2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
    Mar 02, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Financial Information & Student Services

SDSU students on campus.

This section outlines policies and general information on tuition, fees, and financial aid at South Dakota State University. The South Dakota State University Policy and Procedure Manual is the definitive source for the most current South Dakota State University policies. Policies duplicated on other websites or in print may not be the most current version. All policies documented on the site are official and supersede policies located elsewhere. South Dakota State University is governed by state and federal law, administrative regulations, and policies of the South Dakota Board of Regents (SDBOR) and the State of South Dakota.

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

Tuition & Fees

Tuition and fee rates are set according to the policies of the South Dakota Board of Regents and are subject to change without prior notice.  For current information view the SDSU Financial Aid or SDBOR Tuition and Fees website.

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.

Residency qualifications for tuition purposes may be obtained by contacting the Admissions Office at 605-688-4121.

Billing & Payment of Student Accounts

All tuition, fees, housing, food service and miscellaneous charges to student accounts will be on an electronic billing (eBilling) system and can be viewed on SDePay, a secured website via the Internet. Payment of the student account can also be made electronically (ePayment) through SDePay. Students can authorize parents, spouse and other individuals to view the eBill and make ePayment on their student account.

By the day after census date, each student makes a full payment of charges based on the number of registered credits, residency status, and campus housing. Late fees will be assessed starting on the day after the established payment due date. SDSU encourages students to mail payments before the due date. Payment of tuition and fees can be made by cash, check or electronic bank transfer directly to the University Cashier’s Office SAD 136 PO Box 2201, Brookings, SD 57007-2098.

Payment of tuition and fees using a debit or credit card can only be made through SDePay, electronic billing and payment system. American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards are accepted by SDePay. A 2.75 percent service fee is assessed by and payable to NelNet, host provider of SDePay. Authorized payers may view and pay the students’ account by going to the South Dakota Public Universities Authorized Payer login at SDePay. Students may link to SDePay through their secure account on WebAdvisor.

Late Charges

A fee is charged if tuition and fees are not paid during the regular established payment periods. Failure to satisfy financial obligations when due may result in a student’s administrative withdrawal from the University.


If you are indebted to the University and do not satisfy financial obligations when due, you may be denied admission to the University. You may be administratively withdrawn from the University after notice from the University and you will not be permitted to register or receive a transcript of grades until the indebtedness is paid. This applies to your indebtedness to the University for tuition, fees, required deposits, room and board, financial aid, but not obligations due to student organizations. All accounts that the University is unable to collect will be submitted for collection and forwarded to a credit reporting bureau.  The University will recover from the debtor all collection fees and attorney’s fees that result from collection of an account.  

Fees for Auditing Courses

Regular tuition and fees, per credit, will be charged for auditing a course. Registration as an auditor is by petition. Auditing courses will be a matter of record (recorded on the academic transcript). Grades will be designated by the instructor as Audit Pass (AUP) or Audit Fail (AUF). Audit courses are not counted in calculating undergraduate or graduate full-time student status.

Thesis & Dissertation Fees

Students are responsible for following all deposition protocols and paying all archiving fees associated with a thesis or dissertation.


(SDBOR Policy 5:7)

SDSU processes student withdrawals in compliance with federal and Board of Regents policies. A petition process does exist for students or parents who feel that individual circumstances warrant exception from the published refund policy. Contact the Registrar, Enrollment Services Center, for information.

Tuition & Fees Refund Policy

The end of the drop/add period for standard (those that conform to the regular semester schedule) and non-standard courses offered in a semester is the date the first 10 percent of the term ends or the day following the first class meeting, whichever is later.

Refunds for Dropped Courses

A student receives a 100 percent refund of tuition and per-credit-hour fees for courses dropped within the drop/add period. No refund shall be provided for courses dropped after that time, except by administrative action. Any course meeting within a standard semester but for less time than the standard semester shall be treated as a non-standard semester course for refund purposes. Courses offered during summer school session and correspondence courses are considered non-standard courses.

Students who withdraw, drop out, or are expelled within the drop/add period receive a 100 percent refund of tuition and per-credit-hour fees. Students who withdraw, drop out, or are expelled after the drop/add period for which they are assessed may be entitled to a pro-rated refund as set forth herein.

