This school appears in our ranking Top 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Computer Science Online for 2018.
Dakota State University is a small public university with an enrollment of around 3,300 students. Often called Dakota State or DSU, it has its main campus in Madison, South Dakota. The university believes that students must understand how technology works and use technology in their classes. Those attending classes on its main campus must use either a tablet or a laptop. Established in 1881 as the Madison Normal School, it became one of the first normal schools in the state. Designed to train teachers, the campus changed its name several times as it shifted from just teaching classes to classes in other subjects. Before becoming DSU, the university served as General Beadle State College and Dakota State College.
The four colleges that are part of the DSU campus now offer undergrad degree programs for both associate’s and bachelor’s students. Students can also enroll in doctoral and graduate programs. DSU established its own University Center at Sioux Falls that offers all of these programs and some certificate options too. Students can also earn a degree online, though Dakota State University limits the programs that students can enroll in based on which options are available in their states.
Dakota State University Accreditation Details
Many online students enroll in these programs after taking classes at traditional schools and realizing that they don’t have enough time for those courses. Students of this type must make sure that a university has accreditation if they plan on transferring credits. DSU has regional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS), which also allows those who need financial aid to both apply for that help and use it. Dakota State also has accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NAATE). Some of its other online programs have accreditation too.
Dakota State University Application Requirements
DSU offers graduate and bachelor’s degree programs online as well as some associate’s programs. The university requires that prospective bachelor’s degree students who are under the age of 24 meet at least one of three requirements. A student must score 870 on the reading and math sections of the SAT or score at least 18 on the ACT. They can have a grade point average of 2.6 or higher in all their high school classes or graduate within the top 60% of their high school classes.
Students enrolling in an online bachelor’s program should also take three years of math, social science and lab sciences classes, one year of fine arts classes and four years of English classes. The university gives priority to those who took computer science classes or those who are familiar with computer basics. Students who do not have a high school diploma must have a GED and be at least 18 years old. DSU has similar application requirements in place for nontraditional students and homeschooled students as well as those entering an associate’s program.
Graduate students must meet some other application requirements, including having a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited school at the time that classes start. The university asks that prospective grad students take either the GRE or the GMAT and submit their official scores from either exam. Grad students must have a grade point average of at least 3.25 too and submit a transcript that shows their grades. Those entering an online program should also take at least nine credits of graduate classes and receive A and B grades in those classes. All students enrolling in an online DSU program should submit official transcripts and complete the university’s online application.
Tuition and Financial Aid
It’s important that students applying to DSU check out the costs that online students pay because these costs are different from the ones that traditional students pay. Undergrads pay right around $340 per credit hour for most of the university’s online programs. Students in the computer science program who are not South Dakota residents will pay around $447 per credit hour. Most programs do not charge separate rates for residents vs. nonresidents. Its graduate programs charge $451 per credit hour except for the computer science program, which charges nonresidents $558 per credit hour.
Students can apply for government financial aid. Filling out the FAFSA helps students see if they qualify for that aid. DSU undergrads and graduate students can both get loans from the federal government, but undergrads can also qualify for grants. The university offers a handful of scholarships too. It gives out more than $700,000 in scholarship funds every year. Academic scholarships award students $500 to more than $2,000 a year. Those funds go to students with higher grades. There are also scholarships available for students transferring into one of its online programs as well as scholarships for music majors.
Online Degrees Available
One of the bachelor’s programs available through DSU online is an elementary education and special education program. Designed for students who want to work as teachers of students with disabilities, it prepares students for working with children between the ages of kindergarten and 12th grade. This program requires that students do some field experiences too. They will spend one year working on a residency in a local school. Students will actually work with kids of two different ages, and many students work for two different schools over the course of the year. The program includes courses such as K-8 Language Arts Methods, Introduction to Literacy Assessment and Remediation and Behavior Management of Exceptional Children.
Students can also earn a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in business technology through one of the online programs available at DSU. This accredited business program teaches students management and leadership skills and also fosters in them the importance of using technology in the field. It features courses such as Principles of Macroeconomics and Production and Operations Management. The university offers an online Master of Business Administration program too.
The graduate programs available include a Master of Science in Educational Technology that focuses on the type of technology that administrators and teachers use in schools today. Students living in certain states can use this program to get their teaching licenses. Those who live in other states should have a license before applying. Introduction to Distance Education, Research Methods in Educational Technology and Network Management in Education Institutions are some of the classes in this program. Dakota State University also offers Master of Science in Applied Computer Science online.
Dakota State University website