This is an evolving situation. Please check back often as the questions and answers here are likely to be updated as the circumstances change.  

Academics  | Campus Life  | Canceled Events  | CARES Act Fund  | Dining  | Employee  | Health and Prevention  | Grad Students  | If a Student Gets Sick  | International Students  | Music  | Residence Life  | Schedule Change  | Travel  | Visitors and Guests


Is there space on campus to take an online class immediately before/after a face-to-face class?

Information Updated as of: 8/14/20 8:55am

There are a limited number of seats available on campus for non-residential students to take an online class on campus that occurs immediately before or after an in person class.

  1. Classrooms not scheduled for in person classes will be scheduled for Zoom class seating for non-residential students Monday – Friday from 7:30am – 4:30pm.
  2. Students must reserve their seat for their Zoom class time through an online scheduling system
  3. The seats are  numbered in the reservation system for scheduling purposes, but once the seats are reserved, they are first come, first served within that classroom.
  4. Students must include their name and course they are taking. 
  5. Students may reserve that seat for the duration of their class.
  6. Students are responsible for canceling their reservation if it is not being used. Please email if you need to cancel or change your reservation. Reservations with repetitive non-use of reserved seat will be cancelled.
  7. Multiple students will be in the same classroom. Students must use headphones for all Zoom classes and keep any noise to a minimum.
  8. Students are responsible for using the cleaning supplies provided in the classroom to clean their area.
  9. In person academic classes have priority over classrooms. If a face-to-face class requires a room that has been reserved for Zoom seating, the Zoom seating reservations will be moved to another location or cancelled.
  10. Drop in Zoom seating will be available in the Surbeck Lobby, Surbeck Ballroom outside of mealtimes, and various other location around campus (Quad, CBEC courtyard, department-controlled spaces, main floor of Library, if available)

Will professors have office hours and be available for academic advising?

Information Updated as of: 7/31/20 8:15am

Faculty will continue to provide academic advising and office hours.  The format of these meetings will be up to the faculty and department; however, it is anticipated that many of these meetings will be virtual.

Will tutoring be available?

Information Updated as of: 8/27/20 3:36pm

Yes. This summer, we launched a tutoring app called “Knack” to manage online tutoring.  Knack efficiently connects students with Mines tutors and allows students and tutors to schedule sessions at their convenience – sort of the “Uber” of tutoring. Appointments can be scheduled online at If you have any questions about working with these tutors or how to best navigate the Knack platform, please email or contact Knack support directly through the help center. 

How much shorter is the fall semester this year?

Information Updated as of: 7/31/20 8:15am

The revised semester will be shorter by only one day. The new schedule results in 70 class days versus 71 class days for a normal semester.

How will I know in which format my classes are offered?

Information Updated as of: 7/23/20 3:40pm

To determine if your classes are online or face-to-face, you will need to check your schedule in Self-Service Banner. Once you download your schedule, check beneath the heading “Schedule Type” and you will see either “Online” or “Face-to-Face.”

  • Online
    • Asynchronous – An online course that does not meet at a designated time for lectures or discussion and delivers course content through directed readings, videos, discussion boards, and other online tools.
    • Synchronous – An online course where the instructor requires students to meet virtually at a given time to watch real-time lectures or participate in class or group discussions.
  • Face-to-face
    • Hybrid – An on-campus course that combines in-person instruction with flexible, guided online activities (either asynchronous or synchronous) for all students.
    • Mixed mode – An on-campus course where some students alternate attending lectures in-person and via online synchronously. All students may also be able to watch recorded lecture videos.
    • In person – An on-campus course where all students are expected to attend lectures in-person.

How will I know what is expected in my classes?

Information Updated as of: 7/23/20 3:40pm

Each faculty member will provide specific instructions regarding course logistics. These will be posted before the semester begins on the D2L homepage for each of your courses. Here is an example of where this information will be found in D2L:

D2L Course Information

Do online courses cost more than face to face courses?

