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Contact Information

Graduate Studies
Sharon Paranto, Director

or Tammy Griffith, Program Assistant 


Spafford Hall 204A
1200 S. Jay St.
Aberdeen, S.D. 57401
Phone: 605-626-2558
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Graduate Studies
Graduate Studies Information

​​Time Limits
All degree work must be completed within 6 years.


Transfer of Credits
​A maximum of 8 semester hours of graduate credit for a 32-hour program, 9 semester hours of graduate credit for a 36-hour program, and 12 semester hours of graduate credit for a 50- to 54-hour program may be transferred from other approved colleges or universities. All transfer credit must carry a grade of B or better and must meet Northern State University criteria for credit approval on the graduate level. Transfer credit must be approved by the director of graduate studies and the Graduate Committee.


Credit Load

The maximum credit load during one semester is 14 hours. Graduate assistants are limited to 12 hours. The maximum credit load during a four-week summer session is six hours. Not more than 12 semester hours may be completed during the two four-week summer sessions. Exceptions must be approved by the director of graduate studies.

A full-time load is 9 or more semester hours; three-fourths load is 6.75 semester hours; half-time is 4.5 semester hours; and part-time is one to three semester hours. Full-time students should not expect to complete the master's degree in nine months. Graduate credit is awarded in letter grades of A, B, C, D, F.
Academic Requirements
1. A grade point average of 3.00 or above must be earned in the total hours taken for graduate credit. Grades below a C will not count toward graduation.

2. A course can be repeated at Northern State University only if originally taken there. The second grade earned will be counted. Exceptions must be approved by the director of graduate studies.
3. At least half the master's degree credits must be 700-level courses. Exceptions must be approved by the director of graduate studies.
4. All graduate students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA. Students falling below a 3.0 will be allowed a 1-semester probation to raise their GPA to a 3.0. Graduate assistants will lose their assistantship for the probationary semester.  Students failing to raise their GPA after the probationary period must withdraw from their classes for two consecutive semesters.   For readmission, students must seek approval from the director of graduate studies.  Students who show progress (e.g., receive 2 or 3 A grades) but retain a GPA below 3.0 will continue in the graduate program only if approved by the Graduate Committee.
5. Any student who is deficient after completing one-half of the total hours in the program shall be dropped.