Prospective StudentS INFO


A Message to BHSU Students from Provost Priscilla Romkema

Dear BHSU Students:

We are looking forward to welcoming you back to campus in August and have been making plans and preparations to do that in a manner that provides for the health and safety of our campus and community.

The 2020 Fall Semester COVID-19 Task Force Recommendations are available. Please check this page frequently for updates and additional resources.

Over the next six weeks we will be releasing weekly videos in the Campus e-Update that will provide details about our plans for Fall 2020. Please make sure to check your emails every Tuesday afternoon for important information that you’ll need to know for the upcoming school year. We will discuss:

  • Housing & Move In
  • Student Engagement & Campus Life
  • Academics
  • Safety Protocols
  • Student Services, Financial Assistance & Campus Resources
  • Our BHSU Living with Purpose Pledge 

There is uncertainty going forward in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please know that if adjustments to this plan are necessary, we will communicate any changes to you.

Thank you for your patience and perseverance as we navigate this new path together!

Dr. Priscilla Romkema
Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. BHSU is planning to be open for on-campus, in-person classes for the Fall 2020 semester. University administration, faculty and staff are actively working with federal, state, and local healthcare officials to plan for a successful return to on-campus courses. Online courses will continue to be an option for students, along with courses offered physically at the BHSU-Rapid City campus. Healthcare and safety considerations will continue to be assessed throughout the summer and into the school year.

The first day of scheduled BHSU classes is Wednesday, Aug. 19. This is an earlier date than previously scheduled.

The new August 19 start date is an effort to help mitigate potential spread of COVID-19. The revised academic calendar will condense physical instruction days on campus this fall, lengthen the at-home winter break and attempt to minimize students’ leaving and returning to-and-from their home communities over three-day holiday weekends.

Move-in for new students will take place Aug. 16-17. Move-in for returning BHSU students is Aug. 18. More information about move-in days and processes from BHSU Residence Life and Admissions will be available very soon.

Yes. Essential student service offices are currently open and available to assist students through the enrollment process for the Fall semester. The Admissions, Financial Aid, Registration & Records, and Residence Life/Housing offices are all open and available to help. If you have questions, please contact BHSU Admissions at 605-642-6343 or

Yes. The BHSU Admissions Office is still accepting and processing applications for admission. You may apply for admission online here.

Yes. BHSU Residence Life is still accepting housing applications for the Fall 2020 semester with consideration for social and physical distancing. BHSU is also offering more single rooms. Call Residence Life at 605-642-6086 for information. To pay your BHSU Housing Deposit and submit a housing application online, Click Here.

All new students should sign up for a virtual New Student Orientation & Registration date here. All new student orientation and registration appointments are taking place via Zoom this Summer. There is no need to travel to campus.

Yes, the BHSU Financial Aid Office/Student Financial Services continues to accept all FAFSA submissions and is actively awarding financial aid for the Fall 2020 semester on an ongoing basis. For FAFSA or Financial Aid related questions at BHSU, call 605-642-6145 or email

BHSU is currently offering Virtual Campus Visits for prospective students and families. On-campus visits in person are not currently taking place. Click to schedule a Virtual Campus Visit to BHSU.

We are planning to resume in-person campus visits to our university later this summer. We will continue to monitor the local environment related to COVID-19. When in-person campus visit becomes an option again, the information will be posted at

We understand that school district offices are also being impacted. BHSU Admissions will currently accept unofficial high school transcripts from students until your high school offices reopen and are able to submit your official transcript for you.

The local Spearfish community and surrounding Lawrence County has seen lower numbers of active cases than many other areas of the state and nation. For the most current statistics related to local COVID-19 cases in Lawrence County, please visit the South Dakota Department of Health website here.

BHSU has a task force of administrators, faculty, staff, and students making recommendations for Fall Semester. These include how we will work to keep individuals as safe as possible, how we will manage those who present symptoms or contract the virus, and how we will manage in case of an outbreak on campus. Those recommendation will be available in the next month.

BHSU will start the fall semester Aug. 19 and conclude classroom instruction by Thanksgiving, per administrative direction from the South Dakota Board of Regents, the governing body for the state's public university system. The board announced last month its commitment to on-campus operations this fall. The Regents said all campuses will begin instruction on Wednesday, Aug. 19, which is three days earlier than originally scheduled. Instead of returning to campus after the Thanksgiving recess Nov. 25-29, students will complete their final exams remotely. To provide for required instructional time in a condensed semester and to further reduce travel,three holiday: Labor Day (9/7/20), Native American Day (10/12/20), and Veterans Day (11/11/20) will become class days. With classes in session on those dates, universities will plan programming to appropriately recognize the holidays. After the Thanksgiving holiday, students have two non-class days available as they prepare for final exams Dec. 2-8. All university campuses plan to be closed between Christmas and New Year’s Day to facilitate deep cleaning and other preparations for the spring semester.