Accounting Schools in South Dakota

    South Dakota is home to many colleges and universities offering degrees in accounting. The following guide is designed to provide important information on these programs to help you make the right choice to reach your educational and career goals. Some schools offer online, hybrid, or accelerated programs, providing flexibility for working professionals. Those seeking CPA licensure will find degree programs catered specifically toward exam requirements.

    Quick Facts

    • 12 not-for-profit colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in South Dakota.1
    • 3 schools offer a certificate in accounting.1
    • 5 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.1
    • 7 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.1
    • 3 schools offer a graduate degree in accounting.1
    • 1 school ranked in College Factual’s Best Accounting Schools 2023.2
    • No schools ranked in the Princeton Review’s Best Colleges for Accounting Majors 2023.3
    • No programs ranked in US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs 2023.4
    • 1 school ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs 2023.5
    • No schools ranked in US News & World Report’s Best Undergrad Accounting Programs 2022-2023.6
    • No schools are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in Business and Accounting.7
    • 2 schools have accounting programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).8
    • 1 school has accounting programs accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).9

    Comparison of South Dakota Accounting Schools and Programs

    The table below provides detailed information on not-for-profit accounting programs in South Dakota to help you compare your options. Programs that appear in bold text offer hybrid or online options. For further school statistics, including median SAT, ACT, and GMAT scores, see the tables on our South Dakota business schools page.

    SchoolAccreditationAccounting Degree(s)Acceptance Rate10Grad Rate1Avg Net Price1Median Debt*10Median Earnings 10 Years After Entry10
    Augustana UniversityBA-Accounting;
    3+2 Accelerated BA-Accounting/MPAcc;
    4+1 Accelerated BA-Accounting/MBA;
    Black Hills State UniversityBBA-Accounting;
    UG Cert-Accounting
    Dakota State UniversityACBSPBBA-Accounting;
    BS-Professional Accountancy;
    Minor-Digital Accounting;
    UG Cert-Digital Accounting
    Dakota Wesleyan UniversityBS-Accounting75.7%53%$19,825$27,000$49,821
    Mitchell Technical CollegeAAS-AccountingN.Av.71%$12,101$12,000$46,904
    Mount Marty UniversityAA-Accounting;
    Northern State UniversityACBSPBS-Accounting;
    MS-Accounting Analytics
    Sinte Gleska UniversityBBA-AccountingN.Av.10%$14,855N.Av.$21,742
    Southeast Technical CollegeAAS-Accounting;
    University of Sioux FallsIACBEAA-Accounting;
    BA-Professional Accounting and Business Administration;
    UG Cert-Accounting Specialist;
    UG Cert-Professional Accounting
    University of South DakotaBBA-Accounting;
    Accelerated BBA/MAcc;
    Accelerated BBA/MBA;
    MAcc-Accounting Analytics;
    MAcc-Business Management;
    Western Dakota Technical CollegeAAS-Accounting;

    Table Notes:
    *Median Debt: The median debt is the cumulative federal loan debt, excluding PLUS loans, at the time of graduation for students who completed an undergraduate program (certificate, associate, or bachelor’s degree) as reported by College Scorecard for academic year 2020-2021 based on ‚Äč‚ÄčNational Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) data.
    **Median Earnings 10 Years After Entry: Median earnings are the middle value of earnings, at which half earned more and half earned less, measured 10 years (2020-2021) after the first year of study (2010-2011) for all students, institution-wide, who received federal loans and who are employed but not enrolled in school. Note that this value includes those who completed their program of study as well as those who discontinued study without receiving an award.

    Top-Ranked Accounting Schools in South Dakota

    College rankings can be a useful tool to measure the overall reputation of a school or program. Weighing multiple rankings when evaluating your college choices can be helpful because different publishers may use different ranking factors in their methodologies. While the best program for your goals may rely on a combination of factors not typically considered in overall rankings, such as location or funding, seeing a program ranked on multiple lists can be a strong indication of reputation and academic quality.

