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Best Online Colleges in South Dakota 2019
Top Consensus Ranked Schools for Distance Learning

Consensus Ranked STATES top online south dakota

Working adults who have full-time jobs find South Dakota online degree programs particularly beneficial. You can complete coursework around you working schedule, including on lunch hours, days off and when otherwise not working on the job. Online schools also make it more affordable to obtain additional education and qualify for job promotions and advancement. That adds up to more earnings for less money.

Many nontraditional students also find the more relaxed pace of online schools easier to complete when compared to campus classrooms and off-campus learning sites. Online schools give you the ability to discuss issues directly with your instructors via messaging, email and webcasts. If you, like many in South Dakota, live in a rural area, a South Dakota online school makes it easier to complete your classes. You do not fight the weather or run up gas bills commuting to and from classroom locations. You just log on, complete your assignments and coursework, and take all tests online.

Ranking the Best Online Colleges in South Dakota 

For the College Consensus ranking of the best online colleges in South Dakota, editors chose two main criteria. First, schools must be accredited and qualify for a Consensus Score – the combination of published rankings and student reviews that sets Consensus apart. And next, schools must offer at least 3 online programs for undergrads. If they meet all these requirements, they count among the best online colleges in South Dakota.

Schools are ranked in order of their Consensus Score.


Northern State University
Aberdeen, SD

northern state
College Consensus
Publisher Consensus
Student Consensus
Accessed October, 2019

Northern State University’s online degrees give students a range of options, with targeted courses to meet specific undergraduate and graduate degree requirements in Accounting, Bank & Financial Services, Business Administration, International Studies, Leadership & Administration, Marketing, Music Education, and Teaching. It’s the perfect way to “unleash your potential” in every aspect of your life and career. With first-class faculty members, the courses are innovative and thought-provoking, with opportunities for international study. Northern State University is ranked as one of the Best Online Colleges in South Dakota, with its motto: “Unleash your potential, join the pack.”

Northern State University is a top-ranked Regional University, that’s nationally recognized and student centered, with a focus on academic and global learning opportunities. Northern State University is a public institution that is the center point for a vibrant community.

Number of Online Programs


Dakota State University
Madison, SD

College Consensus
Publisher Consensus
Student Consensus
Accessed October, 2019

Dakota State University online offers the same high-quality education in areas of Business Administration, Computer Science, Education, Cyber Defense, Information Systems & Technology, Analytics, and Healthcare, to students regardless of whether it’s on-campus or virtual. The university was launched in 1881 as teacher-training program. DSU now includes a course management system, Desire2Learn, which supports ease-of-access to assignments, exams, and lecture notes. It’s one of the Best Online Colleges in South Dakota, with a reputation for innovation, global impact, and active engagement. The motto is “Embrace Innovation.”

With education as the primary focus, Dakota State University offers career services, diversity and inclusion, and international programs. Students are trained to become exceptional leaders. The job placement is very high, at more than 94%. Dakota State University is a top-ranked Regional University, as well as a Top Performer on Social Mobility and Top Public Schools. Dakota State University is an accredited public university, that’s continually recognized for quality and affordability.

Number of Online Programs


University of Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls, SD

usf campus in summer
College Consensus
Publisher Consensus
Student Consensus
Accessed October, 2019

University of Sioux Falls’s online programs feature graduate degree options in Management and Healthcare, Education, Technology, and Learning. The university also offers undergraduate programs in Accounting, Business, Health Administration, and Nursing. USF’s goal is to facilitate an atmosphere of academic excellence and stewardship, as one of the Best Online Colleges in South Dakota. The motto is: “Culture of Service.”

University of Sioux Falls is a top-ranked Christian university and also one of the Best Regional Universities, with a 99% placement rate for employment or professional studies. Located in the “Heart of America,” the university is at the middle of everywhere. USF’s online programs are designed for students driven to explore and discover new career opportunities in the fulfillment of their dreams. University of Sioux Falls is a private liberal arts institution, with a dedicated faulty and a focus on mentorship and service.

Number of Online Programs


University of South Dakota
Vermillion, SD

College Consensus
Publisher Consensus
Student Consensus
Accessed October, 2019

The University of South Dakota offers more than 50 online programs, with certificates, undergraduate and graduate options in Business Administration, Accounting, Healthcare, Criminal Justice, Mental Health, Public Administration, Education, Music, and Interdisciplinary Studies. As one of the Best Online Colleges in South Dakota, the USD is committed to becoming a leader in diversity and inclusiveness to prepare professionals for a successful career. The motto is “Veritas.” Translated: “Truth.”

