Best Colleges in South Dakota 2023

Best Colleges in South Dakota 2023

Here are the best colleges and universities in South Dakota. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you.

10 Best Colleges in South Dakota

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Colleges and Universities in South Dakota

Almost 20 higher education institutions award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in the state, and only two schools exceed 5,000 in student population. The average college tuition in the state is $8,450, which is under the national average. Of the 11 public institutions, South Dakota State University is the largest with just over 10,000 students, and it has a tuition of $9,000.

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With a comparable tuition, the University of South Dakota is the second largest and located in Vermillion. Students can earn degrees in areas such as earth science, physics, and engineering. Eight private schools offer degrees ranging in tuition from $3,000 to $33,000. Many of these universities are religiously affiliated, Augustana University being the largest and most expensive. This Lutheran university is located in Sioux Falls and offers programs in economics, psychology, and biology. The most affordable colleges, Oglala Lakota College and Sinte Gleska University, are both tribal institutions charging $3,000 in fees.

Two monuments are carved into the rock of the Black Hills: Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial. In addition to its majestic mountains, South Dakota’s lands are some of the richest in fossils. Badlands National Park is home to unique rock formations as well as the fossils of saber-toothed cats, three-toed horses, and ancient marine animals. With vast plains and unique mountains, South Dakota offers a stunning setting for students looking to earn their degree in The Mount Rushmore State.

Find out more about the top programs and higher education opportunities available in South Dakota.

What are South Dakota’s Colleges & Universities?

South Dakota’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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We’ve identified 10 colleges and universities in South Dakota that meet our criteria. This list of the top colleges in South Dakota below focuses on schools that offer bachelor’s degrees. The ranking features fully accredited public and private colleges and universities in South Dakota.

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Best Colleges in South Dakota 2022

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees




    Student body


    What is National American University known for?

    National American University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    National American University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Management
    • Required Credits: 180
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Paralegal Studies
    • Required Credits: 180.5
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Professional Legal Studies
    • Required Credits: 180
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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South Dakota’s Best Colleges in Your Area of Interest

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utilized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. University of South Dakota
  2. South Dakota State University
  3. Northern State University
  4. Augustana University
  5. Black Hills State University
  6. University of Sioux Falls
  7. Dakota Wesleyan University
  8. Dakota State University
  9. Mount Marty University