Honors Program

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It's Not What You Think!

The Honors Program at USD is not about courses that move faster and cover more material. It is about developing you into a person who is passionate about contributing to society and prepared for a rapidly changing world. It is about offering enriched educational opportunities for academically talented and highly motivated students. It is more than 40 years of experience delivering the best education a University has to offer:  engaging, stimulating and rewarding!

The Honors Advantage:
  • An emphasis on integrating and applying knowledge
  • A close supportive community of 350 exceptional students
  • Intellectual challenge
  • Innovative teaching methods
  • An alternative core curriculum
  • Small classes taught by the best professors on campus
  • Individualized academic advising
  • Enhanced seminars, research, internships and travel
  • Opportunities for leadership beginning in your first year
Meet Alayna



Alayna was uncertain about attending USD but ended up finding a lot to love, including the perfect mix of being challenged and having fun in the Honors Program.

"I was apprehensive about attending the University of South Dakota because I really thought I was not going to be challenged academically like I was at my private high school. However, the Honors Program gives me exactly what I was scared USD was lacking.

The small classroom size and curriculum challenges me academically and produces an academic excellence and caliber I am beyond blessed to receive. The ability to converse in a smaller setting with students who use analytical and developed reasoning, while at the same time discussing fun, educational topics like 'The Hobbit' or 'Vampires and Politics' give Honors students an irreplaceable four years of undergraduate education.

The Honors Program has prepared me for not only my future graduate education but my future career and endeavors. I know I will go into future classrooms with a leg up on students who did not have the experience I was given through the Honors Program."

The majority of honors graduates pursue graduate and professional training at some of the best institutions in the U.S. and the world. Over the past five years, Honors graduates have a 96 percent placement rate in graduate and professional programs.

We look forward to visiting with you. 


Scott Breuninger, Director
Susan Hackemer, Associate Director
Drew Espeseth, Program Coordinator



I AM...

Erik1-1 Erik Muckey, Senior
Hometown: Corsica, SD
Major: Economics
I AM a born and raised Coyote
I AM driven to serve
I AM an Honors student