Dec 04, 2022  
2013-2014 Graduate Bulletin 
2013-2014 Graduate Bulletin [Archived Catalog]

Graduate Studies Program


Director of Graduate Studies Message

As a graduate student at Black Hills State University, you have an opportunity to further develop professional skills and abilities to advance your career in education, business, science and strategic leadership. The graduate faculty and administrative staff are committed to offering programs that are relevant, current and challenging in different fields of study in education, science, liberal arts, business and leadership.  Graduate school not only adds value to your life, it provides professional prospects beyond the baccalaureate degree.

Graduate studies at Black Hills State University are designed to offer degrees at the master’s level that will facilitate the personal growth and intellectual development of the studensts, as well as enhance their professional competencies and employment opportunities.  Graduate courses are offered throughout the year, both on campus and through distance education.   The Graduate Studies tradition at Black Hills State University dates from 1958 and has evolved over the years to meet the changing needs of society.   Today, a MBA in Applied Management, a Master of Education in Reading, and Master of Science degrees in Curriculum and Instruction, Integrative Genomics, Secondary Education, Strategic Leadership, and Sustainability are offered. 

Other graduate programs are being designed in the context of the school’s unique strengths, student interests, and career prospects.

Dr. Ahrar Ahmad
Director of Graduate Studies, Black Hills State University


Click on a link to be taken to the entry below.


Administrative Structure of the Program


Graduate Studies is governed by the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Council, and the Graduate Faculty. Each graduate degree program is administered by a Graduate Coordinator who chairs individual graduate faculty committees to develop policies and procedures unique to the different graduate degrees.   These graduate program coordinators serve on the graduate council to oversee the policies and procedures as established by the Board of Regents and the President of the University.  

Director of Graduate Studies


The Director of Graduate Studies is responsible for the overall operation and welfare of the program as well as administering Board of Regents policies and procedures related to graduate education for the South Dakota state system of higher education. The Director is appointed by the President and reports to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Director works closely with the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Graduate Council, the Deans, the individual Graduate Program Coordinators, and the Graduate Faculty to ensure the quality of graduate studies and to strategically plan for growth in graduate studies at the university.


Graduate Program Coordinators


Each degree program is administered by the Dean of the College or Educational Outreach depending upon the individual graduate program structure and has an appointed Graduate Program Coordinator. Each Graduate Program Coordinator is responsible for admitting graduate applicants to the specific graduate degree, overseeing curriculum design and course rigor for the specific graduate degree, providing initial advising for graduate students regarding their overall program of study in the specific graduate degree, ensuring that graduate students complete specific graduate degree and university graduate studies program requirements, and chairing the graduate faculty committees for each degree program. 


Graduate Faculty


Members of the Graduate Faculty who are approved under the policies established by the University teach all courses offered for Graduate credit. The members of the Graduate Faculty also advise students, guide students’ thesis writing, conduct comprehensive examinations, and certify students’ eligibility for graduation. Graduate faculty work with the Director of Graduate Studies and the individual Graduate Program Coordinators to maintain the quality and integrity of the graduate program. The Graduate Faculty is listed at the back of this bulletin.


Graduate Council


The Graduate Council serves as a policy-making body and the Director of Graduate Studies chairs this committee. The Graduate Council is responsible for developing policies and ensuring faculty involvement in administering relevant procedures to sustain a quality graduate program, and advises the Vice President of Academic Affairs on matters related to graduate program requirements and procedures.  The current membership is:

Director of Graduate Studies   Dr. Ahrar Ahmad
Dean of Educational Outreach & Special Programs    
Program Coordinator for Integrative Genomics   Dr. John Dixon
Program Coordinator for Master of Business Administration   Dr. Byron Hollowell
Program Coordinator for Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction/Master of Education in Reading   Dr. Faye LaDuke-Pelster
Program Coordinator for Master of Science in Strategic Leadership   Dr. Thomas Hopewell
Program Coordinator for Master of Science in Sustainability   Dr. Dan Asunskis
Representative from the College of Business and Natural Sciences   Dr. Avi Jain
Representative from the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences   Dr. Vicki Linn
Representative from the College of Liberal Arts   Dr. Parthasarathi Nag
Chief Research Officer  

