2006-2008 Graduate Catalog 
    Jul 16, 2020  
2006-2008 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Admission Information

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Admission to Graduate School


Students must be admitted to the Graduate School before enrolling in any graduate course, whether or not they are pursuing an advanced degree. A completed application must be filed with the Graduate School at least one month before the beginning of the first term of graduate work. Students applying for Special Student (non-degree) status must also complete an application and be admitted to Graduate School. NOTE: Being admitted to the Graduate School does not admit a student to a degree program.

Admission Requirements


Baccalaureate Degree- Admission to the Graduate School requires that the applicant have a baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher learning. The institution must be one of recognized standing (regional accreditation) whose requirements are substantially the same as those of the South Dakota State University department(s) in which the advanced degree will be taken.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) - Submission of the results of a Graduate Record Examination is not a Graduate School requirement. However, the following programs require that scores be submitted: Agronomy; Biology; English; Entomology; Microbiology; Pharmacy, Plant Pathology, and Wildlife and Fisheries. Chemistry recommends the GRE, but does not require it. For information about the GRE test, contact the department concerned or the Academic Evaluation and Assessment Office, Foundation Building (north entrance).

Department Requirements - Individual departments may have additional admission requirements. Applicants should inquire about such requirements from the department of interest.

Application Procedure


Application Form- A completed form supplied by the Graduate School must be submitted and accompanied by a non-refundable application fee of $35 if degree-seeking. An application form can be found at the back of this Catalog or on the Internet.

Official Transcripts- For degree seeking students, official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work are needed. The Graduate School will access all South Dakota regental transcripts, but the student must furnish all those from non-regental institutions. For those students not actively pursuing a graduate degree, the Bachelor’s degree must be stated on the application form and the degree will be verified. Students will be withdrawn from graduate coursework if a degree cannot be verified. International students must have completed 4 years of post-secondary education and must hold a Bachelor’s degree before applications will be reviewed by the graduate school and the department.

Application Procedure for Domestic Students


If the application is submitted before the Bachelor’s degree is complete, an incomplete transcript must be filed. When the Bachelor’s degree is awarded, a final transcript must then be sent. This final transcript must be filed during the first semester of graduate work.

International students who cannot provide original transcripts may submit notarized or certified copies at the time of application. A provisional degree will be accepted.

Letters of Recommendation - Typically two letters of recommendation from persons acquainted with the academic ability and professional competency of the applicant should be sent directly to the Graduate School. Three letters of recommendation are required for Nursing, Family Financial Planning, and Merchandising. Forms may be downloaded from the Graduate School Forms and Documents web page. This requirement may be waived by the Dean of the Graduate School on recommendation of the department. The references submitted as part of the CHRD packet will be accepted for the purposes of Graduate School requirements.

Application Procedure for International Students


In addition to the above procedures, International Students must also submit the following:

TOEFL Score - A score of 525 paper-based, 197 computer-based, or 71 Internet-based or above is required by the Graduate School for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Department requirements are listed with each department section in this Catalog. Departments may require additional testing upon arrival.

Financial Support - Evidence of available financial support for at least two years (M.S., M.A., M.Ed.) or four years (Ph.D.) must be submitted to the International Student Affairs (ISA) Office, SAD 101. For any financial assistance from this institution, the applicant should correspond with the Head of the Major Department.

Physical Examination Record - A physical evaluation is helpful. A record of 2 (two) immunizations for measles and 2 (two) for rubella, signed by a doctor, is required.

Documents for entry into the U.S. will be issued by the International Student Affairs Office after academic admission and financial certification are complete.

Application Process


After an application for admission and all supporting documents are received and evaluated by the Graduate School, they are sent for review to the department concerned. Using the recommendations made by the department, the Dean of the Graduate School acts on the application and notifies the applicant, department, and/or committee concerned.

Admission Status


An applicant may be admitted without condition if a Bachelor’s degree has been earned, all undergraduate prerequisites for major and minor (if required) fields of study have been satisfactorily completed, and the applicant had an average of “B” (3.0 or higher on a 4-point grading system; A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = l) have been maintained during the last two academic years of undergraduate work.

Applicants with grade point average between 3.0 and 2.75 may also be considered for admission if other aspects of their academic and/or professional record indicate superior performance and potential.

Admission to all degree programs is competitive and limited by the availability of personnel, facilities, and funding necessary to provide quality graduate education within each program.

Conditional Admission
Conditional admission may be granted for students enrolled in an accredited American college or university, if:

  1. For students enrolled in accredited American colleges or universities, the applicant meets the requirements for admission for the last three semesters but has not completed the last semester of undergraduate study. Admission is conditional until the Bachelor’s degree is granted, OR
  2. The applicant lacks prerequisite undergraduate courses specified by the major department. Admission is conditional until these courses have been completed to the satisfaction of the department and these courses cannot be used on the graduate Plan of Study, OR
  3. The applicant has a grade point average between 2.5 and 3.0 for the junior and senior years.

Students admitted conditionally with a cumulative or junior/senior grade point average of less than 2.75 must complete a minimum of 9 graduate credits with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above before becoming eligible for a graduate assistantship. A student admitted conditionally must satisfy any conditions within the first year after admission. Departments will assign advisors to such students. Failure of a student to fulfill the above conditions or to do satisfactory graduate work at any point in his/her program is sufficient grounds for dismissal or reclassification as a Special (non-degree) Student.

Students with a junior-senior grade point average above 2.75 and who have pass-fail (or equivalent) grades shall have instructors for such courses furnish letter grades or shall furnish satisfactory Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

Special Student (non-degree)


Students not meeting the above admission requirements, and those not working toward a degree may be granted admission and take courses as Special Students. Special Students may not receive Graduate Assistantships, financial aid, or enroll for thesis/dissertation credits. The Graduate Dean will act as advisor for these students unless they are assigned to a department advisor. No more than ten credits under Special Student status may be applied toward a degree.

Change of Admission Status


Students with Special Student status may request and be granted a change in status to work toward a degree, provided nine credits of graduate work have been completed with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. The request must include complete official transcripts and application fee if these have not been supplied previously. This request must be submitted to the Graduate School by the student or advisor, after which it will be submitted to the appropriate department for a recommendation and processed as other applications.



Students formerly enrolled as graduate students at South Dakota State University (who interrupt continuous registration) should apply for readmission at least one month prior to registration. Forms for this purpose can be obtained from the Graduate School. Official transcripts for graduate work taken at other institutions since last enrollment at South Dakota State University must be furnished.

Graduate School rules and regulations in effect at the time of readmission apply to students who are readmitted. The Graduate School or graduate program may require applicants for readmission to update their application file or to complete a new application including current references if required by the program. Students who are readmitted may be required to change their advisory committee and file a new Plan of Study.

A personal interview with the head of the major department or graduate coordinator should be arranged prior to registration as a readmitted student.