Northern State University welcomes applications from all who meet its requirements. Admission may be granted for either the regular academic year or summer sessions. All students seeking admission for enrollment in on-campus classes must complete the Undergraduate Admission Application form and submit the related documents before admission can be determined. All materials become the property of the University and are not returned.
Admission may be withdrawn if granted on the basis of false information willfully submitted or if facts requested in the application process are intentionally concealed or omitted. Northern State University admits all qualified students without regard to race, color, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, or religion.
New Freshmen Students
- Fill out South Dakota Common application form.
- Pay $20.00 non-refundable application fee.
- Official high school transcript including class rank and cumulative grade point average or GED scores.
- ACT scores or SAT scores (waived if student is 22 years old or older.)
- Upon acceptance, students will be sent housing and immunization forms to be returned to Northern State University.
- Fill out South Dakota Common application form.
- Pay $20.00 non-refundable application fee.
- Official college transcript(s) sent directly from each college attended.
- official high school transcript with date of graduation.
NOTE: Any transfer student whose total academic record is less than a C, or who has been on probation or suspended from the transferring institution, will either be admitted on probation or rejected. Students who are not eligible to return to the school from which they are transferring will not be admitted. Students suspended by another college for academic reasons may be admitted on probation after the lapse of two terms.
- ACT scores or SAT scores (waived if student is 22 years old or older.)
- Upon acceptance, student will be sent housing and immunization forms to be returned to Northern State University.
(Previous Northern State University students who have not attended for one or more terms and have not attended another institution.)
- Fill out South Dakota Re-Entry application form.
- Other requirements, if applicable
- Readmit fee of $20 if student has not attended a BOR school for three (3) semesters
(Students who do not intend to earn a degree at Northern State University)
- Fill out Non-degree application form and Immunization form. (Immunization form is not required for students only registering for online classes.)
(Visiting students from another college outside SD Regental System)
- Fill out Non-degree application form.
- Submit Transient Student form.
New and returning students should return completed application, fee and any transcripts to:
|Enrollment Service Center
||NSU Enrollment Services
|414 E. Clark, SDU 317
Vermillion, SD 57069
||1200 South Jay Street
Aberdeen, SD 57401
If you have questions about admission or application status, call Northern State University Enrollment Services at (605) 626-2544, or 1-800-NSU-5330.
Preadmission Immunization Requirements
Students born after December 31, 1956 who attend classes on campus must document their immune status for measles, mumps and rubella. Proof of two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine or of separate vaccinations against all three diseases, or of the presence of an immune antibody titer against measles, mumps and rubella shall be required. Immunization for tetanus, diphtheria and poliomyelitis, as well as a tuberculin test are recommended. This documentation may be accomplished by either a State Health Department certificate, or it may be included as part of the institution’s physical exam report.
A student who fails to provide satisfactory documentation of his or her immune status shall not be permitted to register for or attend classes. Northern State University’s president or the president’s designee may grant an extension of the deadline for an amount of time determined necessary. In no case may the extension be longer than one semester.
Students who are unable to ascertain their immunization status may obtain, at their own expense, the necessary tests and vaccination from the Student Health Service of Northern State University, (605) 626-7694.
In the event the South Dakota State Department of Health declares an epidemic of measles, mumps or rubella, Northern State University shall provide to the State Department of Health a list of students who have not submitted immunization documentation. Subsequent campus actions shall consider the advice and authority of the South Dakota State Department of Health. Students who have no vaccination or immunity against the required preventable infectious diseases may be dismissed from the campus.
Undergraduate Admission Requirements
High School Graduates. For admission to baccalaureate degree programs or associate degree programs, high school graduates must:
- Rank in the top 60% of their high school graduating class; OR obtain an ACT composite score of 18 (SAT-I 870) or above; OR obtain a high school GPA of at least 2.6 on a 4.0 scale; AND
- Meet the minimum course requirements with an average grade of C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale); OR demonstrate appropriate competencies in discipline areas where course requirements have not been met.
Minimum Course Requirements. All baccalaureate or general studies students under 24 years of age, including students transferring with fewer than twenty-four (24) credit hours, must meet the following minimum high school course requirements.
||Four years of English - courses with major emphasis upon grammar, composition, or literary analysis. One year of debate instruction may be included to meet this requirement.
||ACT English sub-test score of 18 or above
||Advanced Placement English score of three (3) or above.
||Three years of advanced mathematics - algebra, geometry, trigonometry or other advanced mathematics including accelerated or honors mathematics (algebra) provided at the eighth grade level; not included are: pre-algebra, arithmetic, business, consumer or general mathematics or other similar courses.
||ACT mathematics subtest score of 20 or above
||Advanced Placement Calculus score of three (3) or above.
||Three years of laboratory science - courses in biology, chemistry, or physics in which at least one (1) regular laboratory period is scheduled each week. Accelerated or honors science (biology, physics or chemistry) provided in the eighth grade shall be accepted. Qualified physical science or earth science courses (with lab) shall be decided on a case by case basis.
||ACT science reasoning subtest score of 17 or above
||Placement Biology, Chemistry, or Physics score of three (3) or above.
||Three years of social studies - history, economics, sociology, geography, government-including U.S. and South Dakota, American Problems, etc.
||ACT social studies/reading subtest score of 17 or above
||Advanced Placement Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Comparative or US Government and Policies, European or US History, or Psychology score of three (3) or above.
||One year of fine arts for students graduating from South Dakota high schools - art, theater, or music (appreciation, analysis, or performance). Documented evidence of high school level non-credit fine arts activity will be accepted for students graduating from high schools in states that do not require completion of courses in fine arts for graduation.
||Advanced Placement History of Art, Studio Art drawing or general portfolio or Music Theory score of three (3) or above.
