May 29, 2023  
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Doctor of Medicine (M.D., M.D./Ph.D.)

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Sanford School of Medicine
University of South Dakota
Office of Medical Student Affairs
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, S.D. 57069
Phone: (605) 677-6886 or (605) 677-5233


Doctor of Medicine

Vice President of Health Affairs  and Dean of Sanford School of Medicine: Mary D. Nettleman, MD, MS, MACP.
Executive Dean and Vermillion Campus Dean: Ronald Lindahl, Ph.D.
Dean of Graduate Medical Education: G. Michael Tibbitts, M.D.
Dean of Medical Student Affairs: Paul C. Bunger, Ph.D.
Dean of Medical Student Education: Janet Lindemann, M.D.
West River Campus Dean: Matthew Simmons, M.D.
Dean of Clinical Faculty and Sioux Falls Campus Dean: Tim Ridgway, M.D.
Yankton Campus Dean: Lori Hansen, M.D.
MD/PhD Director: XJ Wang, M.D., Ph.D

Program Description

The Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South Dakota is a multi-campus program with the first two years of basic biomedical sciences based in Vermillion and the last two years of clinical-science education based in Sioux Falls, Rapid City or Yankton. There are multiple additional clinical training sites throughout South Dakota.

A thorough knowledge of the Basic Biomedical Sciences is emphasized during the first two years. These include anatomy, biochemistry, histology/physiology, neurosciences, microbiology, pharmacology, behavioral science and pathology. Students also receive introduction to clinical medicine courses throughout both of the first two years. During the clinical science years, students are trained in family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and adolescent medicine, psychiatry, neuroscience, and surgery. Additional coursework is available in the areas of urology, anesthesiology, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, orthopedics, and otorhinolaryngology under the Department of Surgery, dermatology under the Internal Medicine Department, plus the freestanding section of radiology.

After the first two years, the third year of the program is provided in community settings and hospitals in Sioux Falls, the Rapid City area, or Yankton. The fourth year is provided in hospitals and ambulatory clinics across the entire state of South Dakota. The curriculum emphasizes family medicine and primary care with the support and participation by practicing physicians and community hospitals throughout the state. 


  • Prerequisites (usually one year of each, including laboratory experience): Biology, General (inorganic) Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics.
  • An official transcript of all college credit earned, indicating at least 90 semester hours.
  • Applicants must take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) within the three years prior to the application deadline of November 15.
  • A Completed American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application. This can be obtained online at
  • In preparation for Medical School, students are strongly encouraged to obtain a broad background in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
  • Applicants must be residents of South Dakota, or demonstrate strong ties to the state.

 Application Deadlines

  • File application with AMCAS between June 1 and November 15 one year prior to intended start date.
  • If the applicant is placed in the Priority Pool, they will receive instructions for access to a Supplemental Application from the Medical School’s Admissions Office.
  • If the applicant is selected for an interview, interviews take place between late October and mid-February.
  • Letters of acceptance will be mailed anytime between December and March. Letters for the final group for acceptance, for the alternate list, and for non–acceptances are mailed in no later than mid-March.
  • Accepted students must secure their position in the class within two weeks of receiving their letter of acceptance by signing a notarized form and depositing $100 towards their tuition.
  • An accepted student may withdraw prior to June 1 and receive a refund of their $100.

Tentative start date for classes is the first Monday of August with orientation beginning the previous Wednesday.

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