Photo of USD Campus

About USD

USD’s 440 faculty members serve 10,260 students from across America and 50 foreign nations. The main campus in Vermillion houses more than 4,000 students with access to more than 130 student organizations and 18 NCAA Division I sports.

USD also offers extensive online education and serves students at multi-institutional learning centers and off-campus locations in Rapid City, Yankton, Sioux Falls and Pierre.

USD is designated as a “Doctoral University, Higher Research Activity,” by the Carnegie Classification. The university awards graduate degrees through 19 Ph.D. and 38 master’s programs, along with professional degrees in medicine and law. Annual research expenditures are trending upwards of $30 million with $28 million in grants and awards in FY17.

USD contributes an estimated $786 million in economic impact to South Dakota each year from a state investment of $56.6 million. USD students inject $56 million into the state economy through daily living expenses, over and above tuition and fees. USD aligns its programs, research and infrastructure with its mission to contribute to the state’s economic future and enhance citizen participation and public service.

Sanford School of Medicine

USD’s Sanford School of Medicine (SSOM) is ranked No. 1 in the nation for rural practice, producing many of the doctors who serve South Dakota communities. SSOM was recently named the top medical school in the nation for community service, honoring the school’s outreach to small towns across the state. The medical school piloted an innovative curriculum based on three pillars that combine a strong foundation in biomedical sciences with early hands-on clinical experience. Medical students can apply for a rural practice track that provides nine months of clinical training in rural communities across South Dakota including Milbank, Mobridge, Parkston, Winner, Pierre, Spearfish and Vermillion.

The South Dakota Legislature currently caps the medical school first-year class at 71 students. South Dakota residents and those with strong ties to South Dakota are preferred, although the school receives more than 700 applications for each class. Since its founding in 1907, the SSOM claims 3,758 alumni.

School of Law

USD’s School of Law has produced many of the lawyers and public servants for the state of South Dakota, including seven governors over the past 80 years, Members of Congress, and all but two justices of the state Supreme Court over the past 70 years. Established in 1901, the School of Law offers a rural practice initiative that pays law tuition for students who agree to work in small towns. For the seventh consecutive year, the USD School of Law has been rated a best value law school by National Jurist magazine, averaging the lowest student debt of all ranked schools. More than 90 percent of USD law students are employed within nine months of graduation.

Across the university, small class size and highly-qualified instructors combine to offer USD students a maximum of personal attention and inspiration. Opportunities abound for students to build their non-academic transcripts through leadership in student groups and a wide variety of service opportunities.