Home to capital city, Pierre, the Chinese Ring-necked Pheasant, and Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota was the 40th state to join the Union and did so in 1889. Today, South Dakota has strong agricultural economy rooted in the production of honey, hay, soybeans, rye, sunflowers, cattle, corn, and wheat. “Tourism is also a significant contributor, bringing in about $2 billion, annually. The service sector, retail trade and manufacturing industries account for the majority of the state’s employment.”
Among famous South Dakotans are politicians Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern and celebrities Bob Barker, Tom Brokaw, and Cheryl Ladd. Though born before South Dakota was a state, famous Native American leaders Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull were also born in the region. The most famous landmark in the state, Mt. Rushmore features the faces of United States presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Although the structure took 14 years to complete, the entire project cost only one million dollars.
Besides being the state where one of the world’s largest and most-complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeletons has been found, South Dakota offers some of the best online MBA programs in the nation. Widely known as the standard for higher education in business, the Master’s of Business Administration is an excellent program when delivered through distance learning. Most business schools are interested in attracting students who have acquired at least two years of professional experience. This is why an online MBA makes so much sense. Professionals already working for a high-quality organization might find it difficult to quit their jobs and move to another state in order to pursue a higher degree. With an online MBA, they don’t have to, and many of the best business school’s in the nation offer 100% online curriculums.
The online MBA allows working professionals the chance to receive an excellent degree while being able to set their academic schedule around their professional and personal schedule. While some students are more interested in an accelerated degree which allows them to graduate in just one year, others need more time to complete coursework and are given the chance to graduate within six or seven years in some cases.
We have put together the top-three online Master’s of Business Administration programs in the state of South Dakota. While these programs vary in some characteristics, each one is offered with a very affordable total tuition rate and is backed by some of the nation’s most-trusted accreditation organizations. Let this ranking of South Dakota’s best online MBAs help guide you in the important decision of finding a degree that is the right fit for you.
Note: A detailed explanation of the methodology we used to determine the best online MBA programs in South Dakota can be found at the end of the ranking.
#1 University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business – Vermillion, South Dakota
Established in 1862, the University of South Dakota is a four-year, public institution of higher learning with a main campus located in Vermillion, South Dakota. Operating under the school motto of “Truth,” the university was originally founded by an act of state legislature. By the time South Dakota became an official state in 1889, USD was already instructing a student body of over 500 students. Receiving its regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission, the university delivers degrees at the associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels to the student body of 10,038 currently enrolled. Home of the Coyotes, the athletic department at the University of South Dakota supports men’s and women’s varsity sports teams which compete at the NCAA Division I level as members of the Summit League. The school’s official colors are red and white.
Affordability Score: Very Affordable
OMBAT Ranking Score: 100.00
#2 University of Sioux Falls Vucurevich School of Business – Sioux Falls, South Dakota
The Vucurevich School of Business at the University of Sioux Falls features an online Master’s of Business Administration. This nationally-recognized degree is the perfect fit for the working professional seeking to gain an edge in leadership.
The University of Sioux Falls was originally founded as Dakota Collegiate Institute and offered secondary and collegiate programs. With an affiliation with the American Baptist Churches USA, the school’s official motto is “Culture for Service.” Receiving its regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission, the university exists today as a four-year, private, not-for-profit institution of higher learning with a main campus in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Delivering degrees at the associate, undergraduate, and graduate levels, USF oversees a student body of 1,532. Home of the Cougars and mascot Cooper the Cougar, the official school colors of the University of Sioux Falls are purple and white. The athletic department at the university consists of men’s and women’s varsity sports teams which compete at the NCAA Division II level as members of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
Affordability Score: Very Affordable
OMBAT Ranking Score: 73.45
#3 Dakota Wesleyan University Graduate Studies – Mitchell, South Dakota
Home of the Tigers who wear the school colors of royal blue and white, the athletic department at Dakota Wesleyan University supports men’s and women’s varsity sports teams which compete within the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics as members of the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference. Dakota Wesleyan is a four-year, private not-for-profit institution of higher learning with a main campus located in Mitchell, South Dakota. The university delivers degrees at the associate, undergraduate, and graduate levels to the 996 students currently enrolled there. DWU was established in 1885 as Dakota University by Methodist settlers in the region. Because of the school’s age and historical significance to South Dakota, much of the school’s campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Operating under the school motto of “Sacrifice and Service,” the school receives its regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.
Affordability Score: Very Affordable
OMBAT Ranking Score: 73.26
To find the top Online MBA programs in South Dakota, a list of almost 490 online MBA programs was collected, and each program was evaluated first for a location in the state of South Dakota, and then ranked on the following factors:
Estimated Tuition Cost (25%): Each online MBA program was assessed to find the estimated total base tuition cost. All data was gathered from the most recent financial information on each program or school website. The base tuition was calculated for the entirety of the program, but does not included fees, books, or room and board; with the exception of schools that use all-inclusive figures. For colleges that offer a lower in-state tuition, the in-state pricing is used. Twenty-five percent of the final ranking score is calculated from this figure.
Based on this base tuition data, each program is given an Affordability Score:
Very Expensive = $100,000+
Expensive = $50,000-$99,999
Above Average = $30,000-$49,999
Average = $20,000-$29,999
Affordable = $15,000-$19,999
Very Affordable = $0-$14,999
Accreditation (25%): Accreditation plays a significant role in educational programs. It attests to which school has reached high national and global standards in its research and delivered education. Each program in this list is evaluated on whether it holds a regional accreditation from one of the six institutions that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Additionally, business accreditations affect an MBA’s brand and prestige, which can also affect a graduate’s competitive advantage in the job market. Each school is ranked on if the online MBA program is accredited from one of the top business accrediting institutions: ACBSP, IACBE, or AACSB. AACSB is regarded as the highest standard of business accreditation in the world, and thus business schools that hold this accreditation are given the highest marks. Twenty-five percent of the final ranking score is calculated from this figure.
Average Base Salary (25%): The salary data is highlighted in this top online MBA ranking because it allows prospective students to explore the affect a degree can have on a graduate’s salary. The average base salary is collected from the 2018 Best Business School Ranking by US News and World Report. Programs without a recorded average base salary from this ranking was calculated at zero because of no available third-party data. Twenty-five percent of the final ranking score is calculated from this figure.
Prestige (25%): The prestige for each program is calculated by evaluating lists from some of the most prestigious educational rankings systems for online MBA programs: US News and World Report’s Online MBA Ranking, the Princeton Review’s Online MBA Ranking, the Financial Times’ Global Online MBA Ranking, and Quacquarelli Symonds’ Distance Online MBA Ranking. Each online MBA was evaluated on how many rankings included their program. Twenty-five percent of the final ranking score is calculated from this figure.
All of the criteria was weighted equally, averaged, and then calculated on a 100-point scale. This score is the OMBAT Ranking Score, which provides the order for this ranking. By evaluating the tuition cost, accreditation, average base salary, and prestige, this ranking helps prospective students find the highest quality online MBA programs in South Dakota.