Applying for Leadership South Dakota

The application window for Leadership South Dakota Class of 2025 is now closed. Please click here to join our email list to be notified with the next application window opens for the next class. 

Want more details before embarking on the application submission process? Check out the application overview and submission criteria below.

 Application Process

Approximately 40 applicants from around the state will be selected to participate in Leadership South Dakota for the class of 2025. They will join an alumni of more than 400 Leadership South Dakota graduates. Our alumni network is strong and engaged in ongoing events to both network and learn.

Selecting the upcoming class of Leadership South Dakota is both a competitive and difficult process, if you aren’t selected initially, we encourage you to re-apply for the next class.

Below are the session dates for the 11th class of Leadership South Dakota. *dates are subject to change

Dates Location Notes & Details
September 11 – 13, 2024 Pierre Orientation and State Government
October 16 – 18, 2024 Brookings Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Education
November 13 – 15, 2024 Rapid City Tourism, Military, and Natural Resources
January 15 – 17, 2025 TBD Rural Initiatives
February 12 – 14, 2025 Mission Native American History and Culture
March 12 – 14, 2025 Sioux Falls Health and Financial Systems
March 28, 2025 Chamberlain Graduation and Program Wrap-up

Applications  for the Leadership South Dakota Class of 2025 will open March 1 and close on April 5, 2024 at 5 PM CDT. All application packets are submitted online. Requirements for the application process include:

  • $50 application fee for first time applicants (non-refundable)
  • Completed online application form
  • Current resume
  • Recent headshot
  • Uploaded 1 minute video

*Please note that there are several long-form questions that will need to be answered on your application. Expect to spend at least an hour on the application. You will be able to save your application in progress and return to complete later. 


Please read carefully and complete all sections in the application and provide all required documents for your application to be considered complete. The following items must be submitted by April 5, 2024, at 5 PM CDT.

1. Online Application

The online application should be completed and submitted by April 5, 2024 at 5 PM CDT. The application has four sections (Personal Information, Employment Information, Introduction & Leadership Questions).

2. Resume

A current resume (no more than two (2) pages) must be uploaded with the application. Along with standard employment and educational history, the resume should include any volunteerism, civic, professional, and personal contributions you have made at the local, state, or national levels.

3. Headshot

Upload a professional headshot (in JPEG format) of yourself. Please use the largest file size available for headshot uploads, preferred dimensions are 1200 x 630 px.

4. Personal Video

Upload a video introducing yourself to the selection committee. Specifically, pick up your phone and record a casual video that is no more than 60 seconds long answering one of the questions below – your choice:

    1. What is your superpower? (What do you do better than anyone else?)
    2. Who is your favorite leader and why?
    3. What is your favorite book and why?

5. Acknowledgement Forms

This section includes all forms regarding your involvement in the program: from the attendance policy to the media release to employer support and all the other details to ensure a safe and successful program experience.

You must thoroughly review each policy and/or release provided and complete each certification in order to have your application considered for acceptance into the program.

6. Tuition

The cost to each participant is $3,500. This does not include travel expenses (transportation to and from session location and hotel expenses). These costs can be covered by your employer or yourself. Tuition is due August 1 and may be paid as a one-time payment, or a payment plan may be arranged.

Optional: Tuition Assistance
Please note that a limited number of scholarships are available. Applicants requesting financial assistance are required to complete and upload the Tuition and Travel Assistance Form within the application.

Other Application Notes

Selection of class members is determined by a committee of Leadership SD alumni and corporate sponsors. Any questions about the application process should be sent to

Health Policy

The success of the Leadership South Dakota program is centered around a cohort of 40 individuals from across the state, who spend lots of time face-to-face each month exploring everything our great state has to offer. With this format in mind, we ask that all participants monitor their health and report any illness symptoms that may impact the health of themselves or others. We encourage class members to visit the Centers of Disease Control website regarding illness warning signs, symptoms, and recommended course of action.

In the event you are sick, we request that you notify Leadership South Dakota staff members and recuse yourself from any program activities within the recommended quarantine period.