Colleges By Location

Online Colleges in South Dakota

On this page you’ll find a collection of tools and resources designed to give you a fresh perspective on earning your degree from one of South Dakota’s online colleges. Begin with our review of the South Dakota postsecondary education system as a whole and the state’s past and present online education efforts.

From there, go to our ranked profiles of the top online colleges in South Dakota, sorted by affordability. Explore our directory of scholarships available to both online and offline students in South Dakota, our list of the state’s most important higher education resources or even our complete database of online colleges nationwide.


Postsecondary Education in South Dakota

South Dakota’s state and local government spending per student increased by 1.2% from 2011-2012; during that same period, grants per in-state undergraduate student increased a respectable 18.6%.

In the 2014-2015 school year, the state boasted the lowest tuition and fees in the country for out-of-state students at public four-year institutions: $9,910.

Graduation rates for South Dakota are on the low side of the national average with 20.4% of students finishing their education in 4 years.


Online Education in South Dakota

NCES Report

According to a recent NCES report, in fall 2012, 20.9% of students enrolled in Title IV institutions in South Dakota (11,803 students) were in exclusively online programs.

  • 79.3% of those students were undergraduates
  • 64.3% were in public 4-year institutions
  • 3.8% were in private not-for-profit 4-year institutions
  • 27.8% were in private for-profit 4-year institutions
  • 71.6% were living in South Dakota
  • 28.1% were living elsewhere in the United States

According to the South Dakota Board of Regents, enrollment in online courses is steadily increasing with an 8.5% rise from 2012-2013 and 2.6% rise from 2013-2014.

The same organization offers an interactive dashboard tracing the history of distance education in the state.


Most Affordable Online Colleges in South Dakota

Below you’ll find the very best online colleges in South Dakota, sorted by affordability. These rankings identify the fully online programs in a school’s catalogue, explain how the school’s online interface works and spotlight the recognition a school has received for its online initiatives.

Want to know what it takes to make our rankings? Check out our distinct approach.

South Dakota State University

1
South Dakota State University
Brookings
$257
$6,168

An Online Education at South Dakota State University

SDSU offers a number of flexible online graduate and undergraduate programs, in addition to professional certification and individual courses. Once admitted to SDSU online, students enroll in courses through WebAdvisor. All online offerings are taught by the same professors who teach on campus, using material that has been specifically adapted for online consumption. Classes are delivered on the Desire2Learn platform, and students can view D2L trainings and orientations, as well as all of their available course work on this platform.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • General Studies (B.GS)
  • Interdisciplinary Studies (B.S.)
  • Medical Laboratory Science (Upward Mobility) (B.S.)
  • Nursing (Upward Mobility) (RN to B.S.)
  • Sociology (B.S.)

In addition to these degree programs, students can also pursue a minor to supplement their education.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Chemistry - Chemical Education (M.S.)
  • Curriculum and Instruction (M.Ed.)
  • Dietetics (M.S.)
  • Educational Administration (M.Ed.)
  • Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
  • Nursing (M.S.)
  • Public Health (M.P.H.)

SDSU offers high school students the opportunity to take courses online for college credit through the High School Dual Credit Program.

SDSU has a rolling admissions policy for undergraduates; applications are usually processed within 24-48 hours, with an admissions notice arriving in the mail within 3 weeks. Graduate students must follow the admissions guidelines of their specific program. Students manage their tuition using the SDePay platform, through WebAdvisor.

Contact Information

Administration Lane
Brookings,
SD 57007-1898
(800) 952-3541


Acclaim for online programs

  • #214 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
  • #60 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs

Northern State University

2
Northern State University
Aberdeen
$313
$7,502

An Online Education at Northern State University

NSU provides students with 100% online undergraduate and graduate degree programs taught by highly accessible, qualified faculty. Using the Desire2Learn platform, students can access all of their course content in one place. Students manage their personal account information (grades, financial aid, etc) using the WebAdvisor platform, and they can view their course materials up to 30 days before their classes start in order to get oriented with the information.

NSU offers a brief quiz for prospective students to assess whether or not an online education is a good fit for them. They also offer a course called Online Student Success, designed to give prospective students an idea of online learning and provide answers to frequently asked questions.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • BA International Business Studies
  • Bachelor's in General Studies
  • BS in Banking and Financial Services
  • BS in Business Administration
  • BS in Management
  • BS in Marketing

Online Graduate Degrees

  • MS Banking and Financial Services
  • MSEd Instructional Design in E-learning
  • MS Training and Development in E-learning
  • MSEd Leadership and Administration
  • MSEd Teaching and Learning
  • Master of Music Education

High school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing college credit can also take advantage of online courses at NSU through the South Dakota High School Dual Credit Program.

