College of Arts & Sciences

You are here:

Welcome from the Dean

Welcome to the College of Arts & Sciences. We are the intellectual foundation of USD, offering our undergraduates a top-notch liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. 

For more than 125 years, we have taught leaders of our state and nation. Arts & Sciences alumni include NBC News Anchor Tom Brokaw, USA Today founder Al Neuharth, Hollywood screenwriter Dorothy Cooper Foote, acclaimed novelist Pete Dexter, Pfizer Pharmaceutical Vice-President Lori Kumar, Physics Nobel Prize winner Ernest Lawrence, and the father of nuclear medicine, John Lawrence. Arts & Sciences graduates have been named Rhodes, Fulbright, Truman, Udall, Gilman, Boren, and Rotary Ambassadorial scholars. Our alumni include many South Dakota governors and members of Congress; top executives at General Mills, Raven Industries, Hallmark, and Lawrence & Schiller; leading physicians, attorneys, and justices of the state Supreme Court; prominent university faculty; presidents of tribal colleges; and, international humanitarians and civil servants.  

Our proudest accomplishment is our more than 20,000 alumni around the world.  

Arts & Sciences is also a center of discovery, with faculty doing cutting-edge science in river and plains ecology, language and hearing disorders, deep underground physics, and materials chemistry. One of our earth scientists discovered the oldest human remains ever found in Alaska. Social science and humanities faculty have written extensively about western and military history, interest groups and legislatures, and decision-making and alcohol addiction. Poets, writers, linguists, and language teachers simultaneously open up the world of people and ideas.  

One of our most distinctive features is how we blend a liberal arts education with our designation by the Carnegie Foundation as a Research University. Our students receive the personal attention that comes in small class sizes, while studying in an environment dedicated to the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge.  

Within Arts & Sciences, students are able to study everything from anthropology to zoology, from Latin to light-activated materials, from comparative religion to journalism. Students can also take our newest programmatic offering – an undergraduate major in sustainability.   Please join us as we blend the best of the past with a steady focus on the future.    

Matthew C. Moen, Ph.D.