The University of South Dakota is ranked as a Top National University, as well as a Top Performer on Social Mobility. USD ranks highest for Best Online Graduate Business Programs, Best Online Graduate Education Programs, and Best Value Law Schools. University of South Dakota is an accredited liberal arts university.

Number of Online Programs


South Dakota State University
Brookings, SD

College Consensus
Publisher Consensus
Student Consensus
Accessed October, 2019

South Dakota State University is ranked as one of America’s Top Colleges by Forbes, with online associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree options in Early Education, General Studies, Geography, Human Development, Interdisciplinary Studies, Medical Laboratory Science, Nursing, Psychology, and Sociology. The SDSU is one of the Best Online Colleges in South Dakota, with rigorous requirements, high-quality support services, affordability, and flexibility. The motto is “Embrace Innovation.”

The South Dakota State University is ranked as a Top National University, as well as a Top Performer on Social Mobility. The South Dakota State University is ranked as the Best Online Graduate Education & Nursing Programs, as well as the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. South Dakota State University is an accredited public, land-grant institution. SDSU is the state’s largest higher-education institution.

Number of Online Programs

What Kinds of Degrees Can I Earn Online in South Dakota?

Online degrees in South Dakota range from certification courses to associate’s, bachelor’s master’s and doctorate degrees. All schools are either regionally or nationally accredited, which affirms the educational quality you receive. South Dakota online degrees apply to virtually all fields and areas of study. That makes it possible to obtain professional educational training and qualifications for advancement in particular fields.

You also can progress incrementally, while completing your education in a more deliberate manner with online degree programs in South Dakota. Many students find that spreading out coursework over a longer period of time makes it easier to digest the information and do well on tests. That kind of educational flexibility also makes it easier to better tailor your studies to areas that truly will prove beneficial in your career endeavors.

25 Highest Paying Online Associates Degrees
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A good example is a South Dakota online MBA degree. The master’s in business administration degree is key to advancing in many corporations and other large entities. It also helps small business owners to better grasp advanced business principles, while continuing to run their own private enterprises. Unfortunately, the degree is very expensive when you complete it at a traditional classroom setting at a college or university. South Dakota online degrees are much more affordable. Plus, you get the added benefit of scheduling flexibility.

How Can I Save Money on an Online Degree in South Dakota?

South Dakota online school programs provide many financial benefits for students of all kinds. The most obvious is a much lower tuition rate than you would pay to attend a traditional course taught on a college campus. Because there are no classrooms to maintain or purchase, you do not pay those costs with your tuition. You also do not pay the kinds of fees and additional program costs typically billed at traditional colleges and universities.

Many community colleges in South Dakota partner with online programs to provide direct student assistance when needed. They also offer great options for online courses toward an associate’s degree, and online certification courses that do not require a degree. Specialized training often is necessary to advance in a particular career field and earn more money. But, that training does not necessarily require a college degree. Online programs make it much more affordable to complete certification courses or complete course credits that apply to a particular degree field

A lot of students also benefit directly from employer tuition reimbursement programs. Many job providers encourage employees to obtain advanced training via college or certification courses. As you earn credits, your employer pays back some or all of the amount. The job provider also often increases pay in recognition of the advanced skills and training you obtain via online courses. That enables you to earn more, make yourself more marketable via enhanced skills, and become a more valued asset for current and future employers. This may also take the form of scholarships for online students.

Many community colleges in South Dakota offer online classes that transfer to four-year programs. You also can enroll directly in a four-year degree program via community colleges’ online degree programs in South Dakota. That makes it much easier to complete lower-level college courses for less money, and still get the educational benefit toward a four-year degree.

Those looking to obtain graduate degrees will find online programs highly beneficial. Most programs provide direct access to faculty via online connections. You can get help completing your courses with special online educational tools, such as online writing centers. Yet, you never have to leave the comfort of your home to do so.

South Dakota online graduate courses also provide scheduling flexibility, as many graduate students also have jobs due to their undergraduate degrees and training. That enables you to continue maximizing your earnings, while advancing your education and career.

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