Information Updated as of: 7/16/20 9:27am

The online rate is $351.25 per credit hour.  At first glance on your invoice it may appear that the online rate is more expensive than the Resident in-person rate of $257.95.  Added to the basic in-person rate is a General Activity Fee (GAF) of $48.85 and a Special Discipline Fee (SDF) (the course fee for that face-to-face class) of $84.40 for a total of $391.20 per credit hour.  Consequently, the online course rate is a little less.

How will final exams be administered at the end of the fall semester?

Information Updated as of: 8/27/20 3:36pm

Finals week has been moved to December 2-8, 2020.  Please review your course syllabus for details.  

What do online classes look like?

Information Updated as of: 8/27/20 3:36pm

All summer, faculty were learning and exploring online teaching techniques to make the instructional experience highly interactive, supportive, and effective.  They learned to use multiple online tools to create learning environments in which you interact and collaborate with other students and have the experiences, such as teaming, presenting, and creating, you expect and want.  Labs and field experiences have been re-tooled to ensure they are effective and engaging regardless of how the public health circumstances evolve.    

Are classes offered online if a student does not want to attend in person?

Information Updated as of: 8/27/20 3:36pm

Because social distancing is so important in everything we do on campus, classroom capacities have been significantly reduced. To that end, faculty have found ways to conduct classes where students rotate into the face-to-face portion of the course one day of the week and attend live via Zoom on the other days. This ensures the number of students in a class at any given time are below the maximum allowed for social distancing, yet students can join lectures live, interact with the professor and other students, and remain safe during this time. For smaller enrollment courses, faculty have developed “hybrid” models where students attend some instruction face-to-face and some instruction online. Labs are generally planned to be face-to-face with proper social distancing and cleaning protocols in place to ensure safety.

How do you practice social distancing in the classrooms and labs?

Information Updated as of: 8/27/20 3:36pm

Classroom spaces have been adjusted with desks and tables being spread out which allows for less students in the classroom. For this reason, each lecture is offered both in person and synchronous online (and recorded), allowing us to have a staggered schedule for face-to-face teaching. Students alternate days in the classroom with days online. Courses with a smaller number of students have been moved to a much larger classroom that can handle the entire class roster while ensuring proper social distancing. We have also added lab sections to allow for less students in the lab at one time. Classroom and lab space is properly cleaned on a more frequent basis to minimize the ability of the virus to survive on surfaces.  Students and faculty are required to follow the Face Covering Protocol.  The current protocol level the university is operating at will always be announced at the top of our website. 

Campus Life

Is there a system in place to assist student organizations in keeping events safe?

Information Updated as of: 8/27/20 3:36pm

The Rockers Return Plan includes a protocol for student groups.  In essence, to support a healthy learning environment, student organization members are asked to follow specific guidelines in order to maintain a healthy campus in accordance with CDC, South Dakota Department of Health, local officials and South Dakota Mines policies.  A training for student organizations is provided and student organizations may want to identity a designated member to oversee and enforce safety guidelines at meetings and events. When holding meetings, organizations should provide multiple options for student participation to allow all individuals to participate who wish to do so, which could include face-to-face in compliance with physical distancing; Zoom participation; or a combination there-of. 

Athletics, music, CAMP, and other groups have additional protocols and procedures. 

Will I be able to participate in activities outside the classroom?

Information Updated as of: 8/27/20 3:36pm

Yes. We are encouraging students to get involved in at least one of over 100 student organizations, clubs, and intramurals. These will function with health and safety protocols in place.  

What resources are available if I’m struggling with courses or emotionally?

Information Updated as of: 8/27/20 3:36pm

The Student Success Center is the resource for tutoring, mentoring and advising. Please reach out for help with an academic concern.

The Counseling Center provides services in a safe and effective manner, including telehealth services. If you’re feeling stressed out, try this Stress and Depression Screening Tool. 

Canceled Events 

How are you deciding which events to cancel? 

