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University Facts

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About SDSU | Students | Faculty and Staff | Alumni | Campus | Research | SDSU Extension | South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station | South Dakota Board of Regents | SDSU Executive Officers

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 2020 enrollment of 11,405, with students coming from 49 states and more than 70 countries. Students can choose from 82 majors, 35 specializations, 94 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.

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 .

Jackrabbit Athletics

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. 23,938) 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.


Enrollment - Fall 2020

Total Enrollment - 11,405

Fall 2020 enrollment showed the incoming first-time freshmen class recorded an average high school GPA of 3.5. More than 42 percent of the class registered scores of 24 or higher on the ACT.

Enrollment By Level
Not Reported70%
Nonresident Alien6065.3%
American Indian or Alaska Native1231.1%
Black or African American2181.9%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander50.1%
Two or More Races2492.2%
Race and ethnicity unknown1030.9%
South Dakota Residents6,20954.4%
Other States4,59040.3%
Enrollment Breakdown - Fall 2020
Enrollment by Area
Academic Affairs[2]1,0479.2%
Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences1,64214.4%
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences2,04817.9%
Education and Human Sciences1,61414.2%
Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering1,37012.0%
Natural Sciences6986.1%
Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions[4]5474.8%
Graduate School1,19910.5%


  1. Unduplicated headcount with multiple majors being prorated
  2. Includes nondegree-seeking students [↵2]
  3. Includes Doctor of Nursing Practice [↵3]
  4. Includes Doctor of Pharmacy [↵4]
Student General Information
General Information
Student : Faculty Ratio FY 201918.5 : 1
Graduate Student Assistants (Fall 2019)494
Retention Rate
(Fall 2019  bachelor's cohort)
Graduates -- 2019–2020
Graduates By Degree Type
Associate degrees873.4%
Bachelor's degrees1,89375.0%
Master's degree37815.0%
Doctor of Philosophy662.6%
Doctor of Pharmacy/Doctor of Nursing Practice994.0%
Financial Aid for New Students -- 2019–2020
Full-time, First-year Students
Full-time, First-year Students2,057
Percent receiving financial aid94.56%
Average award (including loans)$11,286
Percent receiving institutional scholarships65.68%
Average scholarship award$2,693
South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship
New recipients (Fall 2019)402
Total number of recipients (Fall 2019)1,380
Average Award
Graduate and Undergraduate$12,056
Estimated Costs of Attendance -- 2020–2021
Undergraduate, Resident (30 credits)
Tuition and Fees$9,200
Room and Board$7,082
Undergraduate, Nonresident (30 credits)
Tuition and Fees$12,675
Room and Board$7,082
Graduate, Resident (24 credits)
Tuition and Fees$9,286
Graduate, Nonresident (24 credits)
Tuition and Fees$16,744
Graduate Assistant (24 credits)
Tuition and Fees$1,202

Faculty & Staff

Full-Time Equivalent Employees -- 2020–2021
Employees Numbers
Support Staff631.28
Rank of Faculty (Full Time, Permanent) -- Fall 2019
Faculty Rank
Associate Professor110
Assistant Professor130


Graduate Numbers
Total Graduates (Through May 2020)96,319
Alumni Living in South Dakota35,940
Alumni living out of state38,942
Alumni living out of USA971


Physical Plant -- FY2021
Physical Plant Stats
Central campus location (maintained)386.7 acres
Additional acres, including 6 research farms10,566.21 acres
Building space maintained4,098,793 sq. ft.
Replacement value of buildings$1,182,872,802
Residence hall capacity (Fall 2020)4,620 students
SDSU Foundation (Calendar Year 2019)
SDSU Foundation expenditures
Expenditures to support university programs$20,543,779
Expenditures per student FTE - Fall 2019$2,184.86
Operating Budget Authority By Agency - FY2021
Operating Budget
University Proper$245,124,19781%
Agriculture Experiment Station$39,986,27513%
SDSU Extension$18,326,3826%

Operating Budget, University Proper=$252,525,281 or 81%, SDSU Extension=$18,550,690 or 6%, Agriculture Experiment Statation=$40,072,423 or 13%

Operating Budget Authority - FY2021
Operating Budget Breakdown
Instructional Support$133,307,72643.9%
Research (including AES)$59,936,05719.8%
Public Service (including SDSU Extension)$29,628,3749.8%
Institutional Support$22,666,9128.1%
Operations and Maintenance of Plant$26,506,7988.7%
Scholarships and Fellowships$2,461,0850.8%
Auxiliary Enterprises (Res. Life, Food Service, Bookstore)$26,929,9028.9%
Operating Budget Authority By Source of Funds - FY2021
Source of Funds
State Funds$73,072,82324%
Student Tuition & Fees$99,226,84533%
Federal Grants & Contracts/Fed Appropriations$41,051,24113%
Room & Board$17,676,5996%
Other Funds Including General Sales of
Commodities & 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 has positioned itself as a leader in agriculture and precision agriculture, remote sensing and life sciences. The research enterprise also capitalizes on expertise in digital technology related to agriculture and resource management.

