Dakota State University appears in our ranking of the 10 Most Affordable Doctorate in Health Informatics Online 2018.

Located in Madison, South Dakota, Dakota State University has been an institution of learning since 1881. It began as the Madison Normal School, and the curriculum was to train teachers. The school was the first teacher school in the Dakota Territory, and it is older than the state of South Dakota, which didn’t get its statehood until 1889. That same year, the school changed names to the Eastern State Normal School, and over the next few years, the school changed names several times. It was in 1969 that the school was named Dakota State College, and in 1989, the school’s name was changed to Dakota State University. This was done by the South Dakota Legislature after the school began offering graduate programs.

The school continued its growth throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. In 2017, the university raised $60 million in donations to help create the school’s reputation as a cyber security hub, and computer technology is incorporated in all of the programs at the college. Today, there are almost 40 undergraduate programs to choose from along with a dozen graduate and certificate programs. These include an online Master of Science in Health Informatics and Information Management and an online Doctor of Science in Information Systems.

Dakota State University Accreditation Details

Dakota State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The school follows the Academic Quality Improvement Program track from the HLC, which ensures that it is committed to continued improvements in learning and curriculum.

The Health Information Management programs available from Dakota State University are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education, or CAHIIM. This is an independent organization that enforces quality standards in Health Informatics and Health Information Management programs.

Dakota State University Application Requirements

Students who are looking to apply to one of the online graduate programs like the online Doctor of Science in Information Systems, or online Master of Science in Healthcare Information Systems have to meet certain application requirements.

First, for the master’s programs, students must have a bachelor’s degree from a college or university that is accredited. Additionally, GRE scores are required for many programs, and the scores must be from within the past five years. There are some exceptions to this, however. If a student has a 3.25 GPA or higher, the GRE scores are not necessary. Students that are transferring from another graduate program into Dakota State University and has at least an A or B GPA and has nine credit hours at that school do not have to submit test scores. Finally, if an applicant has a bachelor’s degree, but has not attended college in at least 15 year, they, too, are exempt from submitting these scores.

There are specific requirements for the online Master of Science in Healthcare Information Systems program. Students first must meet all of the general graduate program application requirements. GRE scores are required, and students must prove that they have knowledge in information systems. They can do this by submitting one or more of the following:

  • Proof of an undergraduate degree in MIS
  • Undergraduate coursework showing an understanding of IS
  • Verifiable IT or IS experience on the job

In addition to this, students applying to this program must show that they have knowledge of healthcare. They can do this by submitting one or more of the following:

  • A related bachelor’s degree health information management or a related healthcare degree
  • Specific college or university coursework that shows proof of healthcare knowledge
  • Verifiable healthcare experience on the job

Students must also show that they have experience with statistics by showing coursework and should be aware that the university could ask for proof of competency through testing.

Applications for this program are due based on admission dates:

  • August 15 – Fall Semester
  • November 15 – Spring Semester
  • April 15 – Summer Semester

For the online Doctor of Science in Information Systems, students are only admitted in the fall semester, though classes for admitted students are available throughout the year. To apply, students must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 GPA. Students must also submit GRE scores.

Additionally, applicants to the D.Sc. in Information Systems program must submit FRE scores and have knowledge in both information systems and business fundamentals. Students can show this in a number of ways including:

  • An undergraduate degree in MSIS
  • Undergraduate coursework
  • Professional IS or IT experience

Applications for the program are due May 15 for fall admittance.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for all online courses at Dakota State University is $450.90 per credit hour. The MSHIIM program requires 33 credit hours. The D.Sc. in Information Systems program requires 27 credit hours if the student does not have a master’s degree, nine credit hours in research, 27 credit hours in specialization, and 25 credit hours of dissertation.

Financial aid is available for all graduate students in the form of graduate assistantships, scholarships, grants, and loans.

Online Degrees Available

Both the online Doctor of Science in Information Systems and online Master of Science in Healthcare Information Systems are available online. If a student is interested in one of these online programs and they do not live in South Dakota, it’s important to make sure the online program is available in the state in which they reside. Benefits of these programs is the cutting-edge technology that is available from this school thanks to its focus on cyber concepts.

The MSHIIM degree is a popular one, thanks to the great need of IT professionals in the healthcare industry. These people are trained to do tasks like maintain electronic medical records and ensure privacy of electronic files. People who get this degree go on to find work as healthcare data analysts, IT systems analysts, and more. Some of the course offerings include Data Analytics in Healthcare, Research Design in Health Informatics, and Legal and Ethical Aspects of Health Informatics.

Students who are interested in the D.Sc. in Information Systems will gain a strong background in research and applications. This is a research-focused program that culminates in a dissertation on a topic strongly connected to IT. Students with this degree often go on to be professors, researchers, and IS/IT directors and managers. Some of the course offerings offered by Dakota State University for this program include Project and Change Management, Data Analytics in Healthcare, and Managing Security Risks.