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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 (PHDCS)

The Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PHDCS) program accepts students in the Fall and Spring semesters only, although classes are offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters.
No summer semester starts are available,

Dakota State University seeks highly motivated individuals with education and professional credentials that will enable them to be successful doctoral students.

This program is offered entirely and exclusively on campus at Dakota State University.

 Apply Now  Academic calendar 

Admission Requirements

Requirements to apply

  • A bachelor’s degree from an institution of higher education with full accreditation for that degree.
    • Students must have a bachelor, or master's degree in cyber, data privacy, computer science or a technologically-oriented degree.
  • Minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent on an alternative grading system).
  • Knowledge in computer science.
    • If you don’t have the coursework or experience needed to meet the above knowledge requirements, you may still be admitted to the program, if you meet the other minimum requirements. You may need to complete additional coursework or demonstrate competency.
  • No GRE scores required

Application deadlines (domestic students)

Please submit your application by:

  • May 15 for admission for the following Fall semester
  • November 15 for admission for the following Spring semester

Application deadlines (international students)

Please submit your application by:

  • April 15 for admission for the following Fall semester
  • November 1 for admission for the following Spring semester

Apply Now  Academic calendar 

Application materials checklist

  • Completed online application
  • 3 letters of recommendation
    The person writing the recommendation must complete the survey letter for you to upload directly to the application portal (instructions and included in application portal). 
  • Official transcripts
    Official transcripts should show a conferred bachelor's degree. Transcripts with graduate credit can be submitted for credit-transfer consideration. 
    Official transcripts can be submitted to DSU-GraduateAdmissions@dsu.edu.
  • Goal statement/purpose of study 
    • There is no required formatting for your goal statement/purpose of study in the application process., but be as straightforward about your goals and aspirations as possible. Try to organize your thoughts in an essay/narrative format. Our Admissions Committee wants to know:
      • Why this degree?
      • Why now?
      • What do you wish to do with the degree upon completion?
      • What skills do you possess that will help you succeed?

Additional application requirements for international applicants only

  • Bank Statement
    Can be submitted once accepted.
  • Certificate of responsibility
    Can be submitted once accepted.
  • Copy of passport
  • English proficiency documentation
    For scoring requirements, visit here.
  • Immunizations
    For all students planning to attend on-campus programs, can be submitted once accepted.

Assistantship application deadline for on-campus/full-time students

Competitive Assistantships are available for this program for full-time, on-campus students only. You can indicate on your application if you wish to be considered for an assistantship award. A separate Assistantship Application and Resume are required in the application portal if you wish to apply.

  • April 15 – deadline for Fall assistantship applications
  • November 15 – deadline for Spring assistantship applications


How much does the program cost? 
DSU bills tuition per credit hour for on-campus coursework.You can review the breakdown of costs per credit here: DSU Tuition Costs On-Campus costs are determined by your residency status.

Does this program require the GRE to apply?  
No, DSU does not require a GRE score for graduate program applications.

The GRE is only required if you are applying for a graduate assistantship (outside of athletics). We like to see scores of 320or higher to be considered for graduate assistantships.

Does DSU require English proficiency scores for international applicants? 
Yes, please visit International Admissions Requirements for more information on English proficiency requirements and additional application materials required for international applicants. 

Are assistantship awards available? 
Yes, competitive assistantships are available for full-time on-campus graduate Students that are accepted into this program. GRE scores are required for consideration. Preferred GRE scores should be around 320 or higher to be considered for an Assistantship. Online Students are not eligible for Assistantship Awards. 

How long does the degree typically take to complete? 
For part-time students who take 1 class at a time, the program coursework can take 3-4 years to complete. For full-time students who take 2 or more classes at a time, the program coursework can take 2-3 years to complete. Then the dissertation phase takes doctoral students about one year to complete. This program can look different to each student, it all depends on how much or little time you’d like to take to complete the degree. And it is entirely up to you! The DSU Graduate Office and Faculty are here to support you in all your academic endeavors and guide you at whatever pace works for you.  

Are there any residency requirements for this program? 
Yes, this program is offered only as a residential on-campus program, it is required of you to attend classes at DSU’s physical campus in Madison, South Dakota. 

Can I review what research or dissertation topics DSU doctoral students are currently working on? 
Absolutely! The DSU Beadle Scholar Archive has an extensive backlog of recent Dissertation/Research Topics completed by DSU doctoral and master’s Students.

Can the application fee be waived? 
The $35 application fee is required for all programs and cannot be waived by University Policy.

Have a question not answered here?
Contact GradOffice@dsu.edu for additional support.

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Contact Us

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

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