A land grant college and the oldest school in South Dakota, USD dates back to 1862, when the state was merely a territory. Students entered classes for the first time in 1882, and in 1883, Old Main, USD's emblematic building, went up. It was destroyed by fire six years later but rebuilt and remains a campus landmark today.
Currently it is the second largest university in the state and the only one with a medical, law, college of fine arts, or accredited business school.
The 216-acre campus is currently being revitalized. Several buildings are being renovated or have recently been completed, such as the Al Neuharth Media Center, the Andrew E. Lee Memorial Medicine and Science Building, the University Center, the Science Center, and the Beacom Business School.
Old Main, which was constructed in 1883 and still functions as an academic and social center, stands at the head of campus, while the DakotaDome, where the Coyotes play, stands at the opposite end. Residence Halls are loosely grouped in North and South Campus complexes.
Vermillion, South Dakota, is a town of under 10,000 residents in the southeastern corner of the state on the bluffs of the Missouri river. It is within driving distance of Sioux Falls, and students with cars often travel that way, since there is not too much to do in town. The area is predominately white, lower-income, rural, and Christian, though there is also a significant LDS presence.
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Ernest Lawrence '22, Nobel-prize winning physicist
Al Neuharth '50, founder of "USA Today"
Tom Brokaw '64, broadcast journalist
The USD Coyotes compete in the Mountain West conference of the NCAA Division I. Men's varsity sports include Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Swimming & Diving, and Track & Field. Women's varsity sports include Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, and Volleyball.
Intramural and club sports are also popular on campus.
The student newspaper has won several top student newspaper prizes, including six Pacemaker awards.
USD has the only law and medical schools in the state, as well as the only accredited business school and the only college of fine arts.
North Campus housing consists of four dorms for underclassmen: Beede, Mickelson, Richardson, and Olson, all of them co-ed and all offering doubles. The four-person apartments of McFadden hall serve upperclassmen and graduate students.
On South Campus, two co-ed residential complexes -- Burgess/Norton and Julian Halls -- are composed of smaller traditional dorms. The one-bedroom apartments of Redwood Court are open to sophomores with qualifying GPAs. Brookman Hall is a smaller dorm of singles for upperclassmen and grad students.
Family housing is also available.