Refunds for Withdrawals

Students who withdraw from the University may be entitled to a refund of tuition and fees and institutional charges calculated through 60 percent of an enrollment period. The refund shall be determined by computing the percentage of an enrollment period remaining after the date of withdrawal multiplied times the tuition and fees originally assessed the student. At no time will refunds be awarded after the 60 percent point of the enrollment period.

Cancelled Registration

If a student’s registration is cancelled, no tuition and fee payment is due. If payments have been made, a student is eligible for a full refund.

Extensions & Waivers

The University president, or a designee, may extend or waive the time periods in the following circumstances:

  1. The death of the student;
  2. The student’s disabling condition or severe illness;
  3. The death, disability, or severe illness of immediate family members causing severe financial hardship to the student;
  4. Other extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control.

Refunds for Residence Hall Fees

Students with a room contract who withdraw from the Regental system will receive a proportional refund at the time of withdrawal up to the 60 percent point after which no refund is available.

Refunds for Food Service Fees

Students with a food service contract who withdraw from the Regental system will receive a proportional refund at the time of withdrawal up to the 60 percent point, after which no refund is available. The balance of flex plan dollars will be refunded at 100 percent.

Military Service - Withdrawal without Penalty

Academic Credit

Students required to withdraw from the Regental system before completing a semester may receive credit or refund privileges if they are regularly enrolled and belong to a military unit called for duty or are drafted and not eligible for deferment and the discontinuance of class attendance is on the last practicable day before reporting for duty as determined by the student’s home university. Eligible students who are required to report for military duty not earlier than four (4) calendar weeks prior to the date a semester ends as stated in the official catalog of the home university, or after completion of at least seventy-five per cent (75%) of the enrollment period in a non-standard semester course, may, when authorized by the instructor, be given full credit for all courses for which they have an average of “C” or better. Eligible students who receive credit, or an incomplete, in progress, or normal progress grade for any course for which they are enrolled shall not be entitled to any refund of tuition or fees paid. Eligible students who do not receive an incomplete, in progress, or normal progress grade or credit for a course in which they are enrolled shall be entitled to a full refund of tuition and academic fees.

Options for Final Grades and Refunds

Weeks Remaining in Standard Semester
  More Than 4 Weeks Less Than 4 Weeks
Course Grade Refund Student Options
A Refund A or Refund
B Refund B or Refund
C Refund C or Refund
D Refund Refund
F Refund Refund
S Refund S or Refund
U Refund Refund
I, IP, NP Refund I, IP, NP or Refund
Note: Course Grade is as determined by the instructor, either the grade to date or the final grade earned to date.

Refunds for Room & Board

Refunds for room and board shall be pro-rata refunds for the entire semester. Board flex plans will be refunded at 100% of the unused value.

Refunds for Books

Refunds for books for military personnel called up for active duty is as follows:

  1. New books with no markings or writing – 100% of purchase price
  2. New books with highlighting or writing – 75% of purchase price
  3. Books purchased used – 100% of used price

Books must be returned within the semester. Normal campus refund policies apply to books that are not returned prior to the end of the semester.

Federal Financial Aid Recipients

The U.S. Department of Education requires institutions to use the Return of Title IV Funds policy for students withdrawing from school and who are receiving Federal Title IV student financial aid. Title IV funds refers to the federal financial aid programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) and includes the following programs: Federal Stafford Direct Loan, Unsubsidized Stafford Direct Loans, Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Pell Grants, and Federal Supplemental Grants. Also, the Federal Nursing Loans and Federal Health Professions Loans use the Return to Title IV Funds calculation.

A student’s withdrawal date is 1) When the student began the withdrawal process or officially notified SDSU of intent to withdraw by contacting the SDSU Registrar’s Office; or 2) The midpoint of the period for a student who leaves without notifying SDSU; or at SDSU’s option, the student’s last documented date of academically-related activity.

Return of Title IV Funds

When a student receiving federal financial Title IV financial aid withdraws from SDSU during the enrollment period, the amount of the Title IV funds (not including Federal Work Study) that the student earned during the enrollment period is calculated as of the student’s withdrawal date. Title IV funds are earned at a fixed rate on a per day basis up to the 60 percent point in the enrollment period. Title IV funds are 100 percent earned if the withdrawal date is after the 60 percent point in that period.

