PhD in Cyber Security

What Do You Learn in a PhD in Cyber Security?

A Doctor of Philosophy in Cyber Security (PhD) is a terminal degree path, meaning it is the final component of education in this field of study. It is typically accessible to students who have completed a bachelor’s degree and, in some cases, completed a master’s degree. This program often provides students with access to more insight and skills than other degrees offered.

There is often a large component of research provided in a PhD in cyber security. Some programs focus on research projects related to real-world problems in the industry. Other times, research programs focus on innovation in the industry.

PhD in Cyber Security programs

Featured Online Cyber Security Programs

Cyber Security Courses May Include

Students completing a PhD program in cyber security may complete a number of programs and courses. There may be some focus on courses that are related to topics of interest to the student. Keep in mind that there is a lot of focus on the latest insights into this field. Course may be quite diverse and often include programs such as the following.

1st course Research Seminar in Cyber Security Management

Research Seminar in Cyber Security Management

Typically, this course covers research topics associated with cyber security. Technical as well as human centric topics may also be covered as a portion of this course and how they relate to cyber security. Students may review and discuss relevant literature as it relates to the topic.

2nd course Secure Systems Analysis and Design

Secure Systems Analysis and Design

In this course, students may cover a number of topics as they relate to the analysis and assessment of security systems. Potential threats and vulnerabilities may also be covered in this course. This course may look at possible future threats as well as research opportunities.

3rd Course Information Protection

Information Protection

Typically, in this course, students discuss and are introduced to various protections and threats to host based systems. Various methods of malicious activity may be covered. Networks and mobile systems may also be topics discussed.

4th Course Information Security Risk Management

Information Security Risk Management

In this course, students may cover theories of risk management. Many times, this course is research related and may cover topics such as best practices, theories, and frameworks in risk management. Current issues and how to assess and what future directions may be going may also be covered in this course.

5th Course Information Privacy

Information Privacy

Typically, this course covers privacy issues and how they relate to information systems. Theoretical as well technologically based systems may be topics of discussion as well as how to maintain the necessary level of privacy in order to keep these systems safe.

6th Course Research Methods

Research Methods

This course may cover a number of different topics in how to use research. How to gather information and how to apply information gathered to create solutions as well as develop theories may also be covered in this course.

  • IT majors including cybersecurity, IT Management and software development.
  • Some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year.

5 Most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about a PhD in Cyber Security

Yes, there are various universities that offer a doctoral degree in cyber security. This type of course typically requires 40 to 50 credit hours of study. This is completed after completing a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, depending on the course requirements.

Completing a doctoral degree in cyber security may help students gain additional knowledge and skill in this area. Completing this type of program may be beneficial for those who wish to work in leadership and development fields, research, or teach at the graduate level.

Completing a PhD in cyber security typically takes between 3 and 7 years. This may be dependent on the type of research a student completes as well as if the student already has a master’s degree. There may be accelerated program that help to speed up this process, including online programs. Some universities allow for a faster paced completion of this doctoral degree.

A cyber security doctoral degree may prove challenging as it includes highly specific and challenging courses in the field. This program typically includes a significant amount of research, which may prove to be challenging to some students.

Completing a PhD in cyber security may be beneficial to many students, including those who wish to work in research positions or those who wish to teach at the graduate level. It may also help some to obtain the skills needed for leadership paths in some careers.

Top 4 Schools Graduating Students with a PhD in Cyber Security

The following are the top four universities offering cyber security programs in the U.S. at the PhD level for 2020, according to the number of students graduating from these programs. This data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

College / UniversityGraduatesAcceptance Rate
Capella University54N/A
Capitol Technology University2383%
Dakota State University977%
Nova Southeastern University580%

Find Funding

Completing a graduate degree may be expensive in some situations. Though costs differ from one college to the next, the average cost for a graduate degree from 2019 to 2020 was $19,792, according to NCES. For many people, finding funding options to meet those costs is critical. There are many potential options to cover those costs, though availability and qualifications may apply in many situations. Below are some of the funding options available for students.


One of the ways to cover the cost of college, or in some cases a part of it, is through the use of scholarships. These are funds students typically do not have to repay. Scholarships typically have a range of qualifications and may not be available for all students or all programs. Those who wish to use scholarships to cover some of the cost of their education typically have to apply for the scholarship and be selected for it. Then, they may need to meet ongoing requirements to continue to receive those funds.

