This is the 24th straight year that USD is featured in the magazine’s annual college guidebook, “America’s Best Colleges 2015.” USD is among the top 168 institutions ranked in the National Universities category – the highest ranking of any South Dakota institution and up more than 20 places from 2014. Schools in the National Universities classification offer a full range of undergraduate majors, master’s and doctoral programs as well as place a strong emphasis on research.

“It’s a significant honor to be included in these rankings 24 consecutive years as it speaks volumes about our programs and people that make the University of South Dakota one of America’s best national universities,” said James W. Abbott, USD President.

The National Universities rankings include 280 institutions (173 public, 100 private and seven for-profits), based on categories developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USD is ranked alongside West Virginia University, the University of North Dakota, University of Hawaii-Manoa, and ahead of the University of Maine, Ball State University, the University of Houston, Western Michigan University and the University of New Mexico. These universities are defined by the Carnegie Foundation as having high levels of campus research activity along with other criteria that include 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 annual guidebook has grown to be the most comprehensive research tool for students and parents considering higher education opportunities. This year, 1,596 colleges and universities were surveyed for “Best Colleges 2015,” highlighting institutions with outstanding academic programs, study abroad opportunities, successful internship programs and service-learning curriculum. These exclusive rankings are available in the guidebook, available on newsstands today, or online at

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