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University Facts

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 2017 enrollment of 12,527, with students coming from every state and over 90 countries. Students can choose from 80 majors, 35 specializations, 87 minors, 36 master’s degree programs, 15 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.

E-Trading Lab


College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

College of Education and Human Sciences

College of Nursing

College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions

Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering

University College

Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College

Graduate School

University Authorization

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 .

Cheerleaders at football game


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.

Community at a Glance

Named by Safewise as the safest college town in America in 2016, Brookings (pop. 23,895) 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.


Research lies at the heart of South Dakota State’s land-grant mission. In 2014, South Dakota State was designated an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, North America’s oldest higher-education association. Only 54 institutions hold this honor.

Highlights of SDSU research and academic programs include:

  • Nearly 1,300 graduate students are enrolled in 50 graduate programs offered in six colleges. That includes 985 master’s students and 303 doctoral students.
  • Faculty lead research through programs such as the Sun Grant Initiative, the Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence and Biosystems Networks and Translational Research (BioSNTR), a statewide collaborative center.
  • During the last five years, the Office of Technology Transfer and Commercialization has averaged 39 invention disclosures, 15 patents filed, 214 agreements executed, nine licenses and more than $2.45 million in royalties and revenue per year.
  • Industry partnerships through the Research Park at South Dakota State University enable technology transfer and stimulate economic development, including the opening of the General Mills oat research laboratory and the expansion of Novita Nutrition, an animal nutrition company.

Total Research Expenditures — FY2016 ---- $60,676,138

Wheat Researcher

SDSU Extension

South Dakota State University is home to SDSU Extension, the outreach arm for South Dakota’s land-grant university. SDSU Extension strives to serve as the indispensable outreach link to the citizens of South Dakota by providing solutions, creating entrepreneurial opportunities and providing educational processes that use scientific knowledge. Core educational programs are offered in the areas of:

  • Competitive Crop Systems
  • Competitive Livestock Systems
  • 4-H Youth Development
  • Community Development
  • Food and Families
  • Rural and Urban Initiatives
  • Native American Outreach

SDSU Extension faculty, field specialists and 4-H youth program advisers are based on the campus of SDSU, at the West River Ag Center in Rapid City, at one of eight SDSU Extension Regional Centers (Aberdeen, Lemmon, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown or Winner), at one of the tribal extension offices on the Rosebud, Pine Ridge or Cheyenne River Indian Reservations or at county extension offices throughout the state. The virtual office of SDSU Extension can be accessed

SDSU Extension Operating Budget Authority, FY2018 ----- $16,674,423

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 College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences and College of Education and Human Sciences.

Eighty-five percent of the S.D. Agricultural Experiment Station resources are directed to five knowledge areas that are critical for South Dakota and the region:

  • Plant production and protection (34%);
  • Animal production and protection (31%);
  • General, forest and range natural resources (10%);
  • Nonfood products (4%); and
  • Soil (6%).

Agricultural Experiment Station Operating

Budget Authority, FY2018 ----- $37,091,922

South Dakota Board of Regents

Michael G. Rush, Executive Director, CEO

Bob Sutton, President

Kevin Schieffer, Vice President

John W. Bastian, Secretary

Jim Morgan

Pam Roberts

Randy Schaefer

Jim Thares

Joan Wink

Conrad Adam, Student Regent

SDSU Executive Officers

Barry H. Dunn, Ph.D., President

Dennis Hedge, Pharm.D., Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Wesley Tschetter, MBA, Vice President for Finance and Business/CFO

Michaela Willis, Ph.D.,Vice President for Student Affairs

Daniel Scholl, Ph.D., Vice President for Research and Economic Development

Michael Adelaine, Ph.D., Vice President for Information Technology and Safety

Tracy Greene, University Legal Counsel

Karyn Weber, Chief of Staff