Black Hills State University is a masters-level state university with 4,200 students. The campus leads the region in sustainability efforts and maintains top academic programs in business (AACSB), exercise science, natural sciences, social sciences, the arts, mass communication, health sciences and education.

The university, founded in 1883, is located in the northern Black Hills, a region abundant with outdoor activity and culture. Spearfish, S.D., is recognized as one of the top 10 most livable small town in the USA and has also been recognized nationally for outdoor recreational opportunities.

A second location, BHSU-RC, was recently established in Rapid City, the state’s second largest city.

BHSU, a member of NCAA Division II athletics, offers 14 sports. BHSU has a legacy of champion rodeo teams.

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BHSU offers the best of both worlds - a welcoming, small-town atmosphere and easy access to all the activities and amenities of a larger town, and it's just 50 miles from the second-largest city in South Dakota.


The BHSU experience goes beyond the classroom. The scenic Black Hills that surround our 123-acre campus not only offer endless options for recreation, they are also host to many unique research opportunities.


Our Spearfish campus is within an hour and a half drive of 2,000+ climbing routes and endless bouldering. Just minutes from our doorstep, the Northern Black Hills offer great ice climbing, mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding.

BHSU Mission & Vision

University Vision
Black Hills State University will lead as a vibrant, innovative university with exemplary academic programs, service, and student experiences.

University Mission
Black Hills State University is a master’s level university that promotes excellence in teaching and learning; supports research, creative and scholarly activities and provides service to the state, region, nation and global community. BHSU provides innovative, high quality undergraduate (associate and baccalaureate) programs in the arts, humanities, education, behavioral sciences, mathematics, social sciences, natural sciences, business and technology as well as selected disciplines of strength at the graduate level. Black Hills State University is the only comprehensive University in western South Dakota.

BHSU Values

As members of the Black Hills State University community, we value:

Student Success
Serving and inspiring our students through life-changing learning experiences to become educated leaders and engaged citizens.

Academic Excellence
Providing quality and rigorous programs with challenging exchange of ideas, offering opportunities for research, creative activity, and global engagement.

Leading with resourcefulness and creativity to develop programs and activities that meet the needs of the regional, national and global community.

Leading with integrity and sustainable best practices; honoring our heritage, celebrating our diversity, serving our community and thriving in the Spirit of the Black Hills.

Read the Strategic Plan

BHSU Campus

BHSU Campus Map

Driving Directions - Campus Map

Black Hills State University, located in the scenic northern Black Hills – Spearfish, South Dakota, offers 75 academic programs at the associate, bachelor, and master degree levels. BHSU, which has over 4,000 students, has earned a reputation for innovative, high-quality academic programs and a dynamic learning community.

Learn more about the BHSU Campus.