Best Liberal Arts Colleges in South Dakota 2022

Best Liberal Arts Colleges in South Dakota 2022

Liberal arts colleges are a great option for students seeking a well-rounded education in an intimate campus setting. The best liberal arts colleges in South Dakota offer a diverse selection of degree programs with opportunities for a highly individualized educational experience.

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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A liberal arts college is a school that puts a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree. We’ve identified 8 liberal arts colleges in South Dakota. To be ranked among the best liberal arts colleges in South Dakota, schools must fully accredited institutions.

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges in South Dakota 2022

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Graduation

    19%

    Student body

    1K

    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

    Bachelor of Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Paralegal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Professional Legal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Healthcare Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Aviation Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Construction Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Cybersecurity and Forensics Emphasis IT
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Energy Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Human Resources Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Intelligence Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Nuclear Enterprise Security Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Strategic Security and Protection Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Terrorism and Counterterrorism Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Construction Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Aviation Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Cybersecurity and Forensics Emphasis IT
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Energy Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Healthcare Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Human Resources Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Intelligence Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Nuclear Enterprise Security Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Paralegal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Professional Legal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Strategic Security and Protection Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/21

    Black Hills State University’s Online Degrees

    Bachelor of Corporate Communication
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Accounting
    • Economics and Finance
    • Entreprenurial Studies
    • Human Resource Management
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Tourism & Hospitality
    • Professional Accountancy
    • Military Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of General Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1137/22

    What is Dakota State University known for?

    Dakota State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    Dakota State University’s Online Degrees

    Bachelor of Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Accounting
    • Business Technology
    • Finance
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Computer Information Systems
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Cyber Leadership and Intelligence
    Degree Concentrations
    • Digital Forensics
    • World Affairs and Human Behavior
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Cyber Operations
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Artificial Intelligence
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Artificial Intelligence in Organizations
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSEd Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BSEd Elementary Education/Special Education
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of General Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Health Information Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Network and Security Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/22

    Northern State University’s Online Degrees

    BS Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Banking and Financial Services
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA International Business
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. #6

    University of Sioux Falls

    Sioux Falls , SD
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/22

    What is University of Sioux Falls known for?

    University of Sioux Falls’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    University of Sioux Falls’s Online Degrees

    Bachelor of Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online Degree Completion
    Bachelor of Business
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online Degree Completion
    Bachelor of Health Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online Degree Completion
  6. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1020/21

    Dakota Wesleyan University’s Online Degrees

    BS Nursing (LPN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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South Dakota’s Best Liberal Arts 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 utiulized 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. Northern State University
  2. Augustana University
  3. Black Hills State University
  4. Dakota Wesleyan University
  5. University of Sioux Falls
  6. Dakota State University
  7. Mount Marty University