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Student FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that has not be answered below, please email the JacksRBack Task Force.

Face Coverings

To begin fall semester operations on the campuses, South Dakota State University will require face coverings in all public indoor spaces on campus (Level 3). This action will be reviewed 30 days after the start of the fall academic term. Exceptions to the policy can be found in the SDSU's COVID-19 Face Covering Protocol.

What are the face covering protocols?

The board’s protocol, which applies to all students, staff, faculty, and campus visitors, provides for four differentiated levels of response: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4.

For more information on the requirements, please review the following:

What is the current level for face coverings?

The University is currently in LEVEL 3.

Will SDSU provide me with cloth face coverings?

 All students will receive two cloth face coverings as part of their JacksRBack kit when they arrive on campus this fall.

(Priority will be given to students who are taking classes at physical locations in Brookings, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen and Pierre).

JacksRBack Kit

Do I have to wear face coverings in classrooms where plastic shields are in place?

Yes. The plastic shield does not replace the requirement for a face covering. The plastic shields are an additional safety item.

How will face coverings be enforced?

There are people who may not be able to wear the same type of face coverings for a variety of reasons, or there may be a lawful exception to face coverings use, and you may not be able to tell why just by looking at a person.

First, individuals will be asked to comply with the protocol by an SDSU official and directed to resources to obtain a cloth face covering. If an individual fails to respond, the individual will be asked to leave the area and the appropriate SDSU conduct process will be invoked, depending on the individual’s status as a student, employee or visitor.

Have additional questions regarding face coverings?

Visit the Face Coverings Q&A page.

Campus Life

 What will living on campus be like?


Can I have visitors in my residence hall?

During the first month of school, no non-SDSU students will be permitted in the residence halls. After the first month, the guest policy will be re-evaluated to determine if a loosening of these standards are appropriate.]

What dining options will be available?


 Will we be able to access Briggs Library?


Is the Wellness Center open?

Yes. The Wellness Center began its phased reopening June 1, 2020.

As part of a gradual reestablishment plan, the SDSU Wellness Center will be reopening in a phased approach for SDSU students and current community members only. Limited hours began Monday, June 1, 2020. Operating hours will be:

  • Monday - Friday: 5 a.m. - 9 a.m., 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., and 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Saturday: 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Sunday: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Extensive precautions are being enacted to provide a safe environment so our members have an opportunity to resume an active lifestyle. Cleaning will be conducted during regular intervals throughout the day, as well as deep cleaning during facility closures. Wellness Center staff will follow CDC, as well as American College of Sports Medicine and American College Health Association guidelines.

For guidelines and expectations for patrons and staff as well as additional reopening information, please visit the Wellness Center COVID-19 Response & Updates site.

Are there any events or activities being held on campus?

On-campus events and visitor activities remain canceled through August 15.

The following SDSU facilities will remain closed until further notice: South Dakota Art Museum, South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, the University Bookstore in the University Student Union, University Student Union and the Meat Lab store.

Admissions activities resume Monday, August. 3. Visit the Admissions site for additional information.

COVID-19 Monitoring, Symptoms, Tests & Protocols

Are students required to self-quarantine before coming back to campus?

All SDSU students are encouraged to self-isolate for 14 days before arriving on campus.

If you have been sick with COVID-19 symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19 or have potentially been exposed to someone with COVID-19 either through community-related exposure or international travel, you should follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to self-isolate or stay home.


Are students required to screen themselves?

Students are encouraged to screen themselves daily before coming to campus or leaving their residence hall room. Apple Inc. and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention partnered to develop this online symptom checker to assist with evaluating symptoms.

Will there be COVID-19 testing for students?

SDSU’s testing protocol is based on the established medical protocols provided by the CDC and the South Dakota Department of Health. Testing is available for students who display symptoms or have been identified through contact tracing through the SD-DOH.

Students who display symptoms or have been identified through contract tracing are encouraged to visit the Student Health Clinic and Counseling Services in the Miller Wellness Center. Testing may be done at the Student Health Clinic and Counseling Services or the individual may be referred to one of the local health care providers in the Brookings community for testing.

If students need care outside of the Student Health Clinic and Counseling Services hours, they can visit any of the Brookings health care providers. Prior to arrival at the Brookings Health System, students should call (605) 696-9000 and say they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

If directed by a medical provider, COVID-19 tests are currently paid by Federal CARES Act funds.

Are students required to get tested when they return to campus?

Students are not required to be tested when they return to campus, but any student who displays symptoms should seek testing immediately.

All SDSU students are encouraged to self-isolate for 14 days before arriving on campus.

If you have been sick with COVID-19 symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19 or have potentially been exposed to someone with COVID-19 either through community-related exposure or international travel, you should follow CDC guidance to self-isolate or stay home.

What if there is a confirmed case on campus?

View the SDSU Protocol Communicating Presumptive/Positive COVID-19 Tests for important information regarding when an individual at SDSU experiences symptoms of COVID-19, has presumptive or a confirmed COVID-19 test, or has been exposed to presumptive or confirmed COVID-19 test.

What happens if I experiences symptoms of COVID-19, have a presumptive or a confirmed COVID-19 test?

Students should contact the Division of Student Affairs immediately at (605) 688-4493 or by email at

Please provide the following information:
Your contact information; Your location; Whether you have been tested for COVID-19 and any test results; Have you contacted a physician; Date symptoms began; and Any areas of contact on campus and individuals you have had close contact with (spent greater than 15 minutes within 6 feet of) in the two days before your symptoms started.

What happens if I am positive, display symptoms or have been exposed to someone that is positive and am required to quarantine?

On-campus quarantine and isolation housing will be available to students living both on and off campus if they meet one of three criteria:

  1. Have been tested for COVID-19 and are presumptive positive until test results are received; or
  2. Have received a positive or inconclusive COVID-19 test from a medical professional; or
  3. Have been notified by the South Dakota (or another state) Department of Health of potential exposure and need to quarantine for 14 days.

Students living on campus have the following options:

  • Return home immediately for isolation/quarantine period; or
  • Move to the SDSU quarantine and isolation housing for isolation/quarantine period. The Division of Student Affairs will coordinate the move from your current residence hall. All resources will be provided including linens and food delivery using the student’s meal plan. If needed, technology will be provided to facilitate online continuation of instruction.

What if I live off-campus?

  • Students who live off-campus will have the option of isolating or quarantining on-campus if they are unable to do so safely in their current location.
  • Quarantine can occur in your off-campus location, but your case will need review, based on exposure to roommates and any other individuals you have come in contact with at your off-campus location.
What happens if my roommate is presumed positive or if they test positive? Will I be required to isolate?

If you have a roommate that tests positive for COVID-19, you will have the option to return home or move to Quarantine/Isolation Housing provided on campus. The duration of this stay is typically 14 days. Students will be advised by the South Dakota Department of Health when it is appropriate for them to return to regular circulation on campus. Students in QIH will each have their own room, roommates will not be housed together in this setting.

Who do I contact if I have a pre-existing condition and may need some accommodations when I return to campus?

Students should contact Nancy Hartenhoff-Crooks to inquire about any necessary accommodations.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions about testing?

If you have further questions, please contact the Student Health Clinic at (605) 688-4157.

Academics: Calendar, Classes, Labs & Coursework

Will students be back on campus for the fall 2020 semester?

South Dakota State University will resume on-campus operations for the fall 2020 semester to provide opportunities for teaching, learning and co-curricular activities, as announced May 1 by the South Dakota Board of Regents. Planning for a safe return will include a focus on academics, student life, research, employees, athletics and the Brookings community. Fall semester classes are scheduled to begin August 19.

Read President Dunn's message to campus.
For more information, please read the University's press release.

Are there changes to the academic calendar for the fall 2020 semester?

The academic calendar has been revised to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to and from the university community. The academic calendar is now:

August 19, Wednesday: Start Date/Instruction Begins September 7, Monday: Labor Day (Class Day)\

The revised academic calendar now begins earlier (August 19) and utilizes three holidays as class days.  On-campus instruction will conclude on November 24 (a total of 70 on-campus class days). Final exams will be conducted online/remote. The final exam period is five days, resulting in a 75 class-day academic semester (fifteen full weeks).
  • October 12, Monday: Native American Day (Class Day)
  • November 11, Wednesday: Veterans’ Day Class day
  • November 25, Wednesday: Non-Class Day
  • November 26-29, Thursday – Sunday: Thanksgiving Recess
  • November 30-December 1, Monday-Tuesday: No classes; Final Exam Preparation
  • December 2-8, Wednesday – Tuesday: Final exams (Online/Remote)
What could my courses look like for the fall?

The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will work with the Registrar’s Office and the colleges to determine the final course schedule for Fall Semester 2020.  Colleges/schools/departments will classify their courses into three groups to aid the scheduling process. The three groups are:

Courses that must be taught entirely face-to-face and those courses in which face-to-face instruction is critical to achieving student learning outcomes and fostering student success.

  • Courses include laboratories, studios, simulations, performances and first-year seminars.

Courses for delivery in a hybrid (mixed) manner with both face-to-face and online/virtual components.

  • Can be taught on a rotating face-to-face basis, where a portion of the class meets face-to-face, with different students participating face-to-face on different days of the week, and the other students learning synchronously online.
  • Can be taught utilizing a “flipped” classroom model, where different students attend the classroom session on different days of the week.

Courses most appropriately taught entirely online in either a synchronous or an asynchronous manner.

Also, courses will be planned in three-week segments to enable adjustment to remote learning if public health circumstances necessitate a change in instructional method.

In addition and as feasible, faculty will work with students who are unable to attend in-person classes to find alternative arrangements. A temporary course attendance policy will be implemented.

 What will my classrooms and labs look like for the fall semester?

Social distancing measures will be utilized in all instructional environments. Actions to promote social distancing include:

  • Placing six feet of distance between students (desks, chairs, etc.) in classrooms (60 NSF per student).
  • Acrylic protection shields will be strategically placed in some instructional environments when it is not possible to maintain six feet social distancing.
  • A mobile acrylic shield/sneeze guard will be made available in each classroom for the instructor to stand/sit behind.
  • Placing 10 feet of distance between the faculty member podium/platform and the nearest student.
  • Controlling classroom entry and exit to minimize gathering/crowding.
  • Installation of wide-angle cameras and audio capture equipment in university classrooms to record in-class activities for uploading to the course D2L page
Where can I buy my textbooks?

The textbook area of the South Dakota State University Bookstore will not be open for normal retail operations due to Covid19. However, the website for textbooks is now open and we highly encourage all students to order their educational content prior to August 10 and have them shipped to your home address free of charge.

Visit to order your books and get free shipping when you use the code BOOKS2020 at checkout.

Will students and faculty be able to participate in study abroad opportunities?

Study abroad opportunities at SDSU remain suspended for the 2020-21 academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Office of International Affairs will work with faculty to create opportunities for virtual study abroad programs.

This suspension is not inclusive of Summer 2021 at this time, but those opportunities will not be allowed until the circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic change significantly.

Questions may be directed to the Office of International Affairs.

 Preparing for a Safe Return

What is being done to ensure a safe return to the SDSU campus and Brookings community this fall?

A coalition of organizations and businesses, together with the city of Brookings, have formed the Brookings Resiliency Collaborative to assist the university with their plan for resuming on-campus operations in August.

SDSU’s JacksRBack task force has established several guiding principles and general guidelines and is developing detailed plans for a safe return for students, faculty and staff. A vital component of that process is coordinating efforts with the Brookings community to provide a safe environment for both residents and students.

Read more on the communitywide initiative underway to support SDSU’s return to campus.

Learn more about the Brookings Resiliency Collaborative.

How is the Student Health Clinic and Counseling Services implementing their COVID-19 guidelines? (Watch the video)
How is the Miller Wellness Center implementing its COVID-19 guidelines? (Watch the video)

Billing Information

Updated Aug. 5, 2020

You recently received a fall semester 2020 welcome email from the JacksRBack email account. The email contained information on what to expect when you come back to campus, including the possibility of certain courses that were planned to be face-to-face being moved to a hybrid or an online format. Any change to the class format may impact the charges you see on your student bill.

Below is a brief Q&A on these changes. You can direct other questions about your bill to

How will COVID-19 impact how courses are charged for fall 2020?

Face-to-face Courses

  1. Face-to-face courses will be charged as normal with on-campus tuition based on residency, General Activity Fee and any applicable discipline fees.

Classroom Hybrid Courses

  1. If a Classroom Hybrid Course is planned to have part of the course take place in an on-campus setting, it will be charged as normal with on-campus tuition rates based on residency, General Activity Fee and any applicable discipline fees. If your course has moved online and has a lab required, the course will be considered a classroom hybrid course due to the lab taking place in-person.

Online Courses

  1. Online courses will be charged as normal with off-campus tuition rates. This excludes certain courses in the colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions that are charged on-campus tuition and applicable fees even if online or at any other location.
If my course moves online before the semester, will my price be different?

Yes. If a course is moved online before the start of the semester, the off-campus rate will be charged as opposed to the on-campus rate structure, as described above.

Undergraduate Pricing Comparison Per Credit

 ResidentMN ReciprocityNon-Resident
Discipline Fee   
State-Support Rate$306.65$319.19$422.50
Self-Support Rate$351.25$351.25$351.25
Break-Even Program Fee Price$44.60$32.15($71.25)
Will my course cost more or less if it is online?

It depends. It will vary by student and course, depending on residency and the discipline fee charged. The table below shows the analysis for an undergraduate course by residency. You can see that for a resident student an online course that is charged the off-campus rate, it will cost $44.60 more if there is no discipline fee. However, if the course has a $84.60 discipline fee, the online course would be $40 less per credit for a resident student.

If the price of my course increased because my course was moved from face-to-face to online, will the university help cover that increase for the fall semester 2020?

Yes! Once the final course schedule is updated, the Office of Finance and Administration will calculate if the student’s bill was increased due to SDSU moving a course online. If the bill increased, a scholarship/credit will be posted to the student’s bill after census date (Aug. 28, 2020) to cover the difference.

If the price decreases, the student will be charged the lesser amount.

What if my course was moved from face-to-face or hybrid to online after the start of the semester?

Face-to-face Courses

  1. Face-to-face courses that move online after the start of the semester are planned to be charged as normal with tuition based on residency, General Activity Fee and any applicable discipline fees.

Classroom Hybrid Courses

  1. Classroom Hybrid Courses that move online after the start of the semester are planned to be charged as normal with tuition based on residency, General Activity Fee and any applicable discipline fees.

These plans are subject to change based upon decisions made by the South Dakota Board of Regents.

How do I view my class schedule?
  1. The Registrar’s Office is currently working to update class schedules over the next few days. Please check your class schedule for updates.
  2. To view your fall class schedule, go to your MyState Dashboard and select the Registration Self Service portlet. Select the Registration Information link and then select Fall 2020 from the Term drop-down. Your schedule is available as both a list and a calendar view.
  3. Classes now meeting online will be identifiable when viewing your class schedule. If you have any questions, please contact your academic advisor for assistance.
If I am living on-campus, have my room rate and dining plan rate been adjusted due to the adjusted schedule?

Yes, room rates and dining rates have been adjusted. The new rates are on your current bill.

Where do I pay my bill?
  1. The most convenient way to pay your student account balance is through SDePay which can be accessed through your MyState account.
    1. Go to Dashboard, then Student Account Self Service to access SDePay.
    2. Pay through an online e-check with no payment fees
    3. Debit or credit card payments incur a 2.75% service fee.
  2. You can mail payments to:
    South Dakota State University
    Box 2201 SAD 136
    Brookings, SD 57007

    Be sure to include the student name and student ID to ensure payment is applied correctly.

What services are available?

Jackrabbit Pharmacy

The Jackrabbit Pharmacy serves all eligible SDSU students, faculty/staff and their family members. The SDSU Jackrabbit Pharmacy accepts prescriptions from doctors outside of the Student Health Clinic. We offer competitively priced over-the-counter and prescription medications. Jackrabbit Pharmacy offers insurance filing. We accept cash, check, debit/credit cards and HOBO Dough. Over the counter items are also available for purchase using HOBO Dough in the pharmacy vending machine located in the spine of the Wellness Center. For questions, please call 605-688-5410.

Due to COVID-19, and the changes with how the pharmacy operates, pharmacy staff recommends that you give a two day notice for prescription refills by calling your prescription refill into the pharmacy (Phone: 605-688-5410). On campus deliver is available through campus mail. Thank you for your ongoing support of the Jackrabbit Pharmacy. 

The Jackrabbit Pharmacy is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (closed from 12:30 p.m. - 1 p.m. for lunch).

Closed on Tuesdays and holidays.

For questions, please call 605-688-5410.

Student Health and Counseling Center Operations

We are open and continue to offer primary healthcare and counseling services to students. It is our priority to provide quality services in a safe environment for our patient and employees. While the Student Health Clinic and Counseling Services (SHCCS) and Jackrabbit Pharmacy are open, we have put extensive safety measures in place, following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and South Dakota Department of Health (SDDOH) guidelines. Student Health is scheduling routine office visits and procedures in the clinic with enhanced precautions. To schedule an appointment please call the clinic at 688-4157 or visit MyState and self-schedule through the patient portal. Counseling Services is scheduling sessions, offered through the Zoom Health platform. To schedule an appointment please call 688-4157.

Some of our new protocols include:

  • Increasing paperless transaction therefore, forms are available on the patient portal and the SHCCS webpage.
  • Assessing patients for COVID-19 prior to entering the SHCCS
  • Social distancing procedures and process, signage on the floor, and waiting room arranged accordingly
  • Increased cleaning and disinfectant of all areas in the SHCCS
  • Use of face coverings by all patients entering the waiting room

Please stay safe and we look forward to seeing you. If you have any questions concerning COVID-19 screening or scheduling an appointment, you can call 688-4157. 

The Student Health Clinic and Counseling Services is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jack's Cupboard

Jack's Cupboard is available for students who need these resources. The Cupboard is open at the following times:

Dates/Times: Wednesdays and Thursdays 3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Pickup Location: Southeast side of Ben Reifel Hall

For additional information and to view the types of items that are available during this time, visit the COVID-19: Jack's Cupboard page.

If you find that the times listed above do not work for you, you are welcome to set up an appointment to pick up items, please email Chris Kaberline at your earliest convenience.