Jun 22, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Research & Creative Scholarship Opportunities

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Research & Creative Scholarship Opportunities


Research and creative scholarship is an integral part of the University’s mission and an important facet of most graduate education programs. Faculty and students pursue research in virtually all academic departments on campus, and in many cases, research or creative scholarship is a required portion of the graduate programs. In addition, there are many interdisciplinary and mission-oriented institutes on campus that carry out research. Graduate students can become involved in the research occurring in the institutes and centers.

Graduate students generally pursue research in collaboration with a faculty advisor housed in the student’s major department. Academic credit is given for research, which contributes to the thesis or dissertation the student prepares as part of his/her graduate program of study.

The mission of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) is to support and expand competitive research and creative scholarship at USD. The ORSP achieves this mission through several activities and services including the Office of Human Subjects Protection, pre- and post-award support, internal grants programs, and relations in the context of competitive research development. Facilities that are available for student research include computer labs on campus housed in both central locations and within certain departments, scientific instrumentation, fine arts facilities, field equipment, the IRB, and other specialized resources within departments. An overview of USD’s research centers, programs and facilities is listed at: www.usd.edu/research.

Research & Creative Scholarship Funding & Fellowships


Prospective graduate students are encouraged to investigate opportunities for research that are available to them in the discipline of their choice. Many students find financial support in the form of Graduate Research Assistantships, which are funded through a combination of University funds and research grants obtained by faculty. Students may also apply for graduate fellowships operated by a number of federal funding agencies. A list is available at the Graduate School Scholarships website (https://www.usd.edu/graduate-school/professional-development/scholarships).

Graduate Research and Creative Scholarship Grants are also available to students on a competitive basis. Through these grants, graduate students can receive support for their research or creative scholarship projects. The call for proposals is typically held in the fall and spring semesters. For more information, consult information in the Graduate School website (www.usd.edu/Academics/Colleges-and-Schools/Graduate-School/Professional-Development) or contact the Graduate School for more details.

Research Facilities and Centers


Al Neuharth Media Center


Michelle Van Maanen
Chair, Department of Media & Journalism


The Al Neuharth Media Center is named for the late Al Neuharth, who was a 1950 journalism graduate of USD and the founder of USA Today and the Newseum. The center is funded in part by the Freedom Forum Institute, a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to providing a forum for educational programs and thought-leadership initiatives, as well as educational materials addressing the five freedoms of the First Amendment: speech, press, religion, assembly, and petition.

The Al Neuharth Media Center houses South Dakota Public Broadcasting, the USD Department of Media & Journalism, the Coyote Insights Media Research Laboratory (Communication and Media Psychology), and all USD student media, including KYOT-TV, KAOR-FM, and The Volante campus newspaper, which Neuharth edited as a student in 1949.

Al Neuharth has left behind a legacy of free-press rights for students, providing The Volante staff with its modern facilities, a professional adviser, training opportunities and the Al Neuharth Scholarships for Excellence in Media. In keeping with his interests, the Freedom Forum Institute has been particularly focused on journalism education, supporting the First Amendment, and helping to diversify staffing in newsrooms around the nation. At USD, it has sponsored since 1989 an annual Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media.

The Al Neuharth Media Center building is operated by the University. Conference and meeting facilities at the Al Neuharth Media Center are available for booking by university departments, organizations and programs. The refurbished building, completed in 2003 with major funding from the Newseum Institute, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, and the University of South Dakota Foundation, is a popular venue for workshops, training classes, lectures, luncheon meetings and dinner programs. The state-of-the-art Freedom Forum Institute Conference Room accommodates up to 80 for a sit-down meal and about 100 people for auditorium-style seating. The Freedom Forum Board Room is designed for smaller gatherings of about a dozen people. The center’s spectacular two-story Freedom Forum Institute Concourse is ideal for receptions and social gatherings. For reservations and inquiries, contact the Al Neuharth Media Center at 605-658-6810 or mj@usd.edu.

Center for Brain and Behavior Research (CBBRe)


Center for Brain and Behavior Research (CBBRe)
Lee Medical Building Room 233


Our Mission

The University of South Dakota Center for Brain and Behavior Research (CBBRe) promotes innovative research in the neuro- and biological sciences. The Center provides outstanding training for students and fellows, feeding the pipeline of creative independent scientists in the fields of neuroscience and behavioral science in the northern plain states and nationally. The core members of the center are recognized in their field and are actively involved in research, the education of students, and in service to the neuroscience community.

