Image for University Facts

University Facts

Jump to the following sections on this page:

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 2019 enrollment of 11,518, with students coming from every state and 83 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 2019

Total Enrollment - 11,518

Fall 2019 enrollment showed the incoming first-time freshmen class recorded an average high school GPA of 3.4. More than 42 percent of the class registered scores of 24 or higher on the ACT.

Enrollment By Level
Nonresident Alien7196.2%
American Indian or Alaska Native1311.1%
Black or African American2131.9%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander40.0%
Two or More Races2682.3%
Race and ethnicity unknown920.8%
South Dakota Residents6,20054%
Other States4,60540%
Enrollment Breakdown - Fall 2019
Enrollment by Area
Academic Affairs[2]1,0248.9%
Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences1,71114.9%
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences[3]2,05417.8%
Education and Human Sciences1,61014.0%
Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering1,42812.4%
Natural Sciences6755.9%
Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions[5]5704.9%
Graduate School1,18710.3%


  1. Unduplicated headcount with multiple majors being prorated
  2. Includes nondegree-seeking students [↵2]
  3. Includes Master of Architecture [↵3]
  4. Includes Doctor of Nursing Practice [↵4]
  5. Includes Doctor of Pharmacy [↵5]
Student General Information
General Information
Student : Faculty Ratio FY 201818.5 : 1
Graduate Student Assistants (Fall 2018)531
Retention Rate (Fall 2018 FT FT bachelor's cohort)78.3%
Graduates -- 2018–2019
Graduates By Degree Type
Associate degrees823.2%
Bachelor's degrees1,91674.8%
Master's degree41716.3%
Doctor of Philosophy411.6%
Doctor of Pharmacy/Doctor of Nursing Practice1064.1%
Financial Aid for New Students -- 2018–19
Full-time, First-year Students
Full-time, First-year Students2,114
Percent receiving financial aid92.5%
Average award (including loans)$11,373
Percent receiving institutional scholarships53%
Average scholarship award$2,676
South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship
New recipients (Fall 2018)394
Total number of recipients (Fall 2018)1,378
Average Award
Graduate and Undergraduate$11,903
Estimated Costs of Attendance -- 2019–2020
Undergraduate, Resident (30 credits)
Tuition and Fees$9,114
Room and Board$7,270
Undergraduate, Nonresident (30 credits)
Tuition and Fees$12,590
Room and Board$7,270
Graduate, Resident (24 credits)
Tuition and Fees$9,217
Graduate, Nonresident (24 credits)
Tuition and Fees$16,675
Graduate Assistant (24 credits)
Tuition and Fees$1,134

Faculty & Staff

Full-Time Equivalent Employees -- 2019–2020
Employees Numbers
Support Staff649
Rank of Faculty (Full Time, Permanent) -- Fall 2018
Faculty Rank
Associate Professor112
Assistant Professor153


Graduate Numbers
Total Graduates (Through September 2019)92,793
Alumni Living in South Dakota34,802
Alumni living out of state35,687
Alumni living out of USA498


Physical Plant -- FY2020
Physical Plant Stats
Central campus location (maintained)386.7 acres
Additional acres, including 6 research farms11,467.67 acres
Building space maintained4,048,398 sq. ft.
Replacement value of buildings$1,165,326,000
Residence hall capacity (Fall 2019)4,577 students
SDSU Foundation (Calendar Year 2018)
SDSU Foundation expenditures
Expenditures to support university programs$39,795,545
Expenditures per student FTE - Fall 2018$4,059.78
Operating Budget Authority By Agency - FY2020
Operating Budget
University Proper$252,525,28181%
Agriculture Experiment Station$40,072,42313%
SDSU Extension$18,550,6906%

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 - FY2020
Operating Budget Breakdown
Instructional Support$131,676,40442.3%
Research (including AES)$65,098,51020.9%
Public Service (including SDSU Extension)$29,094,7509.4%
Institutional Support$26,640,3588.6%
Operations and Maintenance of Plant$28,853,9469.3%
Scholarships and Fellowships$2,314,2530.7%
Auxiliary Enterprises (Res. Life, Food Service, Bookstore)$27,470,1738.8%
Operating Budget Authority By Source of Funds - FY2020
Source of Funds
State Funds$71,606,95523%
Student Tuition & Fees$106,195,21034%
Federal Grants & Contracts/Fed Appropriations$43,076,12614%
Room & Board$17,676,5996%
Other Funds Including General Sales of
Commodities & Services


Research to help society and drive economic development in the state and region is an essential part of the university’s land grant mission. The Division of Research and Economic Development works closely with university researchers and business leaders to tie faculty expertise into solving industry problems. The university has positioned itself as a leader in agriculture and precision agriculture, remote sensing and life sciences. The research enterprise is also capitalizing on expertise in digital technology related to agriculture and resource management.

Total Research Expenditures — FY2019 ---- $67,590,710

Research Highlights
  • More than 800 undergraduates are engaged in university research through the Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College.
  • 1,320 graduate students are engaged in university research through 36 master’s degree program, 15 Ph.D. programs and two professional doctoral programs offered in seven colleges.
  • Faculty researchers provide leadership through the North Central Regional Sun Grant Center and four research centers, 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.
  • The Office of Technology Transfer and Commercialization, which assists university researchers in protecting and commercializing intellectual properties and fosters collaborations between the university and industry partners, has generated nearly $18.5 million in royalties and license fees since it was established 2007. During the last five years, SDSU has averaged 33 invention disclosures, three new patents issued, seven new license agreements per year with half for start-up companies and more than $1.5 million in royalties and revenue per year.
  • A new economic development initiative brought together interdisciplinary research groups related to precision agriculture with the support of the Brookings Economic Development Council. This includes experts in computer science, statistics, engineering, remote sensing and agriculture.
  • Industry partners, such as Raven Industries, General Mills and Novita Nutrition, have established offices in the Research Park near campus to facilitate collaboration with university researchers in technology development and workforce training.

SDSU Extension

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 at

SDSU Extension Operation Budget Authority, FY 2020
Operation Budget of SDSU Extension
State Funds$8,838,21048%
Federal Funds$7,219,07339%
Other/Local Funds$2,493,40713%

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 Specialists43

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 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 (33%);
  • Animal production and protection (30%);
  • General, forest and range natural resources (10%);
  • Nonfood products (6%); and
  • Soil (6%).
Agricultural Experiment Station Operating Budget Authority, FY 2020
Operating Budget of Agricultural Experiment Station
State Funds$12,958,65132%
Federal Funds$11,517,34429%
Other / Local Funds$15,596,42839%

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
  • Paul B. Beran, Executive Director
  • Kevin V. Schieffer, President
  • John W. Bastian, Vice President
  • Jim Morgan, Secretary
  • David Mickelson
  • Pam Roberts
  • Randy Schaefer
  • Jim Thares
  • Joan Wink
  • Lucas Lund, Student Regent

SDSU Executive Officers

Executive Officers
  • Barry H. Dunn, Ph.D., President
  • Dennis Hedge, Pharm.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Vacant, Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • 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

University Facts Events

See All Our Events
There are no upcoming events.

University Facts News

See All Our News
There are no related stories.