, General 1 17 18
Printmaking 2 3
Psychology, General 2 2 48 53
Range Science and Management 3 3
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 2 3 5 3 4 344 1 369
Rhetoric and Composition 9 9
Sculpture 3 3
Sociology 3 1 1 2 51 59
Spanish Language and Literature 1 20 21
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 5 5
Statistics, General 1 2 4 7
Technical Teacher Education 2 2
Visual and Performing Arts, General 4 4
Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling/Counselor
Wildlife, Fish and Wildlands Science and Management 58 58
Work and Family Studies

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 1368th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $69,700 ($74,566 male / $57,827 female)
Number of FT Faculty 570 (312 male / 258 female)
Number of PT Faculty 715
FT Faculty Ratio 0.8 : 1
Total Benefits $10,416,445

Josh Rahn+

Josh is a full-time professional writer and organic farmer who lives in rural Kentucky.

This website and its associated pages are not affiliated with, endorsed by, or sponsored by this school.
StateUniversity.com has no official or unofficial affiliation with South Dakota State University.