Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

Students and professor on roof with solar panels

Prospective Students

Application materials can be uploaded through your self-service portal for General Graduate Applications or through EngineeringCAS for those applying to a program offered through the College of Engineering. Material can also be sent electronically to We can accept electronic transcripts and transcript evaluations if sent directly from the institution or evaluation service. Email is recommended when able.

South Dakota State University 
Graduate School 
Morrill Hall 130 
Box 2201 
Brookings, SD 57007

Any program housed in the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering must utilize the EngineeringCAS application for admission consideration found on the 'Apply Now' page. The following programs utilize EngineeringCAS:

  • Master of Engineering
  • Master of Science
    • Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
    • Civil Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Data Science
    • Mathematics
    • Mathematics-Statistics
    • Statistics
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Operations Management 
  • Doctor of Philosophy
    • Biological Sciences - Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
    • Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
    • Civil Engineering
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Computational Science and Statistics
    • Mechanical Engineering
  • Certificates 
    • Data Science
    • Management Foundations 
    • Mathematics
    • Institutional Research and Assessment in Higher Education

Any student can apply for an online only program, HOWEVER, an I-20 can only be issued for on-campus programs. International students accepted into an online program must complete the program online.

No. Transcripts are only considered official when they are sent directly from your institution to our office. Student issued transcripts are not considered official transcripts.

If your degree was earned outside the United States, you must provide a professional academic transcript evaluation from all universities attended. This requirement will not be waived unless your highest degree was earned in the United States. If you have earned a degree in the United States, then you are only required to provide official transcripts from any previously earned degrees.

Do not send your official transcripts to the Graduate School if they require an evaluation. Please follow the instructions below.

The transcript evaluation must be performed by a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services or Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. - accredited evaluation service member. Common evaluation services used include Educational PerspectivesWorld Education Services, SPANTRAN or ECE. When ordering your evaluation, be sure to consider the following steps:

Evaluation must include U.S. degree equivalency. Evaluation must include your cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale.

English translations of transcripts must accompany all international transcript evaluations. If the evaluation does not include a copy of your transcript, we will request a scanned copy from you by e-mail. Evaluations will not be accepted directly from the applicant.

  • Evaluation does not need to be course-by-course unless you will be transferring in graduate courses that have not already been used toward a previous degree. However, some evaluation services may require you to complete a course-by-course evaluation to have your GPA included as required in Step 2.
  • Request that one official copy be sent to the Graduate School.

These documents are not required for admission by the Graduate School. However, each department may require additional application materials. Please refer to the Graduate Catalog. Once you select your program, look under the Additional Admission Requirements section to see what additional requirements your program has.

TOFEL - 71 internet-based
IELTS - 6.0
Duolingo - 100

*However, program requirements may be higher. 

Please refer to the Graduate Catalog and select your program of interest. Once you select your program, look under the Additional Admission Requirements section to see if your program has higher requirements.

If the status on your exams is showing as not received after having sent your test scores, this generally means that your overall application has not yet been processed. All application material and status updates are given at the time of processing. It is also possible that the Graduate School has not yet received your test scores from the SDSU Testing Center. Please allow additional time for your scores to be received before contacting the Graduate School.

Contact information can be found in the Graduate Catalog under your program. Each program has a 'Program Information' link. The Graduate Coordinator listed under this link can answer specific questions about your program of interest.

Cost of tuition and fees can be found on our website.

Financial aid is available for domestic graduate students by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

We do not have financial aid for international students. A graduate assistantship may be available in your department. If you are awarded a graduate assistantship, your tuition and certain fees will be waived. Please contact your department regarding the availability of assistantships.

Graduate assistantships are offered through the departments. It is highly recommended applicants contact their department of interest before applying if needing a graduate assistantship to fund their education. Assistantships are competitive and are not available to all students who are admitted. More information about assistantships can be found on the Graduate Assistantships page.

Some assistantships are offered through offices outside of academic departments. The Graduate School will post openings for these positions on the Graduate Assistantship Opportunities page as they become available.

Payment can be sent to the Graduate School via mail. We will accept cash, check, or money order. Currently, we cannot take debit or credit cards over the phone or in our office. We do, however, accept Flywire. To use please log in to the website and make a payment using South Dakota State University as your payment recipient’s name. When you get to Info for the receiver section, select Graduate Application Fee and type in the invoice number given to you in your Self Service Center during the application process (311500000XXXXXXX).

It is recommended that you submit your financial documents at the time of application, although not required. Should you receive an assistantship from your program, you can change your documents to reflect. If you wait until after an admissions decision is made, it may not allow enough time to process your VISA documents and I-20.

Upon acceptance, instructions will be given to you to submit your immunization records to the Student Health Clinic. If you do not have proof of immunizations, you can receive immunizations at the Student Health Clinic upon arrival to campus.

Once ALL required application material has been submitted your application file will be sent to your program's department for review. The department will review your application file and provide an initial admission decision before sending it back to the Graduate School. Allow for a minimum of three to four weeks. The Graduate School provides final review and admission decision. You will receive an e-mail notification of the admission decision. You may check the status of your application any time.