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Undergraduate Admission

A student holding a bachelor’s degree and interested in working toward a graduate degree shall submit a graduate application and support documentation prior to review for acceptance.  All material should be sent to the DWU Office of Admissions.  No applicant shall be barred from admission because of race, color, gender, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. The university reserves the right to deny admission or continued enrollment to any student who imposes an unreasonable risk of harm to the health, safety, welfare or property of the university, members of the university community or him/herself.  The application for graduate admission will become part of the student’s record at Dakota Wesleyan University.

Application Procedure
Students will be considered for graduate admission when they present:

  • Complete graduate application for admission. 
  • Graduate application fee of $50.  The fee is nonrefundable.
  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended - undergraduate and graduate.
  • Statement of purpose and philosophy, an essay that addresses the following questions:
    • Why are you pursuing this degree? 
    • How does this match your career goals? 
    • What attracted you to this particular program?
  • Current resume.
  • Three letters of recommendation confirming applicants character and ability to do graduate work.

The secondary certification and degree program requires the applicant to pass the state certification content-specific Praxis II test before full acceptance can be granted into the teacher education program.  A criminal background check is also required.

All students born after 1956 must provide documentation of two MMR vaccines and, if the student is carrying six or more credit hours, proof of major medical insurance.

Certain programs may require additional admittance criteria (GRE, minimum GPA, or appropriate test scores). See program for additional admittance requirements.

Absent an approved leave of absence, any student who has not been enrolled at the university for two continuous semesters must reapply for admission to the university.   Individuals who wish to return after they have been awarded a degree must also reapply.

Applicants to the graduate program who do not meet all admission requirements may be accepted on a provisional or conditional basis as determined by the graduate studies committee.  An appeal process is in place for those applications that are denied.  A written appeal should be sent to the office of admissions within a reasonable amount of time for review by the Graduate Studies Committee.

Deadlines for Application
Applications will be taken at any time; however, consideration will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.  There are three terms for the graduate program: fall, spring and summer.  Preference will be given to applications received by:

  • Aug. 1 for fall admittance
  • Dec. 1 for spring admittance
  • April 1 for summer admittance (May term included)

Acceptance Status
Full Acceptance
Full acceptance is granted to degree-seeking students when all admission requirements are met.  Students must begin their studies by the semester following full acceptance.

Provisional Acceptance
Granted to degree-seeking students whose undergraduate academic records do not meet graduate requirements, or who have not yet met all additional requirement for the program but who show promise or potential for graduate study.  The provisional status of acceptance will be reviewed after one semester of graduate coursework.

Conditional Acceptance
Conditional acceptance is granted on rare occasion to degree-seeking students who do not meet graduate admission standards but show promise or potential for graduate study.  Specific guidelines to the condition of acceptance will be outlined and expected to be fulfilled within one academic semester. 

Non-degree Seeking – Special Student
Students not working toward a degree are classified as special students.  A special student will only be allowed enrollment in graduate courses with space available. Priority will be given to students with full acceptance and provisional status. Special students are to register for classes at the registrar’s office and do not need to go through the admission process. 

International Students
Dakota Wesleyan University graduate students come from a wide variety of backgrounds, cultures and geographic locations.  International students improve the community with their own unique points of view and cultural heritage. Consequently, all students find themselves immersed in a multicultural environment thriving with opportunities for learning.   In welcoming students of all nationalities, races and faiths, Dakota Wesleyan seeks to treat each student equally, fairly and as an individual.  International students who have completed secondary school are encouraged to apply to Dakota Wesleyan University, but must adhere to the following admission requirements:

  • complete the International Application for Admission;
  • complete all required paperwork outlined above under “Graduate Application Procedures”;
  • provide official academic records, all postsecondary education, with certified English translation;
  • demonstrate English proficiency for students from countries where English is not the native language, verified by the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination.  TOEFL scores of at least 500 (paper based) or 200 (computer based) or better are required; and
  • Prove financial responsibility and fulfillment of health requirements.

Graduate Assistant Program
The following is the policy for admission to the graduate assistant program:

  1. All graduate assistant applicants must be fully accepted into the master’s program before a contract is issued to the applicant.
  2. All international graduate assistant candidates must meet the international student acceptance requirements and complete the international application for admission.  The candidates must be fully accepted into the master’s program as well as meet the international student application requirements before DWU will issue a contract or an I-20.  This applies to all international students even if they are transferring from another USA-based school. No contract will be issued until the student has been fully accepted into the program and has met all the international requirements. 

Acceptance process

  • Complete the graduate student application procedure.
  • International G.A. applicants need to complete the international graduate application.
  • Applicants need to be fully accepted by the Graduate Studies Committee.
  • Acceptance letter is sent to student by the admissions office in conjunction with the Director of the graduate program.
  • Acceptance letter (courtesy copy) is sent to the human resource director and the assistant athletic director where applicable.
  • A contract is mailed to the student.
  • Student accepts the contract.
  • If student is an international student, an I-20 is issued to the student from the provost’s office.

