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

Timelines & Requirements

Admission Requirements

We admit students into the Master of Science in Cyber Defense (MSCD) program in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

To apply, you need to have:

  • A bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, or software engineering from an institution with full regional accreditation for that degree
  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent)
  • An essay in response to a security problem scenario. You’ll find the scenario within the application form
  • Satisfactory scores on the GRE. The test must have been taken within the last five years. The test can be waived if one of the following conditions is met:
    • A cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or higher on a 4.0 scale for a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the US
    • Official admission into and demonstrated success in a regionally accredited graduate program in the US Demonstrated success is defined as grades of A or B in at least nine hours of graduate work
    • Graduation from a regionally accredited college/university in the US at least 15 years ago or more

If you don’t have an undergraduate degree in computer science, computer engineering, or software engineering, you may be required to take additional coursework as a condition of admission.

If you’re an international student, you must have a bachelor’s degree that is equivalent to a four-year undergraduate degree in the US

Application Deadline

Please be sure to send in your application by:

  • June 15 for admission for the following Fall semester
  • November 15 for admission for the following Spring semester
  • April 15 for admission for the following Summer semester

Please be aware that the application deadline is subject to change to accommodate available capacity and program needs. We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible.

Apply Now

Graduation Requirements

Our MSCD program requires a total of 30 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate. This includes:

  • Successful completion of all courses listed on your MSCD Plan of Study within the 5-year time limit
  • Achievement of a GPA of at least 3.0 (a "B" average), with no more than 6 credit hours of a "C" grade and no grade below a "C" in the courses on your Plan of Study
  • Satisfaction of Regental standards for residency, this is satisfied by completing all but a maximum of nine credit hours of your coursework at DSU (distance courses count as "at DSU")
  • 24 credit hours of core courses
  • 6 credit hours of specialization coursework
  • A comprehensive exam

Please note that several courses will have a mandated lab component. These courses may require specialized hardware or software, which will be available in campus computer labs.

Contact Us

Office of Graduate Studies and Research
(605) 256-5799