2018 Directory of Online Colleges and Universities in South Dakota

Online courses and degree programs are available at many of the public and private universities in South Dakota. South Dakota has more than 28 post-secondary institutions. Of these, 13 offer online programs. A total of three are public four-year colleges or universities and four are public community or technical colleges and six are private colleges, universities, or career and vocational schools. These schools offer 83 online certificate programs, 936 online associate programs, 1,584 online bachelor’s programs, 436 online master’s programs, 525 online professional programs, and 89 online doctoral programs. These programs offer students courses in subjects such as law, early childhood education, and carpentry.

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Of the online colleges in South Dakota, National American University, offers 75 online programs.

Job Outlook

The average wage of South Dakota employees is less than the average wage for employees across the nation. Employees in South Dakota earn an average annual income of $34,390 while the national average annual income is $42,871. The median income for employees is $27,900 per year, with the top 10 percent earning over $58,050 per year and the bottom 10 percent earning under $17,100 per year. Internists are the highest paid employees. They can earn up to $235,620 per annum. Food service workers are the lowest paid employees in the state. They can earn as little as $17,350 per year. Across the US, internists earn an average yearly income of $189,480. On the other hand, food service workers around the US earn $18,610 per year on average.

The employment rate in South Dakota was at 4.1 percent as of April 2013, far below the national average. The trade, transportation, and utility industries employ the most people in South Dakota, approximately 84,700 as of April 2013. The state and local government is the second highest employer in the state, employing approximately 77,000 people. Occupations with the most job openings in the state include accountants, elementary school teachers and secondary school teachers.


Tuition for online college courses varies depending on factors such as the type and location of the institution as well as the program. Public four-year colleges and universities in South Dakota charged students an average of $2,995 per year. Public community and technical colleges charged students an average of $2,662 per year. Private accredited online college tuition ranged from $10,440 to $19,850 per year.


School accreditation in South Dakota is determined by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The HLC is part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), a regional institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The HLC ensures that accredited schools in South Dakota deliver the best education in accordance with regional higher education standards. South Dakota schools accredited by the HLC also can award accredited degrees which may have better standing in the job market or in graduate schools than degrees from schools without accreditation.

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South Dakota Distance Learning Resources

More Information

South Dakota, which is located in the Northern Rockies and Plains region of the United States, is named from a Sioux tribe named “Dakota”, meaning “allies”. It is the 17th largest state in the nation, and has an area of 77,116 square miles. Approximately 44°F is South Dakota’s average annual temperature.

South Dakota has the 6th smallest population in the nation. It has an estimated population of 814,180 residents living in its 66 counties. Approximately 42 percent of those living in South Dakota are less than 30 years old. With approximately 15 percent of its population identifying itself as belonging to a racial or ethnic minority group, the state has one of the least diverse populations in the US.

The capital city of South Dakota is Pierre. However, with a population of 153,888 residents, Sioux Falls is the state’s largest city. About 5.29% of the state’s residents live in the Sioux Falls metropolitan area. Other large cities in the state are Rapid City, Aberdeen, Brookings, and Watertown.

South Dakota residents typically have a higher than average level of education as compared to those around the country. According to the 2010 Census, an estimated 20.7 percent of the state’s residents over the age of 25 have completed high school, 5 percent have at least an associate degree, 3.8% have degrees at the bachelor’s level or higher, and 1 percent hold a graduate level degree.