Ph.D. In Information Security – Before We Get Into The Topic, let’s Learn Some Basic Of This Topic

Graduates with a Ph.D. in cybersecurity are prepared for careers in management, research, and education. Doctoral students learn new skills, improve their job prospects, and earn more money. Cybersecurity experts assist businesses in preparing for, preventing, responding to, and analyzing security breaches.

Computing and information technology (IT) jobs are among the most sought-after and well-paid. Between 2019 and 2029, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasts an 11 percent increase in employment for these occupations, which is substantially quicker than the national average. As businesses migrate their activities online and seek help protecting sensitive data and information, cybersecurity professionals may find themselves in great demand.

A list of cybersecurity Ph.D. programs in the United States is included in this guide. We go over why you should get a cybersecurity doctorate, what to expect from a normal program, and what positions and salaries graduates may expect. We can also help you choose the proper cybersecurity Ph.D. for you.

Why Get a Doctorate in Cybersecurity?

  • Cybersecurity is a relatively young area of study and career in computer science and IT, and it is one of the most in-demand occupations. When computers and the internet were still in their infancy in the 1970s and 1980s, spies began attempting to hack into American computer networks. With the increased adoption of computing, practically every firm now places a high priority on data security.
  • From 2019 to 2019, the BLS predicts that the field will add 40,900 new information security analysts. Information security analysts make $99,730 per year, while computer and information systems managers earn $146,360. Graduates can expect a good return on their educational investment due to the promise of a Ph.D. in cybersecurity wage expectations.
  • Information security analysts, computer and information systems managers, computer and information research scientists, and postsecondary teachers are all potential Ph.D. in cybersecurity professions. A Ph.D. in cybersecurity opens the door to management, academic, and research positions at the highest levels in the sector. Doctoral programs, despite requiring a major time and financial effort, can pay handsomely. Graduates learn new skills, establish valuable professional contacts, and qualify for higher-paying, more prestigious positions.


Obtain New Knowledge

A Ph.D. in cybersecurity aids students in developing advanced technical skills and learning new information. To keep up with technological developments, cybersecurity workers must continually learn new skills.

Make Friendships

Learners can network with classmates, teachers, and other cybersecurity professionals after completing a cybersecurity Ph.D. program. After graduation, these contacts frequently lead to job changes.

Qualify for a Variety of Positions

Obtaining a Ph.D. in cybersecurity can lead to new, high-level employment prospects. Graduates work in advanced management, research, and teaching at the university level.

2021’s Cybersecurity Doctoral Programs

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, which allows schools to self-report their programs and offerings, was used to compile this list of doctoral cybersecurity programs. Each has regional accreditation from one of the organizations listed below:

  • The Commission on Higher Education (HLC)
  • Higher Education Commission of the Middle States (MSCHE)
  • Higher Education Commission of New England (NECHE)
  • Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC)
  • WASC is the Senior College and University Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WSCUC)

To learn more, click on the links to their program websites.

Capitol Technology University

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Cybersecurity Leadership or a Doctorate in Cybersecurity
  • MSCHE accreditation
  • Hybrid Delivery Format

Johns Hopkins University

  • Information Security Ph.D.
  • MSCHE accreditation
  • On-campus delivery format

Northcentral University

  • PhD-TIM, Cybersecurity
  • WSCUC accreditation

100% of the time, the delivery is done online (asynchronous)

Northeastern University

  • Cybersecurity Doctor of Philosophy
  • NECHE accreditation
  • On-campus delivery format

Nova Southeastern University.

  • Cybersecurity Management Doctor of Philosophy
  • SACSCOC accreditation
  • Hybrid Delivery Format

University of St. Thomas

  • Cybersecurity Management Doctor of Business Administration
  • SACSCOC accreditation
  • 100% online (asynchronous), on-campus, or hybrid delivery formats are available.

Colorado Springs, 

  • Ph.D. in Security Studies
  • HLC accreditation
  • On-campus delivery format

What To Expect From Cybersecurity Doctoral Degree Programs

Students who complete a Ph.D. in cybersecurity are prepared for advanced professions protecting computer systems and networks from cyber-attacks. Cybersecurity doctoral programs are a subject of computer science that focuses on high-level aspects of information assurance, research methodology, professional ethics, and leadership. Doctoral applicants typically complete their Ph.D. in cybersecurity in 3-7 years, on average, with a load of 60 credits.

