Oct 17, 2018  
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog 
    
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Application Procedures


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General Application Information

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Applicants holding baccalaureate or graduate degrees are eligible to seek admission to a program of graduate study at the University of South Dakota. Candidates seeking admission to graduate programs must display evidence of academic aptitude, achievement and motivation. Additionally, previous behaviors contrary to or in violation of ethical or professional standards of the degree program being sought may be cause for denial of admission to a program by the Graduate Dean.

Application materials may be obtained from the Graduate School, McKusick Center, 414 East Clark Street, Vermillion, SD 57069-2390. Prospective candidates can also reach the office of Graduate Admissions by calling (605) 677-6240, emailing grad@usd.edu, or referring to the website at www.usd.edu/graduate-school/. Once a packet containing the required materials has been submitted, it becomes property of the University of South Dakota Graduate School. Students may request to defer admission for up to one calendar year (three consecutive semesters) using the materials submitted. The Graduate School does not keep transcripts on file from prospective students who do not defer admission.

For all programs except J.D. and M.D., candidates apply to the Graduate School.

For most programs (exclusive of those noted above), the application requires:

  1. Complete Application. The application can be completed online at: www.usd.edu/apps/grad-app. The application must be completed and signed. A $35.00 non-refundable fee must accompany the application form. The application fee can be paid via check, money order, or credit card. Checks and money orders must be made out to the University of South Dakota. Credit cards can only be used online with the online application. The fee cannot be waived and application packets will not be processed until the University has received the $35.00 fee. The Departments of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy (traditional program), and Physician Assistant Studies require an additional application through the Centralized Application Service (CAS) system along with the standard application.
     
  2. Letters of Recommendation. Three letters of recommendation are required of applicants to most graduate degree programs; however, five letters are required for application to the Ph.D. program in Counseling and Psychology in Education through the School of Education and only two letters are required for application to the Beacom School of Business and to the Transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy program. Recommendation forms are available on the Graduate School website at www.usd.edu/graduate-school/how-to-apply.cfm. The applicant must complete the first section of the form and sign in the designated area. The person writing the recommendation may complete the form, seal it in an envelope, and write his/her name across the flap on the back of the envelope. The sealed envelope is to be returned to the applicant and enclosed along with the application materials. Alternatively, the recommendation forms may be sent directly to the Graduate School, McKusick Center, 414 East Clark St., Vermillion, SD, 57069-2390 or via email attached to grad@usd.edu.
     
  3. One Official Transcript. One official transcript verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and previous graduate credit must accompany an application. A transcript verifying receipt of a previous graduate degree may be required for some programs. Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Graduate School from the issuing institution(s) (see address above). A paper official transcript must bear the original seal and signature of the official in charge of records at that institution. An electronic official transcript must be transmitted directly between institutions using the electronic transcript service authorized by the sending issuing institution and acceptable to the receiving institution. A transcript delivered by the student or issued to the student is not official. For applicants who have received their baccalaureate or graduate degree from USD or from any of the South Dakota Regental institutions, transcripts will be printed by the USD Graduate School which suffices for the packet for inclusion in the application. Applicants who apply before receiving the baccalaureate degree will be required to submit their final transcript directly to the Graduate School before their graduate studies begin, thereby demonstrating that the degree has been conferred. Students will not be fully admitted until the Graduate School has received the final baccalaureate transcript.  
     
  4. Official Test Scores. If test scores are required by a department or degree program, standardized test scores should be sent directly to the Graduate School from the testing center.
     
  5. Statement of Purpose: Applicants are encouraged to provide information about their reason for pursuing graduate studies, interest in research or creative activity relevant to their proposed graduate program, and goals for the future. If the program does not have a statement of purpose requirement, the applicant should submit a general goal statement as to why he or she wants to attend graduate school.
     
  6. Applicants with Degrees from Other Countries: Applicants who have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited American college or university are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score. There are three approved English Proficiency exams: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing Service (IELTS), and Pearson Test of English (PTE). A minimum score of 79 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT) or 550 on the Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT), a minimum IELTS score of 6.0, or a minimum PTE score of 53 is required for graduate admission. Applicants from or who have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree from these English-speaking countries (UK, Australia, Canada [except Quebec], Ireland, or New Zealand) are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score if their academic records indicate that English was the classroom language for the majority of their schoolwork. Applicants who have passed the National Physical Therapy examination developed and administered by the Federal State Board of Physical Therapy are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score. Permanent residents and American citizens who do not meet the above mentioned criteria must complete one of the approved English proficiency exams for admission to the University of South Dakota. 

Application Requirements for International Students

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Before a foreign applicant’s file can be evaluated, the following items must be submitted to Graduate School.  F-1 and J-1 non-immigrant students can only study at the Vermillion or the University Center (Sioux Falls) campuses.

