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Online Classes

9 Online Certification Programs Offered Through SDState

Pursuing a certification through South Dakota State University means more knowledge in a personal interest, a job promotion or even a new career. SDState offers nine certifications online, making the certifications even easier to obtain for students pursuing distance education.

Agriculture and Environmental Law

This certificate focuses on legal issues in rural communities as well as the food industry. The courses taken will look at the legal concerns of water quality, land use and other environmental issues. It also delves into the legislative regulation of food production, renewable energy and expanding populations.

Swine Science

The swine science certificate program prepares students for sales and communication, construction, production management and pharmaceutical positions in the pork industry. Classes in this program blend scientific principles with managerial skills and address the impact of modern social and industrial issues on safe production of pork for consumption. It is the only online certification in the nation for the study of swine science.

Animal Science

SDState’s animal science certificate provides instruction to students who want training in the management and care of animals and the processing of animal products. The program ensures an understanding of meat science, genetic selection, physiology of reproduction and nutrition of ruminant or mono-gastric animals.

Data Science

According to employment websites like CareerCast and Glassdoor, data science is listed as the No. 1 rated career, and it’s offered online right here at SDSU. The program includes training in data-science analysis and computation methodologies. It is available to a wide range of undergraduate backgrounds, including economics, engineering, computer science and physical sciences.

Family Financial Planning

This certificate is for students who want to help those who seek advisers to help manage their income, assets and debts. It prepares for a career serving families, private clientele, corporations and insurance firms. The completion of the program qualifies students for the CFP Certification Examination. In addition, students receive preparation for taking the Certified Housing Counselor (CHC) Certification Examination. SDSU has the first and only CFP board-registered program in the state.

Financial and Housing Counseling

The financial and housing counseling certificate program prepares students to apply for the accredited financial counselor (AFC) and certified housing counseling (CHC) certifications. Skills students will learn include managing funds for housing, debt recovery and long-term financial planning. The courses cover family systems and economics, insurance planning, financial readiness for military families, personal income taxation, housing and real estate.

Grassland Management

This certificate trains students to help ranchers, consultants, educators and government agencies preserve the grasslands. This is done by a variety of preventative measures, including preventing overgrazing, minimizing undesirable botanical composition shifts, improving grassland health and sustaining long-term productivity. It also provides a foundation in fire ecology, plant identification, forage quality, watershed management and the ecology of invasive species.


Knowledge of consumer behavior, promotional strategies and effectively merchandising products to consumers are some key concepts students will learn in the merchandising certificate. Students will also gain critical-thinking skills, understand current and future trends and assist with product development and distribution. There is even an opportunity to take this certification one step further with a master’s in merchandising through SDState.

Native Community and Economic Development

This program is for students who seek work with Native and indigenous communities. Students in the program will build knowledge in history, national policy towards indigenous nations, sovereignty and economic and social factors. Positions for students with these interests have been expanding due to changes in government policy, strengthening tribal government and increasing private funding.

For more information on these certificates, click here.

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