Business Degree Schools in South Dakota

In the heart of the northern Great Plains of the United States, South Dakota became a state in 1889, at the same time as its counterpart, North Dakota. Divided roughly in half by the Missouri River, which begins in Montana and passes through both Dakotas and several other states on its journey to the Mississippi, the eastern part of South Dakota contains most of its population and is known for its fertile soil and farming, while the western half is more mountainous and its economy based on ranching and tourism. The 17th largest state by area, South Dakota’s population of under 1 million gives it a low population density, especially in its western regions. In addition to agriculture and tourism—South Dakota is home to several national and state parks, including Mount Rushmore—government spending also plays an important role in South Dakota’s economy, with Ellsworth Air Force Base being the state’s second-largest single employer.

South Dakota has a surprisingly large number of business school options given its small population: data from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) shows 12 public and non-profit schools that grant undergraduate business degrees in the state. Even better, 7 of the 12 are accredited, which means you can easily ensure that the program you select has clear objectives and produces quality outcomes while adhering to national and international standards. Accredited business degrees also typically offer a richer educational experience by offering interaction with real businesses.

All of the schools in this article have been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and/or International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). They are all public or non-profit and regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

In this article, you will find all the essential data you need to help you choose the South Dakota business school that best suits your unique needs, based on a variety of key factors, including tuition, financial aid, entrance exam scores, acceptance rates, and more. The sections that follow describe undergraduate programs and job prospects for business school graduates in South Dakota.

Undergraduate Business Schools in South Dakota

Financially speaking, South Dakota’s schools are split into two groups. The first, comprising Presentation College, Dakota Wesleyan University, and the University of Sioux Falls, is more expensive, with an average tuition of $24,100. The second, containing the other four schools, is more affordable, with tuitions in the range of $7,900 to $8,900. Financial aid is moderate, with an average of $12,800 for the pricier schools and $4,600 for the budget options.

Acceptance rates in South Dakota are excellent: The overall average is 85%, one of the best in the country. These range from 73% at Dakota Wesleyan University to a whopping 99% at Presentation College. Graduation rates for undergraduate business degrees in South Dakota are middle-of-the-road, with an overall average of 46%. The best graduation rate, 54%, is at the University of South Dakota, while the lowest, 36%, can be found at Black Hills State University. The best combination of acceptance rate and graduation rate (88% and 54%, respectively) is at the University of South Dakota.

The table below shows you all the important data you need about undergraduate business schools in South Dakota, including annual in-state tuition costs, average aid per student, acceptance rates, SAT and ACT score ranges of accepted students, and graduation rates. Click any column header to sort the table based on its contents.

SchoolCityTuitionAidMedian SATMedian ACTAccept. RateGrad. Rate
Black Hills State UniversitySpearfish$8,004$4,617880-110019-2480%36%
Dakota State UniversityMadison$8,927$3,961860-116519-2583%37%
Dakota Wesleyan UniversityMitchell$26,050$13,994800-101019-2473%47%
Northern State UniversityAberdeen$7,887$5,103870-105017-2481%50%
Presentation CollegeAberdeen$19,090$8,924820-102318-2299%44%
University of Sioux FallsSioux Falls$27,160$15,443960-116020-2591%52%
University of South DakotaVermillion$8,457$4,887890-120020-2588%54%

Job Outlook for Business School Graduates in South Dakota

From 2016 to 2026, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data predicts total growth of at least 5% in 32 of 37 business and management occupations across the US. The highest growth will be for market analysts and marketing specialists, at 22.8% over ten years, with financial managers coming in second at 18.7%.

South Dakota has extremely strong employment figures. Its unemployment rate has been well below the national average for all of the last three decades, and even during the Great Recession it only nudged above 5%, half the rate in the United States as a whole. Its current rate is just 3.2%. About 22,600 people were employed in the business and management sector in South Dakota in 2016. The largest subgroup was accountants and auditors at 4,410, just beating out general and operations managers at 3,700.

According to BLS data, South Dakota ranked 29th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia for overall average annual wage across all occupations in 2016 at $48,321, well below the national average of $57,617. Business and management occupations had a weighted average annual salary of around $82,750 that same year. Chief executives were the highest-paid category at $241,000, giving South Dakota one of the highest ratios of CEO salary to average salary. Most management positions fell between $120,000 and $140,000. The lowest-paid of the groups was meeting and event planners at $35,000.

Occupation TitleBLS.gov
Code
2016
Total
Employment
South Dakota
Mean
Hourly
Wage
South Dakota
Mean
Annual
Wage
South Dakota
National
Growth
2016-26
Accountants and Auditors13-20114,410$31$65,4608.0%
Administrative Services Managers11-3011360$40$83,5309.1%
Architectural and Engineering Managers11-9041110$64$133,6907.4%
Budget Analysts13-2031140$30$62,09010.4%
Business Operations Specialists13-1199670$33$69,45010.1%
Chief Executives11-1011520$116$240,87011.9%
Compensation, and Benefits Specialists13-1141600$25$52,7105.6%
Compliance Officers13-1041970$28$57,4205.0%
Construction Managers11-9021240$45$94,1508.9%
Cost Estimators13-1051830$25$52,94010.3%
Credit Analysts13-2041340$29$60,20011.4%
Credit Counselors13-207150$18$37,6405.5%
Financial Analysts13-2051540$35$73,3204.9%
Financial Examiners13-2061100$41$85,5608.2%
Financial Managers11-3031650$65$134,63010.6%
General and Operations Managers11-10213,700$59$123,3107.1%
Human Resources Managers11-3121250$46$94,810-7.8%
Human Resources Specialists13-1071960$26$53,4706.9%
Information Systems Managers11-3021210$62$127,97012.0%
Insurance Underwriters13-2053320$38$78,60010.2%
Loan Officers13-20721,570$31$63,99011.5%
Logisticians13-1081110$36$74,95022.8%
Management Analysts13-11112,530$38$79,1008.8%
Market Analysts and Marketing Specialists13-1161790$26$54,27010.0%
Marketing Managers11-202170$65$135,6306.5%
Meeting and Event Planners13-1121260$17$35,0008.4%
Purchasing Managers11-306150$66$137,740-5.2%
Sales Managers11-2022310$62$129,6809.8%
Tax Examiners and Revenue Agents13-2081130$25$52,26013.9%
Tax Preparers13-2082340$20$42,57011.5%
Training and Development Specialists13-1151510$24$50,20010.8%

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References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics:https://nces.ed.gov/
2. AACSB, Best Business Schools:http://bestbizschools.aacsb.edu/aacsb-accredited
3. ACBSP, Business Schools:https://www.acbsp.org/?page=accreditation
4. IACBE, Business Schools:http://iacbe.org/accreditation/
5. US Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handbook, Business and Financial Occupations: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/home.htm
6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics – Employment and Wage Estimates South Dakota: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_sd.htm
7. US News & World Report, Best Business Schools: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools