International Graduate Admissions

Explore application requirements, the admissions process and additional resources.


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We're glad to hear you are interested in graduate education at USD! Apply now if you're ready, or review the resources below for more information.

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Each graduate program may have different admission requirements; please refer to the current graduate catalog for departmental specific admission information


Fall 2024 Deadlines

  • May 1 - Application Deadline*
  • June 15 - I-20 Issuance Deadline
  • July 1 - Enrollment Deposit Deadline
  • August 21 - Arrival Deadline

*Note some departments have earlier deadlines. Visit the graduate catalog for more details.

Spring 2025 Deadlines

  • October 1 - Application Deadline
  • October 15 - I-20 Issuance/Contingency Fulfillment Deadline
  • November 15 - Enrollment Deposit Deadline
  • January 3 - Arrival Deadline

The Application Process

International applicants will go through a three-step process that involves the academic department, the Graduate School and the International Office.

  • No formal review takes place until after the university receives your complete application, application fee and all required documents.
  • Complete applications and required documents are sent to the academic programs in electronic folders. Graduate Program Directors do not have access to partial applications.
  • The Graduate School also reviews your application, makes the formal admission decision and emails the decision and acceptance letters to students.
  • Graduate Teaching and Research Assistantships are decided at the department level. Some departments include an assistantship offer in the letter of admission.
  • Other departments make the decision at a later date. Graduate assistantships are competitive and limited in number. Only a small number of master’s level students receive a departmental award.
  • The International Office collects official financial ability documents and copies of valid passports. Once everything complete, a DS2019 or I20 is issued to admitted students.

Application Procedures

The following items must be submitted before an international application for admission can be evaluated. See below for more details.

Types of Admission Decisions

USD accepts unofficial copies of English proficiency test scores, admission test scores (e.g., GRE, GMAT) and unofficial and unofficial partial transcripts for contingent admission. Full admission is granted only after receipt of official English proficiency documentation, official transcripts for all academic work at the undergraduate and graduate levels (undergraduate documents must verify receipt of degree) and official test score reports (if required).

Financial Ability Requirements

Federal regulations require all students to show that they have the financial ability to pay for at least one full academic year of tuition, fees and living expenses before the University of South Dakota can issue a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Status (I-20).

Your admission application is reviewed without any regard to your financial ability, but the university cannot issue your I-20 until you have proven financial ability. You must complete the Financial Ability Form and provide official financial documentation showing the amount of cost to attend USD.  Details can be found on the Financial Ability Form. Please send the Financial Ability Form together with your financial documents.

Transfer from American College or University

If you are transferring from an accredited college or university in the USA, please contact International Admissions at

Mailing Address for Application Materials

Graduate Admissions
University of South Dakota
414 E. Clark Street
Vermillion, SD  57069-2390

If you have questions about the International Student Graduate Application process, please contact International Admissions at 605-658-6236 or by email at

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With more than 80 graduate program options, there is something for everyone at USD. Check out the degrees we offer, and reach out to us at with any questions.

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Graduate Assistantships

A variety of research and teaching graduate assistantships are available across campus. These opportunities can help you pay for your education while you gain invaluable work experience.


Learn More

Next Steps

After you receive official notification that you are admitted, take a look at our International Graduate Student Checklist for a step-by-step guide through your next steps. There you will find information about visas, housing, registration – everything you need to know as you prepare for life at USD.