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

Today and in the days and weeks ahead, we will be carefully reviewing events scheduled to take place on campus and following recommendations from the CDC and South Dakota Department of Health. If events are non-time critical or non-essential in nature, we may ask that they be held virtually or postponed. Updates will be added to this website as decisions are made.  

CARES Act Emergency Student Funding FAQs

How is South Dakota Mines implementing the CARES Act?

Information Updated as of: 5/27/20 3:30pm
On April 23, 2020, President Rankin signed the Certification and Agreement to participate in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act relative to Student Assistance funding.  By signing the document, he certified that the School of Mines has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. More information on CARES Act funding to our university can be found at


What is a one-stop meal station? 

Information Updated as of: 8/4/20 12:15pm

You will receive everything for your meal at one point of service. There will be two meal options to choose from, one always the comfort meal (entrée, vegetable, side) and the other a rotation of the closed stations (grill, pizza, deli). Each meal will include a pre-package side salad, whole fruit, dessert and a beverage.

Is it still All-You-Care-to-Eat? 

Information Updated as of: 8/4/20 12:15pm

Yes. For those who would like additional portions after visiting the one-stop meal station, we ask that you re-enter the line so we can continue serving all of our guests as providing great service to all of our guests is our priority. The register will not charge an additional meal, but will let us know that you have already paid for your meal.

Will there be seating? 

Information Updated as of: 8/4/20 12:15pm

There will be limited seating in the Hardrocker Café and Surbeck Ballroom. Due to social distancing expectations, we are focusing on meals being taken to go. We highly encourage our guests to participate in the reusable to-go program for a one-time $10 fee. We also have a disposable to-go option for $.50.

Are meal plans being adjusted? 

Information Updated as of: 8/4/20 12:15pm

The South Dakota Board of Regents have determined a pro-rated cost to the meal plans for fall semester. The flex on each plan will remain as usual with the quantity of board meals associated with each plan adjusted to align with the pro-rated cost of the plan.


Who should I notify if I am experiencing symptoms and/or have tested positive for COVID-19? 

Information Updated as of: 8/27/20 3:36pm

Please contact your supervisor. If you have a confirmed positive case, the Protocols for Presumptive/Positive COVID-19 Tests found in the Rockers Return Plan (Appendix 2) will be followed.

What are students being directed to do if they have symptoms or test positive? 

Information Updated as of: 8/4/20 11:15am

We are asking students to return home to recover if possible. If that is not possible, we are asking them to quarantine in their living quarters. If that is on campus, we have several rooms in the residence halls reserved for recovering students.

How will symptoms of faculty, staff and students be monitored? 

Information Updated as of: 8/4/20 11:15am

In general, South Dakota Mines will not be monitoring employee or student temperatures. We are asking everyone to self-monitor. Employees should alert their supervisors to any illness they experience and remain at home through the duration of their illness. The determination of whether employees will be allowed to work remotely will be made on a case-by-case basis and dependent on business necessity. Proper leave request procedures must be followed by employees. In some locations that may involve direct health care to patients, employee temperatures may be monitored.

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation? 

Information Updated as of: 8/4/20 11:15am

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to COVID-19, but who haven’t tested positive for COVID-19. Isolation separates those who have tested positive for COVID-19 from people who are not sick.

How frequently will public spaces be cleaned by Facilities? 

Information Updated as of: 8/27/20 3:36pm

On-campus spaces will be sanitized in accordance with CDC guidelines. Refer to the Rockers Return Plan for more details.

Will I need to attend meetings in person? 

Information Updated as of: 8/4/20 11:15am

When possible, meetings should continue to be conducted via Zoom for the foreseeable future. If in-person meetings are necessary, employees should remain at least 6 feet away from others in the room and wear a face covering. Employees may request that they be allowed to participate in such meetings remotely, which may be approved or denied on a case-by-case basis by the employee’s supervisor. In addition, employees in high-risk categories may decline to attend in-person meetings when they believe their health is at risk.