Dr. Shane Sarver

Graduate Faculty Representative

  Steve Babbitt
Graduate Student Representative   Austin Travis


South Dakota Board of Regents

Dr. Jack R. Warner   Executive Director
Terry Baloun   Highmore
Harvey C. Jewett   Aberdeen
Kathryn Johnson   Hill City
Dean Krogman, President   Brookings
Randall K. Morris, Secretary   Spearfish
Randy Schaefer, Vice-President   Madison
Joseph Schartz   Humboldt
Kevin Schieffer   Sioux Falls
Bob Sutton   Pierre


University Administration

Dr. Kay Schallenkamp              


Dr. Rodney L. Custer  

Provost & Vice President, Academic Affairs

Dr. Curtis Card   Associate VP for Academic Affairs
Ms. Kathy Johnson  

Vice President, Finance & Administration

Dr. Lois Flagstad  

Vice President, Student Life

Mr. Steve Meeker  

Vice President, University Advancement

Mr. Warren Wilson  

Chief Information Officer

Dr. David Wolff  

Dean, College of Arts, Humanities, Mathematics, and Social Sciences

Dr. Patricia Simpson  

Dean, College of Behavioral Sciences and Education

Dr. Priscilla Romkema   Dean, College of Business and Natural Sciences

Dean, Educational Outreach & Special Projects

Dr. Craig Johnson   Dean, University Center - Rapid City

Graduate Student Classification


Graduate students enrolling at Black Hills State University are categorized as non-degree or degree-seeking students.


Non-Degree Graduate Student


The student who does not wish to pursue a degree or who is not permitted to do so is classified as a non-degree graduate student. The purpose of this category is to allow students to experience a variety of graduate courses for personal or professional growth. Non-degree graduate students are allowed to take as many graduate courses as they desire in a variety of areas. To be admitted to non-degree graduate status, the student must submit a completed ‘Application to Graduate Studies’ form. This application form is available online.

The student must also provide official transcripts as evidence of graduation with a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.

Please Note: If a non-degree graduate student decides to pursue a master’s degree, a maximum of ten hours of graded graduate credit (completed while the student was enrolled under the non-degree graduate student classification) will be accepted toward the master’s degree. In special cases, the Graduate Program Coordinator may review an applicant’s transcripts to determine additional graduate credits to be applied toward the degree.


Degree Graduate Student


A student pursuing a program of study leading to an advanced degree is considered to be a degree graduate student. The student’s program of study follows a well-defined sequence of coursework and requires specific courses. In addition to the Application for Admission to Graduate Study required of all graduate students, students enrolled in master’s degree programs must gain admission to the individual graduate degree programs and fulfill all graduate study requirements.  The application to pursue a graduate degree is available online.

The admission process is described below.


Preadmission Immunization Requirements


During the 2007 South Dakota Legislative Session, the Legislature passed a bill to require all students enrolled in post-secondary institutions to furnish evidence of immunity to selected diseases.  It was signed into law by Governor Michael Rounds on March 1st, 2007 and took effect on July 1st, 2008.  A protective measure that reflects current recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this statute was designed to minimize the possibility of disease outbreaks within our campus communities.  To assure consistency with state law, the South Dakota Board of Regents revised its existing immunization policy.  

Effective the 2008-09 academic year, the statute applies to every student (graduate and undergraduate) who has been admitted to a post-secondary institution - either public or private - in the state of South Dakota.  It states that all students who meet established criteria are obliged to demonstrate immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella.  Relevant criteria - i.e., key factors which drive the need for compliance - are delineated below:

  • Age:  students born on or after January 1, 1957 must demonstrate immunity; those born prior to this date are excused.
  • Course schedule:  students who register for two or more credit-bearing classes - and at least one course involves face-to-face contact on a weekly basis for multiple weeks - are obliged to comply.  This includes participation at all campuses, centers (including University Center-Sioux Falls, Capital University Center, and University Center-Rapid City), and miscellaneous off-campus sites.   
  • Academic background:  students who have completed prior collegiate course work in the state of South Dakota (initiated prior to July 1, 2008) are excused from compliance.  Note:  distance course work, dual credit, and credit by exam/validation do not qualify.
  • Acceptable evidence of immunity to each disease includes:

* Immunization record which specifies administration of two doses of vaccine
* Medical laboratory report that verifies presence of disease-specific antibodies in the blood (i.e., positive blood titer)
* Documentation of disease state as diagnosed by a qualified physician

  • The law recognizes that special circumstances may preclude ability to demonstrate compliance as detailed above.  Those students for whom vaccination presents a threat to health/well-being and those who adhere to a religious doctrine that opposes immunizations may petition for a permanent exemption or temporary waiver as appropriate.  Note:  the statue does not allow for philosophical objections.  
  • 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 their university.
  • Vaccination for hepatitis B is required for students before they can be admitted to certain health profession programs. Immunization for tetanus, diphtheria, poliomyelitis, varicella and meningitis is recommended, as is a tuberculin test. Vaccination for hepatitis B is also recommended, and an annual influenza vaccination is recommended for students living in residence halls to minimize disruption of routine activities during influenza outbreaks. 

