The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine is nationally known for excellence in medical education. With its award-winning curriculum, the school prepares medical students to practice in all fields of medicine and is particularly recognized for its reputation in family medicine and in rural medicine. In addition to the M.D., the school of medicine offers graduate degrees in basic biomedical science, sustains a vibrant and forward-looking research agenda, and is home to the interdisciplinary Center for Brain and Behavioral Research.

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Vision Statement

The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine will be a leader in educating students who with knowledge, skill, and compassion dedicate their lives to the well-being of their patients, their community, and their profession.

Mission Statement

The Mission of the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine is to provide the opportunity for South Dakota residents to receive a quality, broad-based medical education with an emphasis on family medicine.  The curriculum is to be established to encourage graduates to serve people living in the medically underserved areas of South Dakota, and is to require excellence in the basic sciences and in all clinical disciplines;
The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine is to provide to its students and to the people of South Dakota excellence in education, research and service.  To these ends, the School is to provide educational pathways leading to both the Doctor of Medicine and the Doctor of Philosophy Degrees; and Quality health care for the people of South Dakota is addressed by undergraduate, graduate and continuing educational programs as well as by basic and applied medical research.  The School of Medicine should serve as a technical resource in the development of health care policy in the state and provide extension and research initiatives to improve the health care of the citizens of the state.

Diversity Statement

The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine values diversity and its essential role in achieving the educational, scholarship, and service missions of the school.  Therefore, the medical school is committed to both recruitment and retention of students, residents, faculty, and staff who through their diversity enrich the learning environment and promote inclusive excellence.  We recognize diversity as relating to sex, race, color, creed, rural background, socioeconomic status, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, gender identification, transgender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, genetic information and veteran status. In addition, we value persons with broad life experiences, with records of service to disadvantaged populations, and with other attributes that may enhance the learning community. The medical school has chosen three areas of emphasis on diversity to enrich the learning environment and promote inclusive excellence: American Indians, rural, and gender.

Our Name

  • We became the Sanford School of Medicine in 2006 after philanthropist T. Denny Sanford pledged $20 million to our school.
  • We remain an entity of USD but closely collaborate with Sanford Health as well as the rest of our partners – Avera Health, Regional Health and the Veterans Administration.
  • We use the Sanford gift to enhance faculty, training programs and development.