South Dakota State University is the largest university in the U.S. state of South Dakota, located in Brookings. A public land-grant university and sun grant college, founded under the provisions of the 1862 Morrill Act, SDSU offers programs of study required by, or harmonious to, this Act. In step with this land-grant heritage and mission, SDSU has a special focus on academic programs in agriculture, engineering, nursing, and pharmacy, as well as the liberal arts. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching classifies SDSU as a Research University with high research activity. The graduate program is classified as Doctoral/Science, Technology, Engineering, Math dominant. SDSU is governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents, which governs the state's six public universities and two special schools. The university was founded on February 21, 1881 as Dakota Agriculture College. The first building, with funding from the territorial legislature, was built in 1883, six years before the State of South Dakota was incorporated. Numerous expansions were funded in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The name was changed in 1904 to South Dakota State College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts. In 1964, the name was changed to South Dakota State University, reflecting the more comprehensive education offered at the university.
In 1923, SDSU's instructional program was organized under five divisions: Agriculture, Engineering, General Science, Home Economics, and Pharmacy. In 1956, a Nursing program was established, and in 1957 a formal graduate school was formed. When the University changed its name in 1964, the colleges were renamed Agriculture and Biological Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Home Economics, Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Graduate School. In 1974, the College of General Registration (now the College of General Studies) was formed. In 1975, the Division of Education was created. An Honors College was formed in 1999. Two colleges and seven departments combined in 2009 to create the College of Education and Human Sciences. The current names of these colleges are; Agriculture and Biological Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Education and Human Sciences, Engineering, General Studies, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Honors Colleges and the Graduate School.