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Academics

With an honors program that is “the best-kept secret in the country” and professors who are “nearly always willing to go the extra mile for students,” the University of South Dakota offers a “great student to faculty communicative experience at a reasonable price.” Numerous departments garner praise from students, and the University boasts winners “almost every year for big scholarships like the Goldwater and Truman, competing with big, Ivy League, private colleges that charge quadruple the amount for the same education.” While the nursing school is the most frequently praised, the “business, biology, premed, law, and psychology classes are very solid,” and the “dental hygiene, music, and journalism schools” also stand out, with the most copious laurels heaped on the music department’s professors who are “some of the best.” All told, the wide selection of quality academics “gives students many options as far as majors go,” and for students willing to throw themselves into their studies, “the odds of getting into a professional or graduate program are good.”

Student Body

A typical USD student “would be a conservative Midwesterner. He or she would be Caucasian” and would most likely have originated in “small towns in South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska.” “Many people join a Greek system or are athletes or musicians. Those who do not fit into these three main groups seem to focus on their academics” and “[fit] in fine with the majority because of the open mindedness of most students.” For example, “gay students are able to get along with the rest of student population.” There’s no denying that “partying is a definite part of the culture, though many of the ’smart’ kids both party and work hard.” Student organizations call out to many, and “it seems like every person on campus is part of at least one of them. It is a great way to meet new people and [to participate in] activities.”

Campus Life

“We work hard, so we can play hard,” sums up the undergraduate philosophy at USD. “Although there is a lot of partying that happens, the students keep themselves occupied with school work, intramural sports, and hanging out with their friends.” Vermillion’s small size seems to be a double-edged sword; some insist that “the size of the town means no one is more than a 10-minute walk/bike ride away!” and that “since it is a smaller campus, students have more opportunities to be involved in internships and various other activities.” But the fact remains that “many of the upperclassmen live in the larger cities to the north and south.” In general, “students have to make their own fun, which often involves partying or taking small road trips to other cities in the area.” For those planning to roam further afield, “Vermillion is located very close to Yankton, Sioux City (IA), and Sioux Falls (all within an hour). They are bigger cities and offer everything a person would want to do (shopping, movies, entertainment).”

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Applicants: 3,392
Acceptance Rate: 91%
Average HS GPA: 3.42






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