University of South Dakota (USD) Vermillion, USA

University of South Dakota: Rankings, Courses, Admissions, Fees, and Scholarships

A premier research institute, the University of South Dakota is the state’s flagship university and its oldest public university. It is situated on a 274-acre plot in southeastern South Dakota, north of the Missouri River.

It comprises South Dakota’s medical and law schools and is home to the National Music Museum. Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, USD is a top choice for international students looking to study in the USA.

The overall number of students enrolled at the University of South Dakota is 9,464, with 6,987 undergraduate and 1,980 graduate students. Diverse representation from 290 international students makes up 2.9 percent of the student body.

Although rooted in tradition, the university has adopted a dynamic approach to education. It equips graduates with flexible skills required to navigate an increasingly complex world. As of now, USD offers 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs that are bound to spark your curiosity. Nursing, Business, Health Sciences, Psychology, Accounting, and Media & Journalism are popular course choices among international students. 

University Type Public
Year of Establishment 1862
Total Enrollment 9,464
International Student Percentage 2.9%
Student-Faculty Ratio 15:1
Application Deadline for International Students Rolling
Acceptance Rate 91%
Number of Academic Faculties 7
Scholarships for International Students Available

Why study at the University of South Dakota?

  • The 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio ensures each query is attended to. Emphasis is laid on teaching that is robust, experiential, and practical.
  • Students are given work opportunities to supplement their financial aid. The university strives to minimize financial barriers and offer a holistic learning experience.
  • The main campus in Vermillion offers the full student experience with conventional curriculum options. The Sioux Falls campus provides tailored courses and professional pathways. 
  • 431 faculty members, 75% of which hold a doctorate or a terminal degree in their respective fields of study. 
  • Diverse student body that explores intercontinental perspectives and empowers students to gain an insight into different cultures. 
  • Global network of 70,000 alumni that all vouch for the education imparted by USD. 

Why study at University of South Dakota as an international student?

Accreditation and rankings of the University of South Dakota

The University of South Dakota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). HLC ensures assurance review, quality initiative, and comprehensive evaluation. 

  • USD is ranked #239 in the category of Best National universities by the US News & World Report for the year 2022.
  • Distinguished as one of Forbes’ ‘America’s Best Colleges’ for five consecutive years. 
  • Recognized as one of the Princeton Review’s ‘387 Best Colleges’ for 22 consecutive years. 
  • One of the US’s top 300 universities by QS rankings, 2021.

Programs and courses offered at the University of South Dakota

Although it is a regionally acclaimed and nationally recognized liberal arts university, the University of South Dakota has the state’s only law and medical schools. As of 2019, USD has seven Colleges and schools offering undergraduate and graduate programs within the following schools:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Beacom School of Business
  • School of Education
  • College of Fine Arts
  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Law
  • School of Medicine

Undergraduate programs 

Students can take their pick from a varied array of 202 UG programs. Popular course choices by international students include

  • Business and Accounting
  • Technology 
  • Science
  • Graphic and Web Design 

Postgraduate programs 

USD offers the largest selection of graduate programs in the state. Top picks include 

  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Media and Communication 
  • Finance
  • Education and Leadership

Campus and accommodation 

The University of South Dakota has two beautiful campuses to its name. Vermillion is USD’s first and main location while the Sioux Falls address was established later. Although Vermillion itself is an idyllic town that consists of a small community, the campus is nothing short of massive. It occupies an expanse of 274 acres and houses state-of-the-art facilities, nestled along the Missouri river. 

Students with an aptitude for the arts would be delighted to know that the Old Main is one of four USD properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This distinguished building is home to the renowned Farber Hall and the Oscar Howe Gallery. The Shakespeare Garden is another stunning spot on campus containing each piece of verdure mentioned in William Shakespeare’s works, alongside a bust of The Bard himself. 

With NCAA Division I athletic teams on campus, the DakotaDome is the home of Coyote football, soccer, track, and swimming. USD is known for giving its students countless opportunities to learn and grow. Residence halls consist of the Beede and Mickelson Halls, Richardson and Olson Halls, Brookman Hall, and McFadden Hall. The newest addition to this list is the Coyote Village. It is a 175-unit offering luxury amenities. Lodge in suite-style rooms and apartments are available with as much as a 546 occupant capacity. Students of USD also get access to facilities such as a convenience store and a 15-seat HD movie theater.

