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Congratulations! You're a Coyote.

We are excited for you to join us on campus, and we are here to make sure you have everything you need to stay organized and informed as you complete the remaining requirements for getting your I-20, registering for classes, securing housing and more.

New Graduate International Student Checklist
Print a less-detailed pdf version of the checklist and feel accomplished as you cross things off your list!

Welcome to the Coyote family!

 Finances and Financial Ability Form

Email a copy of the biographical page in your passport to your admissions counselor

Copy/scan the page(s) containing the photo, date of birth, passport number, date of expiration and signature (if any) from your valid, unexpired passport.

Understand your costs by reviewing tuition and fee estimates at:

Please note that certain programs have additional per credit hour discipline/course fees, which can be viewed here.

This free budgeting tool is designed for graduate students. You may find it helpful both prior to departure and throughout your time as a graduate student.

Email the following financial documents to your Enrollment Coordinator

Financial Ability Form

Official bank document, which must include

  • Account holder’s name
  • Account number
  • Available liquid funds

Note: The items listed above are required for USD to issue you an I-20 – the form needed to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee and apply for a visa. Visit Study in the States for more details about these official requirements.

Apply for a Graduate Assistantship

If you were already awarded an assistantship, you do not need to apply. If you do not have an offer, complete the graduate assistantship application (note: provisionally admitted students are not eligible to receive a graduate assistantship). Keep in mind that not all students are offered assistantship positions, and students are only notified of the decision if offered the position.

Learn about graduate assistantships at USD

 Immigration Steps

Notify your enrollment coordinator when you are ready to receive your I-20 and let them know how you wish to have it sent to you:

  • Digitally via email (no cost)
    • Due to disruptions caused by the pandemic, U.S. embassies/consulates are temporarily accepting digitally signed and emailed I-20s for the purposes of visa interviews. This option has no financial expense.
  • Hard copy mailed via courier
    • Prior to the pandemic, US embassies/consulates required a mailed, hard copy signed version of your I-20. The trusted way of securely mailing an I-20 is via express courier. USD partners with EshipGlobal, at your expense.

Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee after receipt of I-20

All new students must pay the SEVIS fee before applying for a F-1 or J-1 visa or entering the U.S. (Canadian citizens only). To learn more about this fee, visit

Schedule a visa appointment at your local US Embassy or Consulate

Locate the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country and schedule an appointment for your visa interview. For more information, visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Prepare and practice for your visa interview

All visa applicants must provide the following documents to the U.S. embassy or consulate at the time of application:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid I-20 (for F-1 visas) or DS-2019 (for J-1 visas)
  • Documented proof of financial support for at least one year
  • Proof of SEVIS/I-901 fee payment (receipt)
  • DS-160 visa application and visa application fee (available from the U.S. embassy/consulate)
  • Any other documents required by the local embassy/consulate

For more information and tips about applying and interviewing for a visa,

Note: You may arrange a practice visa interview with a member of the International Office staff, if needed.

Pick up your USD Account

After being offered admission to USD's graduate school, you will be able to access your USD account - including your USD email. Once you pick up your account, you will have access to the myUSD portal which includes technology you will use as a USD student.

Pick up your USD email account

Duo logoInstall Duo Security on your USD Account

After you activate your USD account, it is important to protect it. Install Duo two-factor authentication on your USD account for another layer of online security to protect your personal information. Duo is mandatory for all USD students, faculty and staff.

Install Duo on your USD Account

 Submit Contingency Documents

Some offers of admission are contingent upon USD receiving official documents. Check your admission offer letter to see if you need to submit contingency documents. NOTE: Transcripts must be mailed to USD directly by the issuing institution or an attested copy in a sealed envelope must be forwarded to USD for the document to be considered official. Contact your enrollment coordinator if you are unsure how to satisfy a contingency.

Immunization Requirements

All new, readmitted and transferred students are required to provide medically signed proof of TWO properly administered MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) immunizations OR immune titers for measles (rubeola), rubella and mumps. The immunization form must be completed before you can register for classes at USD. Read more about the mandatory immunization form.

Download the Immunization Form


  • Living On-Campus:
    Living in the residence halls is a perfect way to be close to everything on campus. The University Housing website details on-campus options. A $100 housing deposit and a housing application is required for all on-campus housing.

Submit your deposit online

  • Living Off-Campus:
    USD students maintain an off-campus housing website . You can also contact local property management companies; several are members of the Vermillion Area Chamber and Development Company (VCDC). Click Community Info on the menu and choose Housing from the drop down menu. You’ll also want to check out the International Office webpage for links to on-campus dining plans and tips for living off campus.

Housing Options


  • Complete your Attendance Confirmation
    This will be emailed to you by the university.
  • Contact your program advisor for class registration information
    If you are unsure of who your advisor is, contact your enrollment coordinator. Your advisor will discuss classes with you either via email or over a zoom meeting.
  • Register for and view your class schedule in Registration Self-Service
    After deciding what classes you need to take, you can register for the classes through Registration Self-Service, which can be found in the . If you need instruction for this process, please contact your program advisor.

    After registering for classes, login later to confirm your schedule saved. Closer to the start of the semester, professor names and classroom locations will appear on your schedule. (TIP: always check your schedule right before the first day of class – sometimes there are last-minute classroom changes.) We also recommend that you download the USDgo app on Google Play or the App store. Your schedule, maps and lots of other good information can be accessed on the USDgo app.

 Buy or rent your textbooks online

Your books can be delivered to and picked up on campus after your arrival.

USD Online Bookstore

 Preparing for Arrival

Review health insurance requirements and purchase a USD approved plan

Health insurance registration opens in July. The costs for health insurance are built into USD’s estimated cost of attendance, but insurance is not part of your USD bill. You will pay the insurance provider directly. Students who do not register by the deadline are automatically enrolled in the most extensive (and expensive) option.

For more details about health insurance requirements, please reference our Health Insurance & Immunizations page.

Make travel arrangements to arrive before Orientation

You may enter the U.S. a maximum of 30 days before the start date listed on your I-20 or DS-2019. We recommend that you arrive at least 1-2 days before the beginning of orientation so that you have time to get settled and rested. Depending on personal circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may want to consider adding more time. For more details and guidance, please reference our Arrival Assistance page.

Send arrival plans to

 Pay Your Bill

Beginning August 1, your bill will be available online at your SDePay account.

Bills are only available if you have already registered for classes. 

All statements are sent electronically, and you will not receive a paper copy. 

Visit USD’s SDePay webpage for full billing and payment information. You can directly access the SDePAY system on the myUSD Portal landing page.