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Rapid City considers education to be the cornerstone for our community’s future. By investing in the education of our residents, we are demonstrating our confidence that the community will continue to prosper.

The Rapid City Area School District includes 15 (K-5) elementary schools, five (6-8) middle schools and three (9-12) high schools. For more information, visit

For those interested in the private sector, there are several options available. The Catholic School System which includes St. Thomas More and St. Elizabeth Seton, provides parochial education for stu-dents in Pre K-12 grade. We also have several other private schools, including but not limited to Black Hills Lutheran School, Calvary Christian School, Children’s House Montessori, Liberty Baptist Academy, Open Bible Christian School, Rapid City Christian School, St. Paul’s Lutheran School, Seventh Day Adventist School and Zion Lutheran School and Preschool, as well as home schooling through Rapid City Schools Homeschool Connection.

Higher Education

Rapid City has many great opportunities for higher education. Schools located in Rapid City include Black Hills State University (BHSU), National American University (NAU), Oglala Lakota College, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology (SDSM&T), South Dakota State and University of South Dakota Colleges of Nursing, South Dakota State West River Center for Agriculture, Western Dakota Tech (WDT), and the Black Hills State University-Rapid City with representatives, college programs and classes from BHSU, Dakota State University (DSU), Northern State University, SDSM&T, South Dakota State University (SDSU) and the University of South Dakota (USD).

The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, located within walking distance of downtown, has a nationwide reputation for excellence in engineering, the sciences and computer technology. More than 90 percent of students are routinely admitted to professional and graduate programs or launching rewarding and meaningful careers in their fields within six months of graduation.

Black Hills State University – Rapid City is a partnership among South Dakota’s six public universities: Black Hills State University, Dakota State University, Northern State University, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, South Dakota State University, and the University of South Dakota, working co-operatively to deliver accessible, high-quality education in one convenient location. At BHSU-Rapid City, you can enroll in Certificate, Associate, Bachelor, Master, or Doctoral degree programs.

The West River Ag Center (WRAC) in Rapid City is the western front door to South Dakota State University and the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences. It is here at the Center that academics, research, extension and professionalism come together to provide South Dakota, especially western South Dakota, with the agricultural resources and expertise that can breed personal, professional and community success.

Western Dakota Tech is the only technical institute that serves the western South Dakota region. More than 98 percent of WDT’s recent graduates are working or continuing their education and 90 percent live and work in South Dakota.

National American University (NAU) has been in Rapid City since 1941. NAU is a private university with programs in accounting, general education studies, information technology, paralegal studies, medical assisting, business administration, therapeutic massage, health care management, nursing and veterinary technology, to name a few. They offer classes on-site as well as online and also offer non-degree training for those already in the workforce through NAUx. These short-term courses can help you get the specialized skills you need. Their new location has updated classrooms and a great campus.

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