Our Research Strengths

  • Stress and Addiction: Neural and behavioral processes underlying stress, mood and emotion, and related psychiatric disorders - particularly addiction/substance dependence and affective disorders.
  • Neural and Behavioral Development: Neural, cognitive and behavioral development and related developmental disorders - particularly behavioral/cognitive disorders, learning disabilities, and communication disorders.
  • Cognition and Plasticity: Neural and behavioral processes underlying decision making, learning, memory and motor function, and related neurological disorders - particularly stroke, traumatic brain injury, pain, cancer within the nervous system, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Center for Ultra-Low Background Experiments in the Dakotas (CUBED)


Dongming Mei
Department of Physics
Email: phys@usd.edu  


The Center for Ultra-Low Background Experiments in the Dakotas (CUBED) originated under a grant from the South Dakota 2010 Initiative in an effort to promote the involvement of scientists and students from South Dakota institutions in experiments planned for the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) at the former Homestake Mine in Lead, SD. The overall goal of the center is to perform material purification and crystal growth underground for ultra-low background experiments at SURF. When accomplished, SURF will be the only site in the world where highly pure germanium crystals are grown in a deep underground environment. The project has involved zone refining, crystal growth, crystal characterization, detector fabrication, and the detection of rare physics processes. CUBED has received significant support from the Department of Energy’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research and established connections with international institutions and industry. In 2017, CUBED received a prestigious award from the National Science Foundation for Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE). PIRE-GEMADARC, an international consortium led by USD, has started international research on advanced germanium detectors and technologies for the search for dark matter and detection of neutrinos with 15 institutions across 5 counties. Internships and scholarships are provided. The majority of our graduate students have attended various domestic and international conferences and given presentations. Graduate students have the opportunity to visit schools overseas during the course of pursuing a degree in Physics at USD and most graduate students will have published research papers in scientific journals before completing their degrees. The obvious job opportunities arising for graduate students affiliated with CUBED exist at SURF, other national labs, research institutions, and with semiconductor industry partners as well as computational analysis and big data processing enterprises.

Disaster Mental Health Institute


Raluca Simons, Ph.D., Director 
Noteboom 215

The Disaster Mental Health Institute’s (DMHI) mission is the promotion, development, and application of both practice and research in disaster psychology. Through the USD Department of Psychology the DMHI offers a Graduate Certificate in Disaster Mental Health  and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a Clinical/Disaster Psyschology specialization . These programs help students learn how to serve their communities in times of disaster, and include real-world practicum experiences in preparing for or responding to disasters with American Red Cross Disaster Services. DMHI faculty are engaged in cutting-edge research and disaster preparedness and response, both in the United States and around the world, and they bring that knowledge and experience into the classroom. Students learn directly from faculty who are shaping the future of the field world-wide.

Gallagher International Center


Gallagher International Center  
ID Weeks Library, Suite 103 / Burr House 
605-658-3599 / 605-658-6255 
engage@usd.edu / isso@usd.edu 
www.usd.edu/studyabroad / www.usd.edu/international

Study Abroad and Exchange Courses  

International travel and study abroad enhance a student’s resume with experiences and skills that are difficult to obtain in any other way. There are numerous exciting educational study abroad opportunities available to graduate and professional students. These experiences may be during the semester or summer.  

USD offers direct exchange program opportunities in such countries as Australia, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Spain, Lithuania, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, South Korea, and Wales. In most cases, students pay USD tuition and receive credit toward their program of study.  In addition to the direct exchange programs, USD has affiliations with third party program providers that offer hundreds of locations around the world. Through the National Student Exchange, students are also able to affordably study at over 175 colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. To determine if study abroad is possible or appropriate for their program, students should consult with their graduate advisor and then meet with a study abroad advisor at the Gallagher Center.   

International Student Support 

The GIC supports international students from the time of application through to graduation and the completion of Optional Practical Training (OPT). Current students have access to a full-time international student advisor who provides immigration-related compliance advising and support, and employment services for OPT and Curricular Practical Training (CPT). The office also sponsors orientation programs and cultural programming.  

