POPULATION (2021): 900,000
LARGEST PUBLIC UNIVERSITY IN SOUTH DAKOTA: South Dakota State University
LARGEST PRIVATE UNIVERSITY IN SOUTH DAKOTA: Augustana College
South Dakota is one of the biggest states on the map land-wise, but one of the least populated. With that in mind, there are several places in South Dakota where residents are very far away from a college or university. The cities that do have colleges have similar feels, with a gritty feel but still very welcoming to new faces.
As far as sightseeing, Mount Rushmore is certainly the most popular destination, but it only scratches the surface of visual mind-blowers in the state of South Dakota. There are several national parks and endless miles of waterways, and if you don’t mind dealing with the cold in the winter, there is a lot of adventure to be had by students who choose to go to college in South Dakota.
Universities in South Dakota- 4-Year Colleges and Online
Like many states, two colleges that share the state’s name are the largest ones with South Dakota State and the University of South Dakota. There are 20 other colleges in South Dakota, however, and here is a closer look.
Public Universities in South Dakota
South Dakota State University, in the town of Brookings, is the largest college in the state, and the public university serves more than 14,000 students. The University of South Dakota, located in Vermillion is 2nd, in terms of enrollment, with a touch over 10,000 students. The 4 other public universities in South Dakota are Black Hills State University in Spearfish, Northern State University in Aberdeen, Dakota State University in Madison, and Southeast Technical College in Sioux Falls.
The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology also offers some 4-year degrees.
Private Universities in South Dakota
No private universities in South Dakota have more than 3,500 students, so if you’re looking for a quality education without the distractions of a big campus, one of these may suit you well
- Augustana University
- University of Sioux Falls
- Mount Marty University
- National American University (3 campuses)
Community Colleges in South Dakota
There are only 4 accredited community colleges in South Dakota, though the public universities offer 2-year programs in many fields of study. Lake Area Technical Institute, Mitchell Tech, Western Dakota Tech, and Southeast Tech round out the 4.
Prominent Online Colleges in South Dakota
Both the University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University offer a handful of programs fully online.
Get to Know South Dakota
South Dakota is very large, and with that, there are nearly infinite landscapes to feast your eyes on. If you’re looking for a big city college feel, you might want to look elsewhere, but if you want a ton of open space, mountains, rivers, lakes, and a lot of opportunities to be alone, or with just a couple of friends, South Dakota might be a great choice for you!
It does get very cold in the winter, though, so having an indoor hobby (or an outdoor one like the popular ice fishing, if you have warm clothes) is certainly recommended. South Dakota has a surprising amount of live music, with bluegrass being the genre of choice for many. Native American culture also influences a lot of the art in the state.