USD Builds on Enrollment Growth, Shatters International Enrollment Expectations
This fall, USD welcomed its largest main campus incoming class since 2018. The university also saw a 7% increase in first-time, full-time students from South Dakota and a 22% increase from Nebraska, said Scott Pohlson, vice president for enrollment, marketing and student services.
USD’s continued enrollment success in first-time, full-time students not only provides new opportunities for the university, but it also provided some unique challenges as it reached near-capacity in university housing, Pohlson said.
“Growth continues to be part of our plans at USD. However, it also creates some unique challenges for us to address, particularly with housing,” Pohlson said. “This spring, we gave out a record number of housing exemptions to returning students due to the growth in new students. We continue to explore innovative ways with community leaders and private developers to expand our on- and off-campus housing options for future students.”
The university also saw noteworthy program increases in key areas, including an 18% increase in pre-nursing, 31% increase in pre-dental hygiene, and 31% increase in enrollment for the Ph.D. in health sciences. The Knudson School of Law also achieved a significant milestone, welcoming its largest incoming class in over a decade.
Enrollment at USD – Sioux Falls is growing with a 4.4% increase in total enrollment, with strong enrollments in both pre-business and pre-nursing programs, Pohlson said. This puts the university’s Sioux Falls campus on target with the five-year enrollment plan presented to the South Dakota Board of Regents and the state legislature.
International enrollment extended its streak of record-breaking years for the third consecutive time, enrolling 606 total international students. That is by far the largest number in university history and more than double the number of international students enrolled in 2021.
Much of this growth can be attributed to USD’s phenomenal success in its computer science department. This year, the university saw a 20% increase in new graduate computer science students over last year. There was also an 18% increase in the computer science department’s artificial intelligence program. This success speaks to the strong reputation of USD's artificial intelligence (AI) program, both nationally and internationally, said USD President Sheila K. Gestring.
“I’m incredibly proud of the vibrant global community we have cultivated at USD, and we are glad to provide a welcoming home to so many students from across the world,” Gestring added. “Adding global perspectives to our campus not only benefits our students, but it is an asset to our state’s businesses, international trade and enhancing innovation and competitiveness when these students graduate.”