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Transfer Student Information

Welcome to SDState!

We welcome you to South Dakota State University! SDState is a dynamic, thriving university that aspires to excellence. The faculty, staff, and administration at SDState are committed to assisting transfer students with a successful transition to our university.

1. Programs.

SDState offers a wide variety of academic programs including associate degrees, baccalaureate majors, undergraduate minors, specializations, undergraduate and graduate certificates, master’s programs and doctoral education.

Find your degree.

2. Transfer Admission Requirements and Application.

You are considered a transfer student if you have college credits from an accredited institution and are six or more months beyond high school graduation. The SDState Admissions Office processes applications on a rolling basis. Students are encouraged to apply in advance of the semester they wish to attend in order to arrange housing, apply for financial assistance and attend New Student Orientation.

Requirements for Students who Transfer to Associate Programs

Transfer students under 24 years of age transferring into associate degree programs with fewer than 12 transfer credit hours must meet the associate degree admission requirements. Students with 12 or more transfer credit hours with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 may transfer into associate degree programs at the discretion of the university.

Requirements for Students who Transfer to Baccalaureate Programs
  • Transfer students who have completed 24 or more semester credits are eligible for admission if they meet the following requirements:
    • Have a 2.0 (“C”) or higher cumulative grade point average. Students entering the professional program in education must have a 2.5 GPA. Admission to the professional programs in nursing or pharmacy is on a competitive basis.
    • Are in good standing with their most recently attended school.
  • Transfer students with less than a cumulative 2.0 grade point average may be admitted on probation, but each applicant is considered on an individual basis.
  • Transfer students under age 24 who have earned fewer than 24 semester college credits must also meet the freshman admission requirements.

3. Planning a Successful Transfer.

Students outside of the Enrollment Services Center.

Visit Campus

As transfer students prepare to transition to SDState we encourage a visit to campus. During most visits we can arrange for a time to meet with the academic departments of interest and the transfer admissions coordinator. A visit to campus will provide an opportunity for students to ask questions about their interest in a specific academic program or the Exploratory Studies program. This program is designed for students who are uncertain about their choice of major or just want to explore the academic opportunities SDState has to offer before deciding on a field of study. Students will also be able to ask questions about courses that could potentially transfer for SDState credit and other steps they need to take for a smooth transition to SDState.

Transfer Student Orientation

Transfer students arrive at SDState with a wide variety of post-high school experiences and typically understand what it means to be a college student. To further assist students in transitioning to SDState, we offer several transfer student orientation sessions specifically for the transfer student. This is a one-day orientation program designed to provide information about campus resources as well as register for courses for the upcoming semesters. Students are able to register for a full year of courses at a time.

View of Campanile and SDSU campus.

Meet with Academic Advisor

All transfer students are assigned an academic advisor. The adviser and advisee relationship is important as the academic advisor assists the transfer student in achieving educational goals while also being able to identify transfer courses that meet program requirements at SDState. Students should plan to see their academic adviser as soon as they arrive on campus. If an adviser is not listed on your Self Service page check with either the Wintrode First Year Advising Center or your home department to be assigned an adviser.

Student walking on campus.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

SDState provides an affordable education. Remember to include SDState Financial Aid code (003471) on your FAFSA to be considered for grants, student loans and work study. If transfer students have specific questions regarding their financial aid the Office of Financial Aid can be reached by telephone at 605-688-4695. The transfer student scholarship application can be completed to receive consideration for all available transfer student scholarships.

4. Transferring Credit.

Transfer Credit Evaluator

Identifying how previously completed courses will transfer to SDState is one of the most important questions for transfer students. A good starting point is the transfer credit evaluator. This easy- to-use tool helps transfer students identify which of their already completed courses will transfer and how. At times, courses may not be included in the calculator database thus no equivalency is identified. In these cases check with the transfer services coordinator at 605-688-4067.

