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International Applicants

Faculty and student working in the lab

Thank you for your interest in South Dakota State University! Please read these instructions carefully before beginning your application. Applications will not be reviewed until all required documents are received by the SDSU Graduate School. Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions to clarify any of the following documents required for admission.

Admission Requirements

South Dakota State University Graduate School requires:

  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 to receive unconditional admission.
  • A professional academic transcript evaluation for degrees earned outside the United States (This requirement cannot be waived unless your highest degree was earned or will be earned in the U.S. prior to enrollment at SDSU).
    • If you are completing your bachelor's degree at the time of application, you may submit an incomplete evaluation. If you are accepted, a complete transcript and/or evaluation with completed degree will be required by the end of your first semester of coursework.
  • Official U.S. transcripts where a degree is earned (or will be earned), and official U.S. transcripts where graduate level coursework has been taken.
  • A minimum TOEFL score of 71, TOEFL Essentials score of 7.5, IELTS score of 6 or Duolingo score of 100.
    • SDSU accepts MyBest TOFEL scores.
    • Some programs have higher minimum requirements. Find program specific requirements by selecting your program of interest in the Graduate Catalog.

Steps to Admission

1. Submit the Online Application.

2. Pay the Application fee. The application fee can be paid online through the online application system at the time of application submission or by sending a check or money order to the Graduate School:

SDSU Graduate School, Morrill Hall 130 Box 2201, Brookings, SD 57007

3. Submit a Professional Academic Transcript Evaluation. This is a mandatory requirement if you attended a university outside the United States. This requirement cannot be waived unless you've earned a higher degree in the United States. If your highest degree was earned or will be earned in the United State prior to enrolling at SDSU, then you are only required to submit official transcripts of any previously earned degrees.

4. Submit U.S. Transcripts.

  • Request official transcripts from each higher education institution where a degree or graduate level credits were earned in the U.S.

5. Submit TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo scores.

  • Minimum requirements can vary - select your program of interest in the Graduate Catalog, and see the admission requirements section for your program's minimum requirements.
  • The IELTS score can be provided by the student if the TRF number is clearly visible on the bottom of the score sheet.
  • The TOEFL score must be sent directly from ETS. The institution code for SDSU is 6653.
  • The Duolingo scores must be clearly visible on the provided unofficial score sheet and an official copy sent to the Graduate School.
  • Scores must be within two years of examination date.

The English proficiency requirement can be waived if you meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Citizen of one of the following countries listed below.
  2. Completed a baccalaureate or graduate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning, at which English is the primary language of instruction, located in a country in which English is a recognized, primary language (not necessarily official).
  3. Completed two full semesters in a degree program within the U.S. – determined on a case-by-case basis, dependent on overall GPA of completed coursework.

Accepted Countries for English Proficiency Waiver:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Christmas Island
  • Cook Islands
  • Dominica
  • Falkland Islands
  • The Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Jersey
  • Liberia
  • Malawi
  • Marshall Islands
  • Micronesia
  • Montserrat
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Norfolk Island
  • Philippines
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sint Maarten
  • South Africa
  • Sudan
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom
  • Virgin Islands
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

6. Submit Financial Support Documents.

7. Submit Proof of Immunity.

  • Medically signed proof of two properly administered measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) immunizations OR immune titers for measles (rubella), mumps and rubella. 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 the U.S. will not be accepted. More information about immunization and health requirements.
  • For additional information, contact Student Health Services at 605-688-4157.

8. Submit All Program Required Documents. Individual programs may ask for additional documents above what the Graduate School requires.
Examples may include:

  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Goal statement
  • Curriculum vita
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Admission Process

Step 1
Complete the online application and pay application fee.

Step 2

Submit all required application materials including:

  • Transcript Evaluation
  • Transcripts
  • IELTS, TOEFL or Duolingo Scores
  • Financial Documents
  • Proof of Immunity
  • Documents Required by Your Program of Interest

Step 3
The Graduate School will review your application file. When all required documents have been received, your application file will be sent to your program's department for review.

Step 4
The department will review your application file and provide an initial admission decision before sending it back to the Graduate School. The time frame for this step varies according to each department's review process. Allow for a minimum of 3-4 weeks.

Step 5
The Graduate School provides final review and admission decision. You will receive an email notification of the admission decision.

Step 6
Upon acceptance, the International Student Affairs office will be the main point of contact for any questions or concerns regarding your visa, travel arrangements and other issues. Please note, SDSU is not authorized to issue I-20s for certificate level programs. International students must be in an on-campus, master's or doctoral level program to be issued an I-20.