May 19, 2024  
2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog 
2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]


Click on any of the following links for information:

Office of Admissions
University of South Dakota
Belbas Center
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069

Phone: 1-877-COYOTES (1-877-269-6837)
Fax: 605-677-6323
E-mail: Office of Admissions (

Applicants desiring to enroll at the University of South Dakota are encouraged to apply at least four months but not less than ten days prior to the planned date of attendance. In addition to the admission requirements of the University, applicants will be required to fulfill any special requirements of the school or college in which they plan to enroll. The application is not considered complete until all required materials have been received. All men born after December 31, 1959, who are applying for admission to the University of South Dakota, must comply with selective service registration requirements.

Pre-Admission Immunization Requirements

  1. All students who meet the following established criteria are obliged to demonstrate immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella.

    A. Students born on or after January 1, 1957 must demonstrate immunity; those born prior to this date are excused.

    B. Students who register for two or more credit-bearing classes - and at least one course involves face-to-face contact on a weekly basis for two or more weeks - are obliged to comply. This includes participation at all campuses, centers (including University Center - Sioux Falls and University Center - Rapid City), and miscellaneous off-campus sites.

    C. Students who have completed prior collegiate course work in the state of South Dakota (initiated prior to July 1, 2008) are excused from compliance. Note: distance course work, dual credit, and credit by exam/validation do not qualify.
  2. Acceptable evidence of immunity to each disease includes:

    A. Immunization record which specifies administration of two doses of vaccine

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

    C. 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.

  3. Students who are unable to ascertain their immunization status may obtain, at their own expense, the necessary tests and/or vaccination from the Student Health Service of their university.

    Students who have no vaccination or immunity against the required preventable infectious diseases may be dismissed from the campus.
  4. In the event of an outbreak, students who are granted waivers and exemptions will be excluded from campus. Exclusion procedures will be determined at the point of the outbreak and will adhere to the advice of the South Dakota State Department of Health.

  5. Vaccination for hepatitis B, TDAP, Varicella, Influenza and Tuberculin testing is required for students before they can be admitted to certain health care programs.

  6. Immunization for tetanus, diphtheria, poliomyelitis, varicella, and meningitis is recommended, as is a tuberculin test. Vaccination for hepatitis B is also recommended. 

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy


In accordance with the South Dakota Board of Regents Policy 1:19, the institutions under the jurisdiction of the Board of Regents shall offer equal opportunities in employment and for access to and participation in educational, extension and other institutional services to all persons qualified by academic preparation, experience, and ability for the various levels of employment or academic program or other institutional service, without discrimination based on sex, race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, gender identification, transgender, sexual orientation, religion, age, or disability, genetic information or veteran status or any other status that may become protected under law against discrimination. The Board reaffirms its commitment to the objectives of affirmative action, equal opportunity and non-discrimination in accordance with state and federal law. Redress for alleged violations of those laws may be pursued at law or through the procedures established by the provisions of 1:18 of this policy. For additional information, please contact the Director, Equal Opportunity and Chief Title IX Coordinator, Room 205 - Slagle, Vermillion, SD 57069. Phone: 605-677-5651 E-Mail:

Admission decisions are made without regard to disabilities. All prospective students are expected to present academic credentials at or above the minimum standards for admission and meet any technical standards that may be required for admission to a specific program. If you are a prospective student with a disability and need assistance or accommodations during the admission/application process, please contact the Director of Disability Services, 119B Service Center North, USD, Vermillion, SD 57069.  Phone: 605-677-6389  Fax: 605-677-3172  E-Mail:

Federal Law prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act of 2009). The University has designated Ms. Roberta Ambur, Vice President of Administration & ITS, as the Coordinator to monitor compliance with these statutes. Section 504 obligates USD and Ms. Ambur to provide equal access for all persons with disabilities. Ms. Ambur can be reached at Room 209, Slagle Hall, Phone: 605-677-5661.

