Sixteen four-year colleges and universities in South Dakota offer some form of distance learning. For those planning to earn a bachelors degree online in South Dakota, options include South Dakota State University, the University of South Dakota, and Black Hills State University, to name a few. A range of master’s, associate, and certificate programs are also available through area schools for students with differing academic goals. Read on to learn more about these schools’ online bachelor’s degree programs:

South Dakota State University

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 5
  • Fields Offered: Interdisciplinary Studies, Social Science, Healthcare
  • Accreditor: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)

South Dakota State University is the largest institution of higher learning in the state with more than 12,500 students. Online bachelor’s degree programs include three types of general studies, medical laboratory science, nursing, and sociology. These programs are ideal for working adults, busy parents, and other non-traditional students looking to further their education. The online classroom is available to students 24/7, allowing them to work on their own schedule.

Students can access their assignments, course materials, and discussion boards through the school’s virtual learning platform. They will also have the support of the same experienced faculty members as their on-campus counterparts. If students need assistance, they can communicate with professors via email, chat, or telephone. Written assignments, quizzes, and most tests will be turned in via the online classroom. If students are required to complete group projects or presentations, media technology such as web conferencing or video chat can be useful.

University of South Dakota

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 5
  • Fields Offered: Business, Health, Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Accreditor: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)

The University of South Dakota is a public four-year institution located in Vermillion, serving more than 10,200 students. Those interested in accredited online bachelors programs can major in the subjects of management, addiction studies, nursing, health sciences, or general studies. With access to the online classroom at any time, from any location with Internet access, students are free to work around their existing personal and professional schedules.

Despite the lack of regular face-to-face interaction, students will still find a highly interactive learning environment. Regular course work will frequently include participation in discussion boards. Written assignments and quizzes can be submitted through the virtual classroom as well. Professors are available for assistance via email, chat, telephone, or on-campus meetings. Other media such as virtual meeting technology and streaming video also help to facilitate communication among peers and instructors.

Black Hills State University

  • Number of Online Bachelor’s Degrees: 2
  • Fields Offered: Business, Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Accreditor: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA)

Located in Spearfish, Black Hills State University is a public institution with an enrollment of approximately 4,400 students. Distance learning opportunities at the bachelor’s degree level include programs in business administration and general studies. Students also have the option to minor in library media and sociology through the school’s online division. These programs are ideal for working adults, military students, and those with travel restrictions.

With access to their course materials, assignments, and discussion boards at any time and from any location, students can fit in their studies as they have time throughout the week, as long as they meet set deadlines. Professors are also easily accessible through chat, email, or telephone. Technology such as streaming video, web conferencing, and chat also help students to collaborate and present their work throughout the program. Most written work can be turned in via document upload or email. Consult the online student orientation guide for more info.

Higher Education in South Dakota

South Dakota, known as the Mount Rushmore State, is home to approximately 833,000 residents. Despite ranking 46th among U.S. states in terms of population, students in South Dakota still have a number of options when it comes to higher education. The South Dakota Board of Regents governs the state’s six public universities. The cornerstone of this university system is South Dakota State University, located in Brookings. A number of private institutions, as well as community and technical colleges, are also options for area residents.

To prepare them for higher education, students at the middle and high school levels can take advantage of online learning opportunities in the area as well. For example, the South Dakota Virtual School provides students with advanced placement courses, specialized electives, and more flexible curriculums through virtual learning. Students may even take credit recovery courses. Enrollment is tuition-free, but is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students who enjoy this type of learning environment may be interested in attending an online degree program at one of South Dakota’s colleges or universities.


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