Do I have to come back to campus if I am able and willing to work remotely and have been successfully working remotely for several weeks? 

Information Updated as of: 8/4/20 11:15am

Supervisors may determine that it is appropriate to continue with remote work arrangements when the employee is being productive and effective in their role.

My colleagues are still working remotely, why am I being asked to return to my worksite? 

Information Updated as of: 8/4/20 11:15am

Supervisors carefully evaluate employee positions and university and departmental needs prior to determining employee work locations. Consideration is given to assigned duties, physical distancing concerns, the need for customer service, identified employee health concerns, proximity and access to exits, available workspace and several additional factors. Supervisors were also asked to consider the quality and quantity of work that has been completed remotely and compare to work previously conducted at the worksite.

Many employees without childcare have used administrative leave. If I am unable to secure childcare, can I continue to use COVID-19 related administrative leave? 

Information Updated as of: 8/27/20 5:00pm

Although administrative leave has not been generally available since May 31, 2020, the university will continue to be flexible with employee scheduling and work hours, to the extent possible. 

In response to area K-12 schools fall schedules, HR has created an electronic Alternative Work Schedule Request Form for employees and supervisors to utilize while working to implement alternative schedules to accommodate the needs of families during this time.   This form is in accordance with South Dakota Mines Policy 4-07: Alternative Work Schedule and South Dakota Board of Regents Policy 4:39: Alternative Work Schedule Policy.  We ask all employees who are in need of utilizing an alternative work schedule to please complete this form.   

Additionally, effective through December 31, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides additional paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Under this act employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave paid at 2/3 of an employee’s normal pay for caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons.  Please note, choosing not to send a child to school or daycare would not be a qualifying reason under these leave types.  Employees must fill out the applicable form(s) in order to be certified to use these leave types.   

Previews of the forms are attached.  To complete the form(s), please use the hyperlink(s) below: 

Please contact the HR Office if we can help to answer any questions. 

Do I need to wear a face covering when alone in my closed office if we are operating at Level 3 or above? 

Information Updated as of: 8/4/20 11:15am

No. The face covering protocol from the BOR covers public indoor spaces. Offices and campus living quarters are excluded. If someone enters your office, please wear your mask and ensure proper social distancing is maintained. Electronic communications, such as email and Zoom meetings, should continue to be used to limit the number of personal interactions. Face-to-face meetings should only be held when absolutely necessary.

How will the face covering protocol be enforced? 

Information Updated as of: 8/27/20 3:36pm

The initial response by an Institution or any of its employees to an individual found in non-compliance with the COVID-19 Face Covering Protocol in effect on campus is to inform the individual of their deficiency. If they fail to immediately correct the deficiency, the individual will be asked to leave the area. Students, faculty, staff and visitors who fail to comply with the COVID-19 Face Covering Protocol may be subject to discipline or other adverse action in accordance with applicable BOR and/or Institutional policy. The BOR’s face covering protocol includes detailed enforcement information for students, faculty, staff and visitors.

If you are concerned that someone on campus is not following our face covering and physical distancing guidelines, there are steps that you can take. If a gentle reminder does not garner results, violations can be reported using these existing protocols: 

  • Students should file complaints related to student violations through the student complaint process.
  • Faculty and staff complaints related to students should be reported through the Advocate system.
  • Students and employees should report violations related to faculty and staff to human resources via email at 

We encourage you to use these protocols so that we can properly manage and enforce the mask policy. 

Grad Students

Will I still get my assistantship?

Information Updated as of: 7/30/20 8:15am

Research and teaching assistantships continue to be available contingent on funding. Please check with your advisor and/or department for availability and confirmation.

Will I be able to do my lab research?

Information Updated as of: 7/30/20 8:15am

Guidelines are now in place that should permit essential research to continue in campus labs throughout the semester even if many classes must pivot online. You will need clearance to access your lab and will need to follow the social distancing, protective equipment, and disinfection guidelines established by the director of each laboratory. Please talk to your major professor and lab director to get access and training needed for safe lab work.

