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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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Admission to Graduate Studies

​If you're planning to enroll in courses for graduate credit, then plan to apply for admission to graduate study - it's required, whether you intend to complete a degree program or not.


To Apply
1. Complete the Graduate Application Online Form.

2. Submit an official transcript.  Students who did not receive a bachelor's degree from a SD Regental University must provide an official transcript of all college or university credits including both undergraduate and graduate credit, if applicable;
3. Submit $35 application fee;
4. Provide 2 letters of reference addressing your potential for success in graduate study;
5. And, if applying for admission to school and clinical mental health counseling programs, schedule a personal interview.
If you'd like to pursue a master's degree at Northern, please declare this intent when admitted to graduate study. If you'd like to complete graduate credit for professional growth or certification purposes, you may enroll in a nondegree program. However, only 10 semester hours of nondegree credit may be applied toward a degree program at a later date.
Admission as Candidate for a Master's Degree
The minimum grade point average for admission to a master's degree program is an overall 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. 
Provisional Admission
Candidates unable to meet the requirements for admission to a degree program 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.
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 Advanced Intensive English Program for TOEFL scores of 71-78 or IELTS score of 5.5.
International students also must provide evidence of their ability to finance a program of study without assistance from Northern State University. 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, her or his spouse and any other accompanying dependents.
Teacher Education Certification
A master's degree does not certify you to teach, administer, or counsel in public schools; you must be eligible for a teaching certificate or its equivalent. Please check certification requirements in the state in which you intend to teach.