Cybersecurity theory, research design, electives, and dissertation research and writing are all courses taken by Ph.D. students. Professional research theory and practice, advanced computer security, and managing cybersecurity risk are all common courses. The majority of cybersecurity programs offer a Ph.D., while some also offer a doctor of science or a doctor of professional studies. Online, in-person, and hybrid cybersecurity doctorates are available to students.

A cybersecurity Ph.D. might be expensive, but the average cost per credit is $1,500-$2,000. Scholarships, grants, loans, and graduate assistantships are typically available through most programs. Some schools provide fully financed Ph.D. programs in cybersecurity, allowing students to complete their degrees without paying any tuition.

Doctoral Admission Requirements

The requirements for admission to cybersecurity doctoral degree programs differ per school. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, though some colleges need a master’s degree in a computer science-related discipline. Some programs accept students with a non-related degree, but they must first finish core required courses.

Doctoral programs in cybersecurity typically require a minimum 3.0 GPA and acceptable GRE scores. Many colleges waive the GRE for applicants with strong professional or academic credentials. Letters of recommendation, writing samples, college transcripts, and a résumé or CV are all frequent application criteria. Some Ph.D. programs in cybersecurity involve an in-person interview.

Cybersecurity Degree and Specialization Options

Doctoral programs in cybersecurity, information assurance, or digital forensics normally provide one of two degrees: a Ph.D. (doctor of philosophy) or a DSc (doctor of science) in cybersecurity, information assurance, or digital forensics.

A DSc in cybersecurity focuses on theory and technical expertise with practical applications, whereas a Ph.D. in cybersecurity emphasizes theory and research. A doctor of professional studies (DPS) in cybersecurity, which focuses primarily on applied knowledge and training, is offered by a few schools. The Ph.D. in cybersecurity is the most popular choice.

In many cases, cybersecurity is a sub-discipline of a larger field or degree, such as computer science. Some Ph.D. in cybersecurity programs, on the other hand, offer emphases that allow students to focus on a specific aspect of the discipline that is relevant to their job goals or personal interests. Leadership and innovation, digital forensics, and information technology are all possible cybersecurity specializations.

Popular Doctoral Program Courses

Each school’s cybersecurity doctoral degree program offers a different set of curriculum. Computer security, statistics, cryptography, and information security management are all topics covered in typical courses. Core, concentration/elective, and dissertation/research credits are usually required in most programs. Courses from a typical Ph.D. in a cybersecurity program are described below.

This course introduces advanced computer security topics in the context of a global society. Operating system security, database security, network security protocols, and trusted computing are some of the topics covered. Students learn how to use authorization and authentication mechanisms, as well as how to design operating systems and mitigate computer security risks.

The Doctoral Dissertation

The doctoral dissertation, which is the hallmark of the Ph.D. in cybersecurity, necessitates a significant investment of time, effort, and dedication. Before beginning this written culmination of graduate work, students must complete all courses and take comprehensive exams. Doctoral candidates select a topic in cybersecurity that addresses a problem, conduct original research in that area, and write a formal, publication-quality paper on it.

Creating a research plan, obtaining faculty approval, conducting research, and writing are all part of the research process. An oral presentation and defense in front of the Ph.D. candidate’s committee is the final step. The time it takes to finish a dissertation varies, but most students complete it in 12 to 24 months. Doctoral candidates are not required to choose a dissertation topic at the start of the program, but having a general idea of your research interests as early as possible is beneficial.

How Much Will a Doctorate in Cybersecurity Cost?

The cost of obtaining a doctorate in cybersecurity varies depending on the school and the student’s personal circumstances. Program length, university type (public or private), and program format are all factors that influence prices (online, hybrid, or in-person). Whether you pay in-state or out-of-state tuition also affects the price.

A Ph.D. in cybersecurity may appear to be expensive, but don’t think you can’t afford it. Choose your top cybersecurity programs first, then think about the cost. Even though many doctoral cybersecurity programs appear to be costly, students usually never pay the full cost of a Ph.D.

Loans, fellowships, grants, and scholarships are all choices for funding. Many cybersecurity Ph.D. programs also offer graduate teaching and research assistantships, in which students work as teaching or research assistants in exchange for a stipend and tuition reimbursement. Doctoral candidates in fully financed Ph.D. programs pay no tuition and are instead compensated to work and study full time.

Jobs and Salaries for Doctors of Cybersecurity

Graduates of cybersecurity doctoral degree programs are qualified for a wide range of in-demand positions in the computer and information technology areas. For senior-level positions in IT, more businesses are now looking for candidates with a graduate degree.

