Application Instructions


Information For:


Application Semester
Thesis MS and PhD (research) students Non-thesis MS campus students  Distance students 
FALL (AUGUST) February 1
April 1  August 1 
August 1   October 1 January 1 
SUMMER (MAY)  Not available  Not available May 1 

Accelerated master's students: The deadline for South Dakota Mines current students applying to an accelerated master's program is the start of the final semester of the bachelor's degree.

Decisions: Applicant files will only be considered for acceptance when all the required application materials are received. Non-thesis MS students will typically receive a decision within 2 weeks of receipt of the application. Thesis MS and PhD research applications completed by the deadlines listed will, in most cases, receive a decision within one month or less of the deadline. Funding decisions may be made later than admission decisions.

Applications can be considered after the stated deadlines in most programs, but timely admittance and/or funding may be affected. If you submit an application package after the deadline and it cannot be processed in time for the semester requested, your application can be deferred to the next start date without reapplying.

Financial Assistance:  Applicants applying to Thesis MS and PhD research programs will be considered for assistantship support based on the information provided in your application materials and the availability of funding. Funding decisions may be communicated separately from the admissions decision. (Note that non-thesis MS campus and distance students are typically not considered for assistantship funding, but are eligible to apply for fellowships and federal financial aid for U.S. citizens. Construction Engineering & Management and Engineering Management do not offer assistantship funding.) 

Application Instructions (printable version)

Admission Requirements

Thesis MS and PhD (research) applicants

A research degree involves diving deep into a specific topic within your area of interest and completing and defending an master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. A match of research interests between the student and potential advisor is crucial. Students work one-on-one with a faculty member on a research project, which may offer grant funding in the form of a research assistantship. Admission decisions are subject to advisor availability and research match in addition to the applicant’s academic qualifications.

Required application materials for thesis MS & PhD research applicants*:

  • Completed application form, submitted online through the application portal 

  • $35.00 application fee, payable online by credit card 

  • One page statement of purpose, including a statement of research interests. State your research interests and career goals, including current research of faculty members that you may be interested in working with. Describe any relevant research, work, or volunteer experience.

  • OFFICIAL transcripts from all U.S. institutions attended: Transcripts must be sent to South Dakota Mines by the issuing institution via email or postal mail. If you have attended a South Dakota Regental institution (BHSU, DSU, NSU, SDSM&T, SDSU, or USD), you do not need to request these transcripts to be sent to us.  

  • Third party foreign transcript evaluation: Required for all foreign institutions attended. A course-by-course evaluation sent directly by the evaluating entity is required by most programs prior to being considered for research positions and assistantship funding. Transcripts sent directly to us are not accepted in place of the required transcript evaluation. Applicants may apply prior to bachelor’s degree completion; evidence of degree completion (along with a final transcript) must be submitted prior to enrollment. For more information, visit or

  • Evidence of English proficiency (for international applicants): Applicants who completed a degree from a country where English is not the official native language are required to submit proof of English proficiency. A variety of test scores are accepted.

English Proficiency Test  Minimum score
Duolingo 105
IELTS 6.5 
TOEFL - IBT (internet based) 79 
             PTE          56
  • GRE score report: GRE: Scores of 50% or higher are recommended; strong quantitative scores are expected. For more information regarding the GRE test, visit Use school code 6652 to report GRE scores.

  • Three letters of recommendation: Provide the email addresses of three references when you apply online. The recommender will receive an email to complete an online form. Recommendations can also be submitted via email or postal mail but must be received directly from the recommender.
    Select recommenders who will deliver a report of your best intellectual qualities. The recommenders should be relevant academic references who are familiar with your most recent experience. This should be faculty members (including your advisor) and/or applicable work supervisors. Do not use family members, fellow students, coworkers, high school contacts, or non-academic connections such as athletic coaches or clergy.

*Some programs may not require all of these items. Refer to the admission requirements webpage for more information.  

Non-thesis MS applicants

A non-thesis master’s degree offers enhanced knowledge through advanced level coursework. Research is not required, although a project may be incorporated into the degree. Students in the non-thesis option are typically self-funded and are not considered for assistantship (TA and RA) funding but are eligible for other types of aid.

Required application materials for MS non-thesis campus and distance applicants:
All documents for non-thesis applicants can be submitted online through the application portal

  • Completed application form

  • $35.00 application fee, payable online by credit card.

  • One page statement of purpose, or personal statement of goals and experience.

  • UNOFFICIAL* transcripts from all institutions attended.

  • UNOFFICIAL* English proficiency scores (for international applicants). Applicants who completed a degree from a country where English is not the official native language are required to submit proof of English proficiency. A variety of test scores are accepted.

English Proficiency Test Minimum score
Duolingo 105
TOEFL - IBT (internet based)
              PTE         56

*Students selected for admission will be required to submit an official U.S. transcript or international transcript evaluation and official English proficiency scores (if applicable) prior to enrollment.

South Dakota Mines accelerated master’s applicants

This special program is available only to students currently completing a bachelor’s degree at South Dakota Mines. The program enables students to complete both a B.S. and M.S. degree in as little as 5 years. Up to 12 credits applied toward the B.S. program may be used to satisfy graduate credit requirements. See individual programs for the number of credits allowed by the program. More information is also available at the South Dakota Mines Online Catalog

In addition to the documents required for either thesis or non-thesis admission, the Accelerated MS Interim Advising form must be approved by a program representative and submitted to the Graduate Office prior to being considered for admission. The GRE is waived for all Mines students, and you do not need to request your transcripts be sent to us.

Non-degree seeking and certificate applicants

Students may choose to take a few courses to advance their knowledge without enrolling in a full degree program. Our certificate programs require 9-12 credits for completion, or you may take individual courses of interest not related to a particular area. Courses can typically be counted toward a degree program in the future with permission from the department.

A short admissions application and a copy of your transcripts* (including evidence of your bachelor’s degree) are required. Applicants who completed a degree from a country where English is not the official native language are required to submit proof of English proficiency. (Please note that international students wishing to attend on campus must be degree-seeking for student visa purposes.)

*Official transcripts are required prior to enrollment.

For more information, or to mail documents or materials:

South Dakota Mines
Graduate Education Office
501 E Saint Joseph St
Rapid City, South Dakota 57701-3995

Contact Us

Graduate Education Office
South Dakota Mines
Attention: Graduate Education 
501 East St. Joseph St.
Rapid City, SD 57701-3995

(605) 355-3468
Graduate Education

How to Apply

Contact the program coordinator of the program you are interested in, and then apply online.

Grad Ed Apply ButtonGrad Ed Request Info Button

In-State Tuition Rates for Out-of-State Students

Find out if you qualify!

Grad SD advantage state 2024

Learn More