Best Online Colleges in South Dakota 2022

Best Online Colleges in South Dakota 2022

Find the best online colleges in South Dakota ranked by the academic success of faculty and alumni associated with the colleges and universities and their online degree programs.

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

Best Online Colleges in South Dakota
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Best Online Colleges in South Dakota 2022

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/22

    Online Bachelor's Degrees

    BS Addiction Counseling and Prevention
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA Psychology

    Concentrations

    • Disaster Response
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Economics
    • Finance
    • Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Nursing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA Economics
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of General Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Health Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Public Health
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA Sociology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Technical Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/22

    Online Bachelor's Degrees

    BS Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Sociology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Geographic Information Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA Geography
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Early Education and Care
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of General Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Human Development and Family Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Medical Laboratory Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Graduation

    19%

    Student body

    1K

    Online Bachelor's Degrees

    Bachelor of Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Construction Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Aviation Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Cybersecurity and Forensics Emphasis IT
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Energy Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Healthcare Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Human Resources Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Intelligence Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Nuclear Enterprise Security Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Paralegal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Professional Legal Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Strategic Security and Protection Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Terrorism and Counterterrorism Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/21

    Online Bachelor's Degrees

    Bachelor of Corporate Communication
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Economics and Finance
    • Entreprenurial Studies
    • Human Resource Management
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Tourism & Hospitality
    • Professional Accountancy
    • Military Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of General Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
  5. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1137/22

    Online Bachelor's Degrees

    Bachelor of Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Business Technology
    • Finance
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Computer Information Systems
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Cyber Leadership and Intelligence

    Concentrations

    • Digital Forensics
    • World Affairs and Human Behavior
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Cyber Operations
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Artificial Intelligence
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Artificial Intelligence in Organizations
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BSEd Elementary Education
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BSEd Elementary Education/Special Education
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of General Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Health Information Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Network and Security Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Professional Accountancy
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
  6. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/22

    Online Bachelor's Degrees

    BS Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Banking and Financial Services
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BA International Business
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Management
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
    BS Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online
  7. #8

    University of Sioux Falls

    Sioux Falls , SD
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/22

    Online Bachelor's Degrees

    Bachelor of Accounting
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online Degree Completion
    Bachelor of Business
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online Degree Completion
    Bachelor of Health Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online Degree Completion
    Bachelor of General Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion time: 4-6 years
    • Format: Online Degree Completion
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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require a time of adjustment. Although you’ll typically learn the same material and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, going online will require greater independence and responsibility than going in person. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, for harnessing the online educational technology that you’ll need to use, and for completing the course requirements, such as listening to lectures, learning lessons, reading texts, and handing in assignments. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take the initiative in building relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier than campus-based education is ease of access: all you need is a computer and an internet connection for online education. But even this seeming advantage of online education can be misleading: what’s easier, studying online with your computer and internet connection from your home where you need to cook, clean, pay rent, and maintain a job? Or studying on campus in a dorm where all your living needs are handled by the school, and college staff are there to help you every step of the way?

If you take the commute to campus out of the equation, campus-based education is easier. All the support structures available on campus for students, especially with real people to help you in person, are not there online. The demands on you as an online student will largely be the same as for your campus-based counterpart, but without the same helps.

In general, your online courses will present the same material and test you in the same way as traditional in-person courses. In many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning with remote educational technology for the first time, online college may be considerably more challenging than campus-based college. For a few insights on how to manage this new online experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable non-profit institutions on the one end and less-than-reputable for-profit institutions on the other end. Accreditation gives you the power to identify the more reputable actors in online education. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency indicating that a college or university is meeting standards of quality and credibility. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university that is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. For students seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that they opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree. For more on this important topic, check out our What is Accreditation and Why Does It Matter? College & University Accreditation Guide.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited (see the previous point), you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer of credits. In many cases, you will encounter some bureaucratic haggling in which some of your credits will be transferred and others may be refused. However, provided that you have attended an online school with recognized regional accreditation, you should be in good shape in transferring your credits earned online.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript, or resumé differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

Some employers may express the concern that because you did your degree online, you may need to transition from an online education experience to in-person workplace experience. But in an age of Covid, that concern seems much diminished. The fact is that much employment these days is remote. And collaboration increasingly happens online over Zoom. Many employers will therefore view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will be less than ideal for you (though depending on your circumstances, it may also be the only viable option).

While there is much in traditional campus-based education that can be substituted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing that can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual in-person classroom setting. As you transition to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face in getting the most out of your online classes is overcoming this difference between “real reality” and “virtual reality.” Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. Above all, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities-educational experiences that you can complete at your own pace and on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Online College-Bound Students

Whether you’re just getting started on your college search, you’re looking for survival tips on your way to a bachelor’s degree, or you’re preparing for the transition into grad school, we’ve got guides, how to’s and tons of other valuable resources to keep you moving forward in your educational journey.