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Smarter Cyber Starts at Dakota State.

With innovative education, research, partnerships, and outreach programs, Dakota State University is where cybersecurity and cyber operations get smarter.

Nationally Recognized by
the NSA and DHS

  • DSU has a recognized excellence in cyber security education and research. The University currently has three Centers of Academic Excellence designations from the NSA and DHS and is one of eight CAE Regional Resource Centers (CRRC) for the NSA. This close relationship with NSA and DHS exemplify the excellence that DSU has achieved in cyber security education and research.

    • CAE in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO)
    • CAE in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE)
    • CAE in Cyber Defense Research (CAE-R)
    • CAE Regional Resource Centers (CRRC)

Cryptologic School
Degree Completion

DSU forged the first partnership in the nation with NSA's National Cryptologic School for degree completion, allowing NSA employees to apply Agency education and training toward a degree in the University's Beacom College.

Top College

DSU has impressive credentials. Our cyber programs continually score well in national rankings for academic quality and affordability, both online and on-campus, and at all degree levels.

The Military Times ranked DSU's cybersecurity program #3 in 2018; organizations such as Affordable Colleges Online, Best College Reviews, College Choice, U.S. News & World Report also rank DSU's programs well.


  • DSU's newest building is a technology-forward facility that will educate the next generation of cyber professionals. The Beacom Institute of Technology features classrooms, labs, and collaborative spaces that support DSU's technology-centric programs, including cybersecurity.

  • As part of the Madison Cyber Labs (MadLabs) project, construction is underway on a leading-edge technology research, development, and application facility that will include innovative and secure lab space.

Growing Demand.

Around the country and the world, people are recognizing the amazing resources and achievements DSU has to offer. The University has seen steady increases in enrollment over the last several years. The cybersecurity program grew by 8% over that same period of time. The University is leading the way in growing tomorrow's cybersecurity leaders today.



On-Campus Degrees

Established in 1881, Dakota State University's campus offers a unique balance of historic legacy merged with innovative facilities and cutting-edge programs. DSU offers Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral degrees, as well as graduate certificates in Banking Security, Ethical Hacking, Business Analytics, and Information Technology. In addition to on-campus courses in Madison, DSU also offers courses at University Center in Sioux Falls.On-campus Programs

Online Degrees

Many DSU degree programs are offered entirely online. Online students learn from the same professors who teach on campus; in fact, many online courses are taught at the same time as the on-campus class. Because of this, some faculty will bring online and on-campus students together through collaborative projects, which builds a level of community hard to find at other institutions.Online Programs

Degrees that Dig Deep

DSU degree programs teach students serious cyber skills to defeat real-world threats and attacks. In addition to getting the best education, DSU cyber grads get jobs. Why? DSU ensures that students have hands-on experience in cutting-edge, state-of-the-art labs and networks. Some students even get to work on actual NSA cyber projects in a secure lab on DSU's campus, side-by-side with NSA staff and DSU faculty.


BS Cyber Operations

Better understand the hacker mindset and learn the skills to defeat them, protecting systems from malware, software exploitation, and vulnerabilities.


CyberCorps®: Scholarship for Service

DSU offers the nation's largest National Science Foundation CyberCorps®: Scholarship for Service program. The scholarship covers 100% of tuition and fees plus funding for professional development and a stipend of up to $34,000 a year. Recipients also receive a paid summer internship and guaranteed cyber employment in state, federal, or tribal government after graduation. Yearly awards are worth over $50,000 and are renewable for up to three years.


Top Cybersecurity

Whether on-campus or online, DSU students learn from the best. DSU professors are some of the nation's top authorities on preventing, detecting, and battling digital crime, focusing on cybersecurity, ethical hacking, and cyber operations. With a blend of classroom theory, hands-on learning, and practical application, they prepare students for real world careers with real opportunity.

Meet the Faculty See Open Positions

DSU Scholarships
& Financial Aid

In addition to being one of the most affordable schools in the country, many students receive financial aid. For the 2016-2017 school year, 76% of all DSU students received some type of financial aid, with an average of more than $10,000 per student.

Learn More


Madison Cyber Labs (The MadLabs)

The Madison Cyber Labs (MadLabs) are establishing a hub of cybersecurity and cyber operations expertise, research, economic development, and application in South Dakota. The MadLabs facility – an $18 million building on the DSU campus – will include state-of-the-art secure labs so students and researchers can pursue work critical to the growth of the cyber universe.

Multiple interdisciplinary research, development, application, and scholarship clusters will engage cybersecurity students, faculty, and professionals in partnerships with other universities, government organizations, business and industry corporations, nonprofits, and international higher education.


Adaptive Technology
Director: Dr. Justin Blessinger

FinTech Cyber

Financial Technology
Director: Dr. Kevin Streff


Co-Director: Dr. Ashley Podhradsky
Co-Director: Dr. Pam Rowland


Collaborations for Liberty and Security Strategies for Integrity in a Cyber-enabled Society
Director: Dr. Joseph Bottum


Center for Advancement of Health Information Technology
Director: Dr. Dan Friedrich

Cyber Ed & Professional Development Lab

K-12 IT and Cyber Education
Director: Dr. Crystal Pauli


Digital Forensics for Cyber Enforcement
Director: Dr. Ashley Podhradsky


Protection and Threat Research for the Internet of Things
Director: Dr. Yong Wang


Center for Business Analytics Research
Director: Dr. Dan Talley

MadLabs Partnerships

The MadLabs are also bringing universities, government agencies, businesses, and other organizations together for international cybersecurity partnerships.

DSU already has robust partnerships with the NSA, DHS, and the US National Science Foundation. In addition, the University is helping to facilitate the development of an international academic alliance of cybersecurity higher education institutions endorsed by the Five Eyes, the intelligence alliance of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US. Multiple other government, business, and industry partnerships are also in development.

DSU is eager to partner with organizations for professional or advanced education, research, and application development. In addition, partners can connect with DSU students for potential internships, employee recruitment, and more. Become part of the leading edge of cybersecurity, and contact the University today for partnership possibilities.

Contact Us


Middle & High School
Cybersecurity Camps

DSU hosts the largest residential GenCyber camps in the country, with week-long co-ed camps for 9th-12th graders, and a week-long girls-only camp for 6th-9th graders. At no cost to the campers, 425 students gather to participate in hands-on sessions, games, Cyberlympics, and more. At DSU's girls-only camp, featured speakers from various technology companies and agencies such as Google, Facebook, and Access Data share about the opportunities for young women in cyber careers.

GenCyber Camp CybHER Camp


DSU hosts the largest residential summer GenCyber teacher camp for 6th-12th grade teachers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Teachers can explore cybersecurity and learn how to incorporate it into their classrooms.

GenCyber Teachers Camp

Cyber Defense

DSU cyber students compete and succeed in national and international competitions. DSU teams master practical skills as they defend simulated networks against attacks at Collegiate Cyber Defense Competitions (CCDC), National Cyber League (NCL), and U.S. Department of Energy Cyber Defense Competitions at Argonne National Labs, and at the offensive Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition (CPTC).

Student accomplishments take place globally as well: in 2017, a DSU cyber operations/network and security administration double major won several honors at the Cambridge 2 Cambridge (C2C) cyber competition held at Cambridge University in England.

DSU Cyber Teams


This annual three-day cybersecurity conference is hosted by corporate and government sponsors to discuss the latest cybersecurity developments. Interact with top minds from all over the world, attend trainings, and network with other professionals.

DakotaCon Info