Transfer Credit Evaluation

An important first step in transferring to SDState is to request that ALL final, official transcripts be sent to the SDState Enrollment Services Center, Box 511, Brookings, South Dakota 57007. Once SDState has received ALL final and official transcripts from ALL previous universities and colleges attended processing may take 4 - 6 weeks. If you have not received a completed evaluation of transfer credit contact the transfer services coordinator at 605-688-4067.

When the transfer credit evaluation is complete the review can be viewed on Self Service. Consult with your academic adviser on the transfer credit evaluation to inform further course selection and remaining requirements for degree completion.

Domestic Transfer Credit Evaluation (Undergraduate)

Courses may transfer to SDState as specific SDState courses (i.e. ENGL-101), remedial or developmental courses (i.e. ELEC-000T), or as specific department (i.e. MATH-100T) or general elective credit (i.e. ELEC-300T).

International Transfer Credit Evaluation (Undergraduate)

Students who have been accepted to SDState and who wish to transfer credit from colleges or universities outside the United States must provide SDState with an ICAP Comprehensive Course-by-Course evaluation ($205 for online application/$235 for paper application) from World Education Services Inc. The cost of the evaluation will be paid by the student. In the case of an undergraduate international student, this process should be started as soon as the student receives his or her visa.

If a student has already completed a course-by-course evaluation from another National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) member, he or she can submit this evaluation to the Records Office. Upon review, the Record’s Office may be able to use this evaluation to assist in the transfer of credits to SDState. If it is determined that the current evaluation is not sufficient the student will then need to submit their transcripts to WES for evaluation.

To ensure that evaluations are based on documents that are accurate and valid WES adheres to strict and specific document requirements for each country of education.

WES verifies documents for authenticity and adheres to the standard used in North America for the submission of academic records. To learn more about WES procedures, please visit their website.

Be sure to submit clear and legible photocopies of word- for-word English translations along with your foreign language documents. Please do not send original translation documents as they cannot be returned.

Upon completion of the WES evaluation, credit will be awarded for courses taken at international universities that are considered to have the equivalent of regional accreditation. Limited credit will be awarded that has been taken at international institutions that are considered to be technical institutions. English and speech courses taken from an international institution are not accepted for credit unless English is the official language of the country. With official notification from the transferring international institution that English and/or speech course(s) were taught in English, students can petition to transfer English or speech. For those international institutions that have an articulation agreement with SDState, the agreement determines the courses that transfer for full credit.

SDState reviews courses with consideration to institution type and vocational or academic program.  Vocational/technical credit transfer is limited to 30 credits.  Technical credit will not be entered in the cumulative or semester grade point averages, but will be entered on the SDState transcript as "CR" (credit) grades. Academic transfer credits are recorded as semester credits and are incorporated into the cumulative and semester grade point average. 

Prior Learning Credit

Prior Learning Credit is available at SDState. Listed below are the primary types of prior learning experiences, which may count for credit.

  • AP Credit
  • Credit By Exam
  • Challenge by Portfolio
  • Dual or Concurrent Credit
  • Military Experience

For specific information about one of these areas contact the transfer services coordinator at 605-688-4067.

Program to Program Transfer Agreements

A program to program transfer agreement or articulation agreement is an agreement between two or more institutions, which allows for a smooth transition of credits earned at one institution to another by minimizing duplication of coursework. Courses may satisfy general education requirements, major requirements or elective credit.

For specific information on articulations agreements contact the transfer services coordinator at 605-688-4067.

Interstate Passport

Interested in transferring with fewer obstacles while saving time and money and most importantly - your credits? South Dakota State University participates in the Interstate Passport Network, a network of regionally-accredited institutions that agree to transfer completed general education requirements as a block in a seamless and efficient process among its members. Students who transfer into South Dakota State University with a Passport from another Network-member institution will not have to repeat or take additional courses to satisfy lower-division general education requirements. Earning a Passport recognizes that a student has achieved learning outcomes in the following nine knowledge and skill areas, which all Network member institutions agree are consistent with their own general education learning outcomes:

  • Foundational Skills: oral communication, written communication, quantitative literacy
  • Knowledge of Concepts: natural sciences, human cultures, creative expression, human society and the individual
  • Cross-cutting Skills: critical thinking and teamwork/value systems.