Will I be able to do my field research?

Information Updated as of: 7/30/20 8:15am

International travel is not currently approved for university-sponsored research. Field research in sites within South Dakota or other states must be reviewed and approved on a case by case basis. Talk to your major professor about how to obtain approval.

Health and Prevention

Is there a contact tracing app the university recommends?

Information Updated as of: 8/6/20 7:50am

Yes. South Dakota Mines and all state institutions under the Board of Regents recommend the Care 19 Diary App developed by the South Dakota Department of Health. More information on contact tracing and symptom monitoring can be found here.

Do I need to get tested for COVID-19 before I return to campus?

Information Updated as of: 8/4/20 11:34am

The Board of Regents is not requiring a test before students return to campus. We are, however, urging students, staff, and faculty to strictly adhere to CDC recommendations that reduce the spread of COVID-19 before they return. This includes mask wearing when in public, avoidance of large crowds, maintaining proper hygiene, and social distancing.

What steps is the state of South Dakota taking to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19?

Information Updated as of: 8/27/20 3:36pm

Visit the state’s Department of Health website and review their FAQs.

How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

COVID-19 is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. 

Precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are the same as those you would typically take during a normal flu season. 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or use your elbow to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. 
  • Avoid touching your face. 
  • If you take prescriptions, refill them now in the event you get sick 
  • Don’t panic.  For 84% of COVID-19 patients, the symptoms are mild. 
  • Conserve, but don’t hoard, protective products.  If you don’t have hand sanitizer, use soap and water. 
  • Stay home if you are sick with cold or influenza-type symptoms to minimize risk of transmission to others 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces following CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfection 

Are masks mandatory?

Information Updated as of: 8/6/20 7:50am

Guidelines for face coverings are determined by the Board of Regents Face Covering Protocol. The current protocol level will always be posted in the announcement banner that appears at the top of the university website.

Are temperature checks required?

Information Updated as of: 6/3/20 8:45am

Everyone will be asked to self-monitor their health. There may be some temperature checks in to-be-determined locations.

What is the COVID-19 status in South Dakota?

Information Updated as of: 7/2/20 12:15pm

Information about COVID-19 in South Dakota can be found at the state  Department of Health website.

If a Student Gets Sick

Is COVID-19 testing available on campus? 

Information Updated as of: 9/14/20 10:15am

The SD Department of Health has provided the campus with an Abbott ID NOW rapid testing machine and 500 tests. It will be administered (for free) to those who are experiencing symptoms by Monument Health personnel working in the Student Health Clinic (located in the Surbeck Center. Students are encouraged to call Student Health to make an appointment at 394-2354. If this line is busy or there is no answer, call (605) 755-2273.  See the website for information on hours. Remember to bring your student ID to your appointment. 

If you have not already completed the forms required by Monument Health, links to these are found at the top of the Student Health Services website

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19? 

Information Updated as of: 9/14/20 10:15am
  • Complete the COVID-19 Case Notification Form. Once received, this starts an assistance process with university officials who will guide you through the steps you need to take. 

  • Immediately go into isolation.  Do not go to class or work. Stay home or in your residential room. Students who become ill will be handled on an individual basis. 

  • A university official or a South Dakota Department of Health representative will contact you to provide direction and to determine with whom you’ve been in close contact. 

  • Self-isolate for at least 10 days after symptoms first appeared. 

  • The Department of Health will release you from isolation if you are fever free (without fever reducing medication) for 24 hours AND no symptoms. 

Campus isolation accommodations will be coordinated for those living in residence halls. Staff will work with students in isolation on campus by providing meals, trash disposal, laundry delivery, and other essential services to the room. Residential fraternities have developed plans and we encourage those living off campus with roommates to also develop plans. We know some students who have tested positive or who have had an exposure would rather isolate or quarantine at home. We support these students leaving campus during that period. 