    College Factual’s Best Accounting Schools 2023

    • Augustana University (#219)2

    US News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs 2023

    • Black Hills State University (#91 tie)5

    Highest First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with a Bachelor’s Degree

    The National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) releases a report including data on candidate performance on the Uniform CPA Exam.11 The following schools had the highest first-time CPA exam pass rates in South Dakota in 2019 (the most recent report available*) for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, with the overall pass rate for first-time test-takers in South Dakota being 60.3%:

    1. Augustana College 91.7%
    2. Black Hills State University 70.6%
    3. Northern State University 48.0%
    4. University of Sioux Falls 47.1%

    *As NASBA makes significant changes to the CPA Exam as part of the CPA Evolution initiative, new candidate score reports by state are not anticipated until at least mid-2024.

    Schools in South Dakota with Accounting Degrees

    To give you an idea of the breadth and depth of accounting degrees offered in South Dakota, we have profiled select programs below. Be sure to visit the websites of programs of interest for more detailed information on courses, admissions requirements and deadlines, and faculty.

    Undergraduate Accounting Programs

    Augustana University

    Augustana University offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Accounting that prepares graduates for careers in private, government, corporate, and nonprofit areas. Augustana takes a technology-oriented approach to classes such as Principles of Microeconomics, Human Resource Management, and Auditing. All students are encouraged to complete an accounting internship or take advantage of one of Augustana’s study abroad programs in London and Thailand. For those interested in CPA licensure, an accelerated 4+1 program allows accounting undergraduates to complete their Master in Business Administration (MBA) in just one additional year, meeting the education requirements to sit for the CPA exam in South Dakota. Augustana also offers a Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAcc) for those looking for a graduate degree more specifically focused on advanced accounting principles.

    Dakota State University

    Students at Dakota State University (DSU) have the option to pursue one of two ACBSP-accredited accounting programs; the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Professional Accountancy or the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting. The five-year BS in Professional Accountancy program prepares students for CPA licensure and allows them to take the 150 credits necessary to sit for the exam. Students in the BBA in Accounting program focus on financial issues in the business world while learning the technical skills required for a successful career. This program follows a traditional four-year plan and is designed for students who do not plan to sit for the CPA exam or those who wish to pursue graduate-level coursework to fulfill the education requirements for licensure. Students in both programs learn the fundamentals of business while focusing on specialized accounting theory and technical skills.

    Dakota Wesleyan University

    Dakota Wesleyan University (DWU) offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting. This program emphasizes business concepts to provide students with the confidence to solve complex accounting problems. Courses such as Cost Accounting; Business Analysis and Strategy; and Governmental and Not-for-profit Accounting prepare graduates for careers as public accountants, actuaries, or accounting managers. Students are also encouraged to complete the 150 credits required for CPA licensure, by adding a minor such as math or criminal justice or enrolling in DWU’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. While this degree does not have an accounting concentration, the MBA, when paired with the BS in Accounting at DWU, will meet the educational requirements to sit for the CPA exam.

    Graduate Accounting Programs

    Augustana University

    Augustana University offers a traditional on-campus Master of Professional Accountancy (MPAcc). Graduates of this program are prepared to sit for the CPA exam and begin careers as public accountants and business leaders. The 30-credit program includes 21 credits of required courses, including Accounting Information Systems, Organizational Tax, and Auditing, as well as nine credits of elective courses like Ethical Leadership and Advanced Financing. In addition to a variety of business and accounting courses, students are encouraged to complete an internship to apply the principles learned in classes and give them a competitive advantage when applying for employment. Those already enrolled in Augustana’s Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Accounting can complete the MPAcc concurrently in just five years through the 3+2 accelerated program. Students spend the first three years completing undergraduate work and the final two years working through the MPAcc.Graduates will have also met the educational requirements to sit for the CPA exam.