Admission to Graduate Study


The first step is to apply for admission into the Graduate Program. Graduate students enrolling at Black Hills State University are admitted as U.S. Citizens or International Students.

To be admitted, U.S. Citizens must submit the following items:

  1. A completed online application form for admission to graduate study program.
  2. An official transcript of all college or university credit including both undergraduate and graduate credit, if applicable.
  3. A $35 application fee.
  4. Students attempting to transfer graduate credit into a BHSU degree program should send two official graduate transcripts from each institution.

This information must be sent to the Graduate Studies Office at BHSU, 1200 University, Unit 9501, Spearfish, SD 57799-9501.
Students who wish to pursue a master’s degree at Black Hills State should indicate their intent upon admission to graduate study.
Students who wish to complete graduate credit for professional growth or certification may enroll as a non-degree student.

International Student Admission


To be admitted to graduate study, international students must submit the following items:

International Student Admission Application Form: complete & submit the online application. Incomplete forms will not be accepted.

Application Fee:  $20 USD (undergraduate) OR $35 USD (graduate).  If you wish, you may submit this fee along with the financial documents listed below.

Official Transcripts (translated to English) for secondary school (high school) and postsecondary school (if attended). *Note: An Official Transcript must be sent to our office directly from your school, with either an Official School Stamp or Signature located on the sealed flap of the unopened envelope.

English language proficiency: One (1) of the following must be submitted if English is not your first language:

·         TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) score:

o   PBT (Paper Based TOEFL) minimum 550

o   or IBT (Internet Based TOEFL) minimum of 79

·         IELTS (International English Language Testing System) minimum score of 6.5

·         EIKEN (Exam from Japan’s Society for Testing English Proficiency) minimum Grade 2A

·         ACT (American College Test) minimum score of 19 in English

·         SAT (Scholastic Achievement Test) minimum score of 500 on Verbal

Financial Responsibility:  A letter from a Bank/Broker, Employer or Financial Sponsor is required to document financial ability to cover the costs of attending your studies at BHSU.

Statement of Finances:  International student applicants must complete the International Student Official Statement of Finances form. You must complete this form with ORIGINAL SIGNATURES and mail it to the BHSU Office of International Studies at the address listed below.

Send all Application Materials to:
Dr. James Slate Fleming, Director 
Office of International Studies
1200 University Street, Unit 9519
Spearfish, SD 57799-9519


Graduate Credit for Seniors


Students classified as seniors may request permission to enroll in 500 and 600 level courses for graduate credit. Students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Have fewer than 16 hours of undergraduate work to complete toward a baccalaureate degree.
  2. Have a grade point average of 2.75 or better
  3. Coursework taken for graduate credit will not apply toward the baccalaureate degree.