All lectures are being recorded and will be available online allowing a student to keep up with classwork while recovering. Students will need to stay in virtual contact with faculty as much as possible. Contact via email or phone 394-2416 as needed for processes and procedures. 

What should I do if I’m not feeling well but I’ve not been tested for COVID-19? 

Information Updated as of: 9/14/20 10:15am

We advise you make an appointment with Student Health Services to be tested. If it is after hours or the weekend, you can complete drive-thru testing or be evaluated at the Monument Health Urgent Care Clinic at 2116 Jackson Blvd in Rapid City. This facility is open 7 days a week from 7:00am-7:00pm. Remember to bring your student ID to ensure charges for services match services provided on campus. Services not covered by the South Dakota Mines contract will be billed to the student/student insurance. If you have not already completed the forms required by Monument Health, links to these are found at the top of the Student Health Services website

If you’re not sure if you should be tested, call the COVID-19 triage line: (605) 755-1350 

What happens if I have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19? 

Information Updated as of: 9/14/20 10:15am

If you have been in contact with someone who is being tested or has tested positive, but have not yet received a call from the university or department of health, take the initiative to self-quarantine and monitor your symptoms and notify the Dean of Students office

  • Follow CDC Guideline: What Should I Do If I've Been in Close Contact With Someone
    • Close contact is defined as an individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting two days before illness onset.
      • Mitigating circumstances
        • Mask use by the infected person and those in close contact. 
        • Physical barrier separation (plexiglass, etc.) between the infected person and those in close contact. 
    • DOH representatives will do a tracing analysis of the infected person and look for possible close contacts. 
    • DOH reps will decide if the close contact warrants quarantining. 
    • If an individual is exposed and not identified to the DOH, he/she should contact their supervisor, or, if a student, Student Affairs. 
  • Students or staff, identified as close contacts, who DOH says must quarantine must do the following:
    • Stay home for 14 days, avoid contact with others, do not share household items. 
    • Monitor symptoms and temperature daily. 

I was told I should quarantine.  What do I need to do? 

Information Updated as of: 9/14/20 10:15am

If you are instructed to quarantine because you’ve been exposed to a person who tested positive: 

  • Stay home for 14 days – do not go to work and attend classes online only 

  • Avoid contact with other people 

  • Don’t share household items 

  • Self-monitor for symptoms – this chart is an excellent resource to determine the difference between COVID systems compared to the flu, a cold, or allergies 

If you have symptoms: 

  • Set up an appointment with Student Health Services at (605) 394-2354. If you cannot get through, call (605) 755-2273. Do not stop in without an appointment. 

Is food service available to those who live off-campus and are in quarantine or isolation? 

Information Updated as of: 9/14/20 10:15am

If you are concerned about getting food or being able to pay for food, please contact Heather Fannin with Campus Ministries at She will coordinate having food delivered to your home. 

If you live on campus and are in quarantine/isolation, food, trash, and laundry services are provided.  

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation? 

Information Updated as of: 9/14/20 10:15am

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to COVID-19, but who haven’t tested positive for COVID-19. Isolation separates those who have tested positive for COVID-19 from people who are not sick. Follow CDC Guidelines and sample scenarios: Quarantine and Isolation

What Happens if a student gets sick enough for hospitalization? 

Information Updated as of: 9/14/20 10:15am

If symptoms worsen, students should go to the Monument Urgent Care or Emergency Room. 

How will I know if my student is hospitalized? 

Information Updated as of: 9/14/20 10:15am

All of the same privacy policies (FERPA) apply. If a student is admitted they would have to give permission for any information to be disclosed and to whom. 

What needs to be done to a space where someone who tested positive for COVID-19 has been? 

Information Updated as of: 9/14/20 10:15am

Deep cleaning and disinfecting are done.  The CDC recommends waiting 24 hours, if possible, before cleaning.  Once the area is appropriately disinfected, it can be open for use. 

What can be done for students who are in the COVID-19 high risk categories? 

