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Graduate School Newsletter - September 2021

Sylvan Theater

Attention all graduate students!

The Graduate School will be hosting a Fall 2021 kickoff event on the Sylvan Green

     September 1 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. CST.

This is a great way to meet other graduate students and enjoy some free SDSU ice cream!

Please indicate whether you plan to attend the event by completing the RSVP -



Upcoming Events

Research Integrity Conference  (Research)

     Friday, September 10th  7:30am-5:30pm

This conference can be attended in person in Sioux Falls or via livestream.

The overall goal of this FREE conference is to provide education to create a culture of research integrity to prevent research misconduct. Attendees and presenters will discuss how individuals and organizations can support researchers in establishing proper protocols to support transparency that results in an increased understanding of research compliance and decreased risk for research misconduct. 

See here for more information and to register.


Graduate School Orientation 

           Available via D2L 

Orientation will be available via D2L and accessible to all graduate students. The orientation will cover the basics of graduate school, current policies and procedures that impact students, and professional development opportunities as well as highlighting other campus resources. Orientation is not required, but will be accessible all year for students to access. 

Awards and Scholarships

Distinguished Master's Thesis Award

The SDSU Graduate School is soliciting nominations for the Distinguished Master's Thesis Award. The award is to recognize and reward distinguished scholarship and research at the master's level. SDSU is seeking nominations in the two broad categories of Biological/Life Sciences and Humanities, which align with the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Distinguished Thesis Awards. The effective date of degree award, or the completion of master’s degree requirements, must fall within the period of July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021.  Degree completion must be confirmed by SDSU. Students who have already received a Ph.D. or comparable research degree in any discipline prior to their master’s degree program are not eligible. However, recipients of a first professional degree awarded prior to writing the thesis may be nominated. Deadline: October 15, 2021.

To submit a nomination, please use this link:


Joseph F. Nelson Graduate Scholarship

The Joseph F. Nelson Graduate Scholarship Award is open to graduate students at South Dakota State University who are in good standing (a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above) and meet the specified criteria for the award (see guidelines).  This year, the Joseph F. Nelson Endowment Fund will provide for two graduate student scholarships in the amount of $2,500 each.  Graduate student applicants must have successfully completed 15 semester credit hours of academic work toward a Master’s or PhD degree.  Students must be completing, as part of their degree, original research; preferably in one of the following sciences:  Physics, Chemistry, Physical Geography, Biology, Soil Science, Geology, Mathematics or other Physical Sciences.  Awards for M.S. students are restricted to students pursuing a thesis (option A).  These awards are to be made in addition to any graduate assistantship students may have, and may not be used to substitute for or partially replace an existing assistantship.

Applications must be submitted electronically. Deadline: November 19, 2021.


Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award

The Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award was established by the Graduate Council in 2010 to honor faculty members who have truly shown excellence in mentoring graduate students. The award honors faculty for efforts in supporting, encouraging, and promoting their graduate students' research, education, professional and personal development, and career plans. Nominate a faculty member for this award. Deadline: December 2, 2021


SDSU Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award

The SDSU Graduate School is pleased to announce the 2021-22 Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award, in recognition of graduate students who exemplify excellence in the teaching/learning mission of SDSU.

Nominations must be submitted electronically using this link:   Deadline: December 17, 2021.

Please see attached documents for evaluation criteria


Three Minute Thesis Competition

South Dakota State University invites you to participate in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition. The 3MT is an academic competition that challenges PhD and Master's students to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience. 3MT celebrates the discoveries made by research students and encourages you to communicate the importance of your research to the broader community.

This year’s 3MT competition will be held in the Lewis and Clark Room, Student Union, on February 10, 2022 at 5pm. We encourage all graduate students to participate. Interested students must register no later than Friday, January 4, 2022. More detailed information will be sent out to registered students after that date.

For more specific details about the competition, view the 3MT PowerPoint.


SDSU Distinguished Dissertation Award

The SDSU Distinguished Dissertation Award recognizes a doctoral student who has completed a dissertation representing original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to their discipline. There are two broad fields of competition: Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering; and the Social Sciences. If a dissertation is multi- or interdisciplinary in nature, a significant portion of the work must be comprised by at least one of the 2022 fields of competition. The effective date of the degree awarded, or the completion of doctoral degree requirements and dissertation, must be within the period of July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022, inclusive, for each nominee selected. Such degree award or completion is to be confirmed by the Graduate School. The award recipient will be selected by a committee of graduate faculty. SDSU awardee’s dissertation will also be submitted to the national CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards competition. Click here for more information. Deadline: April 15, 2022

To submit a nomination, please use this link:


Graduate Student Wokini Scholarship

Scholarships will be awarded by the Admissions Office in collaboration with the American Indian Student Center.  These scholarship opportunities exist for enrolled members of a South Dakota tribe who are full-time, degree seeking students that graduated with their Associates or Bachelor’s degree from a South Dakota Tribal College or University and attend South Dakota State University.  Priority is given to those students who submit a completed scholarship application, including tribal enrollment verification.  Selected Wokini Scholars will be awarded an annual $5,000 scholarship that can be renewed for two additional years.

Click here to see the guidelines. Please complete and submit the application to be considered for the Wokini Scholarship.


South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Offers $2,500 Agricultural Graduate School Scholarship

Applications for the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Graduate School Scholarship are now available at

The $2,500 Agricultural Graduate School Scholarship, sponsored by Travelers Motor Club is designed to help retain talent in South Dakota and to support South Dakota's agriculture industry. It is open to students from South Dakota, pursuing a graduate degree in research, animal science, agriculture business or agriculture education at an accredited South Dakota school.

     Application deadline is December 1, 2021

Awards are for one academic year, beginning in the fall, and students may reapply at the end of the award period.

Eligible graduate students include on-campus and distance education students who are pursuing any master’s or doctoral program, agriculture teacher certification program (CERT/FCSC) or graduate certificate program (GCERT).

To learn more and understand if your graduate degree qualifies for this scholarship, contact, Karla Hofhenke, Executive Director, South Dakota Farmers Union at or call 605-352-6761 ext.114.

Important Upcoming Dates:

September 2, 2021 – Last day of add/drop

  • Courses dropped after this date will receive a ‘W’.
  • All students must be enrolled in at least one credit to remain active.

September 24, 2021 - Graduation Application Due

  • Graduation applications will be available on MyState


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