International Admissions and Recruitment 

The University of South Dakota welcomes students’ applications for admission from all countries. We aim to provide prospective students with personal attention, timely service and clear, accurate information about the University and the admissions process. 

Government Research Bureau


Ed Gerrish, Ph.D., Coordinator
Dakota Hall 101

USD’s Government Research Bureau provides expert research design and analysis services to stakeholders at every stage of the public policy and administration process. The GRB has a distinguished history of providing services to support South Dakota’s governments, nonprofits, and businesses. It leverages the research talent at the University of South Dakota to provide its clients with customized research design and analysis solutions. The GRB is committed to producing the highest quality work for the GRB’s clients while also building a place where USD’s students and faculty can contribute to the well-being of the state and region.

Institute of American Indian Studies


Old Main, Room 203


Established in 1955 by the South Dakota State Legislature [SDCL 13-57-3.2], the Institute of American Indian Studies develops and promotes American Indian-related projects, activities, and programs at the University of South Dakota. These projects include on- and off-campus programs to promote education and awareness of American Indian culture and issues and strengthening relations with tribes, tribal colleges, and other appropriate American Indian organizations in the state, region, and beyond.

Missouri River Institute


David Swanson, Director
Missouri River Institute


The University of South Dakota established the Missouri River Institute (MRI) to develop and promote research, education, and public awareness related to the natural and cultural resources of the Missouri River Basin. The MRI promotes interdisciplinary research on the Missouri River by contributing faculty, students, equipment, and funding resources toward research projects that address issues related to the Missouri River system. The MRI, along with other academic departments, is developing new curricula and academic programs for ecological studies at USD relevant to Missouri River issues. This includes undergraduate courses and graduate programs centered on riverine and environmental studies. The MRI is also active in outreach projects to promote understanding of and interaction with the river. 

USD is located near one of the last remaining undammed and unchannelized portions of the Missouri River downstream of the dams, a 59-mile section of river from Gavins Point Dam to Ponca State Park, Nebraska. The University’s unique location allows it to integrate river research within campus life on a daily basis. Under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the federal government declared this section the Missouri National Recreational River in 1978. It therefore provides a natural field laboratory for research, teaching and outreach activities. 

The Missouri River Institute gives students a unique opportunity to get involved directly in the Missouri River’s natural and cultural heritage. Inquiries about research and education opportunities can be made to the Director of the Institute, the Student Engagement Action Coordinator, or to individual faculty mentors.

National Music Museum


Dwight Vaught, Director


The ingenious intersection of music, art, science, engineering, and technology is showcased at the National Music Museum, one of the great museums of its kind in the world. Housed in a restored Carnegie library building, the NMM’s ever-growing collections of more than 15,000 American, European, and global instruments from many cultures and historical periods are the most inclusive in the world. Although music museums are found in many cities, the comprehensive nature of the NMM’s collection makes it the premier institution of its kind. Included are many of the earliest, best preserved, and historically most important musical instruments known to survive, dating back to as early as the 16th century. All reflect the ageless, universal power of human ingenuity and imagination. Concerts are presented throughout the year, bringing the Museum to life with sound. The Jason & Betsy Groves Special Exhibition Gallery features a new exhibition each year. Group tours must be arranged two weeks in advance. Admission for USD students, faculty, and staff is free with current USD ID.

The NMM is also a leading institution for organological research and hosts national/international conferences that attract scholars from around the world. USD students, from across many disciplines, can find unique research ideas in the NMM. In addition to musical instruments, the NMM’s resources include a specialized library and extensive archives, with special emphasis on the documentation of the American music industry. NMM faculty and staff are leading scholars in the field, publish widely, and provide international leadership. Graduates of the University’s graduate program, with a specialization in the history of musical instruments, now hold positions with other major musical instrument collections, museums, and libraries, both in the U.S.A. and abroad.

Sanford Research/USD


David A. Pearce, Ph.D., President for Innovation, Research & World Clinic, Sanford Health 
2301 E. 60th Street North
Sioux Falls, SD 57104

Fax: 605-312-6559
Email: ReseachAdminAsst@SanfordHealth.org


Sanford Research is a non-profit organization and part of Sanford Health, an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas. Sanford Research is dedicated to excellence with research groups in Diabetes, Cancer Biology and Immunotherapies, Cellular Therapies and Stem Cell Biology, Pediatrics and Rare Diseases, Environmental Influences on Health and Disease, Genetics and Genomics, Enabling Technologies, and Behavioral Science. Central to the success of Sanford Research are its 32 principal scientists and more than 200 research staff, students, postdoctoral fellows, and administrative personnel who support them. Sanford Research is housed in the Sanford Center, a 299,000 sq. ft. building in Sioux Falls, SD that includes state-of-the-art equipment and core facilities to support a wide variety of competitive research programs.

