Dakota State University

2014 Quick Stats
820 N. Washington Avenue

Madison, SD 57042

Phone: (605) 256-5139
2013-2014 Tuition
male /
rolling admission

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#86 Overall Score: 39 out of 100. Regional Universities (Midwest)

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Dakota State University is a public institution that was founded in 1881. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,872, its setting is rural, and the campus size is 20 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Dakota State University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Universities (Midwest), 86. Its in-state tuition and fees are $8,286 (2013-14); out-of-state tuition and fees are $10,286 (2013-14).

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Dakota State University (DSU) is a public, non-profit institution that was established in 1881 as a "normal school", the first teacher education institution in Dakota Territory. Today, DSU has been designated as South Dakota's information technology university and is a leader in integrating information technology into the academic disciplines of its curriculum. Academic rigor and the infusion of information technology into teaching, research, creative activity and service are at the heart of the University's work. As a result of the University's very focused mission, all academic programs -- even those that appear to be similar to programs elsewhere, such as English or math - are a unique fusion of applied technology and discipline-specific courses. To support its information technology mission, the University has a wired technology infrastructure (1 gigabyte to every desktop) overlayed with a wireless infrastructure that extends to all corners of the University campus, including the arena, the wellness center, and the football/track stadium. The University implemented a wireless mobile computing initiative (WMCI) in 2004, which puts a tablet PC (currently a Fujitsu T732) in the hands of all on-campus students. Each classroom and campus meeting room includes a projection system that instructors, students, or meeting participants can access by logging into the University's wireless network and selecting that room's projector. DSU's sports teams travel on specially equipped buses, so that students retain wireless access to their student accounts (email, web space and course management websites), even when they travel to out-of-town sports events.

In addition to its pervasive, technology-rich infrastructure, Dakota State University prides itself in providing students with an open, friendly, safe, challenging, and collaborative environment. The University encourages all students to participate in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities that enrich their academic experience - discipline-specific and personal interest clubs, sports, faculty-student research, and service learning, to name a few. Its faculty and staff are student-focused and committed to providing a cutting-edge educational experience. The institution is proud of its graduates and their exceptionally high job placement levels.

Dakota State University (DSU) has been a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE-IAE) since 2003 and a Center of Academic Excellence in Research (CAE-R) and a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations (CAE-CO) since 2012.

Dakota State University is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools as an Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) institution. Dakota State University's participation in AQIP accreditation reflects the institution's on-going commitment to organizational learning and institutional improvement. At DSU, the AQIP accreditation process works in tandem and in harmony with the University's other continuous improvement processes, most notably its strategic planning processes, its institutional effectiveness processes, its program review processes and its assessment processes. Its AQIP action projects provide a framework for improvement that focuses on data analysis and achievement of the University's publicly declared goals and objectives.

General Information

School type public, coed college
Year founded 1881
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting rural
2012 Endowment N/A


When applying to Dakota State University, it's important to note the application deadline is rolling. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due September 1. The application fee at Dakota State University is $20. It is selective, with an acceptance rate of 88.8 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 88.8%
Application deadline rolling
SAT/ACT scores must be received by September 1

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Dakota State University is 18:1, and the school has 55.9 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Dakota State University include: Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services; Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Education; Health Professions and Related Programs; and Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 64.3 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 18:1
4-year graduation rate 14%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services 37%
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 26%
Education 19%
Health Professions and Related Programs 5%
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies 5%

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Student Life

Dakota State University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,872, with a gender distribution of 49.4 percent male students and 50.6 percent female students. At this school, 32.6 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 67.4 percent of students live off campus. Dakota State University is part of the NAIA athletic conference.

Total enrollment 3,110
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NAIA

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Campus Info & Services

Dakota State University offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, placement service, and health service. Dakota State University also offers campus safety and security services like lighted pathways/sidewalks and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Dakota State University, 14 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is not permitted for students of legal age at Dakota State University.

Students who have cars on campus 14%
Health insurance offered No

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Paying for School

At Dakota State University, 72.2 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $4,254.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

In-state tuition and fees $8,286 (2013-14)
Out-of-state tuition and fees $10,286 (2013-14)
Room and board $5,525 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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