Information Updated as of: 9/14/20 10:15am

Protecting the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is the most important aspect of this pandemic.  Students should work with the Dean of Students to ensure accommodations are made for their needs. 

How prepared is the university and the local healthcare system to deal with COVID-19 patients? 

Information Updated as of: 9/14/20 10:15am

A student health office is located on campus in the Surbeck Center with healthcare staff available M-F during the Fall and Spring semesters. This service is in coordination with our local healthcare system, Monument Health. Information on student health services can be found on our website

Monument Health is well-prepared to handle patients and contingency plans are in place if a surge of positive cases occurs in the community. 


Will I still be able to take music classes for my general education and elective credits?

Information Updated as of: 8/11/20 10:35am

Yes. Instrumental music classes will happen in-person and vocal classes will be online. Class sizes are reduced and more class sections are being offered to accommodate extra precautions for music making.

How will music classes function with safety in mind?

Information Updated as of: 8/11/20 10:35am

Special masks that include a mouth slit will be provided to each band student. Class sizes will be smaller to allow for social distancing and the class time is shorter, around 45 minutes. The practice area will be cleaned in between classes.

Will practice rooms be available?

Information Updated as of: 8/11/20 10:35am

Yes. We are expanding room usage and you will be required to schedule your practice time in advance using a new online booking app. Contact Dr. Haley Armstrong for more information.

Will concerts be held this fall?

Information Updated as of: 8/11/20 10:35am

At this time, no in-person concerts are scheduled.

Will there be an opportunity to participate in Pep Band?

Information Updated as of: 8/11/20 10:35am

Yes. The pep band plans to practice and play at university events. Social distancing accommodations at the athletic venues are being planned.

Residence Life

Will we be charged room and board rates through the end of finals even if we are not living there and do I have to move all of my belonging out even if I am returning in January?

Information Updated as of: 6/10/20 3:15pm

No, room and board charges will end before Thanksgiving. Students who are returning for spring semester classes do not need to move their belongings out of their rooms over the extended break.

Can we stay in the residence halls during the Thanksgiving Break and finals week?

Information Updated as of: 6/10/20 3:15pm

Students who live on campus and wish to stay for the Thanksgiving break and finals week will be able to do so (additional fees will be applied).

How are residence halls managing to accommodate for social distancing and other CDC guidelines?

Information Updated as of: 6/3/20 8:45am

Student health and safety is our #1 concern and CDC and South Dakota Department of Health guidelines are followed. Our plans include adjusting the number of persons per room, practicing social distancing, increased sanitization of spaces, and continued reminder of safe practices.

Is on-campus residency be required?

Information Updated as of: 6/3/20 8:45am

As required by the Board of Regents policy, all students who have graduated high school within the past two years are required to live on campus.

We are following the CDC’s guidelines for Institutions of Higher Education and have been addressing concerns raised by individual students with pre-existing healthcare needs. Persons with documented personal extenuating circumstances should contact Residence Life.

If on-campus housing accommodations are not available will students have to pay for housing?

Information Updated as of: 6/3/20 8:45am

No, they would not be charged a housing cost by the university. Off-campus housing options are available in Rapid City and would be handled personally.

Schedule Change

Why was the decision made to have classes done by Thanksgiving?

Information Updated as of: 6/10/20 3:15pm

The decision to have classes done before Thanksgiving is due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 virus. By finishing classes before Thanksgiving, this eliminates the need to travel back to campus and reduces the chances of a spike of COVID cases following a long break.

Is the semester accelerated now that classes will be done by Thanksgiving?

Information Updated as of: 6/10/20 3:15pm

Prior to the changes with the class schedule there were 71 days of class instruction. With the new schedule, classes are starting 3 days earlier and there will instruction on Labor Day, Native American Day and Veterans day bringing the total to 70 days of instruction. With this schedule, only one class day is lost. Finals will be online December 2-8, 2020 (Wednesday – Tuesday); this is the same number of days as in previous semesters. We realize the loss of three 3-day weekends is a change, but we feel this is the best course of action given the circumstances.