Academic Requirements for all Graduate Students

  1. All work submitted for a Masters degree, including transferred credit must be taken within a period of six years, calculated from the date of enrollment to the date the degree is completed.
  2. A maximum of ten semester hours of graduate credit may be accepted from other institutions.
  3. No more than six semester hours of independent study will be accepted toward a master’s degree.
  4. The minimum percentage of credit hours in the graduate degree program that must be completed from the institution granting the degree is 60%.
  5. A student must maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 in graduate work. No grade below C will be accepted.
  6. A student must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 to remain in good standing. If GPA drops below 3.00 the student is placed on probation and allowed one semester to raise the GPA to that level.
  7. No more than 2 Cs or 6 hours may be counted toward the degree, even if the GPA exceeds 3.00.
  8. A students GPA is required to be 3.00 or higher to graduate.
  9. Any grade of F places the student on automatic probation and must be repeated. In repeated courses both grades remain on the student’s record and are in the GPA calculation. If the GPA is such that the student cannot possibly raise it to the 3.00 level the student is dismissed.
  10.  A student will be allowed one re-take of a graduate courses (course numbers of 500 and above) for which credit is counted toward graduation only once. The student must petition the Director of Graduate Studies to be permitted to take a graduate course more than two times. At the graduate level, the average of all attempts will count in the cumulative GPA calculation. A student will be allowed unlimited enrollment in a graduate course for which credit toward graduation may be more than once (e.g., Problems courses, Independent Study, Thesis, etc.). All attempts will count toward the cumulative grade point average calculation. However, individual programs of study may limit the number of credits allowed toward graduation in certain courses. The count for retakes will begin with courses in which the student enrolled as of fall semester 2003.
  11. Over half of the hours taken toward the degree must be at the 700 level.
  12. To be classified as a full-time student, students must enroll in a minimum of 9 hours per semester. However, because the Master of Science in Integrative Genomics has the requirement of research activity, full time enrollment is 8 credit hours per semester. Half time status requires the student to enroll in a minimum of 4.5 hours. Halftime status is required for financial aid eligibility.
  13. During the regular academic year, the maximum course load is 12 hours per semester. During the summer semester, the maximum course load is nine 9 credits per session.


Graduate Assistant Responsibilities

  1. The graduate assistant is expected to work twenty (20) hours a week for the semester or year of the assistantship.
  2. The assistant must be enrolled for nine (9) hours or more to receive full pay ($3,000) per semester or ($6,000) per year. Because the Master of Science in Integrative Genomics has the requirement of research activity, full time enrollment is 8 credit hours per semester. An assistant enrolled for 6-8 hours will receive 1/2 pay ($1,500) per semester or ($3,000) per year. An assistant enrolled in fewer than six hours will lose the assistantship and compensation for that semester.
  3. Graduate assistants shall be assessed one-third (1/3) of the resident graduate tuition rates. This applies only to full-time enrollment in courses that are fully state funded.
  4. Graduate assistants during the summer must be enrolled in at least six hours of state supported graduate courses.
  5. Student must maintain a GPA of 3.00 to remain in good standing. If GPA drops below 3.00 the student is placed on probation until the GPA is raised to that level.
  6. Failure to fulfill these guidelines may result in the student forfeiting or paying back the assistantship. 


Tuition & Fees Rates 2013-14


Students will be required to pay their full tuition and fee bill or make other financial arrangements no later than the first business day after census. Classes added after the semester due date are expected to be paid for when added. A late payment fee may be assessed on payments made after the Semester due date.

No student is officially enrolled until all financial obligations have been paid. This, however, does not mean that students can register and simply not attend a class without incurring a financial obligation to the university. Students who are in any way financially indebted to the university or who have failed to account for university property placed in their possession will be denied university services, including class registrations and transcripts of grades, until they have made satisfactory settlement.

SDePay is used for payment of tuition and fees.

Alternate Payment Plans - Black Hills State University provides the option of a monthly payment plan for tuition & fees and on-campus room & board for the fall and spring semesters. Contact the Student Financial Services at 605-642-6480 for further information. The total cost of a course is the combination of tuition and appropriate fees, times the number of credit hours for the course.  Tuition & Fees are listed as per semester hour.

Resident Graduate
Resident Graduate Assistant
Resident Graduate Over 65
Resident Graduate State Employee
Resident Graduate Teacher Certification
Non-Resident Graduate
Western Regional Graduate Program (MS.IG students)

General Activity Fee
University Support Fee
School of Business Fee (GR, per credit hour)
Lab Fee
Graduate Application Fee (one time)
International Student Fee (one time)


$ 67.25
$ 50.45

$ 30.95
$ 90.30
  $ 51.40
$ 56.40
$ 35.00

General Activity Fee - per credit hour - supports student functions related to the co-curricular activities and operations of student union buildings, athletics, student organizations activities, homecoming, student government, child care, student newspaper, campus radio/TV, intramurals, and the cost of providing outpatient clinical services to students. (See undergraduate catalog for a more complete description)

University Support Fee - per credit hour - supports the instructional and administrative service areas related to the institutional mission including direct instruction, libraries, computer centers, administrative offices, maintenance & repair, and includes the Board of Regents’ approved Salary Competitiveness Fee to increase faculty & non-faculty exempt salaries and the technology fee. (See undergraduate catalog for a more complete description)

Lab Fee - per course - laboratory fees shall be used to purchase instructional equipment and pay other operating costs, excluding salaries, for the benefit of students enrolled in the course.

