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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

  • Dakota State University is nationally recognized by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a cybersecurity leader. The University holds four Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) designations from the NSA and DHS, including:

    • One of only four Cyber Defense Consultation Regional Resource Centers in the country, helping 11 states and 34 other CAEs develop their programs to meet rigorous NSA and DHS requirements to become an Academic Center of Excellence in cyber defense
    • One of only 16 Cyber Operations designations in the country, the most technically demanding of all designations
    • Cyber Defense Education
    • Cyber Defense Research

Cryptologic School
Degree Completion

DSU forged the first and only partnership with the National Cryptologic School for a degree completion program, allowing NSA employees to apply on-the-job training toward a degree in the University’s cyber operations program. Military and civilian employees can also transfer NCS course credits to our bachelor’s program.

Top College

DSU has impressive credentials and is committed to small-school, individualized attention for all students. Among many top rankings, BestValueSchools.com ranked DSU's online Bachelor of Science in Cyber Operations the #3 best value in the country, along with a #4 ranking for its Masters in Information Systems. Students Before Profits also puts DSU's Master's in Information Technology and Master’s in Computer Science as the #4 best online master's in the country.


  • DSU is building a new technology-forward facility to educate the next generation of cyber professionals. The Beacom Institute of Technology will contain classrooms, labs, and collaborative spaces to support DSU’s technology-centric programs, including cybersecurity, starting fall 2017.

  • As part of the Madison Cyber Labs (MadLabs) project, DSU is developing plans for a leading-edge technology research, development, and application facility including innovative secure compartmented labs.

Growing Demand.

Around the country and the world, people are recognizing the amazing resources and achievements DSU has to offer. The University has seen enrollment increase 9% over the last two years. The cybersecurity program alone has grown 23% and serves 500 students. 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, Master, 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 that also 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. And 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, 75% of all DSU students and 95% of on-campus undergraduate students receive some type of financial aid, with an average of over $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.


Cyber Classified Operations
Director: Dr. Josh Pauli


Digital Forensics for Cyber Enforcement
Director: Dr. Ashley Podhradsky


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


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


Banking Security
Director: Dr. Kevin Streff

Campus IT Living

Director: David Overby


Director: Dr. Ashley Podhradsky


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


Adaptive Technology
Director: Dr. Justin Blessinger

Cyber Ed & Learning Technologies

K-12 IT and cyber education
Director: Dr. Crystal Pauli


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 GenCyber camp in the country – a National Science Foundation-funded cybersecurity program for 7-12 graders. For no cost, more than 500 students gather to participate in hands-on sessions, games, Cyberlympics, and more. DSU also hosts a special girls-only week with emphasis on opportunities for girls and young women in cyber careers.

GenCyber Camp CybHER Camp


DSU hosts a summer GenCyber camp for 6-12 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 nationally in a number of competitions and have the wins to show it. In addition to multiple wins in the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition and the National Cyber League (NCL), DSU students have taken home the NCL National Championship twice.

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

Contact Us

Get smart about cybersecurity. To work with the best in cybersecurity education, research, partnerships, and outreach contact DSU today.

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