If the date a student withdraws from SDSU is prior to or on the 60% point of the semester, SDSU is required to determine the portion of the aid disbursed that was “earned” by the student before the withdrawal date. The “unearned” Title IV funds must be returned to the respective federal aid programs. Unearned aid is the amount of disbursed Title IV aid that exceeds the amount of Title IV aid earned based on attendance in the enrollment period.

For students who fail to officially withdraw when they stop attending classes and are assigned an “F” grade for all courses for the semester, the Return to Title IV Funds policy requires SDSU to calculate the “earned” amount based on the 50 percent point of the semester. Unearned federal aid must be returned as described above. If a student was disbursed aid after the 50 percent point of the semester, the student is assumed ineligible for those funds and will be required to return those funds.

Responsibilities of SDSU include providing information on the Return of Title IV Funds policy and procedure to students. This information is available at www.sdstate.edu and from the SDSU Financial Aid Office. SDSU is also responsible to complete calculations of the Return of Title IV Funds for federal financial aid recipients who are withdrawing from SDSU and to return any Title IV funds to the respective Title IV funds account. The student is responsible to repay any Title IV funds that the student was determined to be ineligible for via the Return to Title IV funds calculation.

Financial Aid

Student financial assistance programs are administered through the student Financial Aid Office in the Enrollment Services Center. The Financial Aid Office may be contacted at 605-688-4695 or via e-mail for specific applications, forms, and information. Graduate assistantships, fellowships, and traineeships are administered by the department or program involved.  Students enrolled in SDSU certificate programs are not eligible for federal student financial aid. The non-federal alternative loan programs may be used for students meeting the lender criteria as found online (keyword: alternative loans).

Student Services

Detailed information on Student Services and Resources is available in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Academic Testing Center

The Testing Center provides a range of testing services from proctoring exams, assisting with prior learning credit placement and providing special accommodations for students with documented disabilities. The Testing Center is located at 1100 College Ave and is open Monday through Friday 8am-5pm.  For more information contact the Testing Center at 605-688-6460 to help with any questions.


Located in the University Student Union SSU 146, the University Bookstore sells textbooks, merchandise and other supplies. For more information call 605-688-6392.

Disability Services

Disability Services coordinates services for students with a wide range of disabilities. Students served are enrolled through all SDSU educational programs. Services include coordinating testing accommodations, the acquisition of alternative format texts, classroom accommodations, referral to other service agencies, and coordinating additional services based on the individual needs of the student. For more information call 605-688-4504.

English Language & Culture Institute

Develop academic English proficiency, explore American culture, and learn to communicate with confidence at South Dakota State University. The SDSU English Language & Culture Institute (ELCI) provides three different programs that prepare students for the rigors of post-secondary academics, professional English, and real-world communication. The ELCI offers the Intensive ESL program that prepares students for admission to the university, the Online ESL program that prepares students working remotely for advancement in their English proficiency, and the GTA English Communication Program that prepares graduate students for their teaching and professional responsibilities. The ELCI focuses on academic English, while enhancing students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the English context. The program also provides student-centered teaching, progressive levels, and limited class sizes.  For more information call 605-688-6410.

Housing & Food Service

Prospective graduate students should inquire about rooms or apartments on-campus from the University Housing and Residential Life well in advance of registration. Information regarding off-campus housing is also available from the University Housing and Residential Life.  University Housing and Residential Life is located on the first floor of Caldwell Hall.  For more information call 605-688-5148. Students may select a dining services plan by visiting Card Services in the University Student Union Room 144 or purchase Resident Meal Plans.

International Affairs, Office of

The Office of International Affairs (OIA) is the comprehensive home for international student and scholar services, international undergraduate admission, English As a Second Language, study abroad planning, and community connections programs. All services and activities are intended to help enrich the experience of international students here at SDSU and to help expand global engagement for all students, faculty and staff.

Formerly the Office of International Programs, the department was initially established in 1988 and was focused on creating a number of international education and research exchange partnerships. Today, OIA has educational partners on six continents and has expanded its focus to include international student services and English As a Second Language.