Tuition and Fees - For questions regarding tuition and fees contact Student Financial Services, 605-642-6527.

Financial Aid - Financial Aid may be available for graduate students who have the necessary qualifications. For more information, contact Student Financial Services, 605-642-6051.

Books and Supplies - Students may purchase their books and other supplies from the University Bookstore, which is located in the  Student Union, 605-642-6636.

Housing Accommodations


Black Hills State University has on-campus housing available for students. Students living in the residence halls are required to purchase the meal plans during the session they are enrolled, while off-campus students may purchase such meal plans if they desire.  For other housing options, please call 605-642-6464.


Grades and Use of Grade Point Averages (GPA)


Final grades will not be mailed; students may get their final grades from WebAdvisor using their id and password information. Final grades are posted to WebAdvisor by faculty and are due on the third day following the last day of final exams. Students may obtain an official transcript from the Registrar’s Office for a fee of $5.00. This request must be requested in writing with the student’s signature. An unofficial transcript may be requested in person at no charge.

Above Average
Lowest Passing Grade
In Progress
Credit by Exam
Note for NSE/MEDT
Lab grade
No Grade
Not Reported by Instructor
                    4.00 grade points per semester hour
3.00 grade points per semester hour
2.00 grade points per semester hour
1.00 grade points per semester hour
0.00 grade points per semester hour
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA, no credit
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA
Does not calculate into any GPA, no credit
0 credit course
0 credit tracking course
Does not calculate into any GPA

W = Withdrawal - A “W” grade will be given to a student if they drop a course, or withdraw from the system, from the day after census date (10% of instruction) until 70% of the class days have been held.

S or U = Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory - Some classes and workshops may be taken pass/fail at the option of the student with the approval of the instructor and the appropriate College Dean. The decision to take a course for pass/fail must be made within the drop/add period and is irreversible once the drop/add period is over. Students in blocked health and physical education classes must make the decision no later than the fourth class period. These courses will be graded with “S” - satisfactory or “U” - unsatisfactory. These courses are recorded on the transcript, counted in calculating undergraduate full/part-time status, counted in calculated attempted/completed credits and count towards financial aid eligibility.

Students considering transferring graduate work or advanced degree work should use caution when considering taking a course pass/fail (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) as some institutions will not accept courses taken pass/fail.

AU = Auditing Courses - Registration as an auditor is enrollment for information instruction only. Regular attendance at class or classes is customary without other participation and without credit. The cost to audit a course is the established Board of Regents approved tuition and fee rate. Registration for audit may be limited by space or permission of the instructor. The decision to audit a course must be made prior to the census date of the semester and is irreversible after census. Forms to audit a course are available in the Registrar’s Office.

Courses audited by graduate students will be recorded on the academic transcript. A transcript notation of “AU” will be given in each course audited. Audited courses are counted in the calculation of overloads. Audit courses are not counted in calculating undergraduate or graduate full-time student status or for the purposes of financial aid or athletic eligibility. Audit courses cannot be used as a basis for testing out of a course for a letter grade or as prerequisites.

I = Incomplete - An incomplete grade may be granted only when all of the following conditions apply:

  -   75% of the required course work, including homework, exams, projects, and papers must have been completed.
  -   A student has encountered extenuating circumstances that do not permit him/her to complete the course.
  -   The student must be earning a passing grade at the time the Incomplete is necessitated. Anticipated course failure is not a justification for an incomplete.
  -   The student does not have to repeat the course to meet the requirements.
  -   The instructor must agree to grant an incomplete grade.
  -   The instructor and student must agree on a plan to complete the coursework.
  -   The coursework must be completed within one semester; extensions may be granted by the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  -   If the student completes the course within the specified time, the grades that may be assigned are A, B, C, D, F, S, RS, RU, or U.
  -   If the student does not complete the course within the specified time, the grade assigned will be F (Failure) or U (Unsatisfactory) or RU (Remedial Unsatisfactory) if the student had requested S/U within the time specified in BOR policy 2:6.9.

NG = No Grade - A grade of NG will be used only with those course sections that are designated as Tracking/Program Sustaining (Q) and those that are assigned the code for Master’s Research Problems/Projects Sustaining, Thesis Sustaining, or Dissertation Sustaining (U).

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