|I. Admissions Policies
|VI. General Degree Requirements
| I.1. General Requirements for Graduate Admissions
| VI.1. Supervision of Advanced Degree Programs
| I.2. International Student Admissions
| VI.1.a. Composition of Graduate Commitees
| I.2.a. English Proficiency
| VI.1.b. Changes in Committee Membership
| I.2.b. International Transcript Evaluation Requirements
| VI.1.c. Emergency Committee Substitutions
| I.2.c. Visa Requirements
| VI.1.d. Change of Major Professor
| I.2.d. Medical Insurance
| VI.1.e. Changing the Master’s Program Option
| VI.2. Program of Study
|II. Funding Policies
| VI.3. Certification of Degree Requirements
| II.1. Graduate Assistantships
| VI.4. Credit Policies for All Graduate Degrees
| II.2. Assistantships with Tuition and/or Fee Support
| VI.4.a. Graduate Course Level Requirements
| II.3. Graduate Fellowships and Other Resources
| VI.4.b. Advanced Degree Grade Requirements
| VI.4.c. Topics, Seminar, Co-op, and Independent Study Credits
|III. Registration Policies
| VI.4.d. Dual Credit for Mulitple Programs
| III.1. Graduate Student Registration
| VI.4.e. Graduate Credits Earned at SD Mines
| III.2. Definition of Full Time and Half Time Registration
| VI.4.f. Applying Credits from Outside Institutions
| III.3. Continuing Registration Requirements
| VI.4.g. Applying Undergraduate Level Credits Toward an Advanced Degree
| III.4. Minimum Academic Load
| VI.4.h. Applying Graduate Level Credits Taken as an Undergraduate Toward an Advanced Degree
| III.5. Maximum Academic Load
| VI.4.i. Applying Graduate Level Credits Taken as an Undergraduate Student or Special Graduate Student Toward an Advanced Degree
| III.6. Leave of Absence
| VI.5. Theis/Dissertation Submission Requirements
| III.7. Registration at Other Institutions
| VI.6. Thesis/Dissertation Defense Requirements
| VI.7. Time Limitation for Graduate Degrees
|IV. Enrollment Policies
| VI.8. Participation in Commencement
| IV.1. Dual Enrollment in PhD and MS Programs
| VI.8.a. Applying to Graduate
| IV.2. Accelerated Master’s Programs
| VI.8.b. Deadline for Participation in Commencement
| IV.3. Change of Program
| VI.9. Catalog of Graduation for Graduate Students
| IV.4. Adding a PhD Program
| IV.5. Non-degree Seeking Graduate Students
|VII. Master’s Degree Requirements
| IV.6. Probation and Reinstatement Policy
| VII.1. Master’s Program Requirements
| IV.7. Appeal procedure
| VII.2. Thesis Option Requirements
| VII.2.a. Thesis Submission Requirements
|V. Grade Policies
| VII.2.b. Thesis Defense Requirements
| V.1. Graduate Grading System
| VII.3. Non-thesis Option Requirements
| V.2. Course Retake Policy
| VII.4. Accelerated MS Option Requirements
| V.3. Pass-Fail Option for Graduate Students
| VII.5. Final Examination
| V.4. Grade Appeal Procedure
| V.5. Calculation of Graduate GPA
|VIII. PhD Degree Requirements
| VIII.1. PhD Program Requirements
| VIII.2. The Qualifying Examination
| VIII.3. The Comprehensive Examination and Admission to PhD Candidacy
| VIII.4. Dissertation Submission Requirements
| VIII.5. Dissertation Defense Requirements
| VIII.6. Residence Requirements
Graduate Student General Information
The first master’s degree program was authorized at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in October 1935, and the first degree was granted in 1937. Permission to offer the first PhD program was granted in January 1967 to the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering. Eight additional PhD programs have been authorized since that time with the most recent addition being a PhD in Electrical Engineering in 2021. The Office of Graduate Education was created in the 1950-51 academic year.
