Online MBA Programs in South Dakota

If you are considering an online MBA program in South Dakota, this page will help you find information about the various programs offered at schools across the state as well as programs based in South Dakota. Regardless of whether you live in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, or a rural township, there is likely a business school in South Dakota that meets your needs. On this page, you will find information about each school and program, including the admission requirements, concentration areas, and core courses, which will help you compare the options available in South Dakota. Whether you are a recent graduate or a working professional, MBA programs offer many study options that can fit your needs and help you learn new skills to develop a career in business and take advantage of growing industries.

This section describes the only accredited online MBA program in South Dakota, which is offered by the University of South Dakota.


Trusted MBA Data Sources

University of South Dakota – Beacom School of Business

The Beacom School of Business was created at USD in 1927 and has been awarding AACSB-accredited online MBA degrees since 1965. The online MBA program offered at USD is fully accredited by the AACSB and offers similar learning opportunities compared to the on-campus and hybrid degree options; however, it is also designed for students who want to develop academic careers and either teach or conduct research in business schools across the country. While the degree is delivered primarily online, a five-day residency in July or August gives students the chance to connect with faculty and colleagues face-to-face. Each class is typically offered online once or twice per year. The program is open to out-of-state students; however, all students pay in-state tuition fees, which may make this program more affordable compared to the on-campus or hybrid programs. In 2016, US News & World Report ranked the program in a tie for 52nd among all online MBA programs in the country.

Program Admission

Admission requirements to the online MBA program are similar to the on-campus and hybrid programs. You will need to submit an application form with the $35 application fee, transcripts from all previous institutions, two recommendation letters, a resume, a statement of purpose, and GMAT scores. You can begin the program in the fall, spring, or summer term. Fall applications should be received by June 1, spring applications should be received by October 1, and summer applications should be received March 1 to receive priority review by the university.

Foundational Coursework

Foundation Courses for Students Without Business Prerequisites (18-21 credit hours) – Foundations of Accounting, Foundations of Finance, Foundations of Calculus and Statistics for Business, Production Operations Management, Foundations of Marketing and Organizational Behavior, Foundations of Economics, and Foundations of Information Systems (for students in the Business Analytics concentration)

Core Curriculum (18 credit hours) – Managerial Accounting (or Accounting in Governmental & Non-Profit Organizations for Health Service Administration concentration), Managerial Finance, Quantitative Analysis, Leadership Development, Strategic Management, Managerial Economics

Program Concentrations and Specialization Options

  • General Business (15 credit hours) – Operations Management, Business and Its Environment, Managerial Marketing, two electives
  • Business Analytics (21 credit hours) – Operations Management, Business and Its Environment, Managerial Marketing, Data Management and Warehousing, Data Analysis for Managers, Data for Competitive Advantage, Operational Analysis
  • Health Services Administration (15 credit hours) – Advanced Strategic Management of Health Care Organizations, Advanced Health Care Systems, Advanced Health Care Management, Health Care Practicum or elective, general elective

MBA Programs in South Dakota

This section lists the on-campus MBA programs in South Dakota with AACSB accreditation. If you like the structure provided by set class times and prefer to have ongoing face-to-face interactions with your professors and colleagues, an on-campus program may be a good fit. Some programs also offer hybrid options to combine on-campus and online learning. Many concentration options are available to specialize in your learning experience, or you can pursue a general business degree to develop a broad business knowledge base.

1. Black Hills State University – School of Business

Black Hills State University (BHSU) offers an MBA degree in Applied Management at the school’s secondary campus in Rapid City. The MBA program requires 36 credit hours of study and has been accredited by the AACSB since 2014. It takes two to three years to complete the degree through part-time study and classes are offered in the evenings to cater to working professionals. The school offers small class sizes and uses an experiential learning curriculum; all students complete a capstone project as part of their graduation requirements. Learning about the local business context of South Dakota is also a focus of the program. The Applied Management concentration helps students learn to cultivate long-term relationships with colleagues and partners and strengthen business opportunities in this region of the country. Students also have the benefit of working with research centers focusing on specific areas of business, including the Center for Business, Entrepreneurship and Tourism, the Center for Economic Education, and the South Dakota Center for Enterprise and Opportunity.

