May 28, 2024  
2017-2018 SDSM&T Academic Catalog 
2017-2018 SDSM&T Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission Policies

General Requirements for Graduate Admissions

The Office of Graduate Education encourages applications from qualified students holding bachelor’s degrees in engineering or science from accredited 4-year colleges and universities.  A student desiring admission should obtain an application form from the Office of Graduate Education or via the website.  The completed form and a non-refundable application fee of $35 are required to be submitted to the Office of Graduate Education for all applicants.  Required supporting documents are specified on the application and on the website. Additional information about requirements for specific graduate programs can be found in the program description section of the catalog. 

All applicants wishing to be considered for admission or funding should submit their completed application package no later than February 15 for the Fall semester, August 15 for the Spring semester, and January 15 for the Summer semester.   Note that some departments may have additional or different deadlines that may apply; please refer to the departmental websites for more information.   Applications submitted after the above guidelines may be considered by some departments; please contact individual departments for more information.   Applicant files will not be considered for acceptance until all of the required application materials are received.  Applications completed by the above deadlines will, in most cases, receive a decision within one month of the deadline.  If the applicant has not completed an undergraduate program, evidence of graduation must be submitted prior to enrollment.

When an application for admission to a graduate program is received, the faculty of the program in which the applicant expects to major will evaluate the applicant’s academic qualifications.  The department head or program coordinator, on behalf of the faculty, will recommend whether or not the applicant should be accepted into the graduate program and whether the admission should be as an unconditional, conditional, probationary, or non-degree seeking (special) student.  The dean of graduate education will review this recommendation and provide a letter of decision to the applicant.

Admission for study toward a master’s degree does not imply that the student will be accepted to a doctoral program.  A separate application and evaluation of the student’s qualifications are necessary before acceptance into a doctoral program.  Admission to a program for study toward a Ph.D. degree does not constitute admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.  Refer to a later section for information on The Comprehensive Examination and Admission to Ph.D. Candidacy .

A student who is admitted to an academic program but is unable to attend in the semester in which he/she was accepted may request a deferment for up to 2 years.  The request must be made in writing to the Office of Graduate Education and must specify the revised start date. Deferments must be approved by the dean of graduate education.  Students must reapply if the anticipated start date is more than 2 years after the original semester of acceptance.

Students who are denied admission are not eligible to reapply to the same program for one year.

International Student Admissions

English Proficiency

All international applicants must provide evidence of English proficiency, with the exception of applicants from countries where English is the native language. Applicants who have a prior degree from a college or university in the U.S. may also be exempted, based on English courses taken and grades received in those courses.

The School of Mines has established minimum scores for admission for TOEFL, IELTS and the Pearson Test of English-Academic, listed below. We recognize a variety of valid English proficiency tests listed below which will be evaluated on an individual basis. English proficiency test results must be sent to the Office of Graduate Education. Please use school code 6652 for TOEFL results to be sent to SDSM&T.
Detailed information regarding the English proficiency requirement is available on our website at


Test Minimum Score* Upper Level Score **
     TOEFL - iBT (internet based test)                                        68                                                    83
     TOEFL - CBT (computer based test)                                      190                                                  220
     TOEFL - PBT (paper based test)                                      520                                                  560
     IELTS                                       5.5                                                   6.5
     Pearson Test of English - Academic (PTE)                                        47                                                    56


*Minimum scores require English proficiency testing upon arrival at the university.
**Upper level scores indicate that no additional proficiency testing is required by the university. However, additional testing and instruction may be required based on a student’s performance on other placement exams, in the classroom, or by the academic department.

Applicants who are planning to attend an intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) program in the U.S. prior to attending SDSM&T may be eligible for conditional admission. Conditional admission may be granted if the applicant meets admission requirements with the exception of the minimum English score as indicated above. SDSM&T also recognizes the difficulty for ESL students in taking standardized exams that are offered only in English, such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Students in ESL programs may be required to take such tests after they have advanced to a certain level in ESL. Requirements will be specified in a conditional admission letter sent to the student. Once the student has completed the ESL program with satisfactory grades and meets any additional requirements, the student may be eligible for unconditional admission.

International Transcript Evaluation Requirements

SDSM&T requires a third party foreign transcript evaluation for all incoming international graduate students and U.S. students who have attended an institution outside the U.S. Exceptions can be granted by the dean of graduate education for exemplary students who are recommended for a waiver by the academic program to which the student is applying. The two primary evaluation companies in the U.S. are World Education Services (WES) and Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE). SDSM&T requires a course-by-course evaluation report to be sent by the evaluating institution directly to the Office of Graduate Education.

Visa Requirements

For the most recent requirements, please visit the Ivanhoe International Center website:

An international applicant will not be issued the U.S. Department of Justice form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant (F-1) student status, until admission to SDSM&T for study toward a specific advanced degree has been granted.  Form I-20 is usually necessary for admission to the U.S. for college attendance.  Conditions of issuance of this form include documented evidence of financial ability to cover the projected annual costs of education at this university including living allowance.  This institution will issue a DS-2019 form only when appropriate.

International students are advised that full-time status at this university is necessary in order to satisfy F-1 status requirements.

As a result of the regulations that became effective on January 1, 2003, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is waived for F and J students with respect to reporting requirements specific to student status. The regulations will be strictly enforced by the appropriate bureau(s) within the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and information will be reported electronically to DHS via Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The consequences to students for non-compliance with the new regulations are severe. For more information, e-mail the Ivanhoe International Center at or go to

Medical Insurance

Each international student (and any dependents accompanying him/her to the United States) is required to enroll in a major medical hospitalization/surgical insurance plan.  Contact the Ivanhoe International Center for details. The only exception to this rule is if the student is sponsored by his/her home country government (documentation of this policy is required).  Life insurance is also strongly recommended.