  • Study abroad staff advise faculty in planning SDSU-based global educational options and advise students of their study abroad options.
  • International student and scholars staff provide guidance and administrative support to over 800 international students from over 80 countries.
  • Staff members also support the International Relations Council and its events and outreach, as well as help connect the campus community with International students and global issues through its Connections programs.
  • The English As a Second Language program, which began in 2014, offers an intensive English learning experience for students who would like to enroll at SDSU but lack sufficient language proficiency. Upon completing the ESL programs, the students enter SDSU as degree-seeking students.

OIA has a variety of partners and affiliates.

Hilton M. Briggs Library

Library services and collections are housed in the Briggs Library, which is named for President Hilton M. Briggs, who served the University from 1958 to 1975. Library collections include more than 695,000 bound volumes, 658,000 government documents, 7,000 linear feet of archival materials, 19,000 e-books, and 60,000 online journals and other electronic resources.  Special collections of congressional papers, maps, archival, state and local history, and curriculum materials are available for students, faculty, and researchers. In addition, materials from thousands of libraries worldwide may be obtained through interlibrary loan. 

The library provides Wi-Fi, laptop loans, printers, photocopiers, scanners, and more than 60 public computer workstations.  The library has table seating as well as group study/conference rooms for student use and informal lounge areas. The Briggs Library building is also the home of International Affairs, the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, and the Writing Center.

Special services offered by Briggs Library are Open PRAIRIE and the Digital Library of South Dakota (DLSD).  Open PRAIRIE is SDSU’s open access institutional repository that supports the collection and dissemination of scholarly and creative output by SDSU faculty, staff, and students.  DLSD provides access to unique digitized collections related to the history of the university and the state, including photographs and manuscripts.

The faculty and staff of Briggs Library are proud of the services they offer to the SDSU community, as well as to distance students and faculty at Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Pierre and other locations throughout South Dakota and the U.S. Each year they teach hundreds of classes on information literacy and the use of library resources. They respond to information requests through personal contacts, via telephone at 605-688-5107, and by e-mail and online chat. Look for the “Ask@Briggs” link on the library homepage or use the “Chat Now” button anywhere on the library website.

MyJacks Card

The student identification card, known as the MyJacks Card, can be referred to as a student’s key to campus.  The MyJacks Card holds many components that are important to a student at SDSU such as door access to residential halls and academic buildings but let’s student’s gain access to events on campus. The MyJacks Card can be used as a prepaid debit card to access prepaid accounts. In addition to its use in for the student meal plans, the MyJacks Card provides a prepaid account called Hobo Dough. This account can be used for the bookstore, campus vending, laundry, photocopying and printing, and at selected off-campus businesses. Students may load funds at the Card Services office in the Student Union, the Briggs Library, Larson Commons, Hansen Hall, or Online. Upon graduation or leaving the University, these funds ($5.00 or more) will be returned in full upon request. No service charges are assessed for active accounts. However, accounts inactive for six (6) months or more are assessed a monthly service charge. If the service charge exceeds the account balance, the account is automatically closed.

Student Affairs

The Division of Student Affairs provides services and activities that are designed to help students gain the greatest benefit from their University education. The following departments are included in Student Affairs: Admissions, American Indian Student Center, New Student Orientation, Financial Aid and Scholarships, Office of Student Conflict Prevention, Management, and Conduct Services, Residential Life, The Union, Office of Student Engagement (Students’ Association, Greek Life, University Program Council, Career Center), Multicultural Center, (Disability Services and support for underrepresented students such as African American, Latino/a and LGBT), Student Support Services (Upward Bound, TRIO), Veteran Affairs, University Dining Services, Wellness Center Fitness, and Wellness Center Student Health and Counseling. If you have questions or need information about any of these areas, contact the Vice President for Student Affairs office in Morrill Hall 312, Phone: 605-688-4493. The specific programs and services offered by the departments are listed in this section and elsewhere in this catalog.

Wellness Center

The Wellness Center is dedicated to supporting academic success and personal development by promoting and encouraging healthy lifestyle for the members of the SDSU community. The Wellness Center houses state of the art fitness equipment, a variety of recreational and intramural programs, an outdoor program, effective wellness education, the Student Health Clinic, Counseling Services, Jackrabbit Pharmacy, and Brookings Family Planning Clinic. Services and programs provided are detailed below. Further information about the Wellness Center, please e-mail, call 605-697-WELL(9355), or go online to the website.


