Apr 19, 2024  
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Academic Degrees Offered

Click here to see the Summary of Graduate Degrees page.

General Degree Requirements

These are the degree requirements of the Graduate School. Requirements of specific degree programs may vary. Students should confer with individual departments to determine if the program requires more than the minimum credit hours required by the Graduate School.

Master’s Degree

The University offers several Master’s degrees. Depending upon the program, these Master’s degrees may have alternative plans of study: Plan A requires the writing of a thesis; Plan B does not. Because departmental policies regarding thesis requirements vary, students should confer with department chairpersons or graduate program directors/coordinators to determine which of the following plans is required. Plan A requires no less than 30 semester credit hours: a minimum of 18 credit hours of course work in the major department with an additional 4 to 6 credit hours of thesis. Thesis guidelines are available through the Graduate School. Plan B requires no less than 32 semester credit hours. This option may require comprehensive exams and/or a Master’s project or portfolio in lieu of the thesis.

In addition to the M.S. (Master of Science) and M.A. (Master of Arts), the University also offers the M.P.A. (Master of Professional Accountancy) and the M.B.A. (Master of Business Administration) through the Beacom School of Business, the M.N.S. (Master of Natural Science), the M.P.A. (Master of Public Administration) and the E.M.P.A. (Executive Master of Public Administration) through College of Arts and Sciences, the M.M. (Master of Music) and the M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts) through the College of Fine Arts, and the M.S.W. (Master of Social Work) through the School of Health Sciences.

Specialist in Education Degree (Ed.S.)

The Specialist in Education degree requires a minimum of 60 credit hours beyond a baccalaureate degree or a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond a Master’s degree. A thesis for the Ed.S. is optional. If a student already has a Master’s degree, their graduate GPA must be a 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale for full admission to the University of South Dakota for the Specialist in Education degree.

Doctoral Degrees

There are several Doctoral degrees offered by the University of South Dakota.

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) is a terminal research degree with a focus on education practice. The Ed.D. requires a minimum of 90 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree, 60 credit hours beyond the Master’s degree, or 30 credits beyond a Specialist’s degree, whichever is greater. A dissertation is required.  Fifteen credit hours of dissertation applies towards the degree.  The degree program may entail more than 15 credit hours of dissertation and/or other specific requirements. 

Clinical Doctorate (e.g. Au.D., D.P.T., t.D.P.T.) is a practice-focused terminal degree in clinical fields. Depending upon the discipline, the clinical doctorate may require more than 100 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree and an extensive clinical experience. A dissertation is not required.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is the terminal degree in many fields, the Ph.D. is a research-focused degree. The Ph.D. requirements are program specific. Please refer to the academic program and degree requirement section for the program of interest. In most programs, a dissertation based on in-depth original research is required. Fifteen credit hours of dissertation are required by the Graduate School. The degree program may entail more than 15 credit hours of dissertation and/or other specific requirements.  Please see program specific requirements for more information.

Juris Doctor (J.D.) is the law degree typically awarded by an accredited US law school after successful completion of three years of post-graduate law study. Law students are prepared for careers in leadership in the administration of justice, private practice, public service, business, and several other law-related careers.

Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) is the first professional degree awarded in the field of medicine. Medical students complete two years of basic science education in Vermillion followed by two years of clinical science education at one of several sites in South Dakota.

Graduate Degrees Offered

The University of South Dakota offers 66 graduate degree and certificate programs. Several opportunities exist for students to pursue advanced degrees simultaneously through joint degree programs. The following is a comprehensive list of graduate degrees and the programs in which they are offered.

Master of Arts
  Addiction Studies
  Counseling and Psychology in Education
  Educational Administration
  Elementary Education
  Interdisciplinary Studies
  Kinesiology and Sport Science
  Political Science
  Secondary Education
  Special Education
  Speech-Language Pathology
Executive Master of Public Administration
Master of Business Administration
Master of Fine Arts
Master of Music
Master of Natural Science
Master of Professional Accountancy
Master of Public Administration
Master of Science
  Basic Biomedical Sciences
  Biomedical Engineering
  Computer Science
  Occupational Therapy
  Physician Assistant Studies
  Technology for Education and Training
Master of Social Work
Specialist in Education
  Counseling and Psychology in Education
  Curriculum and Instruction
  Educational Administration
Doctor of Education
  Curriculum and Instruction
  Educational Administration
Clinical Doctorate
  Physical Therapy
  Transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy (tDPT)
Doctor of Philosophy
  Basic Biomedical Sciences
  Biological Science
  Biomedical Engineering
  Counseling and Psychology in Education
  Materials Chemistry
  Political Science
Juris Doctor
  Joint Law/Master’s Program
Doctor of Medicine
  School of Medicine
  School of Medicine/Basic Biomedical Sciences

Graduate Certificates offered at the University of South Dakota include:

Addiction Studies
American Indian Education
Disaster Mental Health
Literacy Leadership and Coaching
Long-Term Care Management
Mental Health Counseling
Nonprofit Management
Piano Pedagogy
State Government Leadership (available only to selected State of South Dakota employees)