Jul 24, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Academic Degrees Offered

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

A master’s degree requires no less than 30 credit hours. The University offers several master’s degrees. 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.P.A. (Master of Public Administration) and the E.M.P.A. (Executive Master of Public Administration) through the College of Arts & 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.N. (Master of Science in Nursing), M.P.H. (Master of Public Health), and M.S.W. (Master of Social Work) through the School of Health Sciences.

Depending upon the program, these master’s degrees may have alternative plans of study: Plan A, Plan B, or Plan C. Plan A requires the writing, successful defense, and submission of a thesis. Thesis guidelines are available at: link.usd.edu/3369. Departmental policies regarding thesis requirements may vary. Students should confer with the catalog and department chairpersons or graduate program directors/coordinators for program specific guidelines. Plan B may require comprehensive exams and/or a master’s project or portfolio in lieu of the thesis. Plan C requires a supervised internship experience.

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. If a student already has a master’s degree, the 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 60 credit hours beyond the master’s degree or 30 credit hours beyond a specialist degree. 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 (Au.D., D.N.A.P., D.N.P., D.P.T., and O.T.D.) 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.

The University of South Dakota, through the Law and Medical schools, offers graduate degree programs:

Juris Doctor (J.D.) is the law degree typically awarded by an accredited U.S. 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 1.5 years of basic science education in Vermillion followed by 2.5 years of clinical science education at one of several sites in South Dakota.

Graduate Degrees Offered

The University of South Dakota offers 85 graduate degree and certificate programs. Several opportunities exist for students to pursue advanced degrees simultaneously through concurrent degree programs. The following is a comprehensive list of graduate degrees and the programs in which they are offered.

Master of Arts
  Addiction Counseling and Prevention
  Counseling and Psychology in Education
  Educational Administration and Leadership
  Elementary Education
  Interdisciplinary Studies
  Kinesiology and Sport Management
  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 Professional Accountancy
Master of Public Administration
Master of Public Health
Master of Science
  Basic Biomedical Sciences
  Biomedical Engineering
  Business Analytics
  Computer Science
  Physician Assistant Studies
  Technology for Education and Training
Master of Science in Nursing
Master of Social Work
Specialist in Education
  Counseling and Psychology in Education
  Educational Administration and Leadership
Doctor of Education
  Curriculum and Instruction
  Educational Administration and Leadership
Clinical Doctorate
  Nurse Anesthesia Practice
  Nursing Practice
  Occupational Therapy
  Physical Therapy
Doctor of Philosophy
  Basic Biomedical Sciences
  Biological Sciences
  Biomedical Engineering
  Counseling and Psychology in Education
  Health Sciences
  Materials Chemistry
Juris Doctor
Doctor of Medicine
Graduate Certificates
  Addiction Counseling and Prevention
  Advanced Graduate Mathematics
  Alternative Teacher Certification
  Artificial Intelligence
  Arts in Health
  Board Certified Behavior Analyst
  Business Analytics
  Child & Adult Advocacy Studies
  Disaster Mental Health
  Geospatial Analysis
  Graduate Mathematics
  Leadership in Public Management
  Long Term Care Management
  Mental Health Counseling
  Museum and Archive Studies
  Nonprofit Management
  Operations and Supply Chain Management
  Piano Pedagogy
  Public Health
  Science, Technology, and Math Pedagogy
  State Government Leadership Excellence (available only to selected State of South Dakota employees)
  Techniques for Public Policy
  Technology Development & Entrepreneurship