The policies of the Office of Graduate Education are formulated by the Council of Graduate Education, which is advisory to the dean of graduate education. The policies are approved by the SD Mines administration, the SD Mines Faculty Senate, and the South Dakota Board of Regents when applicable and are administered by the dean of graduate education. This catalog provides the rules which apply to graduate students.
In the following descriptions the term “program” refers to a department, a division in a department such as the Construction Engineering and Management program within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, or a multi-departmental unit such as Biomedical Engineering, Materials Engineering and Science, or Nanoscience and Nanoengineering. Forms mentioned in the catalog are available at the Office of Graduate Education and on the Office of Graduate Education website.
Nature and Purpose of the Graduate Programs
The non-thesis and professional master’s programs are designed to build a student’s depth and breadth of knowledge and to enhance the student’s preparation for a career in industry. Development of technical and managerial knowledge through course work is the primary focus of these degree programs. Programs typically include a combination of required and elective courses outlined in an individualized program of study supervised by a program coordinator. Some degrees may also encourage or require the completion of an independent project.
The MS thesis and PhD graduate programs are designed to prepare a student for a lifetime of intellectual inquiry that manifests itself in creative scholarship and research, often leading to professional careers in academia, government, business, and industrial organizations. These programs emphasize freedom of inquiry and expression and development of the student’s capacity to make significant contributions to knowledge. An essential element is the development of the ability to understand and evaluate critically the literature of the field and to apply appropriate principles and procedures to the recognition, evaluation, interpretation, and understanding of issues and problems at the frontiers of knowledge. These goals are most effectively accomplished in close association with those experienced in research and teaching.
A central purpose of doctoral programs and Master of Science thesis programs is the extension of knowledge, but this cannot be accomplished on all fronts simultaneously. Students must choose an area in which to specialize, a faculty member with whom to work, and a research topic of mutual interest to the student and the faculty advisor. Individualized programs of study are then developed and committee members are selected cooperatively as coursework and research are undertaken. When all coursework has been completed, the research finished, the thesis or dissertation written, and all examinations passed, the student will have acquired the knowledge and skills expected of a scholar and will have expanded the knowledge and research capability in the field.
The Council of Graduate Education
Graduate education and graduate research are among the most important functions of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T). They constitute an important element of the vitality of scholarly inquiry and intellectual achievement in the university. An important responsibility for all matters pertaining to graduate education and graduate research rests with the faculty. To provide for an important mechanism for the faculty to create, foster and maintain graduate education and graduate research programs of high quality and accomplishment the Council of Graduate Education is formed to:
- Advise the Graduate Dean on all matters pertaining to graduate education,
- Establish and revise policies of graduate education,
- Review and approve/disapprove of proposed graduate programs, courses and revisions,
- Review student applications for fellowships and scholarships sponsored by the Graduate Office and decide on awards.
- Conduct strategic planning for graduate education.
Graduate level curricula developments proposed by departments will be submitted to the Council of Graduate Education (CGE) for review and appropriate endorsement for consideration by the Faculty Senate. Policies of graduate education approved by the CGE will be reported to the Faculty Senate.
The Chairperson of the Council of Graduate Education shall be the Dean of Graduate Education. The Chair of the CGE shall report the results of the CGE recommendations on graduate education curricula, courses, and programs to the Curriculum Committee, and subsequent consideration by the Faculty Senate, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Chair of the CGE shall report CGE policy recommendations directly to the Faculty Senate for their consideration, and subsequent consideration of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
The membership of the Council of Graduate Education shall consist of voting representatives from each department with a graduate program. Departments with one, two or more graduate programs will have one representative. Each interdisciplinary and/or interdepartmental graduate program shall also have one voting representative. Representatives are to be selected by each Department or Program. Departments that do not have graduate programs may appoint non- voting representatives.
For a list of graduate programs and more information about them, please visit the Graduate Programs Listing section of this catalog.