Often considered the foundation of successful business careers, an MBA prepares students for advanced and leadership positions with companies of all sizes. Many students pursue their online MBA in South Dakota to increase their marketability as a business professional. The state's top industries include agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and tourism, all of which provide opportunities for graduates of online MBA programs in South Dakota.

Online MBA Programs in South Dakota

The list of online MBAs included in this page are all accredited programs offered by schools in South Dakota.

Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description
Dakota State University
Location Madison , SD Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 43 Student Population 3,145 Tuition $15,984 School Type Public

DSU's online MBA program provides full- and part-time options to accommodate students' schedules. Flexible instructional approaches include real-time discussion and asynchronous course formats.

This South Dakota university online MBA program requires students to complete 36 credits, including two elective courses, a capstone course, and a culminating exam. Students can pursue an emphasis in healthcare informatics, analytics, or management. DSU accepts up to nine qualifying transfer credits toward degree requirements. Learners must complete all requirements within five years and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to graduate.

DSU offers multiple pathways for admission. Students who hold an accredited undergraduate degree in business with a minimum 3.0 GPA do not need professional experience or graduate exam scores; they can supplement these requirements with two years of professional experience and a qualifying GMAT or GRE score. Students without an undergraduate degree or background in business can take 12 credits of foundational courses before starting the MBA program.

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Dakota Wesleyan University
Location Mitchell , SD Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 78 Student Population 991 Tuition $14,400 School Type Private

The online MBA program from DWU primarily serves local students and small to medium businesses in the region. Taking a full-time load (i.e., two classes per eight-week term), students can complete this 36-credit-hour online MBA program in one year; students may also enroll part time. The curriculum covers the practical and ethical sides of business management, with classes like corporate and leadership accountability, financial analysis, and ethics and public policy. A three-credit capstone course allows students to provide a strategic business plan for an actual company. Students finish the program by passing a comprehensive exam and completing a portfolio of projects.

Notably, DWU welcomes students without an undergraduate degree in business. Students new to business can take 3-5 self-paced modules online to cover business basics before starting graduate-level courses. DWU offers three application windows and start dates during the year.

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University of Sioux Falls
Location Sioux Falls , SD Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 72 Student Population 1,482 Tuition $13,680 School Type Private

A private, Christian school, USF offers an online MBA with a concentration in general management that requires students to complete 36 semester hours, including 24 core and 12 major semester hours.

Core MBA courses cover management and strategic topics, such as managerial communications and financial planning and control. Major courses consider human resources, project management, and commercial law. Students can transfer up to nine semester hours from another accredited school toward this online MBA in South Dakota. USF offers a full-time program, which learners may finish in one year, and a part-time program lasting 21 months.

MBA students without an undergraduate degree in business must complete fundamental courses, including statistics and microeconomics, prior to starting graduate work. Students must complete all program requirements within seven years. Admission requirements do not include GMAT or GRE scores.

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University of South Dakota
Location Vermillion , SD Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 57 Student Population 9,971 Tuition $12,111 School Type Public

The University of South Dakota online MBA offers five concentrations: business administration, marketing, health services administration, operations and supply chain management, and business analytics.

USD's MBA program prepares students to work in various business environments, such as government and private industry. Depending on their part- or full-time enrollment status, students can complete the program requirements in 2-4 years. The program also offers students a five-day, on-campus residency so they may build relationships with faculty and peers. USD offers three start dates throughout the year.

Online students at USD receive the same tuition rates as in-state students. Special program benefits, including discounted tuition rates and scholarship opportunities, are available to active military and veterans. The school's online MBA holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

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National American University
Location Rapid City , SD Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 8 Student Population 1,298 Tuition $22,530 School Type Private

Students enrolled in NAU's online MBA can choose from 10 concentrations, including aviation management, and operations and configuration management. Students may also work toward a general concentration in business.

NAU's MBA curriculum consists of 45 credit hours, with an optional thesis. All concentrations share the same core business courses, including leadership, policy, and financial management.

NAU allows students to transfer up to 50% of program credits from another accredited graduate program. The university also works with students to assess any prior learning credits, based on three or more years of experience in the business field or additional professional certifications. This online MBA in South Dakota holds accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.

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Why Consider an Online MBA in South Dakota?

South Dakota institutions offer three competitive and accredited MBA programs. Each program is available online and asynchronously, so students can complete coursework at their convenience. All three online MBA programs in South Dakota hold accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and help students gain foundational business knowledge. Candidates for leadership roles in business must typically have an MBA and at least two years of relevant experience.

Number of Students Enrolled in Distance Education (2015)

Undergraduate Graduate
Any Distance 18,238 2,850
Exclusively Distance 8,513 2,197
On-Campus 38,388 4,566
Source: Digital Learning Compass

Distance Enrollment by Institution Type (2015)

All Students Graduate Students Enrolled in Any Distance
Private for-profit 1,799 1
Private not-for-profit 2,985 435
Public 13,454 2,414
Source: Digital Learning Compass

MBA Concentrations for South Dakota Students

Generalized MBA programs prepare learners for most business careers; however, students can choose a concentration to increase their marketability in a specific area of business. Most students who earn their online MBA in South Dakota pursue careers in the state after graduation. Concentrating in a field related to South Dakota's largest industries improves graduates' chances of landing a high paying position.