All students accepted into the G.A. program must realize that the graduate school’s program requirements will take precedence over all other university departments. Students who feel that this may present a conflict or problem should consider whether to apply to the G.A. program.

Financial Aid
Students may be eligible for government loans, grants or graduate assistant programs. All financial aid is administered through the DWU Financial Aid Office located in the Rollins Campus Center. Please contact the financial aid department for information regarding all financial aid options or contact the program director who can put you in contact with the appropriate person. 

Program Requirements
Students are expected to attend all classes and online sessions unless prevented by an extenuating circumstance. Because effective learning in a university requires active involvement of both the student and the instructor, students will be expected to work with instructors on an individual basis regarding absences.  Students at Dakota Wesleyan University are expected to be responsible for the learning that may develop, both in class and elsewhere and should report to instructors any necessary absences as far in advance as possible. Specific attendance policies for each course will be determined by the individual instructors, according to the nature of the course, and placed in the syllabus. Students must accept responsibility for fulfilling all course requirements. In the case where the absence is unforeseen or unavoidable, it is the responsibility of the student to contact the instructor as soon as possible.  If the instructor is unreachable, the student may contact the director of the graduate program, but does not guarantee an excused absence or reason for not completing an assignment.  In addition, due to the time frame of each course, missing three classes or sessions can result in an automatic failure.  If you anticipate the possibility of missing three or more classes for any course consult the director immediately. 

Registration Procedure
After meeting with an adviser, students can enroll in courses in their program through TigerNet or the registrar’s office. 

A student must finalize with the business office at the beginning of each semester or session.  Finalizing involves paying or making acceptable arrangements to pay all costs incurred by the registration and meeting all other administrative requirements.

Student Services
The graduate school director, staff and faculty members are available to help students throughout their graduate education career. Assistance with registration, advising and other matters are provided through the school. All facilities, academic services and student life services of the university are open to graduate students. These include but are not limited to the McGovern Library, Rollins Campus Center, the Sherman Center, Wagner Chapel, the student services center, student activities and recreational facilities.

Student Rights and Responsibilities
Graduate students are afforded all the rights and responsibilities applicable to undergraduates.
As such, graduate students are asked to support and promote the values of Dakota Wesleyan University, including concerns involving ethics, a code of conduct and academic integrity. For more information please refer to the Dakota Wesleyan University undergraduate catalog for details.

Student Disability Services and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):
Any student who believes he or she may need academic accommodations or access accommodations based on the impact of a documented disability is encouraged to contact and register with Student Disability Services no later than three weeks after the first day of classes. Student Disability Services is the official office to assist students through the process of disability verification and coordination of appropriate and reasonable accommodations. Students currently registered with Student Disability Services must obtain a new accommodation memo each semester.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guarantees the privacy of students with disabilities.

For more information, questions, and/or accommodation arrangement, contact:
Donna Dunn, Coordinator of Student Disability Services
Office: McGovern 231
Phone: (605) 995-2904
Fax: (605) 995-2660

Transfer of Credit
In general, students applying for admission to this program will be expected to complete all coursework within the program. The transfer of graduate credit is not automatic.  Students should assume that all previous graduate coursework will not be automatically accepted into the program. 

However, DWU does recognize that certain courses completed at previous institutions may be transferrable.  Dakota Wesleyan University will handle each request for transfer on a case-by-case situation.  Before credit earned at other institutions will be added to the student’s records at DWU, students will need to meet with the director of the graduate programs and obtain written permission.  If such course or courses are allowed, only grades of B or above will be considered for transfer to DWU.  In general, no more than six hours may be transferred into the program. All transfer credit must have been completed within six years of acceptance into the DWU graduate program.  Any appeal for transfer credits will be made through the dean and the program committee. 

Institutional Assessment
In its efforts to improve the quality of instruction at Dakota Wesleyan University and meet the requirements of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, the university and the graduate program have elected to engage in outcome-based assessment activities.  Data generated from these assessment activities will be analyzed and recommendations will be developed to improve the educational activities of the graduate programs.  In order to accomplish these efforts, students will be invited, encouraged and expected to participate in assessment activities.

Course Load
Graduate students may take a full-time load of nine credit hours per semester.  They may take up to 12 credit hours with approval of their adviser and up to15 credit hours with approval of the college dean.  Total credit hours include undergraduate and graduate.

Grading System
The minimum passing grade in any class is a C. Students must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA in all courses to graduate from the program.  Each course’s grading scale will be determined by the instructor.

Academic Probation
Students with a cumulative GPA lower than 3.0 within the program will be placed on academic probation. After two semesters on probation, students may be dropped from the program. A decision will be made by the program director on each case. Students have the ability to appeal the decision to the graduate studies committee.