  1. Completed application form and non-refundable application fee of $35.00 U.S. dollars.
  2. Three completed recommendation forms; five letters are required for application to the Ph.D. program in Counseling and Psychology in Education through the School of Education and only two letters are required for application to the Beacom School of Business.
  3. One official transcript of all academic work at the undergraduate and graduate levels (with English translation stating a 2.7 or better undergraduate grade point average based on a 4.0 system and/or a 3.0 or above cumulative GPA of graduate work). The USD Graduate School and/or academic departments retain the right to require an Educational Credential Evaluators/World Education Services (ECE/WES) evaluation for a student if such an evaluation is deemed necessary.
  4. Any required test for the program in which the student is applying.
  5. Supplemental application materials for department if required.
  6. Financial Ability Form (form available at www.usd.edu/isso) and certified bank statement or sponsor’s letter showing that student is financially self-supported.
  7. English Proficiency Exam: Applicants who have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited American college or university are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score. There are three approved English Proficiency exams: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing Service (IELTS), and Pearson Test of English (PTE). A minimum score of 79 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT) or 550 on the Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT), a minimum IELTS score of 6.0, or a minimum PTE score of 53 is required for graduate admission. Applicants from or who have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree from these English-speaking countries (UK, Australia, Canada [except Quebec], Ireland, or New Zealand) are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score if their academic records indicate that English was the classroom language for the majority of their schoolwork. Applicants who have passed the National Physical Therapy examination developed and administered by the Federal State Board of Physical Therapy are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score.

After an admission decision has been made, the Graduate School will notify the student by email to the address provided on the application. Once the student has been accepted to USD, financial ability must be proven to receive the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 Form). The Financial Ability Form, available at www.usd.edu/graduate-school/international-admissions.cfm, and certified bank statement or sponsor’s letter showing that student is financially self-supported are required before the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 Form) can be issued. Applicants are strongly advised to submit the Financial Ability Form and bank statements at the same time as other application materials to avoid delays. If the student has been admitted into the Graduate School and has provided all proper financial documents, the P/DSO will send the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 Form), and other information to the student who will use these materials to obtain a visa.

An international student should not depart from home to attend the University of South Dakota until notification of admission has been received and the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 Form) has been issued to the student. All non-United States citizens must report to the International Student Services Office, Academics Commons, Room 103, upon initial arrival to the campus. Additional information can be found at http://www.usd.edu/isso. You can also reach the International Student Services Office by emailing isso@usd.edu or by calling 605-677-5332.  

Admission Test Information

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Some departments require that all graduate students seeking a degree must submit scores on the Graduate Record Examination, the Graduate Management Admission Test, Miller Analogies Test, or a comparable examination. Such test scores may be required to determine admission to the Graduate School or to specific degree programs. Each department determines the manner in which graduate test requirements, if any, are to be met by applicants. See the descriptive narrative of the various departments for more explicit information concerning these admission tests.

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

The GMAT is scheduled throughout the United States and in many foreign countries. This information may be obtained from the Graduate Management Admissions Council, P.O. Box 2969, Reston, VA 20195. Candidates can register for the exam at www.mba.com.

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)

Students wishing to take the general GRE may register directly with the Educational Testing Service, Mail Stop 51-L, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6000, (800) GRE-CALL, or at www.GRE.org. Sylvan Learning Centers also offer the general and subject tests.

An applicant is encouraged to repeat the GRE if the examination was completed more than five years prior to the date of admitting application. Scores more than five years old will not be accepted. Applicants who are required to submit GRE scores, but who have not yet completed the test, should indicate that they are arranging for the test on their application for admission to the Graduate School, and should ensure that scores are available to meet specified departmental deadlines.

The University of South Dakota adheres to guidelines established by the Educational Testing Service regarding the fair use of test results. In accordance with those guidelines, GRE test scores older than five years are not considered to be valid for admissions purposes.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

IELTS scores are valid for two years. Information pertaining to this test may be obtained by writing directly to IELTS International, 100 E. Corson St., Suite 200, Pasadena, California 91103 or email at ielts@ieltsintl.org.

Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

The LSAT is required for admission into the School of Law. For more information about this test, contact the USD Law School, or visit the LSAT website at www.LSAC.org.

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

The MCAT is required for admission into Canadian and American medical schools. More information can be obtained from the USD Medical School, or from the MCAT website at www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat.

Miller Analogies Test (MAT)

This test is accepted by some programs in the School of Education in lieu of the GRE. For registration and test date information, contact the Office of Certification and Placement at the School of Education (605) 677-5611.

Pearson Test of English (PTE)

This test integrates all four skills (Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing) and focuses on assessing the ability of communicating in English, rather than test taking skills. Information pertaining to this test may be obtained by calling 1-800-901-0229 (from US or Canada), emailing pttsupport@pearson.com, or visit the website at www.pearsonpte.com.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

TOEFL scores are valid for two years. Information pertaining to this test may be obtained by writing directly to the Educational Testing Service, TOEFL/TSE Services, Mail Stop 50-L, Princeton, New Jersey, 08541-6151 or at www.ets.org/toefl.

Testing Services

The Division of Continuing & Distance Education offers various graduate examinations: GRE (Graduate Record Examination) subject tests, Praxis exam, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam, LSAT (Law School Admission Test), and MPRE (Multi-state Professional Responsibility Examination).