Degree-seeking students can qualify for financial aid through federal grants, loans, and work study. Students can contact the Office of Online and Continuing Education for support and assistance with choosing classes and achieving academic goals.

Contact Information

1200 S Jay St
Aberdeen,
SD 57401-7198
(605) 626-3011


Acclaim for online programs

  • #184 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Bachelor’s Programs

Dakota State University

3
Dakota State University
Madison
$313
$7,510

An Online Education at Dakota State University

Using the Desire2Learn platform, DSU delivers lectures notes, assignments, and exams to students wanting to pursue their college education online. The degrees available to students will depend on an individual's state of residence. DSU also has a Dual Credit program that allows South Dakota high school students to earn high school and college credit for taking certain online courses.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Computer Science (BS)
  • Cyber Operations (BS)
  • Elementary Education/Special Education (BSE)
  • General Studies (BGS)
  • Health Information Administration (BS)
  • Information Systems (BS)
  • Management (BBA)

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Analytics
  • Master of Science in Applied Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Educational Technology
  • Master of Science in Health Informatics
  • Master of Science in Information Assurance
  • Master of Science in Information Systems

Doctoral students can pursue advanced degrees in Cyber Security and Information Systems.

Students may be expected to have a proctor for exams to verify their identity. Students may also need a webcam while in class to interface with the professor. The Online Learning Staff can answer questions and resolve technology issues, in addition to ensuring all distance students have access to the resources and tools they need. DSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

820 N Washington Ave
Madison,
SD 57042-1799
(605) 256-5111


Acclaim for online programs

  • #126 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online MBA Programs
  • #112 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs

University of South Dakota

4
University of South Dakota
Vermillion
$313
$7,510

An Online Education at University of South Dakota

USDV delivers fully online undergraduate and graduate level degree programs to students around the country. All course materials are delivered via Desire2Learn, which allows faculty to share assignments, quizzes, projects and tests with their students anytime. Online students have access to university library resources and databases 24 hours a day, in addition to free access to Microsoft Office software. Technical support is available by phone 24 hours a day.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of General Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Addition Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Science
  • RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Students can also pursue professional certificate programs in areas like Long-Term Care Management and Literacy Leadership & Coaching.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)
  • Master of Professional Accountancy (M.P.A.)
  • Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Administration: Alcohol & Drug Studies
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Kinesiology and Sport Science: Sport Management
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Technology for Education & Training

Students manage their personal accounts, including their class registration, using the WebAdvisor portal. Online students connect with the Academic & Career Planning Center via email and social media to help make the right choices for their academic and career goals.

Contact Information

414 E Clark St
Vermillion,
SD 57069-2390
(605) 677-5301


Acclaim for online programs

  • #41 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online MBA Programs
  • #31 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Business Programs (excluding MBA)

University of Sioux Falls

5
University of Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls
$330
$7,920

An Online Education at University of Sioux Falls

USF utilizes eLearning to deliver its course content to students, as well as to provide access to grades, exams, and online discussion forums. The platform is supported on both computer and mobile devices. In addition to eLearning, USF uses Cisco WebEx for video conferences. To access their personal and administrative data, students log on to the MyUSF portal; this also acts as the point of contact for student services.

Online classes usually have between 10 and 20 students, and the faculty are often the same individuals who teach on campus. In addition to completing their coursework, students are expected to communicate regularly with each other and with faculty, using discussion boards, chats, email, and video conferences.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Depending on the program, some USF courses are taught in an accelerated 5-12 week format.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Masters of Business Administration - Management
  • Masters of Education in Educational Administration/Adult and Higher Education

USF provides a quiz for prospective students to ensure they have the appropriate equipment and skills to successfully pursue an online education. Distance students have access to the Academic Success Center, which includes a comprehensive writing center. Online students also receive use of a number of online databases through the university library, as well as a free version of Microsoft Office.

USF is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

1101 W 22nd St
Sioux Falls,
SD 57105-1699
(605) 331-5000

Black Hills State University

6
Black Hills State University
Spearfish
$635
$15,234

An Online Education at Black Hills State University

Students enrolled in online degree programs at BHSU have a number of resources available to aid in their educational pursuits. Course materials are delivered via the Desire2Learn platform, and student accounts are always available in the WebAdvisor portal. All online students are issued a BHSU email address, as well as a library barcode to enable them to browse the library’s online databases.

Distance learners also receive access to the Career Center, Writing Center, and Network & Computing Services. BHSU provides Desire2Learn tutorials to ensure students can adeptly navigate the LMS.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Business Administration
  • Bachelor of General Studies

A Crisis Leadership and Emergency Management certificate is also available fully online.

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Science: Strategic Leadership
  • Master of Science: Curriculum & Instruction
  • Master of Science: Secondary Education - Project SECOND
  • Master of Science: Project SELECT
  • Master of Education: Reading

Current BHSU can enroll in one-time online courses by accessing their WebAdvisor account. Outside students wishing to take an online course at BHSU can apply online with the Admissions department.

