Programs authorized at public universities The South Dakota Board of Regents has approved three new degree programs at public universities, including a cooperative plan for a graduate degree in physics, as well as a doctorate in nursing practice and a master's degree in social work. Master of Science Degree in Physics – SDSM&T, SDSU, USD Under a plan approved Friday, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, South Dakota State University, and The University of South Dakota would each be able to award the M.S. degree in physics, but would share responsibility for course delivery and students enrolled at one institution would take courses regularly taught by faculty from the other universities. "Under this model, we are able to implement the program without asking the state for additional resources," explained Regents President Harvey C. Jewett. The degree will be offered beginning fall 2009. Doctor of Nursing Practice – SDSU The board approved a South Dakota State University proposal for a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. The DNP degree may become the national entry degree for nurse practitioners in the future. The program was approved for delivery on campus in Brookings and at off-campus centers in Sioux Falls and Rapid City as demand warrants. The program requires completion of 80 credit hours for new nurse practitioners. By the doctoral program's fifth year, SDSU estimates it may be graduating 20 new nurse practitioners a year. As part of the state's ongoing health care workforce initiative, this degree will focus on increasing the number of highly-trained nurse practitioners in order to meet a growing demand for health care workers across South Dakota. Master of Social Work – USD The University of South Dakota proposal for a master's degree in social work was approved. The university may implement the program only if new external resources can be found.