South Dakota State University

For an affordable, life-changing, and career-launching education, look no further than SDSU. It’s a place thriving with opportunities—with 200+ academic options to offer.

Not to mention, you’ll meet all sorts of professors, classmates, and potential new friends, ensuring you get an experience that goes far beyond the typical classroom environment—while still giving you plenty of that, too.

SDSU graduate students don’t just attend class. They teach. They present papers, both regionally and nationally. They research—a lot. (And yes, they attend plenty of class too.)

Grad school at SDSU offers 38 programs dispersed across seven academic colleges, ensuring flexibility in your study and a path that interests you. By the end of your graduate studies at SDSU, that “step up” you were looking for in your career will be a stairway.

Estimated Costs for Students

The following is the  estimated annual cost for international students attending South Dakota State University. Tuition, fees, room and board charges are subject to changes are published annually by the South Dakota Board of Regents and annual increases of up to 5% should be expected.

Tuition fee in each undergraduate year

is between $9000-$10,000.


The South Dakota State University has a long list of scholarships and financial aids for international students. Here are the most prominent among them:

Jackrabbit Guarantee – The Jackrabbit Guarantee program awards a minimum of $1,000 per year for up to four years to any eligible first-time student who earns an ACT score of 24 or higher. 

Transfer Scholarships – Students who plan to transfer to SDSU from another post-secondary institution can complete our online transfer scholarship application.

Language of Teaching

All courses are taught in English.

Application / Enrollment Fees

For Graduates — $35.00 application fee

Application Deadlines

For Spring/January Intake: starts – May 6, ends – November 5 (best to apply before October)

For Fall/August Intake: starts – November 3, ends – June 5 (best to apply before May)

Submitting Materials & Documents

You must submit high quality scans submitted as PDF file type for review.  No cell phone images or camscans please – they will not work with our image storage system. Camscans, jpegs, low quality images, etc. are not compatible with our imaging system and cannot be accepted. 

Application Documents


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.

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, but encouraged and strongly recommended for freshman applicants. Students who graduated from U.S. high schools must submit an SAT score.

SAT / ACT scores not required for admission but required for scholarship consideration. See scholarship tab above.

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 need to be demonstrated through your transcripts.

Submit all academic transcripts, certificates, diplomas (including secondary and post-secondary). 
    The university requires original or attested copies of academic records at time of application.

4. Complete and Submit the Financial Certification Form. 

5. Submit Current Bank Documents to support the amount listed on the Financial Certification above.

    The bank documents must meet the following requirements:

     a. Bank Statement or Bank Letter with signatures and bank seal or stamp
     b. Clearly list the type of currency and amount of funds
     c. Match the name of the signor & sponsor on the Financial Certification
     d. Have an issue date within 6 months of the receipt of the application
     e. Written in English or provided with a certified translation

6. Submit a copy of your passport biographical page

7. Submit a copy of your I-20 if you are currently in the US

* 2018-2019 Estimated cost of attendance for an average plan of study is $23,727 – $24,202, depending on applicant’s age (not including dependents). Click “Tuition and Other cost” tab above (look for Annual Cost of Attendance) to see the minimum amount required for I-20 issuance. 

International Proficiency Test List and Waiver Countries

For Transfer Students

Click HERE for information on undergraduate credit transfer requirements

Graduate Applicants

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).

Evaluations must include transcript authenticity, GPA calculation, and U.S. degree equivalency and be sent directly from the evaluation service.

Transcript evaluations must be performed by a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) accredited evaluation service member — UniOneApp can help you will this but you will bear the evaluation charges.

Do not send your official transcripts if you are completing an evaluation for those transcripts. Your evaluation replaces the requirement for official transcripts.

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.

If you have earned US degree — an 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 527 paper-based, 197 computer-based, or 71 Internet based, or IELTS score of 5.5.

Some programs have higher minimum requirements to be reviewed after application.

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.

Scores must be within two years of examination date.

If you have earned or will earn a degree in the United States prior to enrollment at SDSU, this requirement will be waived.

