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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 is committed to an environment of inclusiveness in classroom and clinical settings that honors the richness of diverse perspectives and interprofessional practice through valuing diverse traditions, heritages and experiences.

Our Shared Values

We embrace excellence among all of our 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:


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: Incorporating the needs and viewpoints of diverse communities and creating an environment that feels welcoming to everyone, where each individual feels they are 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 2020

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. 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. 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.

We are home to 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 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 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.

We are committed to a global outlook and welcome 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. We are 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 2020 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.