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University Facts

About SDSU

South Dakota State University is the state’s largest, most comprehensive higher- education institution. As South Dakota’s Morrill Act land-grant university, SDSU had a fall 2023 enrollment of 11,505, with students coming from 48 states and 74 countries. Students can choose from 88 majors, 38 specializations, 104 minors, 39 master’s degree programs, 16 Ph.D. programs and two professional doctorates. The university also offers courses at various off-campus sites as well as undergraduate and graduate programs online through the Office of Continuing and Distance Education.

A public, land-grant institution, SDSU was founded in 1881, authorized by the Dakota Territorial Legislature and is governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents. The South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU was established and linked to the university in 1887 under the federal Hatch Act to conduct research that “concerns agriculture and the home.” In 1914, SDSU Extension was added by the Smith-Lever Act to “provide information to the people of the State.” Both the Agricultural Experiment Station and SDSU Extension are administered by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.

The SDSU Jackrabbits compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I level in all sports, including the Football Championship Subdivision. Jackrabbits teams play in The Summit League, with the exception of football, wrestling and equestrian. SDSU is a member of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association, the Missouri Valley Football Conference and the Big XII Conference as an affiliate member for wrestling.

Named the 33rd safest college town by SafeWise (2022), Brookings (pop. 23,993) is just 55 miles north of Sioux Falls on Interstate 29, 200 miles from Minneapolis and 400 miles east of Rapid City and the Black Hills. Students from communities in Nebraska, North Dakota and Iowa also find SDSU within an easy day’s drive.


Total Enrollment - 11,505

Fall 2023 enrollment showed the incoming first-time freshmen class recorded an average high school GPA of 3.56, and 39% of the class registered scores of 24 or higher on the ACT.

Enrollment By Level

*includes both Undergraduates & Graduate level Pharm.D., DNP and PPVM students.

Not reported40%
U.S. nonresident7026.1%
American Indian or Alaska Native1361.2%
Black or African American1441.3%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander110.1%
Two or more races2402.1%
Race and ethnicity unknown2922.5%
South Dakota residents6,43156%
Other states4,37238%
International702 6%

A near-record class of first-time students — 2,275 — and record retention from students’ freshmen to sophomore year of 82.9% increased South Dakota State University’s fall 2023 enrollment to its highest number in five years at 11,505.

Enrollment by Area
Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences1,78915.5%
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences2,43921.2%
Education and Human Sciences1,72815.0%
Education and Human Sciences - Non- Degree Seeking[2]1,36011.8%
Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering1,63114.2%
Natural Sciences7666.7%
Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions[4]4654.0%
Graduate School[5]560.5%


  1. Unduplicated headcount with multiple majors being prorated
  2. Includes non-degree-seeking students [↵2]
  3. Includes Doctor of Nursing Practice [↵3]
  4. Includes Doctor of Pharmacy [↵4]
  5. Graduate Programs have been moved to the appropriate colleges [↵5]
General Information
Student : Faculty Ratio FY 202218 to 1
Graduate Student Assistants (Fall 2022)491
Retention Rate (Fall 2022 FT  Bachelor's Cohort)82.9%
Graduates By Degree Type
Associate degrees1235.2%
Bachelor's degrees1,79475.8%
Master's degree33414.1%
Doctor of Philosophy381.6%
Doctor of Pharmacy/Doctor of Nursing Practice783.3%

*Unduplicated by level

Full-time, First-year Students
Full-time, first-year students2,124
Percent receiving financial aid98%
Average award (including loans)$11,344
Percent receiving institutional scholarships91.24%
Average scholarship award$3,028
South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship
New recipients (Fall 2022)368
Total number of recipients (Fall 2022)1,277
Average Award
Graduate and undergraduate$12,159
Undergraduate, Resident (30 credits)
Tuition and fees$9,299
Room and board*$9,562

*Aligned to US Department of Education requirements

Undergraduate, Nonresident (30 credits)
Tuition and fees$12,809
Room and board$9,562
Graduate, Resident (24 credits)
Tuition and fees$9,384
Graduate, Nonresident (24 credits)
Tuition and fees$16,918
Graduate Assistant (24 credits)
Tuition and fees$1,220

Faculty and Staff

Employees Numbers
Support staff580.02
Faculty Rank
Associate professor108
Assistant professor119
Senior lecturer / lecturer*88

*Includes Professor of Practice; Associate and Assistant Professor of Practice.


Graduate Numbers
Total graduates (Through August 2023)102,136
Alumni living in South Dakota43,486
Alumni living in USA but not South Dakota45,203
Alumni living out of USA1,231


Physical Plant Stats
Central campus location (maintained)400.69 acres
Additional acres, including six research farms10,441.11 acres
Building space maintained

4,257,026 sq. ft.