Total Research Expenditures — FY2020 ---- $60,870,864

Research Highlights
  • 1,429 graduate students, most of whom are engaged in faculty research, enrolled in 36 master’s degree programs and 17 doctoral programs in seven colleges.

  • Faculty in the College of Natural Sciences and Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering are tackling the novel coronavirus through funding from the National Science Foundation’s Rapid Response Research mechanism to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The precision agriculture initiative brings together experts from computer science, statistics, engineering, remote sensing and agriculture, as well as industry partners to increase the profitability and sustainability of agriculture.

  • Undergraduate researchers present their work at events, such as the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities Day; the South Dakota Legislative Poster Session; and through the Journal of Undergraduate Research. Research opportunities are available at the department and college level.

  • As part of their graduation requirements, students in the Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College complete independent study projects that often involve conducting original research under the supervision of a faculty member.

  • Industry partners, such as Raven Industries, POET, Dynamic Solutions and Query AI, as well as faculty-led companies have offices at the Research Park at SDSU to access its unique collaborative opportunities to advance research and workforce development.

  • Faculty researchers provide scientific leadership through the North Central Regional Sun Grant Center, Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence, Ethel Austin Martin Program in Human Nutrition, Biosystems Networks and Translational Research (BioSNTR), and the South Dakota Center for Biologics Research and Commercialization. In addition, SDSU researchers will play a key role in the state’s newest research center, the South Dakota Biofilm Science and Engineering Center.

SDSU Extension

SDSU Extension

South Dakota State University is home to SDSU Extension, the outreach arm for South Dakota’s 1862 land-grant university. SDSU Extension provides unbiased, scientific knowledge and innovative educational strategies to the citizens of South Dakota. 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 SDSU West River Research and Extension in Rapid City, at one of seven SDSU Extension Regional Centers (Aberdeen, Lemmon, Mitchell, Pierre, 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. Visit the virtual office of SDSU Extension.

SDSU Extension Operation Budget Authority, FY 2021
Operation Budget of SDSU Extension
State Funds$9,078,50550%
Federal Funds$6,776,69137%
Other/Local Funds$2,471,18613%

Extension Budget, Other/Local Funds=$2,493,407 or 14%, State Funds=$8,8,838,210 or 48%, Federal Funds=$7,219,073 or 39%

SDSU Extension Stats
Number of Regional Extension Centers8
Number of Field Specialists40

South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station

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-two percent of the S.D. Agricultural Experiment Station resources are directed to five critical issues that are vital for South Dakota and the region:

  • Regenerative Livestock Systems (23%);
  • Regenerative Agronomic Systems (20%);
  • Natural Resources and Environmental Systems (13%);
  • Food Systems, Nutrition, Health and Well-Being (9%); and
  • Family Youth and Communities (7%).
Agricultural Experiment Station Operating Budget Authority, FY 2021
Operating Budget of Agricultural Experiment Station
State Funds$13,193,18833%
Federal Funds$11,240,10628%
Other / Local Funds$15,552,98139%

Operating Budget for Agricultural Experiment Station, Other/Local Funds=$15,596,428 or 39%, State Funds=$12,958,651 or 52%, Federal Funds=$11,517,344 or 29%

South Dakota Board of Regents

Board of Regents
  • Brian Maher, Executive Director
  • John W. Bastian, President
  • Jim Morgan, Vice President
  • Pam Roberts, Secretary
  • Jim Thares
  • Kevin V. Schieffer
  • Randy Schaefer
  • Joan Wink
  • Barb Stork
  • Brock Brown, Student Regent

SDSU Executive Officers

Executive Officers
  • Barry H. Dunn, Ph.D., President
  • Dennis Hedge, Pharm.D.
    Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Mike Holbeck, Ph.D.
    Vice President, Finance and Budget
  • Michaela Willis, Ph.D.
    Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management
  • Daniel Scholl, Ph.D.,
    Vice President for Research and Economic Development
  • David Overby
    Vice President for Technology and Safety
  • Tracy Greene, J.D.
    Vice President and General Counsel
    Interim Vice President, Human Resources
  • Karyn Weber, Chief of Staff
  • Kas Williams, Chief Diversity Officer