Admission to Graduate Studies

If you're planning to enroll in courses for graduate credit - regardless of whether you intend to complete a degree program - you're required to apply for admission to graduate study.
Admission as Candidate for a Master's Degree

If you'd like to pursue a master's degree at Northern, please declare this intent when admitted to graduate study.  The minimum grade point average for admission to a master's degree program is a cumulative 2.75 for bachelor's degree work.

If you don't meet this minimum GPA, you may be admitted if you've earned a GPA of:

  • 3.00 during your last 64 semester hours of undergraduate credits, or
  • 3.25 in your undergraduate major, or
  • 3.25 in your last 12 credits of graduate work from a program leading to a degree at an accredited institution. 

Non-Degree-Seeking

Non-degree-seeking candidates must submit the following information to the Office of Graduate Studies:

  • An application form for admission to graduate study, and
  • An official transcript of all college or university credits, including both undergraduate and graduate credit (if applicable).
  • If you were born after 1956 and will receive instruction on campus, one of the following documents is required: documentation of immune status for measles, mumps and rubella; proof of two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine; separate vaccinations against all three diseases; or proof of the presence of an immune antibody titers against measles, mumps and rubella.
  • Non-degree seeking students do not qualify for financial aid.

Degree-Seeking

Degree-seeking candidates must submit the following information to the Office of Graduate Studies:

  • An application form for admission to graduate study,
  • An official transcript of all college or university credits, including undergraduate and graduate credit (if applicable),
  • A $35 application fee, and
  • Two letters of reference addressing the student's potential for success in graduate study.
  • If you were born after 1956 and will receive instruction on campus, one of the following documents is required: documentation of immune status for measles, mumps and rubella; proof of two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine; separate vaccinations against all three diseases; or proof of the presence of an immune antibody titers against measles, mumps and rubella.
International Student Admission

In addition to the above requirements for admission to graduate study, international students must provide evidence of:  

  • A minimum score of 550 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or
  • A minimum score of 79 on the Internet-based TOEFL, or
  • A minimum score of 6 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or
  • Evidence of satisfactory completion of the Northern State University Academic English Program for TOEFL scores of 71-78 or IELTS score of 5.5.  
  • Academically eligible students enrolling in the NSU Academic English Program will be granted provisional admittance to an NSU graduate program. The Graduate Council and/or the Director of Graduate Studies may approve international student admittance without the NSU English language requirement on a case-by-case basis. International students also must provide evidence of their ability to finance a program of study without assistance from NSU.
  • International students are required to purchase a South Dakota Board of Regents medical insurance policy, proof of which must be provided before registering. The insurance requirement applies to the student, student's spouse and any other accompanying dependents.
Non-Degree Admission

If you'd like to complete graduate credit for professional growth or certification purposes, you may be admitted on a non-degree basis.  You may later request a change in status to a degree program. As a non-degree student, you may transfer a maximum of nine credit hours to the degree program.  Non-degree seeking students do not qualify for financial aid.

Provisional Admission

If you're unable to meet the requirements for admission to a degree program, you may apply for provisional admission.

Candidates completing a minimum of six graduate credit hours at Northern State University, with a minimum GPA of 3.00, may request a change in status to a degree program.  However, only nine credits may be applied toward a degree program at a later date.

Provisionally admitted students do not qualify for financial aid. 

Undergraduate Students
As an undergraduate student, if you've completed a minimum of 96 credit hours, you may request permission from the Registrar's Office to enroll in 500- and 600-level courses for graduate credit. To enroll in graduate credit, you must have a grade point average of 2.75 or higher.  Coursework taken for graduate credit won't apply toward your bachelor's degree.
 
Former Students
According to Board of Regents Policy 5:5:4, a student who switches institutions and/or drops out for more than three terms must reapply and pay the application fee.  The student will be assigned to the catalog in effect for the student’s program at the time of readmission.​