If you are interested in learning more, contact SDSU's Transfer Student Coordinator at 1-800-952-3541 or by email.

5. Knowing What Courses to Take.

Academic Catalog

The Undergraduate Catalog is the official source of SDState’s undergraduate academic programs, courses, policies and procedures. The catalog can be used as a guide in planning a course of study and in meeting requirements for graduation. The information contained in the catalog is the most accurate at the time of publication and changes may become effective before the next catalog is published. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to stay up to date on current regulations, curricula and the status of specific programs being offered.

General Education Requirements

Many transfer students have already completed some, if not all, of their general education requirements. The general education curriculum is required for all undergraduate students. Transfer students who identify courses that may meet general education requirements but were not initially evaluated as so should work with their academic adviser to see if credit can be granted. Even though students may have completed all of the required general or liberal education courses required at their previous institution, all students are required to fulfill the specific SDState general education requirements.

The general education requirements are outlined below:

SGR Goal #1: Written Communication (6 cr.)

SGR Goal #2: Oral Communication (3 cr.)

SGR Goal #3: Social Sciences/Diversity (6 cr.), 2 disciplines

SGR Goal #4: Humanities and Arts/Diversity (6 cr.), 2 disciplines

SGR Goal #5: Mathematics (3 cr.)

SGR Goal #6: Natural Sciences (6 cr.)

Academic Advising Guide Sheets

Academic advising guide sheets are a resource to assist students in planning their path to graduation. The guide sheets break down each of SDState’s majors by identifying the required courses for each semester. Students use this tool when preparing for registration and when selecting classes. The guide sheets are truly a guide. When completed, they will not look the same for every student and with the help of an academic advisor students can create their own customized graduation path.

6. Paying for College.

Attending SDState means earning an incredible education at an affordable cost. About 90 percent of SDState students receive some type of financial assistance each year to help cover educational costs. Financial limitations should never prohibit a student from going to college. We’re here to help. If transfer students have specific questions regarding their financial aid, the Office of Financial Aid can be reached at 605-688-4695.

Scholarship Opportunities

Only one transfer scholarship application needs to be completed to receive consideration for all awarded transfer student scholarships. Dollar values vary by department and available funds and are generally awarded by the end of May (for students entering fall semester) or end of December (for students entering spring semester). Once you’re settled on campus, inquire with your academic adviser and department regarding available scholarships for current students. Also, continue checking MyState for updated academic and criteria scholarships.

Contact the SDSU Admissions Office with additional inquiries about scholarships.

South Dakota Residency Requirements

To establish residency for tuition purposes, in accordance with South Dakota Board of Regents policy, a student must live in South Dakota for 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the first scheduled day of classes of the semester. Additionally, consideration is given to students based on high school graduation, military affiliation and family residency status in South Dakota. Attendance at another university controlled by the South Dakota Board of Regents (Black Hills State University, Dakota State University, Northern State University, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and University of South Dakota) does not count in determining the 12-month period of residence. To be considered for South Dakota residency status, please contact the SDState Admissions Office at 605-688-4121 to fill out the application and provide requested documentation.

Children of Alumni

Children of SDState alumni living outside South Dakota may be eligible for the Dakota Return Child of Alumni Program, which awards in-state tuition starting fall 2015. One parent or legal guardian must have graduated from SDState with an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, and the transferring student must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher on prior post-secondary coursework. Resident tuition can be retained for the difference between the necessary credit hours for graduation, typically 120, and the number of credits the student transfers. For example, a student who transfers 60 credits to SDState will be eligible for two years of in-state tuition and fees, averaging 15 credits per semester. Paperwork is available through the SDState Admissions Office (605-688-4121), and it is recommended to submit paperwork as early as possible prior to the start of the semester.

