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U.S. News’ ‘Best National Universities’ list includes USD

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota ranks as one of the “Best National Universities,” according to U.S. News and World Report. In the magazine’s 350-page guidebook, “America’s Best Colleges 2012,” South Dakota ranks among the top 200 institutions in the First Tier as defined by U.S. News and World Report. This is the 21st consecutive year that the University of South Dakota has been featured in “America’s Best Colleges.”

“To achieve this recognition for more than two decades is an acknowledgment of our outstanding academic programs, quality research and significant alumni support,” said James W. Abbott, president of the University of South Dakota. “The entire university community is to be commended for this honor and the continued success of the University of South Dakota.”

The National Universities category consists of 280 institutions. USD is one of 172 public universities to be included while 101 private schools and seven for-profit universities are also recognized in either the First or Second Tier. “Best National Universities” criteria is based on several key credentials of higher education standards, including undergraduate academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance and alumni giving.

Since 1983, the U.S. News college rankings, which groups schools based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has grown to be the most comprehensive research tool for students and parents considering higher education opportunities. This year, more than 1,300 colleges and universities were surveyed for the “America’s Best Colleges 2012” edition, which spotlights schools with outstanding academic programs, study abroad opportunities, successful internship programs and service learning curriculum. These exclusive rankings are available in the guidebook, which is available on newsstands now or online at


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News