Replacement value of buildings$1,326,834,606
Residence hall capacity (Fall 2023)4,499 students
SDSU Foundation expenditures
Expenditures to support university programs$20,809,542
Expenditures per student FTE - Fall 2021$2,287.41
Operating Budget
University Proper$261,942,15480.3%
Agriculture Experiment Station$41,750,98113.4%
SDSU Extension$43,830,1056.3%
Operating Budget Breakdown
Instructional support$143,014,66143.8%
Research (including AES)$63,111,06219.3%
Public service (including SDSU Extension)$34,486,48110.6%
Institutional support$30,002,3649.2%
Operations and maintenance of plant$30,853,2329.5%
Scholarships and fellowships$4,959,2581.5%
Auxiliary enterprises$5,116,3011.6%
Residential Life, food service, bookstore$14,812,1384.5%
Source of Funds
State Funds$95,684,29829%
Student tuition and fees$101,932,79331%
Federal grants and contracts/federal appropriations$43,881,55814%
Room and board$14,510,7404%
Other funds including general sales of
commodities and services


The Division of Research and Economic Development works closely with university researchers, business leaders and other sponsors to promote faculty expertise aimed at solving real-world problems in society and industry. The university is a leader in bioprocessing, agriculture and precision agriculture, remote sensing and life sciences.

  • 1,243 graduate students, most of whom are engaged in faculty-led research, are enrolled in 39 master’s degree programs, 16 doctoral programs and two professional programs in seven colleges.
  • Faculty provide scientific leadership in three state research centers: the Haarberg Center for Drug, Disease and Delivery Research; the Center for Biologics Research and Commercialization; and Biosystems Networks and Translational Research (BioSNTR). In addition, SDSU researchers play a key role in the South Dakota Biofilm Science and Engineering Center, the South Dakota Center for Electrochemical Energy Storage and the South Dakota Center for Understanding and Disrupting the Illicit Economy.
  • SDSU is also home to the North Central Regional Sun Grant Center, the Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence and the Ethel Austin Martin Program in Human Nutrition.
  • Earlier this fall, the POET Bioproducts Center, located in the Research Park at SDSU, officially opened, bringing the region’s leading bioprocessing scientists from SDSU and South Dakota Mines together with industry partners to scale up innovative biotechnologies and diversify South Dakota’s economy.
  • Precision agriculture, a focal point at SDSU, brings together researchers from computer science, statistics, engineering, remote sensing and agriculture, as well as industry partners to increase the profitability and sustainability of agriculture in the region.
  • Undergraduate students are encouraged to get involved in research through the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Day, the South Dakota Legislative Poster Session, and through the Journal of Undergraduate Research. Students in the Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College conduct original research as a part of their graduation requirements.

Total Research Expenditures — FY2023 $74,066,481 (24% increase from FY22)

SDSU Extension

South Dakota State University is home to SDSU Extension, the outreach arm for South Dakota’s 1862 land-grant university. SDSU Extension serves as a lifelong network that provides farmers, ranchers, agribusiness, families, youth and communities with research-based information and education to positively impact their quality of life, economic viability and environmental surroundings. Core educational programs are offered in the areas of:

  • 4-H youth development.
  • Agriculture and natural resources.
  • Community vitality.
  • Families, food and wellness.

Faculty are located on the SDSU campus or at the West River Research and Extension facility in Rapid City. Field specialists offer statewide programming from one of eight regional centers located across South Dakota. At the community level, 4-H youth program advisers and family and community health educators work from county or tribal Extension offices.

SDSU Extension relies on technology to offer educational programs to citizens. Combined with traditional face-to-face methods of learning, citizens can access our online learning portal at SDSU Extension.

Operation Budget of SDSU Extension
State funds$10,494,88551%
Federal funds$7,249,74535%
Other/local funds$2,838,60814%
SDSU Extension Stats
Number of regional Extension centers8
Number of field specialists42.95 FTE

South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station

South Dakota State University is home to the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Faculty scientists carry out research on campus and at seven stations strategically located across the state. New discoveries are made available to the people of South Dakota, commodity groups and industry through the educational programs of SDSU Extension. Agricultural Experiment Station research programs directly support student education in the colleges of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences; Natural Sciences; Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; and Education and Human Sciences.

Seventy-seven percent of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station resources are directed to five critical issues that are vital for South Dakota and the region:

  • Regenerative livestock systems (21%).
  • Regenerative agronomic systems (23%).
  • Natural resources and environmental systems (14%).
  • Food systems, nutrition, health and well-being (11%).
  • Family, youth and communities (8%).
Operating Budget of Agricultural Experiment Station
State funds$15,535,68935%
Federal funds$12,142,52428%
Other / local funds$16,151,89237%

South Dakota Board of Regents

  • Nathan D. Lukkes, executive director and CEO 
  • Tim Rave, president 
  • Jeff Partridge, vice president 
  • Douglas Morrison, secretary 
  • Judy Dittman 
  • Randy Frederick 
  • James Lochner 
  • Randy Rasmussen 
  • Pam Roberts 
  • Brock Brown, student regent

SDSU Executive Officers

  • Barry H. Dunn, Ph.D., president.
  • Dennis Hedge, Pharm.D. provost and vice president for academic affairs.
  • Michaela Willis, Ph.D. vice President for student affairs and enrollment management.
  • Tracy Greene, J.D. vice president and general counsel, vice president, human resources.
  • Mike Holbeck, Ph.D. vice president for finance and budget.
  • David Overby, vice president for technology and security.
  • Daniel Scholl, D.V.M., Ph.D. vice president for research and economic development.
  • Karyn Weber, chief of staff.