Admission process for international students 

The Gallagher International Center oversees the university’s international affairs. For those seeking admission to this prestigious university, the first step is to fill out the application form via Gyanberry application services.

Admission Deadlines

USD follows a 2-semester system. As of now, applications are being accepted for the spring semester of 2023. 

  • Application submission deadline for spring semester: 15 November – applications to begin study in spring semester* 

*All required materials must be submitted two weeks before the deadline to allow for adequate review time.

Eligibility criteria for international students 

If you are interested in applying to USD, you will be expected to furnish

  • An official high school transcript with a grade point average above 2.6 on a 4.0 scale.
  • TOEFL iBT score of 71 or higher. 
  • TOEFL Paper test score of 530 or higher.
  • IELTS score of 6 or higher.
  • Duolingo’s English test score of 100 or higher.
  • A recommendation letter
  • A detailed resume, and 
  • A Statement of purpose

Following timely submission, your completed application and transcripts will be reviewed. If you meet the admissions requirements, you will be notified via email on your registered email and will also receive a personalized acceptance letter.

For more information on course-specific eligibility and a smooth application process, get in touch with Gyanberry.

Tuition, fees, and the annual cost of attendance 

The University of South Dakota offers world-class education at an incredible value. Take a look at the detailed table given below to calculate the cost of attendance for both undergraduate and graduate programs. 

Categories Undergraduate Graduate
Tuition & Fees $12,942/ AED 47,537 $12,768/ AED 46,898
Living Expenses $8,212/ AED 30,163 $10,000/ AED 36,730
Other (books, insurance, etc.) $2,000/ AED 7,346 $2,000/ AED 7,346
Total $23,154/ AED 85,045 $24,768/ AED 90,074

*Note: Costs are converted at the rate of 1 USD=3.67 AED. The exchange rate is subject to periodic change.

Thus, the annual cost of attendance for an international student at USD ranges between 23,154 USD or AED 85,045 and 24,768 USD or AED 90,074. 

Scholarships for international students

USD allows all its prospective students to avail scholarships using the online academic scholarship application. The purpose of these is to appreciate academic excellence, encourage advancements in a particular field of study, or honor extraordinary talent in extracurricular activities. 

For international students, scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit and several other parameters. The categories are

  • Freshman scholarships
  • Transfer scholarships

Priority deadline-November 15

Final deadline for submitting the application-December 1.

Freshman Scholarship

All first-time freshmen applicants to USD automatically get considered for a $3,500 per year scholarship under the Coyote Commitment policy. To avail of this, students must submit a detailed admissions application with all necessary supporting documentation and an official SAT or ACT result. 

There is no need to submit a separate scholarship application; all complete applications accompanied by test scores will be considered. The scholarship is renewable for four years if students remain enrolled full-time and maintain a minimum grade point average.          

Transfer Student Scholarship

Scholarships may be awarded to eligible transfer students with a minimum 3.0 GPA or transfer students from two-year colleges. These students must have earned membership into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and should intend to pursue their first baccalaureate degree at the University of South Dakota. 

Students are eligible to apply when they initially transfer to the University of South Dakota. The monetary award ranges up to a $2,000 (up to $1,000 per year) award, renewable for two years.

Career prospects, placements, and salaries for USD graduates

The University of South Dakota offers a robust career services network called Coyote Careers. Through this job search portal, you can find

  • full-time jobs, 
  • internships, 
  • part-time or work-study positions are offered on-campus or around the Vermillion area.

After graduation, an international student must find a job within 90 days to get a post-study work visa (F1 Visa). This Visa is valid for 12 months and is extendable by 24 months for STEM students. Beyond this period, the type of visa varies depending upon the nature and stream of work. The median starting salary for alumni with three years of post-graduation work experience and a bachelor’s degree is USD 45,500. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The University of South Dakota is well-known for its comprehensive research strategy and investment policies. International students can participate in research programs rights from their first or second year at USD. They are eligible to earn mini-grants, present at national conferences, and go on research expeditions.

The University of South Dakota offers a diverse platter of various undergraduate programs and graduate courses. However, top picks for international students include courses like psychology, criminal justice, journalism, sports management, and business

No, only US residents are eligible to study medicine at USD.

All first-time freshmen applicants to USD are automatically considered for a $3,500 per year scholarship. Students must submit a detailed admissions application that includes all necessary supporting documentation and an official SAT or ACT result.  No separate applications need to be filled.

The scholarship is renewable for four years if students remain enrolled full-time and maintain the required grade point average.