Application Process


Application forms may be obtained from the Office of Admissions or you may apply online at: All correspondence should be addressed to:

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
University of South Dakota
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069

A person who is qualified academically may be denied admission to or dismissed from the University if misrepresented or falsified information is submitted during the application process or if the applicant is a potential threat to the property or safety of others. The Dean of Enrollment may request additional information from a student or may obtain information from public records if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the applicant has falsified or misrepresented information or is a threat to the property or safety of others. The Dean of Enrollment will determine whether there is sufficient cause to deny admission on these grounds. The decision of the Dean of Enrollment may be appealed to the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services.

Admitted Students

Students admitted to any South Dakota regental university will be considered South Dakota regental students and allowed to take courses at any of the six universities. Courses taken at any of the six universities will be reflected on a single transcript, along with transfer work received and recorded from outside the regental system. The university from which the student is seeking the degree is considered the student’s “home institution” and will govern the academic policies related to that student.

Requirements for Admission


First Year Students

To be admitted to USD, you must have the following credentials:

  1. Rank in the top 50 percent of your class


  2. ACT Composite Score of 21 or above; or SAT composite score of 990 or higher


  3. High School GPA of 2.60 on a 4.00 scale


  4. *Earn an overall grade point average of “C” or higher in the following required high school courses:

    • 4 years of English
    • 3 years of Advanced Math (algebra and above)
    • 3 years of Social Sciences
    • 3 years of Laboratory Science (biology, chemistry, physics, or approved physical science or earth sciences)
    • One year of Fine Arts

*Advanced College Curriculum standards can also be met through ACT sub-scores and/or AP test scores. Please contact the Office of Admissions for further details.

Applications from students with deficiencies are reviewed on an individual basis. Admission criteria are subject to change.

Nontraditional students (24 years of age or older), who do not meet the above criteria, may be admitted at the institution’s discretion.

Applicants who have not graduated from high school but who have earned a G.E.D. High School Equivalency certificate may be considered for admission based on their G.E.D. scores. They may be required to submit ACT test results and may be required to provide evidence of specific competence in a given curriculum.

High school students may apply for admission any time after their junior year. Applicants must submit a completed application form plus a $20.00 nonrefundable fee, a complete official high school transcript, and an official report of their ACT/SAT scores.

Former Students

A student returning to the University or a student who has attended another South Dakota regental university is considered a former student. If attendance has been interrupted by one semester or more, former students must submit another admission application and official transcripts from all non-regental institutions attended since leaving the University. These documents are to be submitted directly to the Enrollment Services Center. Former students are considered transfer students if they attended a non-regental university during the period of interrupted attendance. Former students who have previously applied, paid the $20 application fee and attended a university in the Board of Regents system within the past three consecutive semesters, are not charged an additional $20 application fee.

High School Students

High school students who have completed their sophomore year and who wish to enroll in limited coursework prior to completion of their high school education may be granted acceptance. It is a temporary status without a degree commitment.


Submit a completed admissions non-degree seeking application form, a high school transcript and a recommendation from the student’s high school counselor or principal.


International Students

Students applying to the University who are not United States citizens must meet the following standards:

  1. Perform satisfactorily on either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)  or on the International English Language Testing Service Exam (IELTS).  Minimum scores are 530 on the written TOEFL, or 71 on the internet-based TOEFL, or 5.5 on the IELTS.


    Demonstrate English Language Proficiency via:

    Graduation from an American High School with a GPA of 2.6 or higher AND an ACT Writing sub score of 21 or higher


    SAT Critical Reading sub score of 500 or higher and Writing sub score of 500 or higher.

  2. Have a high school GPA equivalent to 2.6 on a 4.0 scale.

  3. Prove financial ability to pay for the entire program of study.

  4. First time college students may be eligible for University Scholarships but must take and submit the ACT or SAT to be considered.


