Sustainability students conducting field research.

Liberal Arts Education

Designated as South Dakota's liberal arts university, USD has a legacy of providing an enriching and well-rounded education for our students – preparing them to be adaptable leaders and lifelong learners. 

Thinkers, learners, leaders.

At the heart of a liberal arts education is a commitment to developing well-rounded, lifelong learners. The liberal arts encompasses majors in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences – but the influence of the USD liberal arts education reaches every academic program we offer. 

Business students can receive training in ethics. Nursing students have the opportunity to study communication. Elementary education students earn an endorsement in technology. Our programs go beyond a single field of study, uniquely preparing our graduates to stand out and bring a wealth of transferable skills and perspectives to their careers.

USD students graduate with more than a degree; they leave with an interdisciplinary foundation rooted in curiosity, creativity and leadership that serves them throughout their lives.



A student in a shirt and tie delivering a presentation.

Achieving the Skills Employers Want

Employers are looking for effective communicators, thinkers and problem-solvers. A liberal arts education from USD prepares students to become leaders who are equipped with a wide range of transferable skills – from leadership and communication to research and strategy. Our graduates have the tools and experience they need to face challenges, ask thoughtful questions and create solutions.
A student conducting research in a lab.

Developing Lifelong Learners

At USD our programs cultivate curiosity and celebrate discovery, instilling a lifelong passion for learning in our students. Students graduate not only with the practical knowledge to succeed in their careers, but also with the foundation they need for a lifetime of learning and growing.
A student writing on a board.

Opening Up Career Opportunities

With the strength of their liberal arts education, USD students are uniquely prepared for a wide range of careers beyond any single discipline. 

Graduates from the humanities have gone on to law school. Health sciences students are working in nonprofits. Fine arts alumni lead businesses as CEOs and entrepreneurs. USD graduates are ready for careers in their field, and they are also well positioned for countless other opportunities.

Student success story

Dustin Pratt smiling.
Having a strong foundation is critical as you enter your career. USD gave me the opportunity to have a well-rounded set of skills – both academic/technical skills as well as interactive/personal skills – of which to build upon.

Dustin Pratt

Avalon Capital Group

Take the Next Step