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

Madison Cyber Labs

Dakota State MadLabs logo, registered trademarkState-of-the-art, one of a kind

DSU has long been a leader in cybersecurity and cyber operations education. With the Madison Cyber Labs (MadLabs®️), we're positioned as a prominent hub for research, development, and economic opportunity.

A transformative vision

Madison Cyber Labs building on DSU's campus
This $18-million, 40,000-square-foot MadLabs® building is located on the southwestern edge of campus. It is the first research facility of its kind in the Upper Great Plains region.

MadLabs® drives innovation and ideas from DSU into the South Dakota economy, the Great Plains, and the nation. At the same time, it draws new talent to the state and the region. The facility and its programs attract elite scholars, researchers, professionals, and partnerships with government, businesses, nonprofits, and other higher education institutions.

Researchers within MadLabs primarily focus on projects that explore and advance technology application, information and quality assurance,  adverse event planning for businesses, economic growth, and policy improvement across multiple disciplines and fields. Other focus areas include cybersecurity, digital forensics, cyber defense, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, reverse engineering, and malicious digital artifacts. MadLabs also fosters partnerships with public and private sectors, to cultivate ideas and transform their research to make a difference in the world.

The Mad five

There are five components to MadLabs® game-changing plan to reshape the cyber field in South Dakota.

  1. Resources: A winning combination of laboratory research space, state-of-the-art hardware and software, faculty expertise, and growing institutional relationships with a wide variety of public and private agencies
  2. People: Undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, researchers, interns, and other collaborators
  3. Programs: Nationally recognized cyber degrees from the associate to doctoral level, along with other professional development opportunities
  4. Research areas and institutes: Focus areas in defined interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary regions, that draw from every college on campus
  5. REED Connection: DSU is connected to the South Dakota Research, Education, and Economic Development Network (REED) via a 100 Gbps connection. Providing the campus with connectivity to Internet2, the Great Plains Network, and other research networks.

“I’m excited for the vision created by Dr. Griffiths…and humbled to be able to help this great institution, DSU, as tomorrow’s students, many of them from right here in our region, are perfectly positioned to help fill the workforce gap and protect and defend our citizens and our nation.”

Miles Beacom '81, CEO, PREMIER Bankcard and philanthropist

The AdapT Lab uses technology to achieve “barrier-free-living” for people with disabilities.

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The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab is committed to pioneering and conducting scientific research in the field of AI, as well as applying AI to significantly address the emerging challenges in various smart applications.

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The Center for the Advancement of Health Information Technology (CAHIT) Lab is a federally-designated resource and support center for all South Dakota health care providers.

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C-BAR Lab is a research and analysis platform for the College of Business and Information Systems.

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The Classics Institute is DSU's "think tank" and the humanities component of MadLabs®. It investigates the ethical, social, and existential condition of humankind, forty years into the computer revolution.

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The Cyber Education and Professional Development Lab provides K-12 cyber education curriculum and teacher training on topics like safety, security, and ethical behavior, helping students become better digital citizens and consumers.

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CybHER Security Institute's mission is to empower, motivate, educate, and change the perception of girls and women in cybersecurity. This lab provides resources for girls from middle school through collegiate programs and into professional careers.

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The Deep Red Lab applies and develops methods of identifying security flaws using the techniques and methods of sophisticated attackers under controlled environments.

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The Digital Forensics for Cyber Enforcement (DigForCE) Lab is a regional resource for law enforcement agencies and businesses victimized by cyber criminals. It offers extraction, preservation and analysis of data from digital devices.

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The IT Living Lab performs testing on technology hardware and software solutions prior to implementation in a campus environment.

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The Malware Discovery Reversing and Disruption (MADRID) Lab provides initial and deep technical analysis of suspect, unknown, or malicious software.

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The Protection and Threat Research for the Internet of Things (PATRIOT) Lab promotes the security of devices, communication networks, and related cloud services that comprise the Internet of Things (IoT).

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PriLab works collaboratively with students, faculty, and a range of public government and industry scientists to address data privacy knowledge gaps through research and solution building. The researchers in the lab provide workforce development, critical review and analysis of data privacy bills, whitepapers, and scientific and public policy information.

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The Smart Home Lab allows DSU students and faculty to conduct smart home and energy-management research.

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The Success Lab provides project-based experiences for students, with an emphasis on software development and the exploration of emerging technologies.

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The VERONA Lab specializes in vulnerability research, software exploitation, software security assessments, and the development of new, cutting-edge tools and techniques with respect to software exploitation.

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Miles Beacom, PREMIER Bankcard President and CEO

The MadLabs® Building

The MadLabs® building and its associated programs are funded by generous private donations as well as state and federal grants. This includes $30 million from PREMIER Bankcard President and CEO Miles Beacom and his wife Lisa, along with Denny Sanford, owner of the Sioux Falls-based First PREMIER Bank and PREMIER Bankcard. Their gift is one of the largest single gifts to higher education in South Dakota history. Additional support includes a $10 million pledge from Governor Daugaard's Future Fund. DSU has also committed to leverage an additional $20 million in support from federal sources and private donors.

Dakota State MadLabs logo, registered trademark

Read more about the gift in DSU Magazine

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Students utilizing flexible seating options in Dr. Scott Klungseth's Exercise Science class.

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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.

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“It is the dawn of a new era for DSU.”

President José-Marie Griffiths