Studying Computer Science at Dakota State University

This school appears in our ranking of the Top 30 Best Online Master’s in Computer Science Degree Programs.

Computer Science BS

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at Dakota State University helps students master computers from the foundation to the latest tools. Students learn to design and engineering solutions that solve the problems of today. The program focuses on current computer technology, including the Internet of Things. The program is available both on campus and online. Dakota State University offers small class sizes so that students receive a more customized education. Students may participate in the Center of Excellence in Computer Information Systems, an honors program that prepares students to lead development in a wide range of industries. Students also have the opportunity to join student organizations including the Computer Club and Gaming Club. They plan many events such as LAN parties, contests related to programming. In addition, students participate in groundbreaking research. Courses required for the program include:

  • Algorithms & Optimization
  • Assembly Language
  • Calculus I
  • College Algebra
  • Computer Science I & II
  • Data Structures
  • Database Management Systems
  • Discrete Math
  • Information Security Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Computers
  • Introduction to Discrete Math
  • Language Processing
  • Natural Sciences
  • Networking I
  • Object-Oriented Design
  • Operating Statistics
  • Oral Communications
  • Parallel Computing
  • Probability & Statistics
  • Programming Languages
  • Social Science
  • Software Engineering
  • Structural Systems Analysis or Information Security Management
  • Trigonometry
  • Written Communication

Master of Science in Applied Computer Science

The Master of Science in Applied Computer Science at Dakota State University is not the same as other traditional computer science programs which focus on the theoretical aspects of computer systems. The Dakota State program emphasizes the practical application of computer science as well as theoretical foundations. Students work with some of the brightest minds in the computer industry, honing their development skills and developing skills in everything from coding to troubleshooting. Students use computational analogs as well as design algorithms to address issues faced in a wide range of industries. They may choose to concentrate their studies in Cyber Operations. The program is available both on campus and online. Courses required include:

  • Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms
  • Machine Learning Fundamentals
  • Operating Systems & Parallel Programming
  • Structure & Design of Programming Language
  • Theory of Computation

Students must also choose five electives. Those who wish to concentrate their studies on Cyber Security must choose the following four courses as electives and may choose one additional on their own:

  • Cryptography
  • Secure Software Engineering
  • Software Exploitation
  • Wireless Security

About Dakota State University

Dakota State University began as the Madison Normal School in 1881 with a goal to educate teachers. It was the first in the Dakota Territory, founded before South Dakota became a state. Once the territory achieved statehood in 1889, the school was renamed Eastern State Normal School, but the name changed several times over the next few years. It was initially changed to the Dakota Normal School, then Dakota State Normal School and finally, General Beadle State College. The final name change was in honor of General William Henry Harrison Beadle, the president of the college from 1889 to 1906. The name was changed in 1969 by the South Dakota Legislature to Dakota State College and gained university status in 1989.

From the beginning, Dakota State has had a strong focus on educating teachers, but over the past few years has gained a reputation for teaching technology. The school remains true to its roots by emphasizing the education of teachers who graduate with expertise in technology as it applies to the teaching process.

Dakota State University Accreditation Details

Dakota State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and follows the Academic Quality Improvement Program. This reflects the university’s ongoing commitment to organizational learning and development as well as a desire to continuously improve. Business programs at the university are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

Dakota State University Application Requirements

Freshmen, identified as those who are under the age of 24 and have not earned college credit after high school graduation, must have either an ACT score of 18 or above or an SAT score of 870 or above, a cumulative GPA of 2.6 or must rank in the upper 60 percent of their high school graduating class to apply to Dakota State University. Students must complete an application and provide official high school transcripts as well as official test scores. Applicants who are 24 or older must have graduated from high school or completed the GED with a minimum combined score of 580.

Graduate students must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institute of higher learning. Students may be required to submit official GRE scores depending on the program they choose. All applicants must provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Each program has its own admission requirements. The Master of Science in Applied Computer Science does not require the GRE, but they must have a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0. Transcripts must show the completion of courses in general programming skills with a “C” or better. In addition, students must have completed math foundations, formal programming language foundations as well as data structures and algorithms. Students who do not have an undergraduate degree in computer science or the equivalent may be required to take additional foundational courses.

Dakota State University Tuition and Financial Aid

Residents of South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Montana and Colorado pay $283.00 per credit hour for undergraduate tuition. Minnesota residents pay $286.50 per credit hour while residents of all other states pay $382.10 per credit hour. Graduate tuition for South Dakota residents is $359.10 per credit hour for the Madison campus, $450.90 for the Sioux Falls campus and $450.90 for online courses. Minnesota residents pay $491.10 per credit hour for the Madison campus, $450.90 for the Sioux Falls campus as well as for online classes. Residents of all other states pay $636 per credit hour for the Madison campus, $450.90 for the Sioux Falls campus as well as online classes.

Financial aid is available, and 76 percent of students receive some type of assistance for tuition costs. In 2016-17, an average of $10,418 per student was provided in financial aid. Students may be eligible for athletic, merit-based or other scholarships. They may also qualify for federal and state grants or scholarships. Loans are also an option, but it is important to remember they must be repaid. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify. Some merit- and need-based scholarships may require separate applications.

Dakota State University, although still focused on training quality teachers, now strives to create educators who are well-versed in technology. Dakota State University has developed a reputation as a high-quality technology training school and offers a wide range of online courses that provide flexibility for working adults.