Non-High School Graduates, Including Home Schooled Students. An applicant who is not a high school graduate must obtain an ACT composite score of 18 and subscore of 18 in ACT English, Mathematics, subscore of 20 in Social Studies/Reading and Science reasoning sub-test scores of at least 17 and meet any university determined requirements for admission to baccalaureate programs. Students must be at least 18 years of age, or the high school class of which the student was a member must have graduated from high school. Students may submit a GED total score of 2250 or above with no standard test score below 410 in place of the ACT and will be admitted at the discretion of the institution.
Non-Traditional Students. Students who are at least twenty-four (24) years of age will be admitted at Northern State University’s discretion. Applicants need to submit an application for admission (with fee), high school transcript and ACT scores (if available). Upon acceptance students will need to make arrangements immediately to take the COMPASS exam.
Former Students or Transfer Students. Students returning with previous post-secondary education may apply as transfer students. Transfer students must submit a Northern State University application, the application fee,* a high school transcript with a graduation date, and a complete, official transcript bearing the original seal and signature of the official in charge of records from every college, university, or technical school previously attended. Transcripts must be mailed directly from the previous institutions. The applicant shall also submit any other records required by the university to support the application for admission. Failure to do so shall be grounds for dismissal.
A transfer applicant with twenty-four (24) or more credits shall have maintained a C average for all college work previously attempted. Transfer applicants with less than twenty-four credits will be evaluated for admission based on the high school graduate admissions requirements. Students who do not meet these requirements may be permitted to apply for admission after submitting satisfactory information indicating potential for success in college. If admitted, such a student shall be on academic probation. A transfer student must declare a major on admission or during the third semester of collegiate work, whichever occurs last.
In general, a transfer applicant under academic suspension from the last college attended would not be considered for admission during the period of suspension, or, if for an indefinite period, until two terms after the last date of attendance. When eligible for consideration, the applicant will be considered as above. A transfer applicant under disciplinary suspension will not be considered for admission until the suspension is lifted and a statement concerning the reason for suspension is received from the previous college.
*Note: Students who transfer from another SD Regental Institution do not need to pay the application fee again. However, if the student has not attended a SD Regental Institution in the past three semesters then a $20 application fee is applicable.
Transfer Credit. All academic courses completed at colleges and universities accredited by a regional accrediting association are entered on the transcript at Northern State University. The Transfer Credit Practices of Designated Educational Institutions, published by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers is used as a guideline for determining transferability. All transferred records become a permanent part of the students’ records. All students must meet requirements of the curriculum in which they are enrolled.
Academic courses will be transferred as meeting graduation requirements if the courses parallel the scope and depth requirements for the degree or if the courses meet electives required for the degree. Evaluation of courses will be made by the appropriate institutional officials at the time of admission by comparing descriptions, content and level of courses completed with those at Northern State University. Credit will not be given for duplication of courses. Courses accepted in transfer in a discipline not represented in the Northern State University curriculum will be accepted as general electives. Orientation, Life Experience, General Educational Development Tests, and high school level courses are not recorded in Colleague as transfer credit nor are they granted equivalent credit.
High school courses for which students received college credit will not be entered as transfer credit, or given equivalent credit, unless validated by an Advanced Placement or CLEP score that meets Board of Regents guidelines for acceptance of credit, the college credit is granted by a university with which the Board has a dual credit agreement, or the college credit is granted by an institution accredited by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP).
General education courses from regionally accredited vocational-technical institutes may be accepted in transfer, subject to Board of Regents policy. Credit which may be applied to a major must be validated by CLEP subject exams where applicable. Courses identified in approved articulation agreements will automatically be accepted. When a course has been repeated for credit, the last grade earned will be used in the evaluation of the acceptance of credit.
Credit earned for college level courses by examination, extension, correspondence, CLEP, advanced placement, USAFI, DANTES, military experience and other non-collegiate instruction will be evaluated and accepted for transfer if equivalent to a Northern State University course.
Total transfer credit for work at a junior or community college or at a vocational-technical college may not exceed one-half of the hours required for completion of the baccalaureate degree at the accepting institution. Students who have completed more than the acceptable semester hours of junior, community, vocational or technical college work may apply completed, transferable courses to specific course requirements and thereby may not be required to repeat the courses; however, the semester hours of credit for those additional courses are not applied toward the minimum credit hours required for the degree.
