International Freshman Admissions

International Freshmen Admissions

A freshman student is a student entering SDSU for the first time. Usually, the student is enrolling directly out of high school/secondary school with no previous university experience. Freshmen student admission is based in part on the quality of the applicant's secondary school academic record and the number of places available. The International Admissions Office understands that secondary/high school graduation ages vary by country. However, students must be at least 17 years old at the time of the program start date to be eligible for admission.

  1. Applicants should have an above-average academic record at least equivalent to a "B-" average (2.60 out of 4.00) or be in the top 60% of their class with suitable academic preparation for the intended major.
  2. The SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), while not required, is encouraged and strongly recommended for freshman applicants. Students who graduated from U.S. high schools must submit an SAT score.
  3. Academic Transcripts need to be originals or official certified true copies. If your transcripts are not in English, certified true translations must be attached. All upper secondary school-level work needs to be demonstrated through your transcripts. It is common for applicants to submit transcripts prior to the completion of their final year of secondary school. If you must submit transcripts prior to completion, please indicate your expected graduation date.

English Proficiency

All applicants who are not native speakers of English must demonstrate proficiency in English with one of the following exams and the indicated minimum score. 

  • Internet-based TOEFL Test (iBT): 61 *MyBest Score is now accepted
  • Paper-based TOEFL Test (PBT): 500
  • Academic IELTS: 5.5
  • Online E3PT Exam: 62
  • Online iTEP Exam: 3.6
  • Duolingo: 90

TOEFL or IELTS scores must be submitted within two years of examination date. An official TOEFL score must be sent from the testing agency. Certified true copies may be submitted for initial review.

  •  Note: The Institution code for SDSU is 6653 for TOEFL.

Please understand that these required minimum scores are for admission purposes only. Students will be placed into various English Composition courses depending on an assessment of their English language skills that will be administered upon their arrival.

Don't meet our English Proficiency requirements listed above? Our English Language and Cultural Institute can help! Visit our English Language & Culture Institute website for more information.

Follow these steps to apply for admission

Fall 2020 Students

All admitted students should plan to attend the virtual “New Student Orientation” that will be offered online on various days in June and August 2020. Review information about NSO and we will provide you with more specific information by email.

To begin their studies at SDSU, Fall 2020 admitted international students have three choices available:

  1. Students with a valid visa to enter the U.S. may plan to come to Brookings and begin their coursework on campus in August 2020. (OIA will work with students who may have to quarantine upon arrival in the USA.) OIA will have an international student orientation program, campus residence halls will be open, and students will be able to attend classes starting on Monday, August 24. (Classes will be held according to accepted guidelines related to social distancing and other best practices in the COVID-19 era.)
  2. Students who are unable to obtain a visa in time to start on campus in August 2020 may take classes online with students from around the corner in South Dakota and all over the world! Students in any major may begin online and find many of the courses they need to get started and stay on schedule. These students should continue the process to obtain a visa and plan to join us on campus in January for Spring 2021 courses.
  3. Students who would like additional practice in Academic English while earning credit toward their SDSU degrees may participate in the SDSU Pathway Program. A class in Integrated Skills in Academic English (ISAE) will be paired with a general education course, and students may take additional courses for credit as they wish.

Students on campus and online will be paired with SDSU Diplomats – international student assistants – and invited to participate in a variety of co- and extra-curricular activities to begin their Jackrabbit experience at SDSU!

For more information about these options, please contact OIA at +1-605-688-4122 or contact us at