Open main menu

Dakota State University

Dakota State University (DSU) is a public university in Madison, South Dakota.[6][7] It is located 50 miles northwest of Sioux Falls, SD,[8] the state's largest metropolitan area. The school was founded in 1881 as a normal school, or teacher training school. Education is still the university's heritage mission, but a signature mission[9] of technology was added by the state legislature in 1984 to specialize in "programs in computer management, computer information systems, and other related undergraduate and graduate programs."

Dakota State University
MottoEmbrace Innovation
TypeState university
EstablishedMarch 5, 1881 (1881-03-05)
Endowment$10.5 million
PresidentDr. José-Marie Griffiths[1]
Location, ,

44°00′44″N 97°06′46″W / 44.01229°N 97.11285°W / 44.01229; -97.11285Coordinates: 44°00′44″N 97°06′46″W / 44.01229°N 97.11285°W / 44.01229; -97.11285
Campus61 acres
ColorsYellow and Reflex Blue[3]
NicknameTrojans, Lady T's
Sporting affiliations
NAIA[4] North Star [5]

The heritage education mission also is to include "expertise in the use of computer technology and information processing in the teaching and learning process."

DSU now offers one of the country's most distinctive sets of technology-intensive undergraduate and graduate programs in information technology, computer science, cyber security, and healthcare informatics. DSU's motto is "Embrace Innovation."

In addition to its technology programs, Dakota State offers over 40 programs in business, teacher education, and arts and sciences, through the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Systems, Computing, and Education. Students may earn certificates, associate, bachelor's, master's and graduate degrees; all are technology-infused.

The final portion of DSU's mission is to "support research, scholarly, and creative activities, and provide service to the State of South Dakota and the region."

Besides on-campus classes, the Office of Online Education at DSU offers undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs at the University Center[10] at Sioux Falls and via online classes. DSU's online programs have earned national recognitions, most recently with the Health Informatics program, which was named #1 Best Online Master's in Health Informatics by Nonprofit Colleges Online, with their Students Before Profits Award 2017.[11]



Beadle Hall

Dakota State University was founded in 1881, eight years before South Dakota became a state. It has been through several name changes:

  • 1881 -- Madison Normal School or Dakota State Normal, and was the first school dedicated to training teachers in the Dakota Territory.
  • 1902 -- Madison State Normal School[12]
  • 1921 -- Easter State Normal School was officially adopted: changed to Easter State Teachers College in 1927.
  • 1947 -- General Beadle State Teachers College, after the school's third president William Henry Harrison Beadle (1889-1905); amended to General Beadle State College in 1964.
  • 1969 -- Dakota State College
  • 1989 -- Dakota State University, to reflect the addition of graduate programs.

The university's homecoming[13] celebration has also undergone several name changes, first being Pioneer Day (1922), then Eastern Frontier Day in 1923 (changed because another state's normal schools were using Pioneer Day), Eastern Day (1924-1954), Tutor Day (1955-1970's), and now Trojan Days.

Dr. José-Marie Griffiths is the school's current and 23rd president.[14]

DSU is also home to the Smith-Zimmermann Heritage Museum[15] and the Karl E. Mundt Library [16] and archives.


Dakota State holds the distinction of being one of the original Centers for Excellence in Cyber Security[17], designated in 2004 by the National Security Agency[18] as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.

DSU now holds four such distinctions, with awards from the Department of Homeland Security/National Security Agency (NSA) as a National Center of Academic Excellence in: Information Assurance Education, Information Assurance Research, Cyber Operations, and most recently as a Cyber Defense Regional Resource Center.

The 2017 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges ranking listed the university as tied for #32 in Top Public Schools, and tied for #108 in Regional Universities Midwest.[19]

Accreditation and governanceEdit

  • Dakota State is governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents[20] and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)[21], on the AQIP track (Academic Quality Improvement Program).[22]
  • The College of Education received accreditation from CAEP[23] in 2016.
  • The Health Information Management programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management. In 2016, the program was named as an Approved Education Partner (AEP) by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).[24][25]
  • The undergraduate and business programs are accredited by Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.[26] Respiratory programs are accredited by Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).[27]

Student lifeEdit

Enrollment has grown from two graduates in its first class in 1885, to 3,190 students enrolled in the fall of 2016. Of those, 2,844 are undergraduates and 346 are postgraduate students.[28][29] On-campus students number 2,754; 1,134 are Internet-only students. Students come from 49 states and 59 countries.

The average student/faculty ratio is 19.8/1. For undergraduates, the average class size is 15.3 students; for graduate students, on-campus class size is 4.1. More than $18 million in financial aid was awarded in FY2015.

Students may choose from over 45 campus clubs and campus and national organizations.[30] The school also has a comprehensive student services program, including career services, international programs, Student Success Center.[31] (counseling, academic probation, wellness, tutoring), diversity and inclusion and Title III services.

The placement rate for DSU's graduates is over 94 percent; several programs have 100 percent placement.

Physical campusEdit

The historic portion of the 61-acre campus includes five buildings facing an open lawn area called the "Campus Green".[32] The oldest building on campus is Beadle Hall, built in 1886.[33] The newest building is the Beacom Institute of Technology.