Students who believe they have not been graded fairly and wish to appeal must initiate the proper appeals process within 30 days after the grade has been received.  The appeals process consists of the following steps:

  • Discuss the grade in question with the instructor.
  • Consult with the director of the graduate program.
  • Consult with the dean of the college of the sponsoring graduate program.
  • File an official written appeal of the grade to the chairman of the Graduate Policies Committee.

A student may also appeal a decision to drop the student from a program following academic probation using the following process:

  • Consult with the director of the graduate program.
  • Consult with the dean of the college of the sponsoring graduate program.
  • File an official written appeal letter to the chairman of the Graduate Policies Committee.

Repeating a Course
A graduate student may choose to repeat a course in which the earned grade was C- or lower. Prior to repeating a course, the student will need to consult with the program director.  Please be advised that students will be responsible for paying any additional charges associated with taking the course again.  In addition, students should be advised that the better grade will apply to the GPA.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Federal regulations require that colleges and universities have established standards of satisfactory academic progress for students who receive federal financial aid. In order to maintain a consistent policy for all students receiving financial assistance, Dakota Wesleyan University has adopted certain policies that can be found either by contacting the financial aid office or as outlined in the academic catalog.

Academic Integrity Policy
Dakota Wesleyan University is dedicated to the achievement of academic excellence, the building of character and to the pursuit of lifelong learning.  To be successful in realizing these goals, honesty and integrity must be a part of every learning opportunity on campus.  Academic dishonesty breaks the trust necessary for the building of community and the promotion of learning and spiritual values.  All members of the institution, including faculty, staff and students, share the responsibility to report incidents of academic dishonesty.

Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, any act of cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, abuse of resources, forgery of academic documents, dissimulation, sabotage and any act of facilitating or aiding any of the foregoing.

The following definitions are listed to clarify this policy, not to define all possible situations:

  • Cheating is using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information or study aids in any academic exercise.

Examples: copying homework, copying someone else’s test, using unauthorized information such as a cheat sheet.

  • Fabrication is the falsification or invention of any information or citation in any academic exercise.

Examples: making up a source, giving an incorrect citation, misquoting a source.

  • Plagiarism is the representation of the words and ideas of another as one’s own in any academic exercise.
  • Dissimulation is the disguising or altering of one’s own actions so as to deceive another about the real nature of one’s actions concerning an academic exercise.

Examples: fabricating excuses for such things as missing classes, postponing tests, handing in late papers; turning in a paper for one class that was originally written for another class (when original work is requested).

  • Abuse of resources is the damaging of any resource material or inappropriate limiting of access to resource material necessary for academic work.

Examples: destroying or hiding library materials; removing noncirculating material from the library; hiding or stealing another person’s textbook, notes or software; failure to return library materials when requested by the library.

  • Forgery of academic documents is the unauthorized changing or construction of any academic document.

Examples: changing transcripts, changing grade books, changing grades on papers that have been returned, forging signatures.

  • Aiding and abetting academic dishonesty is knowingly facilitating any of the facts described in this policy or any other incidents of academic dishonesty not specifically described.
  • Signing other students in to class when they are not present.
  • Use of electronic devices, when not authorized, to cheat.

Instructors are encouraged to discuss this policy with their classes at the start of each term and to list the first paragraph of this policy in their syllabi, with references to the complete listing of the policy in this catalog and the DWU Student Handbook.

Violations of Academic Integrity Policy
Dakota Wesleyan University has taken a strong and clear stand regarding academic dishonesty.  The consequence for academic dishonesty ranges from disciplinary probation to removal from the graduate program.  For more information please refer to the Graduate Handbook.

Academic Performance Not Directly Related to Coursework
Graduate students are asked to support and promote the values of Dakota Wesleyan University involving ethics, a code of conduct and academic integrity.  The dean of graduate studies may dismiss students for violations of professional integrity, upon recommendation by the director of the graduate program and pending review of the Graduate Studies Committee. 

Any appeal of this decision will be reviewed by an academic integrity committee consisting of the director of the graduate program, director of graduate studies and college dean.  Any student has the right to appeal the decision of the academic integrity committee, in writing, to the provost, whose decision is final.

Withdraw Procedure
A graduate student who finds it necessary to withdraw from Dakota Wesleyan at any time while classes are in session should contact the registrar’s office to complete the withdrawal process.  The official date of withdraw will be the date the student contacts the program director with the expressed intent to withdraw even if the individual was not able to meet with the director in person or the withdrawal was not processed that day.

Refundable fees will be prorated according to the established university schedule (16-17 week semester) below.

First week

100 percent

Second and third week

90 percent

Fourth week

80 percent

Fifth and sixth week

70 percent

Seventh and eighth week

60 percent

Ninth week

50 percent

10th week

40 percent

After 10th week


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Last updated: 9/17/12