You’ve done the research. You’ve selected the right program for you. All that’s left now is to finish the enrollment agreement. SDI offers convenient monthly start dates for new students, so right now is always the best time to enroll.

Step 1: Submit your SDI Enrollment Agreement

Step 2: Submit a front and back copy of your valid government ID

Step 3: Submit official copies of all previously attended college and military transcripts

Step 4: Work with SDI’s Financial Services for a smooth funding process

Admissions Requirements

SDI does not require industry-specific coursework or training prior to enrollment. Each program is specifically designed for people who want to know more and are willing to put forth a reasonable effort toward their own education and self-improvement. You need no previous experience in the field because your program of study begins with the basics and builds on that foundation with each new lesson.

Applicants seeking admission must meet the following admission requirements prior to the start of the first course at SDI:

  • Must have earned a high school diploma, a GED or recognized equivalent*
  • Must have access to a computer with an Internet connection for the web-based programs and meet the minimum technology, hardware, and software requirements outlined in the SDI catalog.
  • Must have the ability to study in English.
  • Must have the physical and mental ability needed to successfully complete the program.
  • Must meet the eligibility requirements for the selected program of study as detailed in the program specific admission requirements sections.
    For SDI Firearms programs and courses, the following requirements are in place:

    • Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
    • Applicants must be a minimum of 18 years of age as of the program start date.
    • Applicants may be subject to a background check prior to and/or during their program of study.
    • Students will need to have access to a firearm to complete assignments in some of the coursework.
    • Applicants must be eligible to obtain a Federal Firearms License (see below for additional information).

    Due to the nature of the coursework offered, SDI reserves the right to deny enrollment to any individual who is unable to answer “No” to all of the below questions. Additionally, enrollment may be denied if SDI has reasonable cause to believe that an individual’s answer(s) to a question below should be “Yes.”

    • Are you under indictment in any court for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year?
    • Have you been convicted in any court of a crime punishable for a term exceeding one year? You must answer “Yes” for any term of more than one year.
    • Are you a fugitive from justice?
    • Are you an unlawful user, or addicted to, marijuana or a depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug? Please note that according to federal law all marijuana use is considered unlawful. See ATF letter at the following: https://www.atf.gov/file/60211/download
    • Have you ever been dishonorably discharged from the armed forces?
    • Are you an illegal alien in the United States?
    • Have you ever renounced your United States citizenship?
    • Are you subject to a court order restraining you from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of an intimate partner?
    • Have you been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence?

*Equivalents include completion of secondary school through homeschooling as defined by state law or having earned an equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma at an international high school according to approved foreign evaluation services

Required Documentation

Applicants must submit the following prior to admission:

  • Application for admission, including student signature on the Enrollment Agreement
  • Attestation of earning high school diploma, GED, or recognized equivalent**
  • Copy of front and back of a valid government-issued photo identification (i.e. driver’s license or passport)
  • Official transcripts from all prior institutions attended must be received or proof of request for each is to be submitted prior to start date
  • Statement of Eligibility
  • Signed Code of Conduct
  • Authorization for background check

If the student’s native language is not English, proof of English proficiency is required. Options to provide such evidence include:

  • A high school diploma completed at an accredited/recognized high school where the medium of instruction is English.
  • A minimum score of 500 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL PBT), or 61 on the Internet Based Test (iBT), a 6.0 on the International English Language Test (IELTS), or 44 on the Pearson Test of English Academic Score Report.

**SDI may also require, at its discretion, that an applicant or student provide a high school transcript, high school diploma, and/or evidence of passing the GED or state certificate awarded.

In recognition of the importance of ethical practices in the admissions process, Sonoran Desert Institute subscribes to the Statement of Principles of Good Practice in College Admission and Recruitment, which has been approved by the American Council on Education (ACE) and the American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Counselors (AACRAO).

Background Checks

Prior to Admission into SDI, all applicants must submit Authorization for a Background Check. Background checks are evaluated by the Associate Dean of Firearms Technology. Applicants whose background check results indicate one or more charges that violate the Identify Prohibited Persons list from The Gun Control Act (GCA), codified at 18 U.S.C 922(g) will immediately be deemed ineligible for admission. Applicants whose background check indicates one or more charges that are not in violation of the Identify Prohibited Persons list will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. SDI will permit or deny admission based on the charges listed according to the SDI Right to Deny Policy.  

SDI may consider an appeal from an applicant who has been denied for charge(s) not violating the Identify Prohibited Persons list. Consideration of the appeal shall be based on

  1. likelihood of the student’s ability to successfully complete the program,
  2. timeframe of charge(s) listed, and
  3. nature of the charge(s) listed. 

Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Dean, School of Firearms Technology, including any reason(s) why circumstances have changed surrounding the charge(s) resulting in denial and/or any documentation showing suspension of charges, restoration of civil rights, etc. Applicants whose appeals are approved may continue through the admissions process. Denied appeals are final, and the applicant will be barred from enrollment at Sonoran Desert Institute indefinitely.

Right To Deny

Sonoran Desert Institute does not discriminate in offering access to its educational programs and courses on the basis of age, gender, race, color, national origin, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or disability as outlined in the Disability Services section of the SDI catalog. SDI reserves the right to refuse admission to any applicant if the Institute, in its sole discretion, determines that the applicant does not have the ability to benefit from the Institute’s instruction or that it is in the best interest of the Institute or the applicant to do so.

Admittance Notification 

Upon confirmation that all admissions criteria are met, the Registrar sends applicants an email notifying them of acceptance or denial of admission.

State Laws and Restrictions

SDI provides students with tools and equipment that are related to the firearms industry. The Institute strives to ensure tools and equipment are issued in accordance with federal, state, and local firearm laws. SDI will work with individual students based on the state they reside in when assigning courses. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to comply with the individual state(s) and federal law regarding firearms. Students are accountable under the exact wording and current interpretations of all applicable laws and regulations within each state.

International Students

Due to the nature of the programs, international students are not currently eligible for admission.

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