The concentrations below are applicable to roles in some of South Dakota's largest industries, including advanced manufacturing, bioscience, and agriculture. While these industries are a few of the most profitable in the state, business professionals are not restricted to these fields.

  • Healthcare Management An MBA with a concentration in healthcare management prepares learners for careers in healthcare administration. Healthcare management students explore broad business topics and take classes in hospital management, ethics, and administrative regulations.
  • Supply Chain Management A supply chain management degree is valuable for individuals pursuing careers in manufacturing or production. Coursework promotes an understanding of transportation management, logistics, and operations management.
  • Agribusiness MBA students who concentrate in agribusiness often pursue careers managing agricultural businesses. The concentration typically includes classes in animal management, management of nature, agricultural economics, and enterprising rural areas.

Accreditation in South Dakota

Accredited institutions offer the best online MBA programs in South Dakota. These schools meet strict academic and ethical standards set by quality control organizations known as accrediting bodies.

Institutions in the U.S. can hold regional or national accreditation. Most nationally accredited schools are for-profit vocational or technical institutions, while nonprofit schools typically receive regional accreditation. Of the two types, regional accreditation is generally considered more prestigious. Credits earned from nationally accredited schools rarely transfer to regionally accredited institutions. For individuals who want to improve their career prospects by earning an online MBA, South Dakota is home to many regionally accredited institutions.

South Dakota Economy, Career, and Job Outlook for MBA Graduates

South Dakota's economy has grown steadily over the past fifteen years. The state's largest industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, bioscience, and the healthcare field, continue to grow and create jobs. Although much of South Dakota comprises rural areas, the majority of business positions are in larger cities, such as Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Pierre.

Business professionals in South Dakota have a variety of job prospects in many industries. The chart below lists some of the largest employers in the state. Although CareerOneStop reports these companies hire the most employees, the companies do not necessarily represent the state's largest industries. For example, agriculture is one of the largest industries in South Dakota, but independent farms may not have a large staff.

Company Location Main Industry Number of Employees
Shaw Industries Sioux Falls Manufacturing 30,000
Sanford USD Medical Ctr Sioux Falls Healthcare 4,958
Ellsworth Air Force Base Ellsworth Afb Military/Manufacturing 4,500
Source: Careeronestop

Obtaining an MBA can lead to higher earning potential immediately after graduation and throughout your career. To improve the chances of securing a high-paying position, students can concentrate in an area of business relevant to South Dakota's top industries.

Earning Potential with an MBA in the State of South Dakota

Chief Executive Officer

Chief executive officers create and implement policies and strategies to ensure their company meets projections. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these professionals earn a median salary of $104,980 per year. CEOs can work in businesses, companies, and corporations of all sizes and often work long hours and weekends.

Health Services Manager

Health services managers earn a median annual salary of $99,730, according to the BLS. These professionals, also called healthcare administrators or medical service managers, manage the planning and coordination of various healthcare services. Health services managers ensure healthcare facilities function smoothly and efficiently.

Operations Research Analyst

These analysts earn a median annual salary of $83,390 per year, according to the BLS. Operations research analysts use analytical and mathematical strategies to help companies investigate complicated issues. These professionals manage the identification and solving of complex, strategic problems.

Market Research Analyst

According to the BLS, market research analysts earn a median salary of $63,120 per year. These professionals study market conditions to determine the potential success of a company's service or product. These analysts work with corporations to identify which products the public wants and the best ways to sell them.

Agriculture Operations Specialist

Also known as agricultural operations managers, these professionals earn an annual median salary of $67,950. Agricultural specialists work with ranchers, farmers, and agricultural companies to produce livestock, animal products, and crops. These managers make sure the company maintains a production schedule and remains profitable.

How to Choose an Online MBA in South Dakota

There are many important considerations to make before settling on an online MBA program in South Dakota. These include factors discussed above like cost, accreditation, and available specializations. The following list includes some key steps to follow during the program research process for MBA options in any state.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Student outcomes include graduation rate, year-to-year retention rate, the average debt for a graduate from that school, and overall student satisfaction with their degree program. Student outcomes do not guarantee you will be satisfied with a particular program, but can be useful for pinpointing a school's strengths and weaknesses.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Virtually every accredited college or university posts tuition rates online. Additionally, you should research other college-related costs like living accommodations and meal plans (if you plan to live on-campus), administrative fees, and technology fees (for online students). You should also look into scholarships, grants, and other forms of institutional financial aid that can offset some of the costs.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    Scheduling is critical for students with other important commitments, such as childcare or full-time employment. Many online programs are asynchronous, or self-paced; students in these tracks are free to complete course requirements on their own schedule. Synchronous programs, on the other hand, require weekly online meetings with teachers and fellow students.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses

    A large number of online MBA programs include internship and/or capstone practicum requirements ― and in many cases, students are able to gain on-the-job training and real-world office experience. You should look into the school's business partnerships, particularly in regard to the industry you plan to enter after earning your MBA.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation status should always be available and easily accessible on a school's website. In addition to regional or national accreditation, some MBA pathways receive programmatic accreditation. Recognized programmatic accreditors for MBA programs include the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the International Accreditation Counsel for Business Education (IACBE).

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    You should contact the alumni office at each school you are considering and ask to be connected with former students. These individuals can be good sources of information about education costs, life on- and off-campus, local business tips, and other important details for aspiring MBA students.

Online MBA Programs in Surrounding States

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