Distance Ed FAQ

Information to assist Distance Education students in finding the answers and resources they need.

New Student Questions

1. I’ve just been accepted; what do I do now?
2. Do I need to report my immunization records to SDSM&T?
3. How do I register for courses?
4. How do I get books for my courses?
5. How do I pay for my tuition?

Student Services

6. Can I apply for financial aid?
7. Is health insurance available? 
8. How do I check out library materials?
9. Are counseling services available?

Technical Questions

10. What type of computer software do I need for distance courses?
11. What if I have trouble getting into a course, or navigating the course website?

Email Questions

12. What is my Mines email?
13. Do I need my Mines email if I have my personal email account?
14. How do I forward my Mines email to my personal email account?

Taking Courses

15. How do I access my courses?
16. How do I take tests online?
17. Can I come to campus to take a course?

Enrollment Requirements

18. What are the graduation requirements?
19. Do I need to register every semester?
20. What grades are considered passing?
21. What is a student advisory committee?
22. What is a program of study?
23. What do I need to do when I am ready to graduate


New Student Questions ----------


1. I’ve just been accepted; what do I do now?

Your acceptance letter will have been emailed to you as well as a hard copy sent by postal mail. Please review it carefully.  A few things you will need prior to enrolling are:

  • If your bachelor’s degree was not yet awarded at the time you applied, you will need to submit an official copy of your transcript showing the B.S. degree awarded to you. Please submit this to the Office of Graduate Education address provided on the website.
  • Contact your advisor listed in your acceptance letter. Your advisor can tell you what courses are recommended for registration. 
  • Establish your account in the WebAdvisor portal. Your WebAdvisor account will have all of your account information, including registration for future semesters, courses previously taken, financial aid award information, and student account balances. You can access the WebAdvisor portal from any page on our website; click on the WebAdvisor link at the bottom of the page under Academics column.
  • Register for your Mines email account. Your Mines email address is our sole source of communication from the Office of Graduate Education.  You can forward your Mines email to your primary email address, so you don’t have to remember to check a second account. For instructions on how to set up and access your Mines email account, go to the ITS "How Do I?" webpage.

2. Do I need to report my immunization records to SDSM&T?

Immunization records are required for students attending on campus.  They are not required for students attending courses that are coded as distance delivery. However, if you wish to attend any courses coded as campus delivery, you will need to submit an immunization form.  The form is available from the Dean of Students Office, visit their Applications and Forms webpage.

3. How do I register for courses?

Your WebAdvisor account will have all of your account information, including registration for future semesters, courses previously taken, financial aid award information, and student account balances. (You can access the WebAdvisor portal from any page on our website; click on the WebAdvisor link at the bottom of the page under the Academics column.)

Some courses have an on-campus section and an online section; be sure that you select the online section to ensure you are charged the correct tuition rate.

4. How do I get books for my courses?

The required materials for online courses will be found on the course description page on the program website.  Mines Bookstore online is your place for South Dakota School of Mines & Technology textbooks, gear and supplies. Buy or sell used and new textbooks, compare prices to other online competitors, purchase software and gifts - all online.  For more information, visit the Mines Bookstore website. (www.sdsmtbookstore.com).

5. How do I pay for my tuition?

Online payment for tuition and fees can be made via Web Advisor from your home computer or from a campus computer lab. Cashiers will be available in the Student Accounts/Cashiers Office from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm MST for answering on-line payment questions. Failure to make financial arrangements by deadline may result in cancellation of your classes and/or a late payment fee.

Student Services ----------


6. Can I apply for financial aid?

U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. attending online programs are eligible to apply for the same federal financial aid benefits as campus students. Find out more from our Financial Aid office about applying for financial aid. Graduate assistantships are not available for distance students.

7. Is health insurance available?

Health insurance is available for students attending the School of Mines. Find more information on Student Health Insurance here.

