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.

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Master of Science in Computer Science (MSCS)

Profoundly practical, fundamentally different

DSU’s MS in Computer Science is worlds away from traditional computer science programs. And not just because we have the International Space Station (ISS) on speed dial.

Other programs emphasize theoretical aspects of computer systems and computability. Our program builds upon these foundations with a focus on career outcomes: pragmatic, market-based applications of computer science, like cyber security.


Curriculum and experience highlights


First, you’ll take the five required courses in the MSCS Core. Then, choose the five additional courses that interest you most. Elect to complete the Cyber Operations specialization or choose approved electives that complement your background or career goals.

Cyber Operations

Build on your computer science foundation with a focus on this challenging, in-demand skill set. You’ll be learning from the best minds in the business — even the NSA agrees, recognizing DSU as a national leader in cyber security.

This specialization is also a preparatory route to the Doctorate of Philosophy in Cyber Operations

Approved electives

Work with your advisor to choose a set of electives that complement your goals and expand your skills. Take traditional computer science electives or dive into courses offered in related master's programs like Cyber Defense (MSCD) or Analytics (MSA).

You might choose classes that complement your current professional role. For example, if you’ve recently been promoted to manager, an Information Systems (MSIS) graduate course is a great choice.


The possibilities for a computer scientist today are virtually limitless. As the demand for new and improved technology grows, so does the demand for computer science grads. Launch a career in cyber ops, software development or information research – or innovate a whole new field. 

Faculty engaging with multiple students in the classroom.

What sets DSU apart?

As you might have noticed, technology is our thing.

As an MSCS student, you’ll work closely with exceptional faculty members, who are prolific thinkers and speakers, as well as gifted educators. As you assist them in research and plot your own path, they’ll become valuable mentors.

In our program, you’ll refine your development skills, like coding and troubleshooting, to an elite level. Solve problems with computational analogues and design algorithms. Learn to adapt to real-world challenges raised by new and emerging technologies.

Our small class sizes offer an individualized approach—all at an affordable cost. DSU is ranked as one of the most affordable online colleges for a Master's in Computer Science by Education Reference Desk (EDURef.net).

Online, on your time

Level up your knowledge without putting your career on hold. The MSCS degree is offered completely online, year-round — no waiting necessary.

Dr. Bramwell Brizendine

“DSU is one of the few places where students have opportunities for hands-on projects for low-level software exploitation.”

Dr. Bramwell Brizendine - Assistant Professor of Computer & Cyber Sciences

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the MS in Computer Science, students will:

  • Possess a deep knowledge of and understanding of computer science core areas providing them the ability to create and implement solutions across a broad spectrum of computer application areas
  • Possess the ability to analyze complex computer science problems and obtain relevant knowledge and information to contribute to the understanding of the problem and/or propose new solutions
  • (with the Cyber Operations Specialization) Be prepared to take on the advanced challenges in this focused security area and will help meet the critical demand for expert knowledge in support of federal, state, and private actors

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