International Admission Requirements

Admission requirements and how to apply

Learn more below on how to become part of the DSU community.

Undergraduate Requirements

You must meet at least one of these basic requirements.

International undergraduate applicants must meet at least one of these requirements:

  • Have an above-average academic record at least equivalent to a "B-" (2.60 on a 4.00 GPA scale).
  • Be in the top 60% of your class.
  • Get an ACT composite score of 18 or above, or get a subscore on the SAT Reasoning Test Math and Critical Reading of 870 or above

You must have original transcripts.

Please note that your academic transcripts need to be originals or official certified true copies. If your transcripts are not in English, certified true translations must be attached. 

If you're unable to provide transcripts in English, you must have them evaluated by either ECE or WES and have the evaluation sent directly to DSU. All upper secondary school-level work needs to be demonstrated through your transcripts. 

It is common for applicants to submit transcripts prior to completion of their final year of secondary school. If you must submit transcripts prior to completion, please indicate your expected graduation date and send your final transcripts as soon as you are able.

You must be proficient in English.

If you’re not a native speakers of English, you must demonstrate proficiency in English with one of the following exams and the indicated minimum score:

  • TOEFL iBT: 71  minimum score of 17 on both Writing and Speaking
  • TOEFL PBT: 525
  • IELTS: 6.0  no sub score less than 5.5
  • PTE Academic : 50
  • SAT: (Prior to March 2016) Minimum sub score of 450 on both Critical Reading and Writing and Math sub score of 480
  • SAT: (March 2016 or later) Evidence Based Reading and Writing score of 480 and Math score of 510
  • ACT: Minimum sub score of 20 on Writing/English and Math
  • Completion of ELS Level 111
  • GTEC CBT: 1150

Your English proficiency scores must be submitted within two years of the examination date. Please note that an official TOEFL or PTE Academic score must be sent from the testing agency. 

For the TOEFL, the institution code for DSU is 6247.

Transfer Requirements

You are a transfer student if you started post-secondary studies at one college or university and have chosen to move to a different college or university, like Dakota State. If you have completed secondary school and studied one or more subjects at the college or university level (whether based within the US or not) and now want to attend DSU, you are a transfer student.

Transfer student admission is based in part on the quality of your post-secondary school academic record and English proficiency. (Proof of secondary school completion is also required.)

International students transferring from a College or University within the US:

As part of the admission, process, transcripts for international students who are coming to DSU from an educational institution within the US will automatically be sent to the Registrar's Office to be evaluated. This evaluation will determine the number of credits that will transfer to DSU and your class standing.

International students transferring from a College or University outside the US:

If you are a student coming to the US for the first time and you have taken coursework from a post-secondary institution outside of the US, we required that you use one of the following two official websites to evaluate your credits that you've taken. Dakota State University recognizes and accepts evaluations from World Education Services (WES) and Education Credential Evaluators (ECE). If you would like to have an idea about how many credits may transfer BEFORE you arrive to the US, you must provide DSU with either a Course by Course evaluation from WES or a Catalog Match evaluation from ECE.

The cost of the evaluation is paid by you and this process should be started as soon as your receive your visa. Due to the differences in the educational systems around the world, Dakota State University reserves the rights to require you to take the necessary courses to meet the requirements of your desired program. The sooner you complete the credit evaluation process, the better we'll be able to academic advise you.

Applicants should have at least a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
Completed ENGL 101 and 201 (or the equivalent) in the US or proved English proficiency.

English Proficiency

All applicants who are not native speakers of English must demonstrate proficiency in English with one of the following exams and the indicated minimum score.

  • TOEFL iBT: 71  minimum score of 17 on both Writing and Speaking
  • TOEFL PBT: 525
  • IELTS: 6.0  no sub score less than 5.5
  • PTE Academic : 50
  • SAT: (Prior to March 2016) Minimum sub score of 450 on both Critical Reading and Writing and Math sub score of 480
  • SAT: (March 2016 or later) Evidence Based Reading and Writing score of 480 and Math score of 510
  • ACT: Minimum sub score of 20 on Writing/English and Math
  • Completion of ELS Level 111
  • GTEC CBT: 1150

English proficiency scores must be submitted within two years of examination date. An official TOEFL or PTE Academic score must be sent from the testing agency.


Note: Institution code for DSU is 6247 for TOEFL.

Graduate Requirements

International graduate admissions is handled through our Graduate Office.

Learn more about International Grad Admissions

How to Apply

We accept undergraduate applications for the fall semester starting in late August, and we start taking applications for the spring semester in early January.

The application deadlines are:

  • Fall semester: May 15
  • Spring semester: October 15

Here’s what you need to do to apply.

  1. Complete the application online.
  2. Mail in all official academic transcripts, certificates, diplomas, in English (including secondary and post-secondary).
  3. Mail in all ECE reports for any post-secondary coursework completed outside the U.S.
  4. Mail in your official proof of English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE Academic, or ACT/SAT sub-scores).
  5. Send us your official SAT or ACT score report, if applicable.*
  6. Mail in your Certificate of Financial Responsibility (PDF) and bank statements (Please note that federal government regulations require potential students to provide evidence that they have the ability to cover expenses for one academic year.)
  7. Mail in a copy of your current visa and I-20, if you’re presently in the U.S.
  8. Send us your application fee of $20 (payable by credit card or bank check made to Dakota State University).

These documents should be mailed to:

International Programs Office
Dakota State University
820 N. Washington Avenue -- TCB 303
Madison, SD  57042 USA

To avoid any admission delays, please send all of your documents at once.  

Finally, please note that, on admission, proof of two MMR immunizations must be received before your I-20 will be mailed.

* ACT and SAT scores are not required for admission but are required for many of our institutional scholarships.