Updated on May 28, 2024
Edited by Evelyn Keener
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Dakota State University (DSU) was first established as a Normal School in 1881 in Dakota Territory as the first school in the area dedicated exclusively to training teachers. It didn’t become DSU until 1989, reflecting the addition of graduate programs to their offerings. Over the years, DSU has evolved to become one of the most technologically advanced campuses in the Midwest.

Overview of Dakota State University (DSU)

Dakota State University (DSU) boasts a longstanding legacy of innovation and excellence. In 1984, it became the first university in America to offer an undergraduate computer science education degree; today it's widely acknowledged as an authority on cyber operations education, with undergraduate and graduate programs available in computer science, cyber operations, and information systems.

DSU has also been a pioneer in online education, offering distance learning programs since 1989. Today, DSU's online programs are among the most highly regarded in the nation, with numerous rankings and accolades from organizations such as those from US News & World Report and the Online Learning Consortium.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Town: Distant
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 18:1
Graduation Rate 49%
Year Founded 1881

Student Enrollment

Total Students3,186


Undergraduate Student

Male 1,699
Female 1,041

Graduate Student

Male 277
Female 169

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Dakota State University Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 471
Female 235


Male 396
Female 195

Acceptance Rate84%

Male 84%
Female 83%

Enrollment 383

Male 268
Female 115
Application Fee $20
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Required
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses NA
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Considered But Not Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline September 1
Common Application Accepted No

DSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

In terms of tuition rates, Dakota State University is highly competitive compared to many other public universities in the United States. For South Dakota residents, the tuition for the 2022-23 academic year was approximately $9,633 for those enrolled in undergraduate studies. This figure does not include additional costs such as textbooks, housing, and meals, but it does highlight the reasonable base cost of attending Dakota State University, especially for in-state students.

Out-of-state students also benefit from relatively low tuition rates compared to other universities, though they will pay more than their in-state counterparts. For the same academic year, out-of-state undergraduate students paid $12,735 in tuition. Though higher than in-state rates, this is still significantly lower than the tuition costs at many other institutions.

Dakota State University provides all students with numerous scholarships and financial aid opportunities that make attendance even more affordable. Explore all available scholarship options before selecting one that aligns with their qualifications and interests.

Average net price Current Year
Net Price $17,861
Average Total Aid $4,501
Students Receiving Financial Aid 94%
Room & Board $7,148

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $9,536
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $12,606
  • Books and Supplies - $1,200
  • Room & Board - $7,148
  • Other - $4,874

Popular Academic Programs at DSU

At DSU, academics are not restricted to the traditional classroom setting. The university embraces online and experiential learning and offers various practical opportunities for students to apply their knowledge. Whether it's through internships, research projects, or cooperative education programs, DSU ensures that students are well-prepared to thrive in their chosen careers upon graduation.

The school prides itself on the dedication and expertise of its faculty members, who strive to deliver top-quality instruction within an enjoyable learning environment. Not only are our professors experts in their respective fields; they're also committed to helping their students thrive academically and professionally - offering guidance, mentorship and advice that aids growth both academically and professionally.

DSU provides an array of programs designed to cater to students with diverse interests and ambitions, whether in business, education, health sciences, or another popular educational area. No matter what field is your passion - business studies, education, or health sciences - DSU likely has something for you. Furthermore, its course offerings are regularly revised in accordance with industry trends and demands so that students have access to relevant knowledge and skills that keep pace with today's market needs.

In addition to its academic offerings, DSU provides a supportive and inclusive campus environment. Students have access to numerous resources and support services including academic advising, tutoring, counseling, and career development services. The university also offers various extracurricular activities and organizations, allowing students to pursue their passions and develop leadership skills outside the classroom.

Student Population Total

Student Population 3,186

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Computer and Information Sciences Majors 210 Total Graduates / 60%
Computer and Information Systems Security/Auditing/Information Assurance 64 Graduates
Computer and Information Sciences, General 47 Graduates
System, Networking, and LAN/WAN Management/Manager 36 Graduates
Computer Graphics 27 Graduates
All Education Majors 54 Total Graduates / 15%
Special Education and Teaching, Other 24 Graduates
Elementary Education and Teaching 21 Graduates
Mathematics Teacher Education 4 Graduates
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching 3 Graduates
All Business Majors 33 Total Graduates / 9%
Business Administration and Management, General 13 Graduates
Accounting 10 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 7 Graduates
Finance, General 3 Graduates
All Health Professions and Related Majors 12 Total Graduates / 3%
Health Information/Medical Records Administration/Administrator 9 Graduates
Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist 3 Graduates
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 12 Total Graduates / 3%
General Studies 12 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 9%

Outcome & Salary

At Dakota State University, graduates are equipped with the skills and knowledge to thrive in today's rapidly evolving technology-driven world. Many DSU graduates are making significant contributions in the fields of cyber security, computer science, and information technology. With a strong emphasis on experiential learning and practical applications, DSU alumni are well-prepared to tackle real-world challenges and excel in their careers.

Furthermore, DSU has a strong network of industry partners who actively recruit and support its graduates. This collaborative relationship ensures that DSU students have access to internships, mentorship opportunities, and job placements upon graduation. As a result, many DSU alumni are able to seamlessly transition into high-demand professions and make meaningful impacts in their respective fields. The outcomes for graduates from Dakota State University reflect the institution's commitment to producing highly skilled professionals who are poised for success in today's competitive job market. In fact, a full 99.7% of respondents in a recent graduate survey indicated that they found job placement opportunities after completing their education. (Note that this includes those in the military, voluntary service, and furthering their education.)

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $44,000
College Grads Average Salary $38,700
College Grads Mid Career Salary $64,900
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $387,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,036,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $71,444
10 Year Projected ROI $315,556
20 Year Projected ROI $964,556
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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