Military and Veteran Students

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started

I have been admitted to USD. What are my next steps?
We have developed a detailed checklist to help you get everything in order. It covers everything from registering for financial aid to day care. Follow this list and you will be off to a great start. 

How do I find my way around campus?
We understand that it takes time to learn where things are in a new place. Check out the campus map. We are a friendly community so don't hesitate to ask any staff member for help.

Where do I go with questions regarding my GI Bill or military Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA)?
USD Veteran Service offices can be reached via email or phone at 605-677-8833. You can also visit with Jason Dean in the Belbas Center, Room 212. It's the first building directly west of Old Main that looks like a castle.

Where do I go for housing?
We know getting your housing situation settled is a top priority. Whether you are interested in residence halls or apartment style living we have some great options for you. Please visit our housing page for details.

How can I get involved with campus activities?
USD has over 150 student organizations that provide opportunities to get involved and make a difference. Please take the opportunity to explore our several active student organizations including the Student Veterans Club (email) and Veteran's Legal Assistance Group (email).

Academic Success

What are sure strategies to succeed in college?
According to Gen. George W. Casey former Army Chief of Staff the Six keys for student veteran success are:

  • Don't sell yourself short
  • Learn how to ask and accept help
  • Build and use a network
  • Stay physically fit
  • Graduate
  • Be bold - nothing good happens without risk

Do you have any military and veteran related courses for academic success?
Yes, we have the Warrior and Family Transition class, is a one credit hour seminar, designed to introduce students from military backgrounds to academic success strategies. It's listed as POLS 292 U035 Warrior and Family Transition.

I feel a little overwhelmed with classes and/or transitioning to a civilian schedule.
It is normal to feel a little overwhelmed when navigating life transition so you are no exception. We understand that you might be facing multiple transitions at the same time. These transitions may include moving from military responsibilities to student responsibilities, adjustment to family roles, and just adjusting from highly structured military routine to a flexible schedule. Here are options to that can assist you during your transition.

  • Schedule regular time to study and connect with other military students at the Student Veteran Resource Center (SVRC) Located in the Temporary Student Center Rm 117D. We also provide free tutoring, library support, and VA Vet Center Counseling. Stop by, email, or call 677-7274 for more information.
  • Contact the Student Counseling Center. Services are free to all students and their staff are certified in supporting military and veteran students who are transitioning to college.
  • Request and leverage a Buddy aligned to you through the Buddy Program.

If I have a disability rating less than 100% from the VA would I qualify for Disability Services on campus?
Each case is unique. Often veterans with disability ratings as low as 10% qualify for services while a student at USD. We suggest you should schedule a time to meet with the Director of Disability Services Ernetta Fox via email or phone 677-6389.

How do I handle military related absences?
We understand that you may have unavoidable conflicts with your class schedule due to military absences such as National Guard drills, and VA appointments. Contact your instructor as soon as you know about your absence and communicate any changes. The important thing is to establish clear communication with you instructor.

How do I get class credits for military training?
Bring your DD214 to the Registrar in the Belbas Center, Room 212. It's the first building directly west of old main that looks like a castle. You can also scan and email your DD214 and email to with the subject line of class credits for military training.

Continuing Service

I am getting mobilized. Who should I talk to?
Take a few minutes to review USD policies for students called to military service, then contact your academic advisor and they will walk you through the next steps.

I am a Sophomore or a Senior, is it late to join ROTC?
No, you can join ROTC any time till you have full 4 semesters on campus.Call 605- 677-5284, or email (we respond to mails within three working days)

If I am commissioned through ROTC, am I required to serve on active duty?
No, you are not required to serve on active duty after your graduation commission. You can commission as an officer in either active duty, National Guard or Reserves.

I am a member of National Guard, can I still join ROTC?
Yes, you can join ROTC simultaneously as a member of Simultaneous Membership Program.