As of 2017, plans are also underway for a new cyber research and development facility and organization called the Madison Cyber Labs or MadLabs.[34] Renovations to the school's athletic facilities are also in the planning stages.[35]

Cyber competitionsEdit

DSU has an information security team which regularly competes against other collegiate teams in multiple competitions, one of which is the National Central Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. DSU's team was among the finalists in the years 2009, 2014, 2016, and 2018. In 2013, the team won 2nd place.[36] In 2018, the team won 3rd place.[37] In the 2017 Argonne National Laboratory Cyber Defense Competition where fifteen collegiate teams from around the country competed, DSU placed in second as well, in tie with Kansas State University.[38]


Dakota State teams, nicknamed athletically as the Trojans and Lady T's, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).[4] Their conference affiliation is with the North Star Athletic Association[5], they were charter members of the NSAA in 2013-14.

The Trojans formerly competed in the Association of Independent Institutions (AII), the Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC), the Dakota-10 Athletic Conference (DAC-10), the South Dakota-Iowa Conference (SDIC), and the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference (SDIC).

Dakota State sponsors 12 collegiate sports. The six men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, and indoor and outdoor track & field; the six women's sports include basketball, cross country, softball, volleyball and indoor and outdoor track and field.

Dakota State University teams have won 56 conference championships and produced 80 All-Americans (14 women, 66 men). Also, 112 DSU athletes have been named NAIA All-Scholar athletes. There have been 856 Trojans who have received the distinction of being cited an All-Conference athlete (227 football, 130 track, 75 baseball, 70 cross country, 66 softball, 60 volleyball, 50 women's basketball and 44 men's basketball).

Campus mediaEdit

KDSU is a college campus radio station which broadcasts only in the Student Union and online at The station plays many genres of music, from rock and metal to country and alternative.

The Trojan Times is the student newspaper.[39]

Notable alumniEdit

  • Miles Beacom (1981)-- President and CEO of Premier Bankcard and of First Premier Financial Services[40]
  • Shantel Krebs (1998)-- Current South Dakota Secretary of State[41]
  • Matt Paulson[42] (2008)-- Founder of[43]; Co-Founder of GoGo Photo Contest[44]; Partner with USGolfTV[45] and Chairman of Falls Angel Fund
  • Kevin Streff[46] (1988)-- Founder and Managing Partner of SBS Cybersecurity, LLC[47], a computer security service listed for four years in a row on the Inc. 5000[48][49] list of fastest growing businesses.
  • Susan Bulfer Koch (1972)-- Chancellor of University of Illinois-Springfield[50]
  • Ruth Habeger (1917)-- Longtime science and math teacher, the science building is named after her[51]
  • Richard Barrett Lowe[52] (1929)-- writer and director of the 1929 film "Dakotah," filmed with DSU faculty and staff (no copies remain); 42nd Governor of American Samoa, 8th American Governor of Guam.


  1. ^ "Griffiths Chosen as Next Dakota State University President | Dakota State University". 2015-04-27. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  2. ^ a b c "Dakota State's enrollment numbers on the rise". 20 September 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  3. ^ DSU Logo Usage (PDF). 2004-07-08. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  4. ^ a b "NAIA - National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  5. ^ a b "North Star Athletic Association". North Star Athletic Association. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  6. ^ Madison, City of. "Welcome to the city of Madison | South Dakota". City of Madison. Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  7. ^ "South Dakota Official State Homepage". Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  8. ^ "Official Website of the City of Sioux Falls - City of Sioux Falls". Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ [2][dead link]
  11. ^ "Best Online Master's in Health Informatics: Students Before Profits Award 2017". Nonprofit Colleges Online. Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  12. ^ [3][dead link]
  13. ^ [4][dead link]
  14. ^ [5][dead link]
  15. ^ "Smith-Zimmermann Museum". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  16. ^ [6][dead link]
  17. ^ "Resources for Students and Educators". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  18. ^ "". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  19. ^ [7][dead link]
  20. ^ "Pages - Home". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  21. ^ "The Higher Learning Commission". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  22. ^ "AQIP Categories - Accreditation". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  23. ^ "Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  24. ^ "HIMSS". HIMSS. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  25. ^ "Dakota State University becomes a HIMSS Approved Education Partner". 5 December 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  26. ^ "Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  27. ^ "CoARC - Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care - Home". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  28. ^ "Dakota State University reports all-time record fall enrollment". 21 September 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  29. ^ "DSU reports all-time record fall enrollment". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  30. ^ "Clubs and Organizations". 19 August 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  31. ^ [8][dead link]
  32. ^ "Campus Tour". 15 August 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  33. ^ [9][dead link]
  34. ^ [10][dead link]
  35. ^ [11][dead link]
  36. ^ "About". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  37. ^ Communications, Raytheon Corporate. "Raytheon News Release Archive". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  38. ^ [12][dead link]
  39. ^ "Trojan Times". Trojan Times. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  40. ^ [13][dead link]
  41. ^ "South Dakota Secretary of State, Shantel Krebs". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  42. ^ "Matthew Paulson - Entrepreneur, Author, Angel Investor". Matthew Paulson. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  43. ^ "MarketBeat: Stock Ratings, Research Tools and Market News". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  44. ^ "GoGo Photo Contest - The #1 Donate-To-Vote Photo Contest Software". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  45. ^ "USGolfTV - Golf blog and videos: Inventors of #TourDraw". USGolfTV. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  46. ^ "Dakota State University". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  47. ^ "Network Security, Consulting, and IT Audit - SBS CyberSecurity". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  48. ^ "Inc. 5000 2018: America's Top Entrepreneurs". 15 August 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  49. ^ [14][dead link]
  50. ^ "University of Illinois Springfield - UIS". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  51. ^ "". Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  52. ^ "» Governor Richard Barrett Lowe". Retrieved 21 September 2018.

External linksEdit