2011-2012 Graduate Catalog 
    Jul 03, 2020  
2011-2012 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Admission Information

Click on a link to be taken to the entry below.


Admission to Graduate School


Students must be admitted to the Graduate School before enrolling in graduate courses to pursue an advanced degree. A completed application must be filed with the Graduate School by April 15 for consideration for fall admission and by August 15 (international) or October 1 (domestic) for consideration for spring admission.  Students applying for Special Student (non-degree) status must complete an application prior to registration for coursework. NOTE: Meeting the Graduate School requirements does not admit a student to a degree program.

Students who have been denied admission may not reapply to the same program, within one year of notification, unless specifically requested by the program.

Application for Admission


Application Form - A completed on-line applications must be submitted and accompanied by a non-refundable application fee of $35.00.  The on-line application can be found at https://app.applyyourself.com/?id=sdstate-g

Official Transcripts - Domestic degree seeking students must provide official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions. The Graduate School will access all South Dakota regental transcripts, but the student must furnish all those from non-regental institutions.  A professional credential evaluation, either WES or ECE, is required of all interntational university academic transcripts.  Required is a course by course evaluation for the most recently conferred degree.  Applications will not be processed until the evaluation is received from the service.  The Graduate School mailing address is as follows:

Graduate School
South Dakota State University
130 Administration Building/Box 2201
Administration Lane
Brookings, SD  57007

Transcripts - A professional credential evaluation, from either WES or ECE, is required of all international university academic transcripts.  The request to WES (www.WES.org) or ECE (www.ECE.org) should be for a course by course evaluation for the most recent degree. 

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 South Dakota State University program(s) in which the advanced degree will be taken.

If students are enrolled in U.S. institutions, and 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.

Immunization Requirements - Due to regulations mandated by the South Dakota Board of Regents, medically signed proof of two (2) properly administered measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) immunizations OR immune titers for measles (rubella), mumps and rubella are now required for all (domestic and international) new, readmitted, and transferred students at all state institutions.  History of these diseases is accepted as waiver of this requirement  with health provider verification.  (Students born before January 1, 1957 are exempt from this requirement.)  The completed form must be received in order to register and attend classes. 

Program Requirements - Individual programs may have additional admission requirements. Applicants should inquire about such requirements from the program of interest.

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 to them directly: Biology, Electrical Engineering, Microbiology, Pharmacy, and Wildlife & Fisheries. Chemistry, Industrial Management, and Plant Science recommend the GRE, but do not require it. For information about the GRE test, contact the program concerned or go to www.ets.org/gre.

Application deadlines for receipt of all application materials are:  August 15 (for international students) or October 1 (for domestic students) for Spring semester and April 15 for Fall semester.

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 higher is required by the Graduate School for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Equivalent International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores are also accepted. This requirement will not be waived.

Program requirements are listed within each departmental section in this Catalog. Programs may require additional testing upon arrival.

Financial Support - Evidence of available financial support for at least two years for Master’s degrees or four years for Doctor of Philosophy degrees must be submitted to the International Student Affairs (ISA) Office at SSU 065. For any financial assistance from this institution, the applicant should correspond with the Head or Graduate Coordinator of the program.

Medical Record - In addition to the immunizations required for domestic students, a tuberculosis (TB) test is required for students from certain countries of origin and must be performed upon arriving on campus; TB tests done outside of the United States will not be accepted. For more information,contact Student Health and Counseling Services at 605/688-4157.

Transcripts - A professional credential evaluation is required of all international university academic transcripts, e.g. WES or ECE.  This requirement will not be waived.  The request to WES (www.WES.org) (request ICAP, course by course) or ECE (www.ECE.org) (request course by course evaluation) may be for a single document evaluation for the most recent degree.  Completed evaluations must be sent by e-mail to the Graduate School from the credential evaluation service.  The e-mail address is SDSU.Graduate.Office@sdstate.edu.

Documentation - Documents for entry into the U.S. will be issued by the International Student Affairs Office after academic admission and financial certification are complete. Students on visa can not be admitted conditionally.  

Application Processing


After an application for admission and all supporting documents are received, they are evaluated by the Graduate School to insure they meet the minimum requirements.   If they do not meet the minimum requirements, the application is denied by the Graduate School.  If the minimum requirements have been met the application is sent for review to the program concerned. Using the recommendations made by the program, the Dean of the Graduate School acts on the application and notifies the applicant, program, 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 3.0 or higher on a 4-point grading system (A = 4, B = 3, C = 2, D = l) or maintained a 3.0 during the last two academic years of undergraduate work.

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 U.S. college or university, if the applicant:

  1. 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. lacks prerequisite undergraduate courses specified by the major program. Admission is conditional until these courses have been completed to the satisfaction of the program, OR
  3. has a grade point average between 2.75 and 3.0 cumulative for the junior and senior years.

A student admitted conditionally must satisfy any conditions before receiving unconditional status. Programs 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.

Special Student (non-degree)


Students who are not working toward a degree may register for 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 program advisor. No more than ten credits under Special Student status may be applied toward a degree.

Special students must meet all requirements regarding immunizations listed under the “Application for Admission” section above although some allowances are made when taking only on-line courses. Please contact Student Health and Counseling Services at 605/688-4157 for further information regarding immunization regulations.

Change of Admission Status


Students with Special Student status may apply for graduate school to work toward a degree.  Application procedures as outlined in the previous sections should be followed.



Students formerly enrolled as graduate students at South Dakota State University (who interrupt continuous registration) must apply for readmission.  The online application can be completed at https://app.applyyourself.com/?id=sdstate-g.  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 requires applicants for readmission to update their application file 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 the graduate coordinator of the program should be arranged prior to registration as a readmitted student.

Residency Requirements

In order to establish residency for tuition purposes you must live in South Dakota for twelve (12) consecutive months immediately preceding the first scheduled day of classes of the semester.  Attendance at the college or university controlled by the Board of Regents does not count in determining the twelve (12) month period of residence.

Qualifications for residency for tuition purposes may be obtained by writing the Director of Admissions, SDSU, Box 2201, Brookings, SD  57007.