Students sitting in the Muenster University Center together.


USD awards nearly $9.5 million in scholarships each year. See what scholarships you may be eligible for and how to apply.

Scholarships are a form of gift aid that does not need to be repaid. Scholarships are considered part of your financial aid package, and they may replace some or all of your financial aid eligibility.

Scholarships may be awarded for academic excellence, to recognize and encourage development in a particular field of study or for extraordinary artistic or athletic talent. The aid may be provided by the University, the USD Foundation, generous private donors or other sources. All USD scholarships and awards are subject to the university's Scholarship & Award Policy.

All Prospective Students

All prospective students may apply for scholarships using the online academic scholarship application. The academic scholarship application is generally available in the fall of each year with a priority deadline of November 15, and the final deadline for submitting the application is December 1.

By submitting the online scholarship application, you are automatically considered for all academic scholarships that match your qualifications. 

As a reminder, you must first apply for admission and be accepted to USD before you can apply for scholarships.

Apply for Scholarships

Additional Scholarship Details & Opportunities

Explore the scholarship details below for information about scholarships you may be eligible for.

Talent Scholarships

Talent scholarships are awarded to students by academic departments based on a separate application and supplemental materials (auditions for theatre and music and a portfolio for art).

Outside Scholarships

There are many outside scholarships you can consider as you make a plan to pay for your education. Here are a few additional scholarship opportunities available through federal, state and other sources.

The South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship provides up to $6,500 over four years to a qualifying student who attends an eligible higher education institution in South Dakota.

Learn More and Apply

The South Dakota Freedom Scholarship is available to a limited number of South Dakota resident students with unmet financial need. Recipients of the scholarship must commit in writing to live and work in South Dakota for three years after graduation. Visit the South Dakota Freedom Scholarship website for a full listing of eligibility requirements.

Learn More

Deadline: March 1 for freshmen

This scholarship is awarded to graduates of Stickney, Plankinton or White Lake high schools. This year's application deadline has passed; the scholarship application for next year will be available at a later date.

(25 awards at $10,000 each)

Application Dates: August 1 through October 25 and January 15 through March 15

The Horatio Alger Denny Sanford Scholarship provides a $10,000 scholarship to be disbursed throughout a student’s collegiate career. Like all Horatio Alger Scholarships, the Horatio Alger Denny Sanford scholarship assists high school students who have faced great obstacles in their young lives to overcome their adversities, attend a post-secondary institution and achieve success.

To be eligible for the Horatio Alger Denny Sanford Scholarship a student must meet the following criteria:

  • Be committed to complete a bachelor’s degree at University of South Dakota
  • Be a current high school senior with plans to enroll in college Fall 2021
  • Demonstrate critical financial need ($55,000 or less family income required)
  • Be involved in community service activities
  • Display integrity and perseverance in overcoming adversity
  • Maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5
  • Be a United States citizen


Listed here are over 40 different scholarship opportunities available for graduate students at University of South Dakota. For more details, including deadlines, click the links below.

AACAP Jeanne Spurlock Research Fellowship in Substance Abuse and Addiction for Minority Medical Students Substance abuse Minority students
AAR American Academy in Rome Fellowships Arts, music, humanities, etc. General
AAUW American Association of University Women Educational Funding and Awards General Women
ACLS American Council of Learned Societies Fellowships Arts, humanities, social science, etc. General
AERA American Educational Research Association Fellowships Education (policy) General
AHA American Heart Association Fellowships Biomedical science (cardiovascular/stroke) General
ALA American Lung Association Fellowships Biomedical science, social/behavioral science (lung disease) General
American Philosophical Society John Hope Franklin Dissertation Fellowship General Minority students; doctoral students
APHL Association of Public Health Laboratories Fellowships Health (public health) General
APSA American Political Science Association Graduate Fellowships for Minority Students Political science Minority students; doctoral students
ARCE American Research Center in Egypt Fellowships Humanities, social science (relevant to Egypt) General
BosterBio Scholarships Boster Bio Young Scientists Scholarship Biology/Biomedical science General
DAAD Germany Academic Exchange Service for Study in Germany Arts, music, humanities, STEM, etc. General
Dept. of Commerce Graduate Student Measurement Science and Engineering Fellowship Program STEM Doctoral students
Dept. of Defense National Defense Education Program’s SMART Scholarship STEM General
Dept. of Defense National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship STEM General
Dept. of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (CSGF) Program Computer science General
Dept. of Energy Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program STEM Doctoral students
Dept. of Health and Human Services AHRQ Grants for Health Services Research Dissertation Program (R36) Health (policy/delivery) Doctoral students
Dept. of Health and Human Services Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program (CDC) Health Minority students
Dept. of Health and Human Services NIH/NIDA Drug Abuse Dissertation Research (R36) Health (substance abuse) Doctoral students
Dept. of Justice NIJ Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) STEM; social science; psychology Doctoral students
Dumbarton Oaks Dumbarton Oaks Short-Term Pre-Doctoral Residencies Humanities (relevant to Dumbarton focus areas) Doctoral students
Environmental Protection Agency STAR Fellowship STEM (environmental-related) General
Ford Foundation Ford Foundation Fellowships General General; somewhat minority focused
Foundation for Physical Therapy Foundation for Physical Therapy Fellowships Physical therapy General
GEM National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science STEM General
Google Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Computer science Women
ICDD Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarships Chemistry General
James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation James Madison Memorial Fellowship Political science (secondary teaching) General
JSPS Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship Program STEM Doctoral students
Learn How to Become Women's Scholarship Search Women General
Mellon Foundation Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) Humanities, social science Doctoral students
Microsoft Microsoft Fellowships Computer science Minority students
NAADAC Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counselors (NITT-MFP-AC) Addiction Studies General
NAADAC William White Scholarship Award Addiction Studies General
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine NRC Research Associateship Programs STEM Doctoral students
NASW Consuelo W. Gosnell Memorial MSW Scholarship Social Work Minority students
NASW Verne LaMarr Lyons Memorial MSW Scholarship Social Work Minority students
National Aeronautics and Space Administration Education Aeronautics Scholarship and Advanced STEM Training and Research (AS&ASTAR) Fellowship Activity STEM General
National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship (NSTRF) STEM General
National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants in the Directorate for Biological Sciences (DDIG) Biology Doctoral students
National Science Foundation East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes (EAPSI) STEM General
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) STEM General
NPSC National Physical Science Consortium Graduate Fellowships in the Physical Sciences STEM General; somewhat minority focused
NSEP David L. Boren Graduate Fellowship Political science, etc. (must be related to national security) General
ORNL Oak Ridge National Laboratory Higher Education Research Experiences STEM General
Paul and Daisy Soros Foundation Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans General New Americans
Rizio Lipinsky Law Scholarship Rizio Lipinsky Lawyer Scholarship Fund Law Future or Current Law students
Smithsonian Smithsonian Fellowships General (esp. arts) General
Spencer Foundation Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship Program Education Doctoral students
Thermo Fisher Thermo Fisher Scientific Antibody Scholarship Program Biomedical science, biology General
U.S. Agency for International Development Donald M. Payne International Development Fellowship Program Public health, political science, etc. Master's students
The Washington Center Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship IT-related degree General
WWNFF Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Humanities, social science General