Information security analysts are expected to increase at a faster rate than the average for all occupations in 2019-29, according to the BLS, with a projected 31 percent job growth rate. Computer and information systems managers, computer and information research scientists, and cybersecurity professors are among the other potential cybersecurity occupations. Wage expectations for a Ph.D. in cybersecurity are significantly higher than the median annual salary. Potential job prospects for persons having a Ph.D. in cybersecurity are described below.

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Computer and information systems managers, sometimes known as IT managers, oversee computer-related operations and define technology goals for enterprises. Typical job responsibilities include supervising the work of other IT experts, organizing software and hardware maintenance, and advising management on technological changes. Many organizations prefer computer and information systems managers who have a bachelor’s degree and related work experience. Most begin as lower-level managers and work their way up in their IT departments.

Bachelor’s degree is required for this position.

  • Job Prospects (2019-2029): 10%
  • $146,360 is the median annual salary.
  • Scientists who work in the fields of computers and information

Computing challenges in business, medicine, and science are studied by computer and information research scientists. They assist in the development of new computer software and hardware, as well as the exploration of new applications for existing computing technologies. Creating models and theories to address computing difficulties, developing new computer tools and languages, and publishing new research findings are all possible responsibilities. Communication, critical thinking, analytical, and quantitative skills are important qualities for computer and information research scientists.

A Master’s degree is required for this position.

  • Job Prospects (2019-2029): 15%
  • Annual Median Salary: $122,840
  • Teachers in Postsecondary Institutions

Students beyond high school receive instruction from postsecondary teachers. A Ph.D. in cybersecurity qualifies students for teaching positions in computer science and IT departments at the college level. Lesson plans, teaching courses, grading assignments, and advising students are all responsibilities of postsecondary teachers. They are also frequently involved in research and publication in their specialty. Interpersonal, critical thinking and communication abilities are all beneficial attributes of postsecondary teachers.

A ph.D. is required for this position.

  • Job Prospects (2019-2029): 9%
  • $79,540 is the median annual salary.
  • Analysts who specialize in information security

Information security analysts develop and implement some security procedures to protect an organization’s computer systems and networks. They keep an eye on networks for security breaches, install tools to secure data, and keep up with IT security trends. Applicants with a graduate degree and associated certificates are preferred by some employers. Information security analysts operate in a variety of settings, including computer systems design, finance, insurance, and management.

Bachelor’s degree is required for this position.

  • Job Prospects (2019-2029): 31%
  • $99,730 is the median annual salary.
  • Examine Careers in Cybersecurity

How To Find the Right Cybersecurity Program?

Our list of cybersecurity Ph.D. programs is a good place to start your search, but selecting the appropriate program requires time and effort. Other important factors to consider when selecting a cybersecurity program are listed below.


Any cybersecurity Ph.D. program worth considering should be regionally accredited. It is easier to get financial aid, qualify for professional certifications, and transfer credit if you attend an accredited school. Regional accreditation also indicates that the curriculum, faculty, and university services are of high quality.

Admissions Difficulty

How difficult is it to get into the cybersecurity program of your choice? Acceptance rates and admission requirements vary widely.

Culture of the Program

What kind of doctoral culture are you looking for? Some Ph.D. in cybersecurity programs have a more formal, professional culture, while others have a more relaxed learning environment where professors and students become excellent friends.

The prestige of the Program

Do you care about the reputation of your university or degree? Although program reputation may not always matter, it might occasionally lead to greater job offers and salaries after graduation.


How much will it cost you to get your cybersecurity Ph.D.? Many Ph.D. programs provide tuition discounts to students who work as research or teaching assistants for the university.

Should You Get Your Ph.D. in Cybersecurity Online?

Earning a Ph.D. in cybersecurity online is a cost-effective, convenient, and flexible option. Working IT professionals, learners who have been out of school for a long time, and those wishing to change careers are all examples of typical online Ph.D. in cybersecurity students. Many people value the ability to learn from anywhere and at any time.

Online graduate programs are becoming more popular, and they are regarded as providing the same high-quality education as their on-campus counterparts. Because of the emphasis on computing and technological skills, cybersecurity Ph.D. degrees may be particularly well-suited for online study. Students pursuing a Ph.D. in cybersecurity must have advanced computer skills, which they can hone as online students.

Earning a degree online is a personal decision, and only you can decide if it is right for you. Consider your unique learning style, distant learning tools, and any other time obligations you have in your life. Many colleges offer hybrid programs that mix online and in-person study, which can be a good fit for some cybersecurity students.

Categorized in: