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EduMed recognizes SDSU as a top online school in health care education

South Dakota State University has been named one of 2021’s best schools for online programs and courses in health care education by

SDSU earned top honors for distance education in the following subject areas:

Five programs are in the College of Nursing and the MPH program is in the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions. SDSU is among the 8% of U.S. postsecondary institutions that earned a ranking position as a top school for online learning in health care education.

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“We set out to find schools that are making online education a priority,” said Wes Ricketts, founder of “Each school in our rankings has a winning combination of flexibility, affordability, academic rigor and student support. This is a tall task in a field that leans on face-to-face interaction and hands-on training.”

SDSU’s recognition comes at a time when students across the country are taking more of their courses either fully or partially online.

“Rankings such as these again show how we provide our students an opportunity to learn and develop their skills,” said Mary Anne Krogh ’85/’11 Ph.D., the College of Nursing’s dean. “As the nation’s first college of nursing to enter into an agreement with CareSpan, which is an innovative health-care delivery system, we are committed to delivering quality nursing education to students whether they’re taking classes in person or online. Using tools like Zoom or the robots we have in all of our sites allow our students to go into the practice areas feeling more comfortable interacting with patients and practitioners in remote environments.”

“When developing the MPH program, we focused on creating a program for the working professional,” said Dan Hansen ’03/’05 Pharm.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions. “One that would ensure accessibility, while utilizing the expertise within the health programs here at South Dakota State. This recognition is further proof that we have accomplished that goal.”

According to data from the Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics, enrollment in online courses increased by 93% between fall 2019 and fall 2020. Nearly two-thirds of college students took at least one online course in 2020.

“COVID-19 forced many schools to rapidly expand their online program catalogs to meet increased student demand,” said Ricketts. “The colleges that offer accredited online courses in the widest variety of disciplines stand to benefit the most from the mass transition to higher education online.” researched and analyzed more than 7,700 accredited schools using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and from the schools. The website’s data science team then applied a proprietary algorithm to rank all qualifying schools for each health care discipline. Primary data points include:

  • Number of online programs in subject area.
  • Online program tuition and fees.
  • Access to academic counseling.
  • Access to career placement services.
  • Number of online students.
  • Percentage of students with institutional aid.

To be eligible, a school must hold active regional accreditation and have at least one partially online program in the ranking subject.

About ( set out in 2018 to support higher education in health care. Its free resource materials and expert-driven guidebooks help students find scholarships, financial aid and top degree programs in nursing, health care administration, public health and dozens of other key medical and health disciplines. Since the site’s official launch in 2019, has been featured by more than 100 premier colleges and universities across the U.S.