Getting Started

I have been admitted to USD. What are my next steps?
We have developed a detailed checklist to help you get everything organized - from day care to registering for financial aid.

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 members 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 by phone at 605-677-8833. You can also visit with Jacob Aus in the Belbas Center Room 212.

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 University Housing for details. Vermillion Area Visitor and Tourism is another good starting point to look for off campus housing resources.

How can I get involved with campus activities?

USD has more than 170 student organizations that provide opportunities to get involved and make a difference. Explore our several active student organizations including the Student Veterans Club and Veteran's Legal Assistance Group. Another great resource is the Student Veterans Resource Center, there are a wide variety of events and activities offered in the center which are offered to all Veteran and Military connected students.

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

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 transitions. 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 Center for Continuing Education room 117D. We also provide free tutoring, library support and much more.
  • 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 Sponsor aligned to you through the Sponsor 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 Disability Services (

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 your instructor. If you need assistance in requesting a military-related absence please contact the Student Veteran Resource Center.

How do I get class credits for military training?
Bring your DD214 to the Registrar in the Belbas Center Room 212. You can also scan or email your DD214 to

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, and then contact your academic advisor. He or she 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 - as long as you have at least four semesters left on campus. Call 605-677-5284 or email ROTC ( with any questions. We respond to emails 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.

If 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.