University of South Dakota


Accounting and Finance Degrees at the University of South Dakota

The University of South Dakota appears in our ranking of The Top 15 Best Affordable Online Master’s in Accounting Degree Programs.

Jobs in the accounting and finance sectors are in hot demand and have been for quite some time. Getting a degree in one of these fields is a great way to find meaningful employment in your field after graduation. But, you have to make sure you find the right school.

The University of South Dakota offers three accounting programs: two at the undergraduate level and one graduate option. Undergrads can obtain their Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), which offers a well-rounded look at the accounting field, including general accounting, auditing, tax financial planning, and management consulting services. Jobs in this field include preparing tax returns, working for the government, and education.

A second option exists for accounting majors who also meet the requirements for the graduate degree. Students can opt to fast-track their masters by taking their Bachelor of Business Administration and their Master of Professional Accountancy at the same time. This route is typically taken by those who have previously studied business administration and finance, or who have degrees that are not fully recognized in the United States. In some circumstances, life experience, such as a long-time career in the finance field, may be considered for admission, though this is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Graduate students can take the Master of Professional Accountancy program, which provides the tools needed to pursue a career in public accounting. Additionally, it fulfills the 150-hour education component of the CPA exam. CPAs tend to make more money, are given more complex files and portfolios, and are given opportunities for career advancement much sooner than those who only have their BBA. It is a more expensive option at the outset but does pay off more over time. Many graduate students are able to find employment quite quickly after graduation.

Students can attend undergraduate and graduate programs on campus or online. There are also hybrid options, where 30 course hours are taken online and 15 are to be attended in person. These classes are held at the University Center in Sioux Falls.

About the University of South Dakota

The University of South Dakota is the oldest public university in the state, having existed before the state of South Dakota was established. Its main campus is located just north of Sioux City, Iowa, attracting residents from both states. In addition to being accredited by the Higher Learning Commission for over 100 years, the school is also a member of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, placing it in prestigious company. The school is also noted for producing numerous alumni who have gone on to find success in the political arena, including James Abourezk, Larry Pressler, Dusty Johnson, and John Thune among others.

As a liberal arts school, there is a huge focus on student wellness and recreation. The Wellness Center opened in 2011, offering students access to workout equipment, a climbing wall, racquetball courts, and a walking/jogging track that can be used in all seasons. On-campus housing varies depending on need. There are co-ed floors in certain dorms, where genders are separated by a common area, as well as frat houses, single-sex floors, and more apartment style living. Certain areas, such as the newly finished Coyote Village, are typically used by athletes and graduate students.

University of South Dakota Accreditation Details

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association has accredited the University of South Dakota since 1913. The school has received additional accreditations from the AACSB International Organization for its School of Business.

University of South Dakota Application Requirements

  • Undergraduate students must meet several requirements, including:
  •  SAT scores of 1070 or higher, or a GPA of 2.6 on all courses
  •  Completion of four years of English, three years of advanced mathematics, three years of laboratory science, three years of social science, and one year of fine arts, with a C average or better
  •  Complete application
  •  Application fee, which is $20 as of 2018
  •  High school transcript
  •  SAT or ACT scores submitted directly from the testing agency

Students who are applying to take their MBA must meet the graduate school application requirements. These include:

  •  A completed graduate application, found online
  •  Submission of the application fee, which is $35 as of 2018
  •  Official transcript from undergraduate institution
  •  Three letters of recommendation from people familiar with the applicant’s work ethic
  •  Statement of purpose
  •  Resume
  •  GMAT score

International applicants must also submit the following:

  •  English proficiency test scores
  •  Official transcripts
  •  Admission test scores
  •  Three letters of recommendation
  •  Statement of purpose
  •  Proof that the student can fulfill the financial ability requirements, which is typically a bank statement

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition fees are paid at the beginning of each semester and change from year to year. Estimated costs for the 2018-2019 academic year for those who live in South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska, or who are the children of a University of South Dakota graduate can expect to pay about $9,060 for the average 30-hour course. Minnesota residents pay $9,382.50. Non-residents can expect to pay about $12,424.50.

At the graduate level, tuition is calculated slightly differently, with the cost being per credit hour. Residents can expect to pay about $326.05 per credit hour with non-residents being charged $626.85.

Students who cannot afford to attend the University of South Dakota do have financial aid options available to them through the Office of Financial Aid. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the first step to finding need-based loans, grants, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid. In addition, the University has numerous scholarships available to those in need. dA full list can be viewed online. Application due dates vary depending on the scholarship, with some being as soon as October 1 of each year and others as late as December 1. Most of the academic scholarships are based on ACT or SAT scores, while grants and bursaries are usually given based on need.

If you enjoy working with numbers, one of the accounting and finance degree programs at the University of South Dakota might just be for you.