May 19, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog ARCHIVED 2015-16 
Undergraduate Catalog ARCHIVED 2015-16 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

About DSU


Dakota State University or specific programs offered are accredited by the following agencies:

  • The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools through the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) process.
    230 S. LaSalle St. - Suite 7-500
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  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Division of Education of the South Dakota Department of Education and Cultural Affairs
  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • State Approving Agency as programs eligible for veterans benefits
  • Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)
  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education
  • Servicemembers Opportunity College

This catalog describes the academic programs and student services offered at Dakota State University, helps you select a degree program that suits your career plans and life-long interests, and provides the information you need to pursue a program of study at Dakota State University.

Mission Statement

The Legislature established Dakota State University as an institution specializing in programs in computer management, computer information systems, and other related undergraduate and graduate programs as outlined in SDCL 13-59-2.2. A special emphasis is the preparation of the elementary and secondary teachers with expertise in the use of computer technology and information processing in the teaching and learning process.

The Board implemented SDCL 13-59-2.2 by authorizing undergraduate and graduate programs that are technology-infused and promote excellence in teaching and learning. These programs support research, scholarly and creative activities and provide service to the State of South Dakota and the region. Dakota State University is a member of the South Dakota System of Higher Education.


Degrees are authorized at the associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctorate levels.

The following curriculum is approved for the university:

  1. Undergraduate Programs
    • Associate degree programs are approved in allied health care, business, general studies, and information technology.
    • Baccalaureate programs are approved in allied health care, business, computer game design, digital arts and design, education, information technology, information security, mathematics, and sciences.
  2. Graduate Programs
    • Masters degree programs are approved in education, information systems, information assurance and computer security, health informatics, analytics, computer science and business administration.
    • Doctorate of Science degree programs are approved in information systems and in cyber security.

Strategic Plan

Mission:  Dakota State University provides learning that integrates technology and innovation to develop graduates ready to contribute to local, national, and global prosperity. 

Vision: Building upon its distinctive mission, DSU will become:

  • The university of choice for those seeking a student-centered institution that offers innovative programs grounded in teaching, research, technology, scholarship, and service excellence.
  • An academic community that serves as an economic engine in local, national, and global markets.
  • A campus recognized for its achievements in continuous quality improvement.

Values:  At Dakota State University, we value

  • Student Success.
  • University-wide Excellence.
  • Distinction in Teaching, Scholarship, and Service.
  • Academic Freedom and Integrity.
  • Diversity, Respect, and Inclusion.
  • Community, Collaboration, and Communication.
  • Technology and Innovation inside and outside the classroom

Goals and Initiatives:

Educate to Inspire:  Dedicated to Academic Quality and Excellence.

  • Offer innovative and robust academic programs that link to our mission.
  • Advance inquiry, scholarship, research, and creative activity.
  • Provide opportunities for experiential learning within the curriculum.
  • Infuse innovative technology in the delivery of academic programs.
  • Support clear and defined learning outcomes to ensure that DSU graduates are competitive in their fields.

Grow to Thrive:  Dedicated to Student Access and Success.

  • Optimize undergraduate and graduate enrollment.
  • Recruit a more diverse student, faculty, and staff population.
  • Support a quality co-curricular educational experience.
  • Create a campus environment that supports student engagement and learning.

Innovate to Transform:  Dedicated to Continuous Improvement.

  • Focus on maximizing cost-effectiveness and supporting the development of new revenue sources to support the university’s mission.
  • Through continuous quality improvement, DSU will evaluate university-wide processes to promote a student-friendly environment.
  • Create a campus culture that promotes transparent decision making, effective communication, and shared governance.
  • Improve brand awareness regionally, nationally, and globally.

Collaborate to Lead:  Dedicated to Internal and External Partnerships.

  • Develop a robust University Advancement program that increases resources for scholarships, facilities, and faculty/staff development.
  • Expand industry, government, and K-12 partnerships to enhance the student educational experience.
  • Increase alumni involvement through university-wide programs that engage both current and former students.

Campus Diversity Plan

Dakota State University is committed to providing an opportunity to learn in a rich environment free of intolerance and bigotry, one that teaches and honors the importance of the acceptance of differences in others. All members of the community have a responsibility to make DSU campuses and classrooms welcoming and respectful of each member’s differences and/or abilities. An investment in diversity is more than the act of recruiting diverse peoples to campus or celebrating ethnically themed events or holidays.

Diversity Mission Statement:

The Dakota State University community asserts these fundamental beliefs:

  • Individuals who differ in age, creed, culture, exceptionalities, ethnicity, gender, race, sexuality, and social-economic status all contribute to the diversity which we value in the university community.
  • Respect for all individuals and interaction with people different from oneself are essential components of a university education.
  • The university community pledges to promote an atmosphere, which encourages the development of potential and promotes the value of diversity.

Dakota State University’s History

Dakota State University has enjoyed a long and proud history of leadership and service since its founding in 1881 as the first teacher education institution in the Dakota Territory.

For most of its history, DSU has been identified with teacher preparation, first as a normal school and later as a four-year public college. The University has had several different names, among them Madison Normal, Eastern Normal, and General Beadle State College. The name, Dakota State College, was adopted in 1969. On July 1, 1989, Dakota State College became Dakota State University. The University title was conferred on the institution by the South Dakota Legislature in order to better reflect its purpose in the total scheme of the state’s higher education system. Prospective elementary and secondary teachers continue to be educated here. To this traditional emphasis, DSU added business and traditional arts and science programs in the 1960s and two health services programs, Health Information Management and Respiratory Care, in the late 1970s.

In 1984, the South Dakota Legislature and the South Dakota Board of Regents turned to Dakota State University to educate leaders for the information age. In response, Dakota State University developed leading-edge computer/information systems degree programs. The graduates of these programs enjoy enviable status in the national marketplace. As a leader in computer and information systems programs, DSU has pioneered the application of computer technology to traditional fields of academic endeavor. This thrust has led to the development of unique degree programs in biology, English, mathematics, and physical science.

Dakota State University continues to serve the needs of a changing society in its second century. In order to provide its academic programs to a broader audience, DSU has promoted the use of distance education to deliver academic courses and programs.

Dakota State has been recognized nationally for innovative curriculum. In Spring 2004, DSU was one of ten colleges in the country named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency. The university recently installed the first iris recognition system in the state of South Dakota as part of a biometrics initiative that is tied to academic programs in computer security.

DSU is the first university in the state and one of the few in the country to implement a wireless mobile computing initiative using the Notebooks. DSU was ranked first in the Top Public Comprehensive Colleges - Bachelor’s Division in the Midwest region by U.S. News and World Report magazine in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. As society’s educational needs change, Dakota State University will continue to evolve to meet these needs with education, scholarship and service.

Equal Opportunity

Dakota State University is committed to a policy of non-discrimination and equal educational opportunity in all student services and in all staff and faculty employment actions, without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.