As populations in metropolitan areas in South Dakota rise, the need for a strong, stable public health system increases. With more than 29% of the state’s population concentrated in the greater Sioux Falls area, this growing city is one of many ideal places in South Dakota to begin a career in public health. Projections Central projects the health education field in South Dakota will grow by at least 10% in the coming years, providing internships and long-term career opportunities for graduates of online MPH programs in South Dakota.

Projections Central projects the health education field in South Dakota will grow by at least 10% in the coming years, providing internships and long-term career opportunities for graduates of online MPH programs in South Dakota.

The Department of Health in South Dakota is an excellent resource for citizens of the state. In addition to meeting community healthcare needs, the DOH provides research and statistical publications about the overall health of North Dakota’s population, along with resources for improving health issues. Many students choose to attend public health programs in South Dakota because of how well the state cares for its citizens.

The South Dakota Department of Health is developing and implementing a growing number of health initiatives. The DOH is currently working on a long-term plan for the state’s healthcare, which includes five key goals: improve the overall quality of healthcare in the state, improve access to healthcare, support long-term health solutions, prepare for and respond to public health threats, and strengthen partnerships in public health.

The South Dakota DOH regularly stresses the importance of weight loss programs and improving the nutritional value of school meals. The department provides resources to help citizens take charge of their eating and exercise habits. These plans and strategies are only part of the DOH’s long-term health goals for North Dakota.

Although the terms “internship” and “fellowship” are sometimes used interchangeably, they are different. Internships are generally experience-based programs that are either paid or unpaid and allow students to gain field experience while earning their degree. Fellowships are intended for graduate-level students. They offer funding for students to work in their chosen area of study, including researching and working on collaborative projects. Some fellowships include a work requirement, but many do not. The internships and fellowships below are available to students in public health programs in South Dakota.
State of South Dakota Internships

The state of South Dakota offers government-based internships to students attending accredited higher education institutions. All internships offered through the state are paid, but they do not include housing. Most internships last about three months and are offered in spring, summer, and fall sessions.
More Information

South Dakota State Nutrition and Dietetics Internship

Available to students earning their MPH at South Dakota State University, this internship may be applied toward degree requirements as supervised hours of field and clinical work. The internship is designed for students who wish to work in a community health setting.
More Information

ASPPH/CDC Public Health Fellowship

Students in online MPH programs in South Dakota may apply for this fellowship, available at CDC regional offices. This fellowship connects public health students with practicing facilities and institutions. The fellowship lasts one to two years.
More Information

CSTE/CDC/ASPPH Applied Epidemiology Fellowship Program

Students in their final year of graduate study may apply for this fellowship. Fellows are placed in host facilities to train in the field of epidemiology. Fellows work with highly trained professionals and gain real-world field experience.
More Information

CDC Public Health Associate Program

This paid fellowship may require relocation, as fellows are matched to states with the most need for services. The two-year program provides fellows with important hands-on experience in high-need areas.
More Information

The variety of career options for those with a MPH in South Dakota offer competitive salaries. As with any career field, the salaries of public health officials depend on experience levels, credentials, and geographic location. The table below shows average wages for professionals in public health. The hourly and annual mean wages in South Dakota are comparable to the national average.

 EmploymentHourly Mean WageAnnual Mean Wage
South Dakota280$29.08$60,485
United States63,260$32.60$67,810

Source: BLS

Public Health Employers in South Dakota

With nearly half of South Dakota’s population spread across rural areas, many of the state’s larger public health employers are based in urban areas with larger and more dense populations. After graduating from an online MPH program in South Dakota, applying to positions with large employers can make finding a job easier.

EmployersNumber of Employees
Avera Medical17,042
Sanford Health10,663
South Dakota State Government9,837

Public Health Research Centers in South Dakota

Students in online MPH programs in South Dakota who want to pursue a career in a research setting should determine which research centers to which they would like to apply after graduation. To make securing a position easier, begin networking with professionals at these facilities while earning your degree. Apply for internships, or ask a senior staff member to act as a mentor during your studies.

Public Health Professional Organizations in South Dakota

Professional organizations are an excellent source of network opportunities for students pursuing a master’s of public health online in South Dakota. Online students may sometimes feel disconnected from resources and peers; professional organizations provide access to career services, annual conferences, certificate programs, and networking opportunities. The organizations below are meant to benefit those living in South Dakota.

