Dec 07, 2023  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Administration Program

Graduate Program Coordinator: Ilmira P. Dulyanova, M.A., M.A.

Master of Science in Administration
Dakota Hall, Room 109
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
Phone: 605-658-6755


Master of Science in Administration  


Addiction Studies
Criminal Justice Studies
Health Services Administration
Human Resource Management
Interdisciplinary Studies
Long Term Care Administration
Nonprofit Management 
Organizational Leadership

Program Description

This cross-disciplinary program provides the primary tools and organizational skills necessary to perform effectively administrative roles in public service-oriented organizations. Coursework focuses on the practical application of administrative theory, and the development of an intellectual framework for analyzing and successfully addressing the challenges faced by modern administrators. The program benefits early- to mid-career professionals working in a variety of settings, including government agencies, nonprofit and social service organizations, health care, and education - as well as private-sector organizations that provide public services. Graduates of the program are prepared to lead and manage organizations; analyze, think critically, solve problems, and make decisions; adequately consider the ethical and legal implications of their administrative decisions; and communicate effectively with organizational members and stakeholders.

WICHE Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) eligible program. 


  1. Completed Graduate Application form found at:  and a non-refundable application fee of $35.
  2. Official transcript(s) verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and previous graduate credit (in English or with translation) must accompany an application.  Transcripts must be complete (e.g., if currently enrolled, work-in-progress coursework must be included). Foreign transcripts must include a grading scale. The USD Graduate School and/or academic units retain the right to require credential evaluations from organizations, such as Educational Credential Evaluators/World Education Services (ECE/WES), for a student if such an evaluation is deemed necessary.
  3. Baccalaureate degree must be from an institution with institutional accreditation for that degree. A minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.7 on conferred degree and/or graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, based on a 4.0 scale, on all graduate coursework is required for full admission. Each graduate program may admit students on provisional status per university policy.
  4. Applicants with degrees from countries other than the United States who have obtained a high school diploma, undergraduate, or graduate degree from an institutionally accredited American college or university or from an accredited institution in the approved list  of English-speaking countries are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score. For all other applicants with degrees from other countries, a minimum score of 79 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT), 550 on the Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT), 8.5 on the TOEFL Essentials, 6.0 on the IELTS Academic, 53 on the PTE, or 110 on Duolingo is required for graduate admission. 
  5. Applicants are required to submit a statement of purpose explaining the choice to pursue graduate education through the program.

Additional Program Admission Requirements:

  1. Three (3) letters of recommendation are required.
  2. A minimum of two (2) years of full-time professional experience* (documented on a current resume and described in the statement of purpose). OR Currently employed in full-time professional work setting with the intent to maintain that placement for the duration of the program.

*Professional experience is the experience that occurs through full-time employment and requires some form of advanced vocational, technical, or higher education training, whether at associate, bachelor’s, or master’s level. The professional experience requirement exists to ensure that early- and mid-career students interact with other students who are situated in a professional work environment.

Applicants who do not meet all of the qualifications for full admission may, in some circumstances, be granted provisional admission to the program. These applicants may be admitted with specific provisions outlined for them to meet in order to be granted full admission. Failure to complete specified provisions will result in the student’s dismissal from the program.

Application Deadline

  • Spring and Fall Starts
    • Three weeks before the start of the semester
  • Summer Start
    • Two weeks before the start of the semester

Student Learning Outcomes for Administration (M.S.)

Graduates of the MSA program will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. develop a communication and leadership strategy appropriate for interacting productively with a diverse array of stakeholders. 
  2. develop a proposal to solve an administrative problem that is consistent with the public interest. 
  3. apply best practices in budgeting and financial management to organizations. 
  4. assess critically and synthesize the various decision-making tools and strategies utilized by public and nonprofit organizations. 
  5. consider adequately and apply key constitutional and legal issues for an organization and its relevant stakeholders. 
  6. develop an appropriate assessment methodology for evaluating the effectiveness of a proposed plan of action. 
  7. consider adequately key ethical issues for an organization and its stakeholders.