We strive to provide current and diverse programming to enhance life-long health and well-being. Knowledgeable students and professionals to serve the students, faculty, and community to assist them in making appropriate decisions about general physical fitness, including cardiovascular and weight training, and overall well-being. A varied menu of activities and programs are offered including: cardio and weight equipment; land, water and cycle classes; walking/running track; pool; three gyms; a climbing pinnacle and bouldering wall. Staff can provide personal orientation, personal fitness evaluations, and can design a personal program to meet fitness goals. For further information regarding the Wellness Center, hours, and its services, visit the website, or call 605-688-6415.

Nutrition Counseling

We believe that nutrition is an important aspect of being healthy. The Wellness Center offers nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian for dietary lifestyle changes, weight management, sport and fitness nutrition, specialized plans for specific health conditions, food allergies, and eating disorders. Appointments can be made through the Student Health Clinic by calling 605-688-4157.

Intramural Sports

Intramural sports provides opportunities for all activity-fee-paying students, both undergraduate and graduate, to participate in organized and informal sports as regularly as their time and interests permit. SDSU faculty and staff, that are members of the SDSU Wellness Center, are also encouraged to join a student intramural team and/or start their own faculty/staff team and compete in the intramural program. Activities are organized on an individual, team, and club basis. Leagues are established for women, men, and mixed (co-rec) competition activities. There are multiple recreational sports including flag football, 3-on-3 basketball, volleyball, basketball, softball, and many more to choose. These sports offer a level of participation, which does not require the time commitments of practice, while still giving participants the chance to improve upon their physical fitness, social wellness, and self-image through competition. Intramural registration is online at imleagues. For further information, contact the Intramural Staff at 605-688-6861.

Club Sports

Club Sports offer students to continue the level of competitiveness and structure that they had in high school and a chance to travel and compete. Teams participate in various leagues and both host and travel to various competitions against other colleges and universities throughout the region and the nation.  These clubs require a higher level of commitment than intramural sports as teams structure practices throughout the week and may travel on many weekends.  Note:  These are not NCAA Varsity Athletic Programs. There are multiple club sport opportunities including hockey, climbing, lacrosse, paintball, baseball, rugby, men’s soccer, Nordic ski, swimming, cricket, bowling, fishing, men’s volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, and more. For further information, contact the Intramural Staff at 605-688-6861.

Outdoor Programs

Take advantage of our recreation trips offered year-round or develop new outdoor skills and knowledge through classes and clinics taught by experienced outdoor instructors.  The outdoor program has gear to get you on the water, in the mountains, or up a rock wall! For further information, contact the Outdoor Program Staff at 605-688-4312.

Student Health Clinic

The Health Clinic provides primary care for illnesses and injuries, laboratory diagnostics, reproductive health, physical examinations, immunizations, international travel health, and nutritional counseling to SDSU students.  All SDSU students are eligible for services; and charges for services can be filed with most health insurance companies.  However, the student is responsible for any co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurance. The clinic is open Monday-Friday. For further information or to make an appointment call 605-688-4157.

Jackrabbit Pharmacy

The Pharmacy serves all eligible SDSU students, faculty/staff, their family members, and Family Planning patients. The SDSU Jackrabbit Pharmacy accepts prescriptions from doctors outside of the student health clinic. We offer competitively priced over-the-counter and prescription medications along with discounted birth control. For more information, call 605-688-5410.

Counseling Services

Counseling Services provides individual counseling to students with emotional, behavioral, and/or academic concerns. Our staff utilize integrative approaches in order to deliver strength-based, short-term and culturally informed psychological services, which are free for all students. Counselors provide crisis response and intervention after business hours during the academic year.  These services may be accessed by contacting University Police at 605-688-5117.  For further information or to schedule an appointment, call 605-688-4157.

Drug & Alcohol Abuse Prevention Programs

Counseling Services provides alcohol and drug abuse information and prevention programs to the campus community. Our staff conduct Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) as requested or on a referral basis. For further information, call 605-688-4157.