The following items must be submitted by international students who wish to enroll:

  1. A completed application plus a $20.00 nonrefundable application fee

  2. Official copy of TOEFL or IELTS scores

  3. *Official transcripts of all secondary and post-secondary school studies

  4. Official Statement of Finances

  5. Certification of finances (i.e. official bank documents)

*For all transcripts and credentials outside of the United States of America, students may be required to complete a course by course evaluation through World Education Services ( or Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. ( No foreign transfer credits will be accepted until a report is received.


In addition to these requirements, international students who are transferring from other colleges in the United States must have maintained a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or above. Students who have not maintained a grade point average of 2.00 may be admitted at the discretion of the University.

Transfer Students

Academic courses completed for credit at institutions accredited by a higher education regional accrediting association are generally acceptable for transfer. However, University degree requirements determine if the courses transferred are applicable to the student’s degree program and if they meet the minimum grade criteria.

College credits taken by students while they are still enrolled in high school are subject to regular transfer credit policy. High school courses for which students received college credit will not be entered as transfer credit, or given equivalent credit, unless validated by an Advanced Placement (AP) or CLEP score that meets Board of Regents guidelines for acceptance of credit or the college credit is granted by a university with which the Board has a dual-credit agreement.

Credits from colleges or universities which are not accredited by a regional accrediting association may be accepted in transfer, subject to all other provisions of these guidelines and any conditions for validation which may be prescribed by the dean of the college or school in which the student plans to enroll. The dean may refuse to recognize credits from an institution not regionally accredited or may admit the applicant on a probationary basis and provide a means for the evaluation of some or all of the credits. The validation period may not be less than one semester and will ordinarily be an academic year.

When a course has been repeated for credit, the last grade earned will be used in the evaluation of the acceptance of credit and the calculation of the grade point average.

Transfer credit for work at a junior or community college may not exceed one-half of the total semester hours required for completion of the degree at USD. For a baccalaureate degree, no more than 60 semester hours of such credit is accepted. For students who have completed more than 60 semester hours of junior or community college work, the determination of which credits will be accepted will be made at the time the student applies for graduation at USD. The decision is made at the time of application for graduation in order to make the best use of the coursework that is needed to fulfill requirements for graduation.

Technical institute courses are designed to prepare students to enter the workforce for careers requiring less than a baccalaureate degree. Acceptance of these courses for credit at the South Dakota public universities is strictly the function of the receiving institution. Students who wish to transfer credits to a South Dakota public university for programs other than the Bachelor of Applied Technical Science degree should contact the Admissions Office for an evaluation of their program objectives and technical institute transcript. An individual evaluation of course credits will be made by the University in accordance with institutional and Board of Regents policy. Transfer credits are accepted with the same grade and credit as was recorded on the transcript from the institution at which the course was completed. Courses accepted in transfer from institutions with a different credit and/or grading system will be equitably converted to the system in effect at USD.

Academic courses meeting the above criteria are transferred as meeting requirements for graduation if the courses parallel requirements for the degree, or if the courses meet electives required for the degree as determined by the school or major department involved. Credit will not be given for duplication of courses.

If a grade of “F” or the equivalent was received in a course otherwise transferable within the policy, the cumulative grade point average shall be calculated incorporating the “F” grade.

Remedial courses, vocational courses, orientation, life experience, and high school-level courses are generally not accepted for transfer credit. Where vocational courses are applicable, credit may be accepted upon the approval of the deans of the colleges or schools in which the student plans to enroll. No transfer credit is granted for General Educational Development tests.

Credit earned for college-level courses by examination, extension, correspondence, etc., will be evaluated and accepted for transfer, if equivalent courses at USD exist and are consistent with USD policies.

In order to be admitted in good standing, transfer applicants are expected to have maintained a “C” average (2.00 based on an “A” being 4.00) for all college work previously attempted and not be under suspension from the last college attended. Transfer students who have not maintained a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 may appeal for admission. If admitted, such students are on academic probation.

Transfer applicants under academic suspension from the last college attended shall not be considered for admission during the period of suspension or, if suspended for an indefinite period, until one semester has passed since the last date of attendance. When eligible, the applicants will be considered as stipulated in the previous paragraphs.

