2008-2009 Graduate Catalog 
    Oct 22, 2020  
2008-2009 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 sufficiently early to meet any deadlines prior to the first term of graduate work. Students applying for Special Student (non-degree) status must also complete an application and be admitted to the 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 program(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: Biology, Electrical Engineering, Microbiology, Pharmacy, and Wildlife & Fisheries. Chemistry and Plant Science recommends the GRE, but does not require it. For information about the GRE test, contact the program concerned or the Academic Evaluation and Assessment Office, Foundation Building (north entrance).

Program Requirements - Individual programs may have additional admission requirements. Applicants should inquire about such requirements from the program of interest. For more information see our Web page at http://www3.sdstate.edu/academics/graduateschool/studentfaqs.

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 end of this Catalog or may be downloaded from the Graduate School “Forms and Documents” web page at http://www3.sdstate.edu/Academics/GraduateSchool/FormsandDocuments/.

Official Transcripts - For degree seeking students, official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions must be provided. The Graduate School will access all South Dakota regental transcripts, but the student must furnish all those from non-regental institutions. 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 program. Certificate of degree(s) must accompany final official transcript(s).

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.

Immunization Requirements - Due to regulations mandated by the South Dakota Board of Regents, medically signed proof of TWO properly administered measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) immunizations OR immune titers for measles (rubeola), mumps and Rubella are now required for all new, readmitted and transferred students at all state institutions. History of these diseases is accepted with health provider verification. (Students born before January 01, 1957 are exempt from this requirement.) The completed form must be received in order to register and attend classes. For more information or a copy of the immunization form, go to http://studentaffairs.sdstate.edu/HealthandCounseling/information/requiredimmu.html or contact Student Health and Counseling Services at 605/688-4157 for further information.

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 at http://www3.sdstate.edu/Academics/GraduateSchool/FormsandDocuments/. This requirement may be waived by the Dean of the Graduate School on recommendation of the program. 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 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. 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 Philiosophy 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 of the major 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, go to http://studentaffairs.sdstate.edu/HealthandCounseling/information/requiredimmu.html or contact Student Health and Counseling Services at 605/688-4157.

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

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.

Application Processing


After an application for admission and all supporting documents are received and evaluated by the Graduate School, they are sent for review to the program concerned. Using the recommendations made by the program, the Dean/Associate 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.

Applicants with a 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 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 and these courses cannot be used on the graduate plan of study, OR
  3. 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 higher before becoming eligible for a graduate assistantship. 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.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, or 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/ Associate 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 Procedure for Domestic Students” 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 request a change in status to work toward a degree, provided they meet admission requirements or 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 program for a recommendation and be 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 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.