Dakota State University students walking around campus

Preparation + opportunity = success

That's the DSU equation. We're a four-year university with nationally recognized programs, cutting-edge facilities, and the brightest thinkers. But we're also a tight-knit, inclusive community. Small class sizes mean hands-on training and individualized attention. All this with an affordable, public school price that's among the best values in the region.

Majors & Degrees

Dakota State The Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences

Smarter cyber starts at Dakota State

Are you dreaming of founding the next unicorn startup? A budding scientist obsessed with artificial intelligence? A white-hat hacker plotting ways to channel your mad skills for a greater good?

The Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences offers elite training in the latest tech alongside a stellar foundation of critical thinking, problem-solving, and team-building skills that, unlike the latest device or app, will never be obsolete.

That’s just one of the reasons why DSU has Center of Academic Excellence designations from the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DSU is one of only ten institutions nationwide to hold all three prestigious NSA Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) designations for cyber security education and research. 

Degrees and programs

Our programs teach students like you serious cyber skills to defeat real-world threats and attacks. Our undergraduate degree in cyber operations is the top technical program in the country to learn both defensive and offensive hacking techniques. But that's just one of the paths you can choose. 

We offer a wide range of certificates and degrees in fields like computer science, game design, information technology, and networking. Our impressive credentials enable our cyber programs to continually score well in national rankings for academic quality and affordability, online and on-campus, at all degree levels. 

Dakota State is leading the way in growing tomorrow's cyber security leaders today. In fact, we've seen steady increases in enrollment over the last several years and our cyber security program has grown by 8% within the same time period. 

The Military Times has also ranked DSU as 'Best for Vets', #29 in 2019; organizations such as Affordable Colleges Online, Best College Reviews, College Choice, and U.S. News & World Report also rank our programs well.

View learning outcomes

“DSU definitely prepared me through course experience, project experience, or absorbing knowledge through conversations.”

Evan Bolt - Cyber Operations ‘17, MSCS '19

Center of Academic Excellence Designations

DSU is one of only ten universities in the nation to carry all three of the Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) designations sponsored by the National Security Agency (NSA). The Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences serves as DSU's established Center for Cybersecurity where the designated programs are housed. These designations represent the high quality of our cybersecurity programs and enable our students to apply for scholarships and grants through Federal and DoD programs.

Our designated Programs are:


National Security Agency (NSA) Center of Academic Excellence (CAE)

DSU's Cyber 27 Initiative: the next chapter for Cyber everywhere

Dakota State is based on a culture of never settling. Through the seven pillars of our Cyber 27 Initiative, we are on our way to becoming not only the top cyber program in the country but the next chapter for cyber everywhere.

Get the details on DSU Cyber 27

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As a Beacom student, you're eligible for financial aid and a number of scholarships designed for future innovators just like you. The Cyber Corps Scholarship program is just one example: full-ride scholarships, stipends, research opportunities and a guaranteed security job in federal, state, local and tribal government organizations once you graduate.

Find Out How

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Honors program

Challenge yourself intellectually with advanced courses and peers who crave the same. Connect with faculty who cheer you on. The General Beadle Honors Program is an option for any major, in any college.

Level Up

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4+1 program

You not only have the goal of completing a bachelor’s degree, but you also want to push yourself to obtain your master’s degree. Our 4+1 program gives you the unique opportunity to finish both degrees in just five years. The program is offered in various disciplines to fit your career aspirations.

That's Me

Beacom building

Your cyber headquarters

The Beacom Institute of Technology is your technology-forward launchpad. In addition to the best education, you'll work in state-of-the-art facilities, exceptional classrooms, labs, and collaborative spaces designed especially for the needs of cybersecurity and other tech-intensive programs.

Students also learn from the best as DSU faculty members are some of the nation's top authorities on preventing, detecting, and battling digital crime, focusing on cyber security, 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 noteworthy opportunities.

