Jun 15, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Arts & Sciences, College of

John Dudley, Dean
Jessica Messersmith, Associate Dean for Academics
Katherine Price, Assistant Dean for Administration
Arts & Sciences 110
Phone: (605) 658-3830   Fax: (605) 658-3825





Communication Sciences and Disorders
Communication Studies
Computer Science
Criminal Justice
International Studies
Legal Studies Media & Journalism
Native American Studies
Political Science
Sport Marketing & Media



Biomedical Engineering
Chemistry, American Chemical Society (ACS) Approved
Chemistry, Coordinate
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Communication Studies
Computer Science
Criminal Justice
Legal Studies
Media & Journalism
Medical Biology
Political Science
Sport Marketing & Media



Bachelor of General Studies

The College of Arts and Sciences is the University’s original academic unit and the heart of liberal arts education - among the oldest and most distinguished intellectual traditions in the world. The College provides an educational foundation for all undergraduate students. It also delivers many excellent majors and minors, and provides outstanding preparation for a wide range of graduate and professional programs.

Award-winning faculty in Arts and Sciences are deeply committed to teaching and mentoring students, discovering and disseminating knowledge, and serving the people of the state and region. Diligent mentoring by faculty has helped Arts and Sciences students win a host of nationally competitive awards in recent years, including Rhodes, Boren, Fulbright, Truman, Goldwater, Udall, and National Science Foundation scholarships. Within the College of Arts and Sciences and its departments alone, more than 150 scholarships, awards, and prizes are available annually to students.

Seventeen academic departments in the humanities, the mathematical and natural sciences, and the social sciences deliver more than fifty unique programs of study. Degree options include:  Associate of Arts (A.A.), Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.), Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.), Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

In addition to its many disciplinary programs, the College of Arts and Sciences houses interdisciplinary programs in Archaeology, Classics, Geography, Gerontology, International Studies, Medical Biology, Multicultural Studies, Native American Studies, Neuroscience, Sustainability, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and research and service centers, such as the Heimstra Human Factors Lab, the Government Research Bureau, the W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership, and the USD Speech and Hearing Center.

Although the College has a rich past, we continuously look toward the future. Our faculty members are dedicated to nurturing thoughtful and engaged citizens with a keen sense of personal responsibility and integrity. Our programs prepare and inspire students to lead productive and fulfilling lives. 


Humanities Division

Communication Studies
Modern Languages and Linguistics
Native American Studies

Mathematics/Natural Sciences Division

Biomedical Engineering
Computer Science
Mathematical Sciences
Sustainability and Environment

Social Sciences Division

Communication Sciences and Disorders
Criminal Justice
International Studies
Media and Journalism
Military Science
Political Science


The major includes 27-43 departmental credit hours, depending upon the department or discipline.

Each candidate for a B.A. or B.S. degree must select the work of one department or discipline as a major subject. In the major department, the students must complete all the courses specified in the requirements outlined by the department. Any deviation from this must receive the written consent of the chair of the department and the Dean of the College. At least 50% of the hours for the major must be completed as institutional credit. A minimum of 27 credit hours and a maximum of 48 hours may be counted toward graduation. Credit beyond 48 taken in a major field must be in addition to the 120 hours required for graduation. A 2.0 minimum grade point average in the major is required for graduation.


Students may elect to complete majors in more than one department in the College by fulfilling all of the requirements for a major which are stipulated by each discipline. Students electing to complete multiple majors will not be required to complete a minor.  Students who select a second major outside the College must fulfill all requirements stipulated by the other College or School as well as by the College of Arts and Sciences. Students in an approved 3+3 fast-track option with the USD Knudson School of Law may substitute the first year of law coursework for the minor or second major.


Minors consist of 18-22 credit hours, depending upon the department or discipline. Each candidate for graduation with a B.A. or B.S. degree must select one or more discipline(s) as area(s) of minor concentration, unless the student is completing more than one major. Students in an approved 3+3 fast-track option with the USD Knudson School of Law may substitute the first year of law coursework for the minor or second major. Each department/discipline may specify particular coursework requirements for minors in that discipline. At least 50% of the hours for the minor must be completed as institutional credit. A 2.0 minimum grade point average in the minor is required for graduation. Any deviation from these requirements must receive the written consent of the minor department’s chairperson and the Dean of the College.

Any course applied toward a minor may not also be applied toward a major. Students completing a B.L.S. degree may choose a minor but are not required to do so. Minors are not available to students completing a B.G.S. degree. The College of Arts and Sciences offers minors in almost all major fields as well as in numerous interdisciplinary areas. Arts and Sciences students may also select a minor offered by another college or school at USD.


A minimum of 30 credit hours of upper-division work (courses numbered 300 or above) is required for graduation. These may include courses taken in colleges or schools outside the College of Arts and Sciences, subject to the limitations listed below under “Electives.”


Once all degree requirements have been met, the remaining work required for graduation is elective. Except for students in the B.G.S. program, a maximum of 48 credit hours may be elected from any one discipline in the College of Arts and Sciences.

A limited number of courses taken in other schools or colleges of the University may be included in the work offered for the B.A. and B.S. degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences. These courses are limited as follows:

School of Business

No more than 24 credit hours, not counting economics, may be applied toward a degree in the College.

School of Education

No more than 28 credit hours may be applied, including no more than six hours in physical education (activity courses).

College of Fine Arts

No more than 24 credit hours from among art, music, and theatre courses may be used. In music, 16 credit hours may be applied music (MUAP) provided that no more than four are at the beginning level. A total of four hours of credit in band, orchestra, or chorus (MUEN) may be substituted for applied music.

School of Medicine

Some courses offered by the Basic Biomedical Sciences division of the School of Medicine may be taken for undergraduate credit, and these may be used toward a bachelor’s degree in the College of Arts and Sciences.


Students planning to obtain teacher certification should consult the School of Education for details of all programs. Teacher education programs for secondary school teachers are offered both in the College of Arts and Sciences and in the School of Education. Students taking teacher education programs in the College of Arts and Sciences complete a B.A. or B.S. degree program in any of the majors for secondary school teachers listed below.  Alternatively, students may pursue a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in most of these majors by entering the School of Education and completing the programs for teachers as outlined in the School of Education section.

Teaching Major 

Students who wish to teach middle school or high school may complete as a teaching major any of the following majors in the College of Arts and Sciences:

Biology (B.S.)  

Chemistry (B.S.) with Chemistry Coordinate specialization  

Communication Studies (B.A., B.S.)  

English (B.A., B.S.)  

German (B.A.)  

History (B.A., B.S.)  

Mathematics (B.S.)  

Physics (B.S.)  

Political Science (B.A., B.S.)  

Spanish (B.A.)  

In order to become certified to teach, students must be admitted to and complete successfully a Teacher Education program, as described more fully in the School of Education  section of this catalog.

Total Hours

In the combined program (B.A. or B.S. in the College of Arts and Sciences, with completion of a Teacher Education Program in the School of Education), a total of 120 semester hours is required for graduation and certification.

Requirements for Admission to Teacher Education Program Include:

  • PRAXIS I scores of 172 or above in reading, writing, and math

  • Cumulative and major GPA of 2.7

  • Completion of EDFN 338, SEED 296, SPCM 101, and TET 200 with a grade of C or above.

  • Sophomore standing (30 credit hours completed) at end of the semester

  • Completed application for Teacher Education Program

Requirements for Student Teaching Include:

  • Cumulative and major GPA of 2.7
  • PRAXIS Content Area Test demonstrating proficiency in major
  • PRAXIS II PLT examination

Comprehensive information about Teacher Education requirements may be obtained in the School of Education section or from an advisor at the School of Education Student Services.


Students who have not declared a specific major should choose among the following “Exploratory Studies” options, in consultation with an academic advisor, and should use general education requirements to explore subjects of interest to them.

  • Exploratory Studies - Behavior/Social Sciences  
  • Exploratory Studies - Health Sciences 
  • Exploratory Studies - Fine Arts  
  • Exploratory Studies - Humanities 
  • Exploratory Studies - General Studies    
  • Exploratory Studies - STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

When choosing courses with their advisor, undeclared students should be aware that some departments require students to complete specific courses within the general education requirements.

Exploratory Studies students are supported by the advisors housed in the Academic & Career Planning Center. The professional advisors on staff help students select classes that will lead them to a major that suits their interests and talents. The advising staff also helps students enhance their experience through connections with campus activities and resources.

Academic & Career Planning Center
Academic Commons, I.D. Weeks


B.A. and B.S. degrees often serve as preparation for professional degrees in fields such as engineering, law, and veterinary medicine.  The following programs list courses that are typically required for admission to certain professional schools.

One cannot obtain a degree from the University of South Dakota in a pre-professional program. Each student must declare a major and complete graduation requirements in one of the academic departments. 


Click here for Pre-Engineering  requirements


Click here for Pre-Law  requirements 

Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Click here for Pre-Veterinary  Medicine requirements


The following programs incorporate the courses that are required as preparation for admission to professional schools. Each combination of courses is designed to provide students with the appropriate academic background for the professional discipline, as well as to help prepare them for the requisite admission examinations.

At the University of South Dakota students may not major in a pre-professional program.  Each student must declare a major in an academic discipline and complete the requirements for graduation for that discipline. There is no specific discipline in which a student planning on a degree in the health professions must major. The student should select a major that is meaningful and interesting and that will provide acceptable career alternatives.

In general, the health professions programs are interested in individuals who possess a good undergraduate academic record, are educationally well rounded, and have developed good critical thinking skills. Desirable candidates will also have a basic understanding of the profession, demonstrate an interest in helping others, show maturity and responsibility, and possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills.


Click here for Pre-Medicine  requirements

Pre-Occupational Therapy

Click here for Pre-Occupational Therapy  requirements

Pre-Physical Therapy

Click here for Pre-Physical Therapy  requirements

Pre-Physician Assistant Studies

Click here for Pre-Physician Assistant Studies  requirements


Click here for Pre-Chiropractic  requirements


Click here for Pre-Dentistry  requirements


Click here for Pre-Optometry  requirements

Pre-Osteopathic Medicine

Click here for Pre-Osteopathic Medicine  requirements


Click here for Pre-Pharmacy  requirements


Click here for Pre-Podiatry  requirements


Through the generous gifts of the alumni and donors, the College of Arts & Sciences is able to award more than $1.2 million in scholarships to students throughout our numerous departments and programs. For more information, visit https://www.usd.edu/Admissions-and-Aid/Financial-Aid/Types-of-Aid/Scholarships.