The School of Health Sciences is committed to academic excellence. We provide low student to faculty ratios and real-world settings beyond the classroom that lead to student success. This is proven as our students routinely exceed the national average on their board certification exams.

Our Vision

To be a nationally-recognized leader in interprofessional health sciences’ education.

Our Mission

The School of Health Sciences develops scholars, practitioners, and leaders in health and human services, meeting the workforce needs of South Dakota, the region and beyond.

Our Diversity Statement

The University of South Dakota, School of Health Sciences values diversity and its essential role in achieving the educational, scholarship, and service missions of the school. Therefore, the School is committed to both recruitment and retention of students, residents, faculty, and staff who enrich the learning environment and promote inclusive excellence. We recognize diversity as relating to race, ethnicity, creed, rural background, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, and ability. In addition, we value persons with broad life experiences, records of service to disadvantaged populations, and other attributes that may enhance the learning community.  

Our Shared Values

The School of Health Sciences embraces excellence among all of its programs. All programs uphold the following descriptors of Excellence – distinct, preeminent, high standards, high quality, innovative and exceptional.

To that end, the following are shared values within the School of Health Sciences at The University of South Dakota:


Rigor - curricula that demand a concerted and sustained effort to meet high standards, including systematic, critical reasoning in a scholarly fashion.

Interprofessional Education - professional exchange between programs emphasizing a team approach, ensuring collaboration, respectful communication and client safety.

Relationships - state of being interrelated in a professional, collaborative, respectful and personal manner

Innovation - the act of introducing something new that is creative, technologically advanced, supporting new ideas, cutting edge

Inclusivity - the state of all-embracing that is culturally attune, and which incorporates the needs and viewpoints of diverse communities to create an environment that feels welcoming to everyone, and where each individual feels he/she is valued


Professionalism - conduct adhering to core values of a profession, characterized by ethical integrity, skill, competence, life-long learning, and respectful communication

Service - contribution to the welfare of others through civic and professional engagement, especially serving the underserved

Evidence - an outward sign of scholarly practice and application, emphasizing research and best practices

Leadership - demonstrating positive influence on others, as an advocate, change agent and role model

Relationship-Centered - stresses the importance of partnerships and how professionals relate to each other and their community; consideration of a person’s individuality and perspective, while being responsive to the needs of both the individual and his/her family; shared decision- making

School of Health Sciences in 2018

The School of Health Sciences (SHS) serves as the region’s premier, comprehensive school of health and human service professions, preparing students for interprofessional, collaborative practice that meets the workforce needs of the region, and innovatively moves health and human services forward. The SHS students prepare for the future’s challenges by completing rigorous curricula firmly grounded in high quality interprofessional education (IPE) that fosters whole body wellness utilizing an inclusive health care team. The SHS faculty members develop and implement activities across professions by contributing to four collaborating domains - curricular, community service, scholarship, and health care simulation - each of which captures an IPE component. The SHS students exhibit professional, community-focused and client-centered behavior and become alumni who are leaders, mentors, practitioners, and change agents.

The SHS is home to an exceptionally accomplished, professional faculty who provide a wide range of health and human service programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Professors are engaged educators; they participate individually and collaboratively in research and creative scholarship to generate new knowledge and enhance teaching and learning. Their commitment to service addresses the health needs of the public.

The SHS student experience is supportive, affirming, and technologically rich with personal mentoring by other students, faculty, and staff. Students embrace the virtues of professionalism and value the interprofessional experiences and opportunities. Students engage in a myriad of scholarship and community service activities providing care to those in need, especially serving rural, medically- underserved, and diverse populations.

The SHS is committed to a global outlook and welcomes people from all backgrounds, embodying the value of inclusivity in its curricula, programs, policies, and facilities. The SHS appeals to students, faculty, and staff with a range of experiences, heritages, and cultures. The SHS is committed to partnering with Native American communities fostering education, service, and research. Rich collaborations with health and human service systems, and civic and business partners at the local, regional, national, and international levels facilitate research and enhance students’ educational opportunities.

The USD School of Health Sciences in 2018 has the distinction of being the premier School of Health Sciences promoting innovative, interprofessional education for professionals who will be serving the health needs of the public, especially those in rural, medically-underserved, and health care shortage areas.