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    Online Accounting Programs in South Dakota

    Northern State University

    Northern State University (NSU) offers an ACBSP-accredited Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting which can be completed entirely online. Through this flexible program, students develop skills in critical thinking, technology, and financial reporting, which are necessary for a successful career in business and accounting. Students at NSU are highly encouraged to participate in accounting internships prior to graduating to develop hands-on experience. Accounting courses include Cost Accounting, Auditing, and Non-Profit Accounting. Students also gain an understanding of business concepts by taking courses in Business Ethics; Organization and Management; and Business Policy and Strategy. An online Master of Science (MS) in Accounting Analytics is also available at NSU for those interested in obtaining a graduate degree to advance their careers or to meet the educational requirements to sit for the CPA exam.

    University of Sioux Falls

    All of the accounting programs at the University of Sioux Falls (USF) are available both on-campus or entirely online. Both an associate’s degree and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Accounting are offered, emphasizing technology and ethics. Two tracks are offered: the Professional Accounting and Business Administration major is designed for students who wish to obtain the credits needed to sit for the CPA exam, and the Accounting major is for students with other objectives. Students focus on accounting concepts and theory to feel empowered when making important financial decisions. Courses in both programs include Computerized Accounting and Advanced Excel for Business Applications and specialized courses such as Accounting Information Systems and Auditing. Upon graduation, students should be prepared to start careers in industries from health care to finance to education to insurance. Other online accounting programs available at USF include an Accounting Professional Certificate and an Accounting Specialist Certificate.

    University of South Dakota

    Students at the University of South Dakota (USD) can earn a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) through the Beacom School of Business. This 30-credit program is designed to prepare students for a career in public accounting and to sit for the CPA exam. Students have the option of completing this degree on-campus, online, or through a hybrid program. All students take 21 credits of core accounting coursework and are given the option to choose between a thesis, non-thesis, and an internship focus to complete the additional nine credits required to graduate. Students can also choose from four concentrations; Leadership, Accounting Analytics, Business Management, and Finance, to tailor their degree to their career goals. Regardless of focus, students can expect to take courses such as Tax Planning and Practice; Business Policy and Strategy; and Accounting in Governmental and Non-Profit Organizations.

    South Dakota CPA Requirements

    To become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state, the South Dakota Board of Accountancy (the Board) requires applicants to complete 150 credits from an accredited university. At least 24 of those credits must be in accounting courses and 24 must be in business courses, along with a major in accounting. Applicants cannot sit for the exam until all 150 credits are completed. One year of work experience under a licensed CPA must also be completed within three years of passing the exam. Applicants must also pass the AICPA Professional Ethics exam. After meeting all of these requirements, candidates can apply for licensure, which is maintained through the completion of continued professional education (CPE) hours.

    Career Opportunities for Accounting Graduates in South Dakota

    South Dakota accounting program graduates work in various roles in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors throughout the state. There are several companies in South Dakota where accounting degree holders may find employment, including Black Hills CPA Group in Rapid City, Daktronics in Brookings, and NorthWestern Energy in Sioux Falls. Financial institutions are also major employers in the state, including Plains Commerce Bank, Inc. and First Premier Bank. Some graduates may choose to work for state or local governments and others may find success with opening their own practice.

    South Dakota Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

    Metro AreaAccountants & Auditors Employed12Average Annual Salary12
    Rapid City870$73,660
    Sioux City IA-NE-SD560$73,690
    Sioux Falls2,330$76,230

    Popular Accounting Degree State Pages:

    1. National Center for Education Statistics:
    2. College Factual Best Accounting Schools 2023:
    3. The Princeton Review. The Best 382 Colleges 2023 Edition. Penguin Random House, 2022.
    4. US News & World Report’s Best MBA Accounting Programs:
    5. US News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs 2023:
    6. US News & World Report’s Best Undergraduate Accounting Programs:
    7. Association to Advance College Schools of Business, Accredited Universities and Schools, Business & Accounting:
    8. Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, Accredited Schools, Separate Accounting:
    9. International Accreditation Council for Business Education, Members:
    10. Department of Education College Scorecard:
    11. The NASBA Candidate Performance Report, 2019 University Edition:
    12. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2022 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, South Dakota: