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Master of Science application and admission

The application cycle for fall 2019 program start will open on September 15, 2018.

Admission and eligibility requirements



Program option / specialty

When required

completion of a baccalaureate degree in nursing from a CCNE or NLNAC accredited* program.

*note: program accreditation must have been obtained prior to completion of degree.




minimum cumulative GPA: 3.0 on a 4.0 scale




completion of an approved statistics course (containing both descriptive and inferential statistics) within 5 years of enrollment in SDSU course: NURS 626 – Research in Nursing & Healthcare.



prior to end of first semester of graduate nursing coursework

1500 hours of documented nursing practice experience prior to first clinical lab or within first year of program.



prior to first clinical lab or within first year of program

letter to the SDSU graduate nursing program from the dean/director of applicant's former/current program that includes applicant's current standing and/or standing upon exit.*

*For applicants who have begun but not completed a graduate nursing program at another college or university.



current licensure as a registered nurse in the United States of America or its’ territories prior to enrollment in first graduate nursing course




interview with graduate faculty and/or graduate admissions committee member(s).


family nurse practitioner

following application review

(for applicants that meet criteria only)

coverage by non-employer sponsored registered nurse liability insurance (1 million / 5 million).




additional specialty coverage, e.g. nurse practitioner student coverage.


family nurse practitioner


basic life supportmaster'salladmission
advanced cardiac life supportmaster'sfamily nurse practitioneradmission

background check / FBI rolled fingerprints

(admission to a program is conditional based on the results of the background check)




(also annual background check)

drug screen

(admission to a program is conditional based of the results of the drug screen)




required immunizations

(admission to a program is conditional based on completion of the required immunizations)




(and annually for specific immunizations)

for applicants with English as a second language, one the following tests for English proficiency must be completed within two years preceding the requested semester of admission: 

  • TOEFL of 600 paper-based, 250 computer-based or 100 Internet-based score, or
  • IELTS score of 7.0 total band.




Application requirements

Each applicant is required to complete two applications:

  1. application to the SDSU graduate nursing program, and
  2. application to the SDSU Graduate School.

You will complete the SDSU graduate nursing application via NursingCAS (online application service). Please refer to the application instructions and checklist when completing the application.

To complete the SDSU Graduate School application (online application), please follow the Graduate School's instructions for completing their application. Please note, this application does not require transcripts or letters of recommendation.

In addition, the following documents are to be completed and uploaded to your NursingCAS document (following instructions regarding what area the documents are to be uploaded in your application).

  1. personal statement
  2. legal questions supplemental form
  3. statistics form
  4. verification of employment

The deadlines for complete applications are listed below. In progress, incomplete or non-verified applications will not be considered.

Applications are considered COMPLETE if they are listed in the NursingCAS system as follows:

  • complete - this designation is assigned to applications in which all required documents have been received
  • verified –  this designation applies to applications that all required information has been received and verified by NursingCAS

NOTE:  ALL applications MUST be designated as VERIFIED by NursingCAS to be considered for admission.

Priority consideration (family nurse practitioner only): Complete and/or verified applications received by the PRIORITY deadline will be reviewed with potential for early notification of acceptance to the program. Only applications that have been VERIFIED by NursingCAS will be considered for Interview.


Degree / certificate

Specialty / emphasis

Applications accepted beginning

Priority consideration
round 1

Priority consideration
round 2


Interview required

master’s degree

  • nurse administrator
  • clinical nurse leader
  • nurse educator




extended to 04/15/2019



master’s degree Brookings/ Sioux Falls

  • family nurse practitioner
9/15/201810/16/201812/31/2018extended to 04/01/2019


master's degree

Rapid City

  • family nurse practitioner
9/15/201810/16/201812/31/2018extended to 04/01/2019yes

Following review of the applications, eligible applicants to programs requiring interview (master's family nurse practitioner) will be contacted to schedule the interview. Applicants to programs not requiring interview will be contacted with application decisions.

Master's family nurse practitioner, post-graduate family nurse practitioner certificate and DNP program option interview dates/times as listed below:

  • Round 1: November 13-15, 2018 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Round 2: February 12-14, 2018 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Round 3: April 9-10, 2019 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Additional interview dates will be scheduled as needed following Round Three interview.

Applicants who are offered admission to the program will be required to:

Questions? Contact the Todd Stricherz, Assistant Director of Nursing Student Services.


Due to regulations in certain states, South Dakota State University College of Nursing is unable to accept applicants from several identified states as noted on the following link: South Dakota State University Department of Continuing & Distance Education - state authorization information

If you are a current resident of a state identified on the above listed WebLink, we regret that we are unable to consider your application for admission.

If you do not currently reside in one of the identified states and are offered and accept admission, please note that should your relocate to one of the identified states while in the program, you may not be able to complete the program.

If you have questions concerning this, please contact the Anna Atteberry-Gustafson, Assistant Director of Nursing Student Services.

Applications from "not authorized/not exempt" states cannot be considered at this time. Due to higher education regulatory requirements, South Dakota State University is unable to accept applications for admission to the R.N ro B.S.N., R.N. to M.S.N., R.N. to D.N.P., and Graduate Nursing programs from persons who reside in, or intend to reside in, any of the states identified as "not authorized/not exempt" or those in which clinical or internships cannot be completed as noted on the SDSU authorization by state map. SDSU continues to seek additional authorization in the states listed as "not authorized/not exempt". Please continue to check the map frequently.