Aug 18, 2022  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Division of Continuing & Distance Education

Elizabeth McKay Freeburg, Ed.S., Ph. D.
Associate Provost

Julie Barnett
Director of Continuing and Distance Education

University of South Dakota
414 East Clark Street
Slagle Hall 102
Vermillion, SD 57069
Phone: 605-658-6152

The mission of the Division of Continuing & Distance Education (CDE) is to extend the academic resources of the University to the citizens of South Dakota, the region, and beyond so students can complete their education goals. The Division of Continuing and Distance Education provides students the opportunity to obtain a degree, advance credentials, or simply learn more about a topic of interest through credit and noncredit instruction. The University of South Dakota is approved by the Higher Learning Commission ( to offer face-to-face to Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Pierre (throught May 2021), and Yankton, South Dakota. Moreover, the University offers 35 robust online degree and certificate programs facilitated by the Division of Continuing and Distance Education. Face-to-face courses are extended throughout South Dakota, the United States and at select international locations. Furthermore, the Division of Continuing and Distance Education at the University of South Dakota also oversees Customized and Contract Education, and the Summer University program at the Indian University of North America at Crazy Horse Memorial.

State Authorization

Students are entitled to certain consumer protections, and USD is obligated to comply with certain state regulations, in the state in which they live while taking any USD course. This permission process is called “State Authorization” and includes any traditional, online, or hybrid program, or any course involving learning placements, outside South Dakota. A learning placement includes an activity such as internship, externship, clinical, rotation, practicum, independent study, study away, proctoring, etc.

Admission into a distance education course or program is granted at the time of initial acceptance into the course/program and is dependent on availability in the state where a student lives at the time of admission. If a student moves to, or lives in, a different state after admission to the course/program, continuation within the course/program and Federal financial aid will depend on the availability of the course/program within the new state where the student lives. Whether military personnel stationed outside the state of South Dakota may enroll or continue in a USD distance education program is based on where military personnel are stationed. It is the student’s responsibility to notify USD’s Division of Continuing & Distance Education of a change in location.

As a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA), USD is permitted to operate under the terms of SARA policies and standards in offering online courses/degree programs to students living in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.  USD is not required to seek approval for online and distance education programs in California as the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education does not regulate out-of-state public institutions.  (As of July 1, 2020.)

To ensure any educational programs and/or learning placements a student is considering outside South Dakota have authorization, and that a student is able to pursue these opportunities, the student should contact the Division of Continuing & Distance Education at 605-658-6152 or by email at The authorization map located at also provides information about USD’s authorization status for distance education..

International Students 

International students are advised to understand and be apprised of the rules, regulations, and requirements related to online distance education programs in the country in which they live; particularly: (a) if the country will recognize an online degree; (b) whether the program meets licensure or certification requirements in the country; and (c) if the country charges any additional taxes, withholdings or fees associated with online distance education programs.  If a student is considering enrolling in an online program, please check to ensure the online degree will serve its intended purpose.

Courses or Programs Leading to Professional Licensure or Certification

The University of South Dakota as of July 1, 2020, cannot confirm whether any particular course or program meets educational prerequisites for professional licensure or certification in states other than South Dakota. If a student plans to apply for licensure/certification in a state other than South Dakota after completion of the program, they should contact the academic department offering the major or CDE at 605.658.6152 or by email at USD is working to comply with these requirements and will provide up-to-date information as it becomes available at

Student Resources and Complaints

Refund Policy

Adverse Actions:  

As of June 1, 2020, the University of South Dakota has no previous, current, nor pending adverse actions related to distance education that has been taken by an accreditation agency or state entity within the last five years.