What is the current university policy for international travel?

Information Updated as of: 8/27/20 3:36pm

International travel for university business is permitted to countries that allow entry by foreign nationals. It is recommended that you work with the Ivanhoe International Center and foreign partners to discuss opportunities and timelines that will protect the health and safety of all involved.

All non-essential personal travel to international destinations is allowed but we strongly encourage following the CDC’s Travel Recommendations by Destination.

Because of the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the high risk of COVID-19 spread on cruise ships, the US government issued a No Sail Order for cruise ships in waters subject to US jurisdiction and has advised US travelers to defer all cruise travel. The No Sail Order is published in the Federal Register. 

What about domestic travel?

Information Updated as of: 8/27/20 3:36pm

Travel within the United States is permitted.   

What about in-state travel?

Information Updated as of: 8/27/20 3:36pm

Work related in-state travel, by a single traveler or cohort, may resume where it is crucial to the execution of projects and delivery of services. Face coverings are highly recommended when in public areas during travel. Travel should be reviewed prior to the trip with the appropriate VP or Executive Council member from your unit. 

What should I consider if I’m thinking about personal travel?

Information Updated as of: 6/5/20 3:30pm

The university encourages members of our community to think carefully about the risks of traveling while the COVID-19 outbreak continues to develop. Not only may there be a potential risk to your personal health, but there also may be additional travel restrictions imposed by many countries, including the United States. We ask all members of our campus community (faculty, staff, students) to limit their personal out-of-state travel, and to avoid the high-risk U.S. cities and states currently hardest hit by the COVID-19 outbreak. Please discuss travel plans with your supervisor.

This is a rapidly developing situation and even though a location may be accessible now, that could change during your trip. Airlines are limiting seating and altering flights and this also could impact your plans. 

Are out-of-state visitors allowed to travel to South Dakota at this time?

Information Updated as of: 6/5/20 3:30pm

As of this publication, South Dakota does not have any travel restrictions in place for visitors. Check for up-to-date road information.  Also visit the CDC website for the latest recommendations.

Are there steps I should take upon returning from any type of travel?

Information Updated as of: 6/5/20 3:30pm

It is recommended that you check your symptoms before returning to work.  This online symptom checker 

can assist with evaluating your symptoms.  South Dakota Mines strongly encourages each employee to go through the symptom checker checklist before coming to campus daily to ensure symptoms are not overlooked or ignored.  

If you are experiencing symptoms, or are overall just not feeling well, contact your healthcare provider and do not come to work. Notify your supervisor and develop a plan with them on utilizing sick leave or working remotely if applicable to your situation. 

Visitors and Guests 

What is the difference between a visitor and a guest?

Information Updated as of: 8/27/20 5:00pm

Visitors are individuals, not employed by South Dakota Mines, typically permitted to access public campus spaces, including outdoor areas, the Museum of Geology, the Rocker Shop Bookstore, and any campus retail locations during scheduled hours. Visitors are encouraged to follow university and local guidelines related to COVID-19. Signage will be posted in prominent locations on campus for visitors to review.

Guests are individuals, not employed by SD Mines, invited to campus to visit areas other than those outlined as public spaces above. Guests are the responsibility of their campus employee host. Campus hosts have authorized access to campus locations. Guests may include current students, potential students, alumni, authorized volunteers, and registered users including contracted personnel. Department specific policies may be implemented for guest access. 

Informational Resources

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 and you are experiencing symptoms, call your local healthcare provider or call the COVID-19 triage center at 1-800-279-1466 (available from 7am-11pm).

South Dakota Mines is committed to being a diverse and inclusive community and supports all members of the university. COVID-19 affects all people regardless of age, background or area in which they live. As a STEM university, we set a high bar for our students, faculty and staff. Biased behaviors, stereotyping and discrimination are not acceptable. The university inclusion and diversity statement can be found here. Those who experience harassment or discrimination on campus can report it here.