Mar 31, 2023  
Undergraduate Catalog ARCHIVED 2017-2018 
Undergraduate Catalog ARCHIVED 2017-2018 [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.
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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
    • Master’s degree programs are approved in education, information systems, information assurance and computer security, health informatics and information management, analytics, applied 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 was founded in 1881 as the first teacher education institution in Dakota Territory. It began as Dakota Normal School, and over the years the name changed to Madison State Normal School, Eastern State Normal, Eastern State Teachers College, General Beadle State Teachers College and General Beadle State College. The name Dakota State College was adopted in 1969. On July 1, 1989, the South Dakota Legislature changed the name to Dakota State University to better reflect its purpose in the total scheme of the state’s higher education system.

While prospective elementary and secondary teachers continued to be educated at DSU, in the 1960s business and traditional arts and science programs were added. Two health services programs, health information management and respiratory care, were added in the late 1970s.

In 1984, the South Dakota Legislature and the South Dakota Board of Regents changed the mission of Dakota State to emphasize computer technology and information systems. The purpose of this legislative action was two-fold - to address economic development in the state, particularly within the growing banking and financial services industry, and to add technology education to the programs offerings by South Dakota regental schools.

To fulfill this mission, Dakota State University developed leading-edge computer technology and information systems degree programs. DSU was the first university in the state and one of the few in the country to implement a wireless mobile computing initiative by providing all students with notebooks. DSU has also focused on applying computer technology to traditional academic fields, leading to the development of unique technology-focused degree programs in English, mathematics, and biology and physical sciences.

Dakota State is recognized nationally for its innovative curriculum. In Spring 2004, DSU was one of ten colleges in the country named a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency. The university now has four CAE distinctions, in cyber defense education, cyber defense research, cyber operations, and as a cyber defense consultative regional resource center. Also, DSU is the only university in the country that partners with the NSA National Cryptologic School, through which NSA military and civilian employees are able finish their associate, undergraduate and graduate degrees in cyber operations.

To reach broader audiences, including non-traditional, rural and international students, the institution began offering its quality, ground-breaking programs through distance course options in 1989. As of fall 2017, 18 undergraduate programs and all DSU’s graduate programs are offered online. Graduates of DSU programs enjoy enviable status in the national marketplace, with a 100 percent placement rate in many of the technology programs.

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.