2. University of South Dakota – Beacom School of Business

The University of South Dakota (USD) offers ACSB-accredited MBA programs on campus in Vermillion and through hybrid on-campus-online learning in Vermillion and Sioux Falls. The number of required credit hours will depend on whether your bachelor’s degree is in business or an unrelated subject. It will likely range between 33-60 credit hours including prerequisite business courses. Prerequisite courses can be taken online through USD prior to beginning the core MBA curriculum. The MBA core curriculum can be completed in one year of full-time study in Vermillion or longer through part-time study in the hybrid program. You can complete a general business degree or specialize in either Health Services Administration or Business Analytics. Each option has a different core curriculum. A thesis option is available to students in the General Business or Health Services Administration concentrations, but it is not a requirement to graduate.

3. University of Sioux Falls – Vucurevich School of Business

The University of Sioux Falls is a Christian institution that has offered an MBA degree since 1993. If you prefer to study full-time, a new degree program in Organizational Leadership, beginning in June 2016, requires 36 credit hours and can be completed in as little as one year. This MBA is designed for early-career applicants. This program has three-week-long intensive classes to allow you to progress quickly. A part-time, two-year MBA program offered in the evening or online is also available and caters to the needs of experienced working professionals. This program offers a General Business degree and specialization options.

South Dakota MBA Salary and Job Outlook

Opportunities for employment in South Dakota appear positive. The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation estimates that the entire workforce will grow from 472,605 to 505,870 by 2022, which is 7% increase overall.1 Much of this growth will occur in metropolitan areas in the state. For example, the workforce in Sioux Falls is expected to grow from 151,535 to 167,250 (a 10.37% increase) and the workforce in Rapid City is expected to increase from 68,015 to 73,940 (an 8.71% increase).1

Several business occupations are have been highlighted as important growth areas. Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists are listed in the state’s top 10 fastest-growing occupations; Management Analysts and Human Resources, Training and Labor Relations Specialists are listed on the state’s High Demand Occupations List; and Financial Analysts and Managers are on the Targeted Occupations List, which identifies areas for the state to invest more resources in post-secondary training opportunities.2,3,4 Pursuing any of the South Dakota MBA programs may make you more competitive for jobs in these growing areas.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 there were 11,440 individuals working in management positions in South Dakota earn a median salary of $100,080.5 Within that group, the largest number of individuals were employed as General and Operations Managers (3,670)5, earning a median salary of $118,7605. Chief Executives had the highest median salary ($203,340), which included 630 people.5 Managers in the state’s largest city, Sioux Falls, earned a slightly higher median salary ($112,440) compared to the state’s second largest city, Rapid City ($98,460).6,7

The US Department of Labor also provides statistics on salary projections and industry growth for various types of management positions in South Dakota.

  • Chief Executives earned a median salary of $182,500 in 2014, which was above the national median ($173,300). These positions are expected to grow by 2% in the state by 2022.8
  • General and Operations Managers also earned a median salary above the national median ($100,900 compared to $97,300) and are expected to grow at the same rate as the national projection (7%) by 2022.9
  • The median salary for the Managers, All Others category is $79,900 and is projected to grow at the same rate as the national projection, by 4%, by 2022.10
  • Management Analysts earned a median salary of $62,500 and are projected to grow by 14% by 2022, the same projected growth nationally.11
  • The median salary for Financial Managers in 2014 was slightly higher than the national median salary ($115,900 compared to $115,300) and the growth rates for the state and nation are both 7% by 2022.12

Payscale.com provides more statistics on salaries and universities:

  • MBA graduates in South Dakota may earn a salary between $41,432 and $144,259.
  • Graduates from the University of South Dakota earn an early career salary of $39,900 and this increases to $68,400 after 10 years of work experience.
  • Graduates from the University of Sioux Falls earn a median salary of $41,800.

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