Oct 25, 2021  
Undergraduate Catalog (ARCHIVED) 2019-2020 
Undergraduate Catalog (ARCHIVED) 2019-2020 [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
    230 S. LaSalle St. - Suite 7-500
    Chicago, IL 60604-1413 • (312) 263-0456 • 1-800-621-7440
  • 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

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.  The secondary purpose is to offer two-year, one-year and short courses for application and operator training in the areas authorized.  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 Major Level Curriculum
    • Business, Computer and Cyber Sciences, Digital Arts and Design, Education, Entrepeneurship, English for New Media, Exercise Sceince, General Studies, Information Technology and Security, Mathematics, Physicial and Biological Sciences and Respiratory Care.
  2. Master's Level Curriculum
    • Business, Computer and Cyber Sciences, Education and Informatin Technology and Security.

C. Doctoral Level Curriculum

  • Information Systems and Cyber Defence and Operations.

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 Dakota State Normal School, the first teacher education institution in Dakota Territory. Its mission was to recruit and educate young adults to become teachers for the growing communities in the region.

Over the decades, the university's programs of study have evolved. In 1888, commercial studies were added, the forerunner to today's majors in the College of Business and Information Systems. Humanities courses were added throughout the years as well, now gathered under the College of Arts & Sciences. Future elementary, secondary, and special education teachers continue to study in the College of Education.

Along with these program additions, there were several name changes, including Dakota Normal School, Eastern State Teachers College, General Beadle State College, and Dakota State College.

The biggest change for the university came in 1984, when the South Dakota Legislature and the South Dakota Board of Regents changed the mission of Dakota State to include and emphasize computer technology and information systems. The purpose of this legislative action was two-fold: it addressed economic development in the state, particularly in reference to the growing banking and financial services industry; it also added a technology focus to all program offerings.

To fulfill this mission, DSU faculty developed leading-edge computer technology and information systems degree programs. Several program developments led to new graduate degree programs, so on July 1, 1989, the South Dakota Legislature changed the name to Dakota State University, to reflect the expansion of the university's degree options.

Dakota State University's innovative curriculum led to national recognition. In 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 CAE distinctions in cyber defense education, cyber defense research, cyber operations, and is a cyber defense consultative regional resource center.

Additionally, DSU is one of a few universities 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. Dakota State also has articulation agreements with the Community College of the Air Force; students can earn an Associate of Applied Science degree on their way to a Bachelor of Science degree in Cyber Leadership and Intelligence, or take general education courses.

DSU has also focused on applying computer technology to traditional academic fields, leading to the development of unique, technology-focused degree programs in business, English, and art, to name a few. Traditional majors in the College of Business and Information Systems, such as accounting and finance, are infused with technology; new technology-focused business programs of study include computer information systems and health information administration. English students can major in English for New Media; fine arts students major in one of four specializations under the Digital Arts and Design degree, such as digital sound design or production animation. All of DSU's education majors receive a technology endorsement with their degree.

To increase student access to the technology-centric programming, Dakota State University 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 computer notebooks in 2004. This Wireless Mobile Computing Initiative continues today: all on-campus students receive a laptop when they begin their studies.

For 18 of the last 20 years, Dakota State University has seen steady increases in enrollment. Many are on-campus students, but to reach broader audiences, including non-traditional, rural, and international students, the institution began offering distance course options in 1989. Many undergraduate programs and all DSU's nine graduate programs are now offered online.

Whether on campus or online, graduates of DSU programs enjoy enviable status in the national marketplace, with 100 percent placement rate in many of our programs.

From its start as a small college on the prairie, Dakota State University is on an inspirational and world-changing trajectory to be a forward-thinking, innovative, technology-fueled organization. In the future, Dakota State will continue to foster true innovation and active engagement in teaching, learning, scholarship, research, 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.