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South Dakota Accounting Schools

South Dakota is home to many colleges and universities offering degrees in accounting. The following guide is designed to provide important information on these programs to help you make the right choice to reach your educational and career goals. Some schools offer online, hybrid, or accelerated programs, providing flexibility for working professionals. Those seeking CPA licensure will find degree programs catered specifically towards exam requirements.

Quick Facts

  • 7 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in South Dakota.1
  • 5 private not-for-profit colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in South Dakota.1
  • 4 schools offer a certificate in accounting.*1
  • 5 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.*1
  • 8 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.*1
  • 2 schools offer a graduate degree in accounting.*1
  • No programs ranked in US News Best Undergrad Accounting Programs 2018.2
  • No programs ranked in US News Best Graduate Accounting Programs 2018.3
  • No schools ranked in the Princeton Review Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2018.4
  • No schools ranked in Bloomberg Businessweek Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016.5

*Public or private not-for-profit colleges and universities only.

Highest First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with a Bachelor’s Degree

Each year, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) releases a report including data on candidate performance on the Uniform CPA Exam.7 The following schools had the highest first-time CPA exam pass rates in South Dakota in 2015 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, with the overall average pass rate for South Dakota being 55.9%:

  1. South Dakota State University 72.4%
  2. University of Sioux Falls 65.4%
  3. Augustana College 62.8%
  4. Northern State University 54.2%

Schools in South Dakota with Accounting Degrees

Undergraduate Accounting Programs

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Dakota State University

Students at Dakota State University have the option to pursue either a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Professional Accountancy or a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting. The BS in Professional Accountancy program prepares students for CPA licensure and allows students to take the 150 credits necessary to sit for the exam. Students in the BBA in Accounting program focus on financial issues in the business world while learning the technical skills required for a successful career. This shorter program is designed for students who do not plan to sit for the CPA exam or those who wish to pursue graduate-level coursework to fulfill the education requirements for licensure. Students in both programs learn the fundamentals of business while focusing on specialized accounting theory and technical skills.

Mount Mary College

Mount Mary College offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Accounting that prepares students for a role in financial and business management. This program emphasizes hands-on learning through internships and community service with their Volunteer Tax Clinic, which offers free tax preparation for low-income families. Experienced faculty also serve as mentors to prepare students for a successful business career. Managerial Accounting, Federal Taxation, and Accounting Systems are courses accounting students can expect to take while at Mount Mary College. Along with accounting theory, students also develop effective oral and written communication skills.

Dakota Wesleyan University

Dakota Wesleyan University offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting. This program emphasizes business concepts to provide students with the confidence to solve complex accounting problems. Students are encouraged to complete the 150 credits required for CPA licensure either through the addition of a minor or by completing an advanced degree. Graduates are prepared to pursue a career in the public or private sector, as well as governmental accounting. Course titles include Principles of Financial Accounting, Operations and Information Management, and Business Ethics and Social Policy.

Graduate Accounting Programs

University of South Dakota

Students at the University of South Dakota are given the opportunity to earn a Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA). This 30-credit program is designed to prepare students for a career in public accounting and to sit for the CPA exam. Students have the option of completing this degree on-campus, online, or through a hybrid program. All students take 21 credits of core accounting coursework, but they are given the option to choose between thesis, non-thesis, and an internship focus to complete the additional nine credits required to graduate. Regardless of focus, students can expect to take courses such as Tax Planning and Practice, Business Policy and Strategy, and Accounting in Governmental and Non-Profit Organizations.

Online Accounting Programs

Northern State University

Northern State University offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting which can be completed entirely online. Through this flexible program, students learn the critical thinking and analytical skills necessary for a successful career in business and accounting. Technical skills and financial reporting are also emphasized in this program. Students at Northern State University are highly encouraged to participate in accounting internships prior to graduating to develop hands-on experience. Accounting courses focus on Cost Accounting, Auditing, and Non-Profit Accounting. Students also gain an understanding of business concepts by taking courses in Business Ethics, Organization and Management, and Business Policy and Strategy.

University of Sioux Falls

The University of Sioux Falls offers students with an associate’s degree the opportunity to complete a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Accounting through an accelerated, online program. Students focus on accounting concepts and theory to feel empowered when making important financial decisions. Technical skills are also emphasized through classes like Computerized Accounting and Advanced Excel for Business Applications. Students also learn about the importance of ethics in business while at the University of Sioux Falls. After graduation from this program, students should be prepared to participate in a wide variety of financial roles, whether it be in a small business or working for a large corporation.

South Dakota CPA Requirements

To become a Certified Public Accountant in South Dakota, applicants must complete 150 credits from an accredited university. Twenty-four of those credits must be business courses and an additional 24 must be accounting focused. Applicants cannot sit for the exam until all 150 credits are completed. One year of work experience under a licensed CPA must also be completed within three years of passing the exam. Applicants must also pass the AICPA ethics exam.

Career Opportunities for Accounting Grads in South Dakota

South Dakota accounting program graduates work in various roles in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors throughout the state. There are several companies in South Dakota where accounting degree holders can find employment, including Black Hills in Rapid City, Daktronics in Brookings, and NorthWestern Energy in Sioux Falls. Financial institutions are also major employers in the state, including Great Western Bank and First Premier Bank. Some graduates may choose to work for state or local governments and others may find success with opening their own practice.

South Dakota Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area

Metro Area Accountants & Auditors Employed Average Annual Salary
Rapid City 610 $65,910
Sioux City 490 $63,890
Sioux Falls 1,840 $73,440

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2017.8

South Dakota Schools with Accounting Degree Programs

Dakota State University
820 Washington Ave N
Madison, SD 57042
(605) 256-5111
https://dsu.edu/

Northern State University
1200 S Jay St
Aberdeen, SD 57401
(605) 626-3011
http://www.northern.edu/

University of South Dakota
414 E Clark St
Vermillion, SD 57069
(877) 269-6837
http://www.usd.edu/

References:
1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. US News & World Report Best Undergraduate Accounting Programs: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/business-accounting
3. US News & World Report Best Accounting Programs: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/accounting-rankings
4. The Princeton Review. The Best 382 Colleges 2018 Edition. Penguin Random House, 2017.
5. Bloomberg Businessweek Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016: https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-best-undergrad-business-schools/
6. AACSB-Accredited Universities and Schools, Accounting: https://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/accredited-schools
7. The NASBA Candidate Performance Report, 2015 University Edition: https://nasbareport.com/
8. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, South Dakota: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_sd.htm