Professionals in health-related fields often must have licensure and certifications. There are no state-mandated certifications or licenses required to become a public health official in South Dakota. However, some nationally recognized certifications help potential public health officials stand out as qualified candidates for employment. For example, the National Board of Public Health Examiners offers a certification for public health officials and professionals. NBPHE emphasizes the value of certification to improve job qualifications and increase earning potential.

Choosing an accredited online MPH programs in South Dakota is crucial for ensuring your credits transfer to other institutions and that your degree will be recognized by future employers.

Accreditation is the process by which schools and programs are held to certain academic standards. Choosing an accredited online MPH programs in South Dakota is crucial for ensuring your credits transfer to other institutions and that your degree will be recognized by future employers.

The two most common types of accreditation are regional and national. Regional accreditation is more common and respected, making it the most important type of accreditation for a school to hold. Credits earned from regionally accredited institutions transfer easily, but regionally accredited schools rarely accept credits earned from nationally accredited institutions. You may also look for field-specific accreditation. Public health programs may be accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board.

Hagen-Harvey Scholarship

This scholarship provides funding for four years of postsecondary studies at an institution in South Dakota for enrolled members of American Indian Tribes.
Amount Offered: $6,000
Scholarship Deadline: Based on funding availability
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must have graduated from South Dakota high school, and must be an enrolled member of an American Indian tribe.
See Scholarship

South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship

This scholarship, renewable for up to four years, is awarded to a student enrolled in a higher learning institution in South Dakota who performed well in their high school academics.
Amount Offered: $6,500
Scholarship Deadline: September 1 for fall enrollment; January 15 for spring enrollment
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must have been a resident of South Dakota upon high school graduation and must have met certain academic standards and minimum test scores.
See Scholarship

SDSU Jackrabbit Guarantee

This scholarship is available to first-time students enrolled at South Dakota State University who earned an ACT score of 24 or higher. Students may receive this scholarship for up to four years.
Amount Offered: $1,000 per academic year
Scholarship Deadline: Start of academic term
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must have been a resident of South Dakota upon high school graduation and must have met certain academic standards and minimum test scores.
See Scholarship

South Dakota Need Based Grant Program

Created by Senate Bill 237, this grant provides access to affordable education for students in South Dakota. Individual universities determine which students are eligible based on financial need.
Amount Offered: $500–2,000
Scholarship Deadline: Varies by school
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must have filled out the FAFSA and must demonstrate financial need after other awards, including Pell grants, have been considered.
See Scholarship

Elliot C. Roberts Scholarship

This award is meant for graduate students in their first or second year of study in a healthcare administration or related graduate program who demonstrate a strong interest in community service.
Amount Offered: $1,000
Scholarship Deadline: October 1
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and must demonstrate financial need.
See Scholarship

Health Occupations Students of America Scholarships

HOSA offers a variety of awards through partnerships with major corporations and organizations. Award amounts and requirements vary. Students fill out a profile to be matched with potential scholarships offered by HOSA.
Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: March 15
Eligibility Requirements: Requirements vary by individual scholarship, but all applicants must join STEM Premier.
See Scholarship

AAUW Career Development Grants for Women

The American Association of University Women offers grants to help women further their education by pursuing a second bachelor’s degree, a vocational certificate, or graduate study. The grant is generally awarded to women of color and women entering nontraditional fields of study.
Amount Offered: $2,000–12,000
Scholarship Deadline: December 15
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a female U.S. citizen who has earned a bachelor’s degree and plans to pursue further education from an accredited program.
See Scholarship

Wells Fargo American Indian Scholarship

Wells Fargo offers graduate scholarships to members of federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaskan natives. Award amounts are based on financial need and merit.
Amount Offered: Varies
Scholarship Deadline: May 1
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must be a member of a federally recognized tribe and must demonstrate financial need.
See Scholarship

South Dakota Jump Start Scholarship

The South Dakota Board of Regents offers a scholarship for students who graduate from a South Dakota high school in three years or fewer.
Amount Offered: $1,500
Scholarship Deadline: Varies
Eligibility Requirements: The applicant must have graduated from a South Dakota high school in three years or fewer.
See Scholarship