Federal Work Study

Eligibility for need-based federal financial aid is based on analysis of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Review of student and parent/guardian (when applicable) financials will determine the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) that can be contributed to your college education. The difference between the estimated cost of attending SDState (tuition, fees, room, board, books and personal expenses) and your EFC will determine your financial need. Students qualifying for financial aid will receive an award letter outlining the specific value of federal grants, loans and work-study programs awarded for the upcoming academic year. Be sure to include SDState financial aid code 003471 on your FAFSA application.

Cost Estimate Information

Cost of attendance is calculated each semester and includes total tuition, fees, room, board, books, parking and personal expenses. Tuition and cost-of-living rates are adjusted annually by the South Dakota Board of Regents, SDState and partnering entities. The final semester cost is relative to total registered credits, selection of on-campus residence and dining plan. Additional program fees may apply for selected programs, which support university programs and course delivery.

The current undergraduate cost estimate will give you the specifics.

7. Academic Support Services.

Numerous academic support services are available at SDState. As a transfer student, we encourage you to investigate and seek out services as needed.

8. Student Services/Campus Resources.

9. Enrichment Programs.

10. Campus Life.

There is always something to do at SDState!

11. Frequently Asked Questions.

Where can I find information on which of my courses transferred to SDState?

For students who have submitted final, official transcripts, completed transfer evaluation information can be viewed via Self Service. Log in to Self Service and select Unofficial Transcript/Course History under the Academic Profile menu. You will see the SDState courses received from your transfer evaluation under the term you took the courses.

I’ve looked at my transfer courses for my completed transfer evaluation. How can I see how they can apply to my SDState major?

You can see how transfer courses from a completed evaluation may apply to your SDState major by running a Program Evaluation on Self Service under the Academic Profile menu.

When I received my completed transfer evaluation, I had a course that transferred as elective credit, but I think it should have transferred as a specific SDState course. What can I do?

To request a different equivalent course from a transfer evaluation, please submit a Transfer Equivalency Change Request form. This form is available in the Records Office in the Enrollment Services Center at the reception desk, or call Transfer Services at 605-688-4607.

I sent my AP and CLEP scores to SDState, but I don’t see the credit on my SDState transcript. Is there anything else that I need to do?

In order to have credit earned by examination recorded on your academic transcript, students must complete an Application for Placement Credit form at the Testing Center (605-688-4499). A recording fee may apply.

Do I need a specific laptop or computer?

Whether you are writing a term paper, accessing lecture slides from your professor, or simply taking a break to update your social media from the past weekend, it’s increasingly important to stay connected. A specific computer brand or system is not generally required, but the Office of Information Technology provides recommended system specifications to keep you ahead of the curve. Be sure to check with your academic adviser for information regarding any specific technology-related requirements for your major.

If I don’t know who my adviser is or don’t have one listed on Self Service, what do I do?

You can come to the Wintrode Student Success Center to check on your adviser assignment. At the center, an adviser can work with you and your department to be sure you are assigned to an adviser in your major area of study. The advisers will also be able to answer your questions until you make contact with your assigned adviser.

I served in the military. Does SDState award college credit for military experience?

Yes, with approved documentation, SDState awards up to six credits for completion of basic training and can give additional credit with applicable military experience. SDState can review your military experience upon receipt of an official JST-Joint Services Transcript, CCAF-Community College of the Air Force Transcript, or a DD-214 form. Please contact SDState Transfer Services at 605-688-4067 for details.

What is Hobo Dough?

Your MyJacks ID Card is a vital part of your life on campus and is the official identification and access card for students, faculty and staff. Hobo Dough is a prepaid, stored-value account on your MyJacks Card used to pay for purchases on and off campus. Some of the area’s most popular local businesses accept Hobo Dough. You can deposit money into your Hobo Dough account in a number of easy ways including online, the load stations on campus or by mail.