Mines News

Release Date Tuesday, October 20, 2020

South Dakota Mines Offers Test-Optional Alternatives in Student Applications

In previous years, about 80% of applicants were accepted at Mines. This high acceptance rate is expected to continue.

South Dakota Mines will follow the Board of Regents (BOR) policies that allow students to apply for admissions without an ACT or SAT test score.

“The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted test taking and created unique challenges for prospective students and families as they plan for college,” said BOR Executive Director and CEO Brian L. Maher, PhD. Maher said current admissions standards at the six public universities make submitting an ACT or SAT score optional for students in the upcoming year.

Current South Dakota Board of Regents policies allow students admission to Mines based on various academic criteria, including: 

  • High school grade point average (GPA), or
  • High school class rank, or
  • ACT or SAT test scores, or
  • Smarter Balanced test scores completed in the junior year of high school. 

Students have multiple pathways to be accepted at South Dakota Mines and those who are interested in learning more about attending Mines have multiple options to explore college life as a Hardrocker. 

“Many students have had difficulty taking standardized tests; we also want to make sure they have ample opportunity to visit South Dakota Mines in-person before making a final college decision,” says Molly Moore, associate provost for academic administration. The next “Go to Mines” open house on Nov. 7 is an opportunity for in-person campus visits. Students and their families can also schedule personalized visits throughout the week.  Virtual visits are an excellent alternative for anyone who is unable to travel at the present time. 

In previous years, about 80% of applicants were accepted at Mines. This high acceptance rate is expected to continue. “The rigor of study at Mines should not scare anyone away,” says Mines President Jim Rankin. “We have a proud history of transforming students who are curious and tenacious into science and engineering leaders that change the world.” 

South Dakota Mines is ranked number one among the top engineering school in the nation for value. Mines is among the nation’s leading engineering, science, and technology universities that deliver a best-in-class education at an affordable price. Mines graduates earn an average starting salary of more than $66,500 and remain in demand even during the current economic downturn with a 96% job placement rate in their field of study.

South Dakota Mines admissions staff recommend that prospective students submit test scores if they have them, as those scores may be used for accurate course placement. In some cases, test scores could also improve a student’s opportunity to gain admission into certain programs and maximize scholarship opportunities. Students do not need to wait to apply until after testing as the tests are not required for admission. 

Students and their families should contact the South Dakota Mines admissions office to learn more about test-optional practices at Mines.


About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,475 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 96 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $66,500. For these reasons College Factual ranks South Dakota Mines, the #1 Engineering School for Return on Investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram and Snapchat.  

Contact: Mike Ray, 605-394-6082, mike.ray@sdsmt.edu

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