Higher Education Overview
In addition to being the home of Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota is also home to almost two dozen colleges and universities throughout the state. There are six public universities that are governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents. In addition, there are a handful of private universities and for-profit colleges that are located within the state. There is only one law school and one medical school in South Dakota, both of which are operated by the University of South Dakota.
The largest public university in the state is South Dakota State University, which is located in Brookings. This university is both a land-grant and sun-grant institution, and it was founded in 1881. The school has many different academic programs available to students, but some of its most prominent programs include agriculture, nursing, engineering and pharmacy. In addition to these popular programs with high academic standards, there are more than 175 other academic programs available at the university. Some famous alumni who graduated from this institution of higher learning include inventor Stephen Foster Briggs, who went on to create the Briggs & Stratton engine, as well as Gene Amdahl, who was the architect who designed the IBM 360. Several professional athletes have graduated from the school, as well as a few notable American artists.
Another notable public university within South Dakota is the University of South Dakota. The University of South Dakota is the oldest public university in the state, and was founded in 1862. It is located in Vermillion, South Dakota. The university, in addition to operating the only medical school and law school in the state, is also known for its business programs. It offers more than 130 undergraduate degree programs, and more than 60 graduate degree programs. Many of the governors of South Dakota graduated from this school, and the university has also produced a number of professional athletes.
The largest private university in South Dakota is Augustana College. The main Augustana campus is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the school was founded in 1860. This private university has long been affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and historically it was a college designed to educate teachers. However, today Augustan provides many different academic programs for its students, including nursing, business education and psychology. It still remains a strong educational college today, with many students opting to study its elementary education program.