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Dakota State University (DSU) is a public university in Madison, South Dakota. Using a technology-centric approach, DSU requires that each of its full-time undergraduate students use tablet computers and laptops in their classes, along with taking an introductory computer programming course. The university also integrates advanced biometric identification devices, virtual reality headsets, and computer hacking laboratories in its learning process.

Dakota State University
Motto Technically, we're better.
Type State university
Established March 5, 1881 (1881-03-05)
Endowment $10.1 million (2016)[1]
President José-Marie Griffiths[2]
Students 3,307[3]
Undergraduates 2,962[4]
Postgraduates 345[5]
Location Madison, South Dakota, U.S.
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
Campus Rural
Colors Yellow and Reflex Blue[6]
Nickname Trojans
Sporting affiliations
NAIANorth Star

DSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents. In 2004, DSU was designated by the National Security Agency and the United States Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Information Assurance Education.[7] In addition, DSU received four more CAE designations from the National Security Agency in cyber operations, cyber defense education, cyber defense research, and information assurance research.[8][9] DSU also formed the first and only partnership with the National Cryptologic School for a degree completion program, allowing NSA on-the-job employees to complete some of their coursework at DSU.[10]

DSU is home to the Smith-Zimmermann Heritage Museum and the Karl E. Mundt Library and Archives. Its athletic mascot is the Trojan and it is a member of the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and is a charter member of the North Star Athletic Association.

As of the Fall 2014 semester, its total student enrollment was 3,047, of whom 44.8% were women, and its total faculty count was 101.[11]



Beadle Hall

Dakota State University was founded as a normal school in 1881[12] as Madison Normal School with a mission to train teachers. It was the first school dedicated to training teachers in the Dakota Territory. The school's first president was Charles S. Richardson.

After South Dakota became a state in 1889, Madison Normal School became Eastern State Normal School. Over the next several years Dakota State would be known as Dakota Normal School, Dakota State Normal School and General Beadle State College after William Henry Harrison Beadle who served as its president from 1889 to 1906. In 1969, the South Dakota Legislature renamed the college Dakota State College. In 1989, the legislature once again changed the name of the institution to Dakota State University to reflect the addition of graduate programs. Its motto is "Technically, we're better."[citation needed]

Growth and ConstructionEdit

In 2017, DSU received $60 million in donations to help solidify the university's position as a national hub for cyber security.[13] The funds, in part, will be used to construct two new buildings:

  • The Madison Cyber Labs (MadLabs) -- an $18 million, 40,000-square-foot facility which will contain a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, which will allow classified government work and research to be completed on campus.[14]
  • The Beacom Institute of Technology -- an $11.4 million, 45,000-square-foot facility which will contain multiple labs with dedicated spaces for various areas in computer science and cyber security. [15]


Karl E. Mundt Library Commons

DSU offers associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs through the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Information Systems, the Beacom College of Computing and Cyber Sciences, and the College of Education.


Dakota State teams, nicknamed athletically as the Trojans, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing as an Independent of the Association of Independent Institutions (AII). Dakota State was a charter member of the North Star Athletic Association in the 2013-14 school year. The Trojans formerly competed in the now-defunct Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football and track & field; women's sports include basketball, cross country, soccer, track & field and volleyball.

Distance educationEdit

The Office of Extended Programs at DSU offers undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs at the University Center at Sioux Falls and via online classes.[16]

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.[17] In 2018, the team won 3rd place.[18] 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.[19]


  1. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2016 Endowment Market Value and Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY2015 to FY2016" (PDF). Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "Griffiths Chosen as Next Dakota State University President | Dakota State University". 2015-04-27. Retrieved 2016-08-26. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ DSU Logo Usage (PDF). 2004-07-08. Retrieved 2016-08-26. 
  7. ^ "NSA Announces the Designation of Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education". Retrieved 2017-07-23. 
  8. ^ "Current CAE designated institutions". 
  9. ^ National Science Foundation. "NSA Announces New Program to Prime College Students for Careers in Cyber Ops". Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "National Security Agency Announces New Education Partnership with Dakota State University". Retrieved 2017-04-24. 
  11. ^ "Fact Book Fiscal Year 2015" (PDF). South Dakota Board of Regents. pp. 12, 14, 57. Retrieved 2015-02-18. 
  12. ^ "Dakota State University History". Dakota State University. Archived from the original on 2011-12-08. Retrieved 2011-11-06. 
  13. ^ "Sanford, Beacom donate $30 million to Dakota State University". Argus Leader. Retrieved 2018-02-16. 
  14. ^ "Get a first look at DSU's new cyber labs building plan". Argus Leader. Retrieved 2018-02-16. 
  15. ^ "DSU Breaks Ground on Flagship Technology Building - TSP Public". TSP Public. 2016-06-30. Retrieved 2018-02-16. 
  16. ^ "Office of Extended Programs". Archived from the original on 15 February 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2013. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^

External linksEdit