DSU has robust relationships with the NSA, DHS, and the US National Science Foundation. Some students have the opportunity to work on actual NSA-sponsored cyber projects in a secure lab on the DSU campus, side-by-side with NSA staff and expert DSU faculty. These opportunities give you the hands-on experience needed to secure a job in the cyber world.

You can also bring the knowledge you've already learned on the job to Dakota State and receive credit! National Security Agency (NSA) employees (military and civilian) can transfer up to 56 National Cryptologic University course credits to Dakota State’s bachelor’s degree in online cyber operations.

Institutional Security Resources and Awareness

Outdoor image of the southwest corner of MadLabs® building

Madison Cyber Labs

Madison Cyber Labs (MadLabs®) is a prominent hub for research, development, and economic opportunity at DSU. With cyber security and cyber operations in mind, MadLabs® contains secure labs so student and faculty researchers can pursue work that's critical to the growth of the cyber universe. 

MadLabs® has also formed partnerships with the government, businesses, nonprofits, and other higher education institutions. These partnerships are beneficial for our students, as they create the potential for internships, employee recruitment, and more. 

Discover more

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Conferences and competitions

The annual three-day DakotaCon Security Conference is hosted by corporate and government sponsors to discuss the latest cybersecurity developments. You can interact with top minds from all over the world, attend training, and network with other professionals.

Our cyber students also compete and succeed in national and international competitions. DSU teams master practical skills as they attack and defend simulated networks. These are some of the competitions/challenges that our students regularly compete at:

Want to get involved? DSU has a very active Computer Club focusing on programming, offensive security, defensive security, and all things computer-related. The computer club is an excellent place to sharpen your skills and learn new things. Also, check out the CybHER Security Institute, a place for girls and women in cybersecurity to foster positive and encouraging relationships within the cybersecurity industry.

GenCyber Teacher's Camp attendees in June 2019

Cyber security camps

DSU hosts the largest residential GenCyber camps in the country, with a week-long GenCyber co-ed camp for 9th-12th graders and GenCyber Girls in CybHER®camp for 6th-9th graders.

At no cost, over 425 students gather to participate in hands-on sessions, games, Cyberlympics, and more. Featured speakers from various technology companies and agencies also attend the camps, to share opportunities and real-life advice for students seeking cyber careers.

We also host the largest residential summer GenCyber teacher camp for 6th to 12th-grade teachers who teach science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Teachers who attend can explore cyber security and learn how to effectively incorporate it into their classrooms.

DSU classroom of students with faculty teaching.

Advisory Board

We proudly collaborate with local, regional, and national professionals when making decisions in our programs. Our Industry Advisory Board has been in existence since 2012 and we continue to seek input on the latest technology trends.

View the List of Board Members


Stay in touch with us to receive the latest DSU admission information

Receive reminders about the upcoming DSU admission ats ad admissions-related information about the university.

Annual Newsletter

The Beacom College of Computer & Cyber Sciences provides you with the foundation for success in any field. We are excited to share the news of our past year and look forward to another year of excellence at DSU.


Beacom Deans Cup 2024

Beacom Dean’s Cup experience is resume-builder

Dakota State University students excel in all types of cyber competitions, whether they be regional, national, or international.

DSU student David Siemienas pictured with a blue background that has dots connected with lines.

DSU student sees latest tech at trade show

Dakota State University junior Cyber Operations major David Siemienas attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), an annual trade show organized by the Consumer Technology Association, in January.

A digital globe with blue dots forming the countries and orange-red lines spreading out from the D.C. area on the America portion of the globe.

From the Great Plains to Washington, D.C.: DSU In Our Nation’s Capital

Cybersecurity and AI continue to be a focus in D.C. and nationwide, and Dakota State University is pleased to lead the conversation in these emerging areas, highlighting the importance of public-private partnerships. The Fall 2023 semester included major successes for the University in the nation’s capital.

More news

The Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences

820 N Washington Ave.
Madison SD 57042