8. How do I check out library materials?

The Devereaux Library at SDSM&T is a good resource for online reference materials. Paper materials can be mailed to distance students without fee (students must pay the cost of shipping). Distance students will need to contact the library to register for an ID card prior to checking out materials. For more information, please visit library.sdsmt.edu

9. Are counseling services available?

We offer support to students and assist with a variety of personal, academic, and career concerns. For more information, visit our online information on Counseling.

Technical Questions ----------


10. What type of computer software do I need for distance courses?

The technical requirements for most distance courses can be found on our Distance Education Technical Requirements webpage.

11. What if I have trouble getting into a course, or navigating the course website?

Please visit our Distance Education Get Technical Help webpage.

Email Questions ----------


12. What is my Mines email?

All students are assigned a campus email which is firstname.lastname@mines.sdsmt.edu.  The campus will use this email for all official campus correspondence.  Students are encouraged to check this email on a regular basis.  To login to your mines email account go to:  mail.mines.sdsmt.edu. For the login, your username is firstname.lastname .  The system will add @mines.sdsmt.edu automatically.  Your default password is your birthday + 7 digit id number     mmddyyyy1234567.

13. Do I need my Mines email if I have my personal email account?

The campus will use this email for all official campus correspondence.  Students are encouraged to check this email on a regular basis or forward the email to their personal email account.

14. How do I forward my Mines email to my personal email account?

All student email accounts are set up through google email and you can forward your email to another account that you use.  To forward official correspondence from your Mines email account to another email account, go to http://mail.google.com.  Once you log in to this site, you will see a box with a gear in it.  This is settings link.  Click on it, then click on settings in the drop down menu.  Click on the Forwarding and POP/IMAP link at the top and then click on the Add a Forwarding Address link.

Taking Courses ----------


15. How do I access my courses?

Course access depends on the method of delivery, which can vary by instructor and program. Please visit the course description page for the program you are interested in:

Construction Management  |  Engineering Management  |  Mining Engineering and Mgmt

16. How do I take tests online?

Testing requirements will vary by instructor and program. Please visit the course description page on the program website for more information.

Construction Management  |  Engineering Management  |  Mining Engineering and Mgmt

17. Can I come to campus to take a course?

Students are welcome to take courses via distance learning, on campus, or a blended model of the two. Students attending on campus must submit the required immunization reporting form. Tuition for campus courses are assessed a different rate than distance learning courses.

Enrollment Requirements ----------


18. What are the graduation requirements?

Please review the SDSM&T Graduate Education Policies in the SDSM&T Catalog. 32 credits are required for a non-thesis option, and 30 credits are required for a thesis option (a thesis option is not common in the distance programs).

19. Do I need to register every semester?

Degree seeking graduate students must enroll for a minimum of 2 credits during the spring and fall semesters. A student who is unable to continue his/her program of graduate study due to unanticipated circumstances may request a leave of absence from his/her program of study by completing and submitting a request for leave of absence form (see the Graduate Education Forms webpage)

20. What grades are considered passing?

  • All graduate students must maintain a minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA for all courses taken in all departments which appear on the graduate transcript.  Only courses listed on the graduate transcript are used for computing the graduate GPA.
  • Students must earn a C grade or better in any graduate course (500 through 800 level), which is indicated to be credited toward advanced degree requirements by appearing on the program of study form.
  • Students must earn a B grade or better in any 300 or 400 level course which is indicated to be credited toward advanced degree requirements by appearing on the program of study form.

21. What is a student advisory committee?

Each graduate student is assigned or forms a graduate advisory committee during the first and second semester of study. The graduate advisory committee assists in the supervision of the general study program. The GAC consists of 3 faculty members: a major professor who heads the committee, a graduate division representative selected from a department other than your home program, and a third committee member at large.

22. What is a program of study?

A program of study form is due to the Office of Graduate Education at midterm of the second semester of study or after the completion of 9 credits, whichever is later. The program of study consists of the appointment of the graduate advisory committee, along with a schedule of coursework leading to the advanced degree. Forms are available on Graduate Education Forms webpage.

23. What do I need to do when I am ready to graduate?

Students in their final semester of study will submit the application for graduation, found on the forms page of our website. The program of study form should be current or revised and updated in order to check graduation requirements.