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. 

Acceptable evidence of immunity to each disease includes:

Immunization record which specifies administration of two doses of vaccine

Medical laboratory report that verifies presence of disease-specific antibodies in the blood (i.e., positive blood titer)

Documentation of disease state as diagnosed by a qualified physician

 The law recognizes that special circumstances may preclude ability to demonstrate compliance as detailed above.  Those students for whom vaccination presents a threat to health/well-being and those who adhere to a religious doctrine that opposes immunizations may petition for a permanent exemption or temporary waiver as appropriate.  Note:  the statute does not allow for philosophical objections. . I

Submit all required application materials including:

Transcript Evaluation

official Transcripts

IELTS or TOEFL Scores 

Financial Documents

Proof of Immunity

Individual programs may ask for additional documents when processing your admission such as:

Letters of recommendation


Goal statement

Curriculum vita

Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Foundation/Preparatory School / Course / Program

Please understand that the English proficiency minimum scores below 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.

English Proficiency Documents / Requirements 

All applicants who are not native speakers of English ( for undergraduates, if you studied your secondary high school in English, you a consider a native speaker) must demonstrate proficiency in English with one of the following exams and the indicated minimum score.

Internet-based TOEFL Test (iBT): 61

Paper-based TOEFL Test (PBT): 500

Academic IELTS: 5.5

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: 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.

International Proficiency Test List and Waiver Countries

Other Application Details

Students must be at least 17 years old at the time of the Program Start date to be eligible for admission.

SAT / ACT scores not required for admission but required for scholarship consideration. See scholarship tab above.

Allow for a minimum of 4 – 6 weeks after submitting all your document for the university to process your application.

You will receive a letter or e-mail notification of the admission decision.

Additional Estimates Annual Expenses:

Living Expenses for Dependent Spouse $9,555.00Living Expenses for Each Dependent Child$6,627.00

If you are self-funded (the bank documents are in your name), you must provide evidence that you can fund your entire duration of study. To determine this amount, multiply your total costs with dependents as follows: 

Undergraduate and PhD x 5 or Master’s Degree x 3

***Insurance Requirements

Insurance quotes above are based on GeoBlue Basic Plan. 

Mandatory University Insurance must be purchased through and not from another agency — either in your country or in the United States, unless eligible for the Federal Exchange. Please check the site for updated rates and policy changes. Age is a factor for insurance fees.

Students who have been in the US for more than 5 years as an F1 Student or more than 2 years as a J1 Student/Scholar are required by law to purchase an insurance plan that meets the Affordable Care Act requirements. The GeoBlue Enhanced Plan meets this requirement. (Students that meet the 5 and 2 year requirement are eligible to purchase Health Insurance through the Federal Exchange).

Dependent (spouse or child) plans can be purchased from Dependents are required to show proof of insurance. The insurance will be required to be on file.

Other Considerations

It is advisable to bring traveler’s checks, an international credit card, and a small amount of cash for immediate expenses of hotel, food, and transportation. The remainder of your money should be in the form of an international bank transfer from your home account to your U.S. bank account (after established) The money will then be available to you in 48 to 72 hours.


Student Halls

Abbott Hall

$2,802.30 – Double

$3,502.70 – Single 

$1,986.75 – Binnewies Hall Double 

$2,937.30 – Ben Reifel Hall Double

$2,372.40 – Brown Hall Double

$2,802.30 – Caldwell Hall Double 

Hansen Hall

$1,804.10 – Double 

$2,595.15 – Single 

$2,937.30 – Honors Hall Double 

$2,937.30 – Hyde Hall Double 

$2,124.30 – Mathews Hall Double 

$1,986.75 – Pierson Hall Double 

$2,937.30 – Schultz Hall Double 

Spencer Hall

$2,802.30 – Double 

$3,502.70 – Single 

Thorne Hall

$2,802.30 – Double

$3,502.70 – Single

$1,986.75 – Young Hall Double

$2,802.30 – Meadows Apartments