Transfer applicants under disciplinary suspension will not be considered for admission until a clearance and a statement of the reason for suspension from the previous college are filed. When considering applications from students under suspension, the University will take into account the suspension.


Applicants should submit a completed application plus a $20.00 nonrefundable application fee; a current complete official transcript received directly from each college, school or institution attended since high school; and an official high school transcript. Transferring students who have previously applied, paid the $20 application fee and attended a university in the Board of Regents system within the past three consecutive semesters, are not charged an additional $20 application fee.

Applicants who are 21 years of age or younger must submit Enhanced ACT (or SAT-I) results. Applicants who are over 21, need to submit their scores if they have taken the test within the last five years.


After all items are on record, the student is informed of acceptance by receiving a notice of final acceptance and a summary of transfer credit. This summary lists all transfer credit hours that have been accepted by the University and the transfer grade point average of the student. If the student is not granted acceptance, a letter explaining the reasons for the non-acceptance will be sent.

All transfer applicants under 21 years of age who were graduated from high school after spring of 1987 and are transferring with fewer than 24 credit hours may be required to fulfill the high school course requirements as outlined in the preceding First-Year Students section.


Non-Degree-Seeking Students

Unclassified admission is reserved for applicants who wish to enroll for a limited number of credit hours but do not wish to commit themselves to working toward a degree from the University. The University is under no obligation to grant a degree to unclassified students until those students change acceptance status from unclassified to regular admission. Students who apply as unclassified will not be eligible to receive financial aid. If regular admission is desired, unclassified students must fulfill the admission requirements as they exist at the time of their applications for regular admission. After regular admission has been granted, credits earned while enrolled as unclassified students may be used to meet the requirements for a degree with the approval of the dean of the school or college concerned.


Non-degree-seeking students are required to submit a completed admissions non-degree seeking application form.



During the first two years from the time they were or would have been graduated from high school, all unmarried students who enroll in six credit hours or more are required to enter into a housing agreement and designated meal plan for the specific living environment with the institution unless special permission to room or dine elsewhere is received from the institution. Permission ordinarily shall be granted to students with dependent children, to students who reside full time during the academic year with parents or legal guardians, or students enrolled primarily at off campus locations. Students who have enrolled for twelve or more credits for four (4) semesters may be exempted from this agreement at the discretion of the institution. Institutions may also grant exemptions for students when residence hall occupancy exceeds manageable capacity.

Residence Halls and On-Campus Apartments

The University offers housing accommodations for 2,200 students in seven residence halls and two apartment complexes. Each residence hall and apartment complex is under the supervision of a residence hall director and a staff of student community advisors whose primary duty is to provide a community environment conducive to academic success and personal growth of students.

Room Applications

Applicants must be accepted to the University and have submitted their $100 University commitment deposit before they may apply for housing on campus. Room assignments are based on receipt of applications; applicants with the earliest return dates will be assigned first. Fifty percent of the deposit is refundable if the application is canceled before the dates specified in the residence hall contract.

Special lifestyle options are available to students who request them. Specific room and lifestyle assignments are arranged by date of application. Some of the special lifestyle options include coed and single-sex floors, quiet floors, and upper-class/graduate floors. All residence halls and apartments are smoke-free. Students with specific medical needs should alert University Housing; accommodations can be made. All undergraduate students living in the residence halls are required to select a University meal plan, with the exception of students more than two years beyond their high school graduation date living in Coyote Village.

The residence halls and apartments provide students with laundry facilities, and depending on the complex, a centralized desk area that is open for students who have questions or need assistance with their mail or any service that is provided during the day or night. In student rooms, cable TV, and wired and wireless internet are provided. Opportunities for employment are also available in the residence halls and apartments. Each complex and floor has a governing structure, and programmatic and policy recommendations are made by the Residence Hall Association, comprised of students living on-campus.