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

Cyber Operations (BS)

As technology improves, so do risks for vulnerabilities. That’s why we need you.

DSU's Cyber Operations program equips you to identify and investigate attacks like data breaches, malware infections, and software vulnerabilities. Go beyond the mind of hackers and analyze their mentality, motivations, and techniques.

Research and practice is vital. Our classes help you explore the fundamentals of programming, networking, and cyber security. Plus, our labs give you real-life practice in analyzing malware and exploit software safely; you won’t put your computer or information at risk.

Online or on-campus courses

The Cyber Operations bachelor’s program is offered 100% online or on campus. Whether you are a traditional student or a working professional, this flexible program allows you to complete your degree how it works best for you, remote, in-person, or hybrid, and as a full-time or part-time student.

Degree in three

Fast-track your education with the option to complete your bachelor’s in Cyber Operations in three years. Depending on the number of previously earned college-level credits and math test placements, the accelerated option can allow you to earn your degree even faster than the Degree in Three plan or traditional 4-year timeframe.

4+1 program

This degree is also part of our 4+1 Program, which means you can complete your BS in Cyber Operations and your MS in Computer Science in just five years or four years with the fast track option.

Why choose cyber operations at DSU

National Security Agency seal

Designated cyber excellence

The National Security Agency (NSA) has designated our cyber operations degree program as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO), one of only 20 such designations in the nation. With the NSA’s CAE-CO designation, our program meets some of the highest cyber security education standards in the nation.

As a student, you’ll also have the opportunity to take advantage of DSU’s government agency and industry relationships. You’ll gain hands-on experience and build valuable connections – all before graduation.

Student studying from home with online courses at DSU

Cyber competitions

Our campus provides plenty of opportunities to keep your brain churning after you leave the classroom. Test your skills in ACM Programming Contests or prove your expertise in the National Cyber League (NCL) and the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC). Our cyber students compete and succeed in national and international competitions.

DSU Cyber Corps scholarship program

As a cyber operations student, you may also be eligible to apply for the DSU Cyber Corps Scholarship. A full-ride scholarship program that also pays out a $25,000 stipend per year. 

Odin Bernstein and President Griffith's

A student of excellence

Working with a cyber security professor and the MADRID Lab, Odin Bernstein is helping develop a new tool for the automation of malware analysis. “If corporations respond to an incident such as a breach of network intrusion, often they’ll need to analyze that malware,” Bernstein explained. This can be time-consuming, so there is a need in the field to develop tools that can automate the process.

His work on a grant with Dr. Bramwell Brizendine is helping to develop a curriculum related to malware analysis. This will provide training to veterans who may want to start a career in the field.

Student Spotlight

Hi-tech cyber operations laboratory

Hi-tech hacking labs

DSU has a one-of-a-kind "hacking lab." In it, you can learn how hackers think, what tools they use, and how software vulnerabilities are identified and exploited. And you won't put your computer - or your information - at risk. Most of our courses include hands-on experiences in programming, networking, and cyber security. For example, we have several labs where students are challenged to exploit commercial software applications in a life-like network environment. There are also labs dedicated to tearing apart malware to understand how it works and how it was created.

“I aspire to be a leader in the cybersecurity field and want to empower others to have an impact on the safety of our country's future.”

Annabelle Klosterman - '22

Organizations who hire our grads

With a degree in cyber operations, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.

Our grads are hired by the National Security Agency (NSA), The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab (APL), NAVWAR (Naval Information Warfare Systems Command), Sandia National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, banks, hospitals, and security firms all over the nation.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the BS degree in Cyber Operations, students will be able to:

  • Interpret analysis results (dynamic and static) to identify potential security vulnerabilities informed by functional behaviors of a target.
  • Execute constructed attacks against computer systems to take advantage of discovered vulnerabilities.
  • Create functionally-sound software that operates well under normal conditions.


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