Financial aid is available to online students; applicants will be awarded the highest amount possible based on financial need and the funds available. The Financial Aid department can also assist students in finding outside sources of funding.

Contact Information

1200 University St
Spearfish,
SD 57799-9500
(800) 255-2478


Acclaim for online programs

  • #100 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Education Programs

Dakota Wesleyan University

7
Dakota Wesleyan University
Mitchell
N/A
$23,550

An Online Education at Dakota Wesleyan University

DWU offers online degree programs for adult learners wanting to further their educations and their careers with scheduling flexibility. Online semesters are made up of two 8-week class sessions. Using the TigerNet portal, students access important information like class schedules, required textbooks, course grades, transcripts, and more. The main platform for communication is email, and every student is expected to check their DWU account daily. The online classroom for distance students is known as the Virtual Campus.

Online Undergraduate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership
  • RN-Bachelor of Science Nursing Degree

Online Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Arts in Education

Online students receive financial aid by applying with the DWU Financial Aid office, and may earn grants, scholarships or loans to help fund their education. DWU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, as well as the South Dakota Department of Education, the South Dakota Board of Nursing, and the National League for Nursing.

Contact Information

1200 W University Ave
Mitchell,
SD 57301-4398
(605) 995-2600



Scholarships and Financial Aid in South Dakota

Buzz Bonus

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $1,000 See Scholarship

The BUZZ Bonus scholarship is available to freshmen entering Black Hills State University. To be eligible, students must have an ACT score of 21 or higher, and rank within the top 33% of their graduating high school class. The maximum award amount is $1,000 per year for 4 years.

Dean’s Scholarship

Deadline: January 16, 2016
Scholarship Amount $2,000 See Scholarship

The Dean’s Scholarship is available to academically talented freshmen entering Augustana College. Participation in a scholarship competition is required. Candidates are selected based on GPA, ACT/SAT scores, and community engagement or leadership activities. This program is by invitation only. The maximum award is $2,000 per year for 4 years.

Hatterscheidt Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $1,500 See Scholarship

Open to freshmen entering Northern State University with a GPA of 3.0+. To be eligible, students must be high school seniors graduating from a South Dakota high school. Application materials include high school transcript, autobiography, three letters of recommendation, and a demonstration of financial need via the FAFSA. Award is $1,500.

Northern Wolf PACT Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $12,000 See Scholarship

The WolfPACT scholarship program is available to freshmen entering Northern State University. The award amounts vary based on academic performance. Students with an ACT score of 30 or higher qualify for the maximum award of $12,000.

Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $1,500 See Scholarship

The Phi Theta Kappa scholarship is open to transfer students entering the University of Sioux Falls. Applicants must have earned their associates degree; belong to the Phi Theta Kappa honor society; and be entering the university as juniors or seniors. The award is $3,000.

Presidential Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $16,500 See Scholarship

The Presidential Scholarship is open to students entering Augustana College. The recipients are selected based on academic performance. A GPA of 3.5+ and an ACT score of 27+ are required. The maximum award is $16,500 per year; the award may be renewed annually.

Presidential Scholarship from Dakota Wesleyan University

Deadline: rolling
Scholarship Amount Amount varies See Scholarship

Dakota Wesleyan University offers the Presidential Scholarship to incoming freshmen with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and ACT score of 21 (SAT 980). Freshmen are automatically considered for this scholarship when accepted to the university. Selection is competitive. The maximum award is $13,000 per year for 4 years.

Randall Scholarship

Deadline: rolling
Scholarship Amount $20,000 See Scholarship

This competitive scholarship is available to incoming freshmen at Dakota Wesleyan University. Recipients are chosen on the basis of strong academics and demonstrated talent for leadership and service. Applicants must have a minimum 3.5 GPA and 24 ACT (or 1090 SAT). A leadership resume and a personal interview is required.

Transfer Academic Scholarship

Deadline: na
Scholarship Amount $10,000 See Scholarship

Several Transfer Academic Scholarships are available to incoming students at the University of Sioux Falls. Applicants must have 12 transferable credits or more. The Level 1 scholarship totals $40,000, and is open to students with a GPA of 3.5+. The Level 2 scholarship totals $32,000, and is open to students with a GPA of 3.0 to 3.4.

Trustee Scholarship

Deadline: rolling
Scholarship Amount $13,750 See Scholarship

Dakota Wesleyan University provides this scholarship to incoming freshmen with a minimum GPA of 3.5 and ACT score of 24 (SAT 1090). Freshmen are automatically considered for this scholarship when accepted to the university. Selection is competitive. The maximum award is $13,750 per year for 4 years.


Higher Education Resources in South Dakota