Northern State University may refuse to recognize credits from a non-accredited college or may admit the applicant on a provisional basis and provide a means for evaluating some or all of the credits. Each applicant from a non-accredited college will be considered on merit.
General education requirements successfully completed within the South Dakota higher education system will be accepted as meeting requirements for similar degree programs.
Transfer credits will be accepted with the same grade and credit as was recorded. Transfer courses from institutions with a different credit and/or grading system will be equitably converted to the semester system used at Northern State University. The Northern State University grade point average will be based exclusively upon hours completed at Northern State University. The cumulative grade point average, including transfer and Northern State University hours completed, will be used for graduation requirements and minimum progression standards. Both are used to determine graduation honors.
Courses from postsecondary institutions outside the United States are considered for transfer subject to all Board of Regents policies. When the courses are accepted for transfer, equivalent courses are recorded on the transcript but the grade earned at the sending institution is not recorded or calculated into the grade point averages.
At Northern State University, the president is responsible for insuring that regental policy is followed in determining transferability of courses in meeting graduation requirements.
Policy to Appeal Transfer of Credit Decision.
Students who wish to appeal transfer of credit decisions made at the faculty level do so as follows.
- Within 10 working days after the student becomes aware of the decision to be appealed, he or she must advise the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs in writing.
- Upon receipt of the decision being appealed, the Provost/Vice president will attempt an informal resolution between the student and the faculty. Unless extenuating circumstances exist, resolution will be attempted within 10 working days after receipt of the appeal.
- If an informal resolution is not possible, the Provost/Vice president will present the appeal to the Council of Deans for a recommendation. Appeals will be referred to the Council of Deans within 10 working days after it is determined an informal resolution is found to be impossible.
- Within 10 working days after the recommendation by the Council of Deans, the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs will advise the student of the decision.
- If the student does not find the action satisfactory, he or she may appeal the decision to the president. Continuation of the appeal must be accomplished within 10 working days of the decision (based on Council of Deans’ recommendation) by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.
- A written record of the appeal proceedings will be maintained by the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. Unless otherwise requested, the hearings will be closed.
Rising Scholar/Dual Enrollment. Northern State University encourages high school students (classified as a junior or senior) whose maturity, achievement, aptitude and goals warrant special consideration to seek dual enrollment. The program will provide high school students an opportunity to take university coursework in conjunction with high school activities. Acceptance is contingent upon meeting established class rank, GPA, and/or ACT scores. Please note that all regular student policies apply to Rising Scholars/Dual Enrollment students, (i.e., academic standing and drop/add deadlines, etc). Contact the Northern State University Rising Scholars Program Office, 1200 South Jay Street, Aberdeen, SD 57401-7198 or 605-626-7197 or the Office of Continuing Education (605-626-2568) for further information.
International Students. Inquiries concerning international student admission may be directed to the Director of Admissions, Northern State University, 1200 South Jay Street, Aberdeen, SD 57401-7198. International students shall:
- Submit a completed application form with $20.00 (U.S. currency) admission/matriculation fee to the Director of Admissions, Northern State University.
- Submit certified copies of certificates and transcripts reflecting records of courses and grades earned. Transcripts must possess the official stamp or seal school attended. International transcripts need to be translated to English and evaluated through WES or ECE. Official evaluation is required to be sent from WES or ECE directly to NSU.
- Send evidence of a score of 500 or higher on the written TOEFL, 173 on the computer based exam, 61 on Internet based test or 5 on IELTS. Students may also send a “Level 109” Certificate of Proficiency from English Language Services. Northern’s TOEFL Institutional Code is 6487.
- Complete and return the Summary of Educational Experience form.
- Complete Northern State University’s Declaration of Finances form in order to provide evidence of their capability to finance a program of study without assistance. The form can be obtained by calling the NSU Office of Admissions at (605) 626-2544 or 1-800-NSU- 5330.
- Complete and return immunization form.
- Purchase a Board of Regents student health insurance plan for self and family members.
- Provide a copy of an F1-Visa.
Issuance of the Certificate of Eligibility, Form I-20, A/B will be made only upon completion of all admission requirements. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make all necessary arrangements through official channels for entrance into the United States. Applicants residing in another country should make application six months prior to anticipated enrollment date in case an additional transcript evaluation is needed. Students in the United States should allow four months to complete the admission process.
Certificate and Associate Degree Programs. For admission to an associate degree program at Northern State University, students must meet one of the following criteria:
Rank in the top 60% of their graduating class; OR obtain an ACT composite score of 18 or above; OR obtain a high school GPA of at least 2.6 on a 4.0 scale; AND meet the minimum course requirements with an average grade of C (2.0 on a 4.0 scale) or demonstrate appropriate competencies in the discipline areas where course requirements have not been met. Students with a GED score of 225 or above will also be admitted.
Students wishing to enroll in a certificate program will be admitted at Northern State University’s discretion. Applicants need to submit and application for admission (with fee), high school transcript and ACT scores. The ACT score will be waived for students 22 and over.