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USD Ranked Highest of South Dakota and North Dakota Public Universities

A drone shot of Old Main and East Hall. The sun is rising, peaking through Old Main USD was ranked the highest of all South Dakota and North Dakota universities in this year's U.S. News and World Report's "Best National Universities" list.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota was ranked the highest of all South Dakota and North Dakota universities in the latest U.S. News and World Report’s “Best National Universities” list.

In the “Best Colleges 2021” guidebook released Monday, USD ranked #249, jumping 14 spots from last year, in the National Universities category. This is the 29th consecutive year USD has been ranked as one of the “Best National Universities” by U.S. News and World Report.

USD also ranked the highest of South Dakota and North Dakota public universities in the “Top Public Schools” list, coming in at #121.

“It is an honor to be among the nation’s best universities in this year’s U.S. News and World Report listing,” said USD President Sheila K. Gestring. “This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff and the achievements of our students.”

U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges rankings compare bachelor’s degree-granting institutions from across the nation on 17 diverse measures of academic quality, such as student-faculty ratios, graduation and retention rates, financial resources, average ACT/SAT scores of admitted students and alumni giving. Schools in the National Universities category offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and Ph.D. programs. According to U.S. News and World Report, these colleges also are committed to producing groundbreaking research.


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 84 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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News