Media Resources

Media Resources

Mission, Role and Scope Statement

Dickinson State University is a regional four year institution within the North Dakota University System whose primary role is to contribute to intellectual, social, economic and cultural development, especially to southwestern North Dakota.

The university’s mission is to provide high quality, accessible programs; to promote excellence in teaching and learning; to support scholarly and creative activities; and to provide service relevant to the economy, health, and quality of life for the citizens of the State of North Dakota.


Historical Sketch

Dickinson State Normal School was created in 1916 by a constitutional amendment approved by North Dakota voters. Classes began in 1918 with a two-year program designed to train elementary and secondary teachers. In 1931, four-year degrees were offered for the first time under the school’s new name: Dickinson State Teachers College. In recognition of the institution’s broadened curriculum, Dickinson State Teachers College became Dickinson State College in 1963. University status was granted in 1987.

Dickinson State University began to offer baccalaureate programs in cooperation with NDUS regional associate degree institutions in 1998. Bismarck State College was the first site established. In the fall of 2003, DSU online made it possible for DSU to extend their programs globally.


Deep roots... wide vision

Strategically located near stunning natural areas and in the midst of the booming energy industry, DSU is a training ground for leaders and professionals in more than 75 fields of study in 10 academic areas. DSU’s innovative Theodore Roosevelt Honors Leadership Program prepares students for service-learning opportunities through challenging coursework, interactive team-building and research-based projects.

A premiere location, low tuition cost, small class sizes, unique leadership opportunities, and a strong community feel are key qualities of DSU. Established in 1918, this four-year public university has a student body of approximately 1,500 and is accredited by the

Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCAHLC); Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council (EHAC), National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)/Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP); the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), and the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). There are more than 50 student clubs and organizations. DSU also offers 21 degrees and one certificate, with six of the degree programs online in Bismarck. Five faculty members with support from the DSU main campus in Dickinson and adjunct faculty provide classes to nontraditional students in the daytime, evening and online in small classroom settings. With the university’s close proximity to the energy industry, nearly 100 percent of graduates find employment upon graduation.



Setting and Location

DSU is located on a historic, hilltop campus in the city of Dickinson, which was ranked by as the No. 1 Best Small Town to live in during 2013. Located near the rugged, rocky Badlands of North Dakota, Dickinson is experiencing a surge in new residents, businesses and amenities and has a population of 30,000 residents.

Dickinson offers a growing array of amenities and recreational opportunities. Natural attractions like the Badlands in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the Little Missouri National Grasslands, Patterson Lake and the Killdeer Mountains give students chances to hike, camp, fish and experience the wide-open beauty of western North Dakota. DSU sports teams play at the Biesiot Activities Center (BAC), a 5,500-square-foot state-of-the-art facility with indoor and outdoor playing surfaces. The city maintains more than 20 parks on 1,538 acres that include playgrounds, athletic fields, picnic areas and walking trails. Downtown Dickinson contains many historic buildings, housing small businesses, restaurants and coffee shops. More well-known chain stores are located along Interstate 94. Residents celebrate community events during Roughrider Days Fair and Expo, the Northern Plains Ethnic Festival, and at rodeos and concerts. The city also features commercial airline service through the newly expanded Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport. 

For additional accreditation information click here.




  • Dr. D.C. Coston, President (Photo  Bio)
  • Dr. Cynthia Pemberton, Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Mr. Mark Lowe, Vice President for Finance & Administration
  • Ms. Pattie Carr, Interim Vice President for Student Development
  • Mr. Tim Daniel, Athletic Director
  • Ms. Marie Moe, Executive Director of Enrollment & Communications
  • Dr. Dawn Olson, Dean of College of Education, Business & Applied Sciences
  • Dr. Kenneth Haught, Dean of College of Arts & Sciences

Campus Photos

For additional photos please visit our Flickr page.

  Delong Hall Thumbnail  DSU Sign Thumbnail  Henry Biesiot Activities Center and Fisher Field Thumbnail

 Delong Hall


 DSU Sign


Henry Biesiot Activities Center 


  Henry Biesiot Activities Center Thumbnail  King Pavilion Thumbnail  Klinefelter Hall Thumbnail

Henry Biesiot Activities Center
and Fisher Field 

 King Pavilion Klinefelter Hall
  Campus Thumbnail  May Hall Thumbnail  Murphy Hall Thumbnail

 Main Campus


May Hall


Murphy Hall


  Selke Hall Thumbnail  Stickney Hall Thumbnail  Stoxen Library Thumbnail

Selke Hall


Stickney Hall


Stoxen Library


  Student Center Thumbnail  Woods Hall Thumbnail 

Student Center


Woods Hall