South Dakota Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN)


Victor Huber
Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences
Sanford School of Medicine


The University is the lead site for the South Dakota Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (SD BRIN). Project partners at seven institutions in South Dakota collaborate to conduct research funded under the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. SD BRIN underwrites the Bioinformatics, Genomics and Proteomics Core Facilities and supports a large number of library scientific databases and journals.

South Dakota Oral History Center


University Libraries, Room 322


The South Dakota Oral History Center (SDOHC) houses collections of audio interviews relating to the experiences of the peoples of the Northern Plains. In all, the Center houses seven collections. The John S. Painter Collection, Stanislaus Maudlin Collection, James Emery Collection, Lindley Collection, and Frank Day Collection comprise the smaller five and cover a variety of topics from traditional National American music to an in-depth oral diary of Stanislaus Maudlin of Blue Cloud Abbey and recordings of prominent regional speakers. The American Indian Research Project is composed of about 2,400 tapes discussing experiences of more than sixty First Nations groups, including Dakota and Lakota peoples. Topics range from ancient stories and traditional religious beliefs to recent political and social views reflecting Native American life ways. The South Dakota Oral History Project contains almost 3,500 recorded interviews covering myriad aspects of South Dakota history. The SDOHC began collecting interviews more than fifty years ago and continues to do so today. A valuable resource for students and researchers, the SDOHC houses some 6,000 recordings, making it one of the largest oral history collections in the United States. The SDOHC is located in Room 322, I.D. Weeks and is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Whether planning a project or simply seeking a tour, patrons are encouraged to make appointments in advance by telephone or email.

The Dr. Joseph H. Cash Memorial Library is a branch of the SDOHC that contains books, photographs, films, and videos on North American frontier history with special emphases on Native America, the mining industry, and western literature. The collection is a gift of Dr. Cash’s family to honor his service to the University as Professor of History, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and Director of the Institute of American Indian Studies. The Cash Library is available for to students, faculty members, and researchers, who are encouraged to contact the SDOHC for an appointment.

South Dakota Small Business Development Center


Beacom School of Business
University of South Dakota
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069

The South Dakota Small Business Development Center (SBDC) serves as an advisor for South Dakota businesses to start or grow by assisting with business planning, operational improvement, and product or market development.

Through a network of seven offices across the state, we provide professional and confidential business assistance in: business planning, financial projections, exporting, contracting with the government, continuous improvement, early stage research grants, and angel capital to individuals starting a business or looking for ways to grow an existing business.

Services are provided under the SBDC umbrella through the following programs:
Small Business Development Center (SBDC) - Business plan development and review, financial projections and analysis, advice on organization, management and marketing issues.

APEX Accelerator - Assist companies wishing to contract with the Federal or State government. Assistance includes registration, technical assistance on bid and proposal preparation, and receiving payments.

International Trade Center (ITC) - Readiness assessments and one-on-one technical assistance on logistics, documentation, payment and other issues related to exporting.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Early stage research grants for product innovation in targeted areas. Connect entrepreneurs with research and commercialization resources.

W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership


David C. Earnest, Ph.D., Director
132 Dakota Hall


The South Dakota Board of Regents established the W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership in the fall of 1997 as a Center of Excellence. The Center is housed within the Department of Political Science and offers a minor in Civic Leadership Studies. The term “civic” was chosen to emphasize that the Center’s focus is not narrowly governmental but rather broadly inclusive of all aspects of our lives together as citizens of a community, state, nation, and world. The mission of the Center is to prepare students and help communities to face difficult public problems in a manner consistent with constitutional values. The Center fosters responsible and ethical leadership through education, service, and scholarship in the public interest.

The W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership was founded on the belief that there is leadership within every person. Its initiative stresses the importance of principled leadership based on core values and emphasizes leadership as a process, not just a position. Viewed in this way, leadership requires responsible action of individuals in every part of society, not simply those in formal leadership roles.