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Frequently Asked Questions

Pursuing your degree is a big step. Asking questions is part of the learning process. This list of questions is just some of the frequent inquiries from prospective and current online students. Don’t see your question? Contact us and we will be happy to answer. Email us >>

You asked. We answered.

I want to take an online course, what do I do?

As a prospective student, you must first apply for admission in order to enroll in online courses. Visit Getting Started with SDSU Distance Education for step-by-step instructions.

How do I register for an online course?

If you are a current South Dakota Board of Regents student, you can register for online courses through WebAdvisor. If you are a prospective student, you must first apply for admission to enroll in online courses. Visit Getting Started with SDSU Distance Education for step-by-step instructions.

How do I know what courses I am enrolled in?

You can check your course schedule through WebAdvisor which will show any courses in which you are enrolled for a particular semester. Select Students, My Class Schedule and then the semester you wish to view.

Where do I find a list of online courses?

Please visit

I do not have high speed Internet access; can I still take on online course?

As with any web related site, it is always advisable to have a fast, secure connection. A cable connection is better than DSL, DSL is better than Dial-up. A Dial-up connection will be slow and you should be prepared for that; some documents will just take time to fully download. Some multi-media will not open at all (i.e. video files). The instructor determines what file types will be used in any given course, it is always a good idea to know where you could access a computer with faster connection if needed. This could be a local library, school or other public facility. If you do have problems with your connection speed accessing materials for your course, e-mail your instructor as soon as possible.

Do I need any special settings on my computer?

Set your firewall settings to medium and disable any pop-up blockers. If you do not know how to do this, contact the SDSU Support Desk for assistance at 605-688-6776 or You may also complete a system check from the D2L homepage.

What software do I need for my online courses?

All courses are different. Most do not require any special software. However, you may be taking a course which requires you to view PowerPoint presentations or possibly short videos. The instructor will list any software requirements in the course syllabus.t

What textbooks do I need?

Textbook information can be found via the SDSU Bookstore at If information is not listed, please contact the faculty member or the department for information. You can purchase your textbooks online from the SDSU Bookstore or by calling 605-688-4163/4164 or emailing

Do I need to come to campus during the semester?

This is up to the instructor and if required, dates and times will be listed in the syllabus.

How often do I need to login to my online course?

This will vary with the individual course. You should spend as much time in your online course as you would in an on-campus course. A good rule of thumb is to login to your course every other day, at a minimum twice a week.

How do I drop a course that I have been registered for?

Please discuss with your advisor before you drop a course that may potentially affect your financial aid.  You can drop a course in which you have been registered for through WebAdvisor. Select Students, Drop Sections.

If you wish to receive a refund, you must do so prior to the add/drop date for that semester/course. If you try to drop a course after this date, you will need to complete a petition form to receive a refund. If you are only registered for one course and wish to drop, you must contact the Registrar's Office at 605-688-6195 for assistance.

Where do I login for my course(s)?

Your D2L username will be the same as your WebAdvisor ID. If you have forgotten your ID, you can retrieve it in WebAdvisorby selecting Students and "What's my Username and Reset my Password" or by going to the Board of Regents Identity System at

Where do I get a username for my online course(s)?

Your username will be the same as your WebAdvisor ID. If you do not know this, you can get it through WebAdvisorby selecting Students and "What's my User ID?" or by going to the Board of Regents Identity System.

How do I reset my passwords?

Visit and choose the type of password you are trying to reset.

What do I do if I cannot login to my online course(s)?

Contact the SDSU Support Desk at 605-688-6776 or and they can provide assistance.

When I login to my course it tells me I need an access code. What is this and where do I get one?

Some instructors use a course provided by a publisher called an e-pack. The publisher requires students to use an access code to enter the course. The access code can be purchased through the SDSU Bookstore or from the publisher directly. The Office of Continuing and Distance Education does not handle or control access codes; this is controlled by the course instructor. If you have questions concerning an access code, please contact the instructor.t

What if I need to speak to my instructor?

The instructor will generally address this in the course syllabus. At a minimum, there will be communication tools placed in the course to be used for student-instructor communication.

How do I turn homework in?

The program (D2L) utilizes a Dropbox tool used to upload files (your homework) to the instructor. Get familiar with this tool early on in the course. You can view Student D2L 101 within D2L for tutorials. Your instructor may provide further instructions regarding the submission of homework assignments.

How do I take online exams?

The program (D2L) has a quiz/exam tool which will allow you to take your exams online. Read the instructions carefully, as most exams and quizzes are timed. If you run out of time, you may not answer the questions you have not finished and they will count against you. Some instructors require you to have the exam proctored. If this is the case, see the proctor policy and form.

My class does not show up on D2L.

Classes will not be available via D2L until 30 days before the first day of class. If they are still not available, please contact the instructor.  Their contact information can be found on WebAdvisor.

Can I still add/register for online courses?

Students may register for courses until the last day to drop or add. If you add a course late, you may miss out on early assignments and will require some additional time upfront to catch-up. Please contact the course instructor as soon as possible.

How do I pay my bill and when is it due?

Bills should be paid by the semester due date. You can make payment via WebAdvisor. If you have questions regarding payment and/or billing you should contact the Cashier's office at 605-688-6116.

Who is my instructor and how do I contact them?

Instructor information is available via WebAdvisor. Click the course title and an additional information page will come up that includes the faculty name and contact information.

Who is my advisor and how do I get a hold of them?

New students may not have an assigned advisor yet. If you are returning student, your advisor contact information should be available via WebAdvisor. If there are questions, please contact your department to speak with an advisor.

What is my student ID?  I need this to setup my accounts.

Student IDs are included on the e-mail you receive from SDSU indicating your application for admission had been received, the Application ID. You will also find your student ID on your official letter of acceptance from SDSU. If you are unable to locate this information please contact the registrar's office at 605-688-6195.

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