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Higher Education / R&D

Educating the Region's Future Leaders

Our higher education and R&D partners help stimulate economic growth by supplying a skilled and educated workforce pipeline to the businesses in the region, along with providing innovative technology and techniques to help further company growth.

Higher Education

Black Hills State University

Black Hills State University, the state’s third largest university, is a four-year university located in Spearfish, SD that offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. - Visit Site

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT) in Rapid City is a four-year university that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in science and engineering. - Visit Site

BHSU - Rapid City

BHSU - Rapid City - Rapid City is located in Rapid City and provides students satellite classes and degrees that are offered through six South Dakota universities. - Visit Site

National American University

National American University, located in Rapid City, is a for-profit institution catering to non-traditional students. - Visit Site

Western Dakota Technical Institute

Western Dakota Technical Institute is the only technical institute that serves the western South Dakota region and offers more than 30 programs in a variety of fields. - Visit Site

Oglala Lakota College

Oglala Lakota College is chartered by the Oglala Sioux Tribe and provides educational opportunities that enhance Lakota life. These opportunities include community services, certificates, GED, associate, bachelor and graduate degrees. Campuses are located in Kyle (located on nearby Pine Ridge Indian Reservation) and Rapid City. - Visit Site

The University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University, both offer Schools of Nursing, and provide a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

Research & Development

Both Blacks Hills State University and South Dakota School of Mines & Technology offer research centers that allow for collaboration and highly-technical work on specific and important areas of inquiry, including:

  • Black Hills State University
  • Westcore – DNA research facility
  • South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
  • Energy and Environment
  • Materials and Manufacturing
  • Underground Science and Engineering
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education
  • Center for Friction Stir Welding
  • Center for Bioenergy Research and Development
  • Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF)

Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF)

The Sanford Underground Science Laboratory at Homestake is an underground laboratory near Lead, South Dakota that houses multiple physics experiments in areas such as dark matter and neutrino research. It was initially planned to be part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Deep Underground Science and Engineering (DUSEL) project. Learn more at www.sanfordlab.org.

Who to Contact

Mike Headley, Lab Director
Sanford Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory at Homestake
630 East Summit Street
Lead, SD 57754
Phone: 605.722.4060
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our Partners

  • Procurement and Technical Assistance Center


  • Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau


  • West River Business Services Center


  • Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce


  • West River Foundation


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