Take a look at some of the potential scholarships for cyber security PhD students and others that may be available.

Stokes Educational Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: The National Security Agency (NSA) is currently accepting applications for the Stokes Educational Scholarship Program. This tuition assistance program pays an annual salary, plus up to $30,000 for tuition and mandatory educational fees per academic year. Click here to learn more and apply.

Amount: $30,000

Deadline: October 31

Science Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: The Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship-for-Service Program is an opportunity for students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines to receive a full scholarship and guaranteed civilian employment with the Department of Defense (DoD) upon degree completion. S

Amount: $38,000

Deadline: December 3

(ISC)2 Graduate Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The Center for Cyber Safety and Education offers up to 20 scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to students pursuing or planning to pursue a master’s or doctorate degree with a focus in cybersecurity or information assurance. Stokes Educational Scholarship Program. This tuition assistance program pays an annual salary, plus up to $30,000 for tuition and mandatory educational fees per academic year. Click here to learn more and apply.

Amount: $100,000

Deadline: March 8

Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Women in Cybersecurity Scholarship is provided by ESET and is available for women who are pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in cybersecurity or a related technology field. Applicants must enrolled in or accepted to an accredited undergraduate or graduate program in the U.S. a 3.0 GPA, or higher.

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: April 15

Federal Loans

Federal student loans are one of the options some students have for paying for their graduate degree. These are loans usually backed by the U.S. federal government. That means these lenders have to stick with the federal government’s rules for lending to college students. These loans are a bit different at the graduate level than they are at the undergraduate level. However, they may still be accessible to those working on grad school. Here are a few options to consider.

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans: These may be  available to graduate schools and professional students. Unlike direct subsidized loans, which are made available to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need, direct unsubsidized loans often do not have a need based requirement. Many students may be eligible for them.
  • Direct PLUS Loans: These are often made available to professional or graduate level students. They are designed to pay for educational expenses that are typically not paid for through other loans. Eligibility for these loans is often not based on financial need. However, some require a credit check to be performed, and borrowers may not qualify without meeting other requirements in some cases.
  • Direct Consolidation Loans: These loans enable a student to combine all of their undergraduate and graduate level federal debt into one new loan. This consolidation loan is typically provided after a student completes their education.

Private Student Loans

Private student loans are another option for paying for a doctoral degree. These loans are often not backed by the U.S. federal government, but they may offer more flexibility to students. These programs typically have their own terms and conditions, including differences in who may apply and the types of loans provided. When obtaining private loans, it is important to consider the details of these loans, including factors such as:

  • Income requirements of the loans
  • Credit history requirements
  • How much is available
  • Refinancing opportunities or limitation
  • Limitations on the ability to put the loan in forbearance or obtain forgiveness

The more information you have about these loans, the better. For many, these loans may help cover costs federal loans do not for graduate student programs.

Is information security analyst a good career?

Working as an information security analyst often involves planning, implementing, and in some cases upgrading and monitoring security measures for computer networks and information or data. Those that work in this field assess system vulnerabilities for potential and current security risks and then propose and implement necessary risk mitigation strategies in those areas. Those who work in this field may also ensure appropriate security controls are in place to protect digital files and vital electronic infrastructure. They may also respond to computer security breaches as they occur as well as provide solutions for viruses or other complications.

Some of the work of an information security analyst often includes developing plans to safeguard computer files against accidental or unauthorized modification, disclosure, or destruction of data while also meeting data processing needs. Those in this field may also monitor current report of computer viruses within their controlled environment such as a company or organization and determine when it is necessary to update virus protection systems.

Information security analysts may also encrypt data transmissions and erect firewalls to conceal confidential information including to keep out tainted digital transfers and to prevent sensitive data from being transmitted out. They may perform risk assessments and execute testing on data processing systems currently in place to make sure they are functioning as expected to mitigate security measures. In addition to this, they usually work to modify computer security files to add new software, update individual assessment status, and correct errors.

In addition to this, their work activities typically include developing computer and information security procedures for use within the organization. They may also update knowledge on a continual basis to stay up to date on emerging industry or tech trends impacting the organization. They may also implement security measures for computer or information systems.

Those working in this field may need to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Some employers may expect employees to have a higher degree. This type of occupation usually requires several years of experience as well.

PhD in Cybersecurity , Important skills for an Information Security Analyst

Reading Comprehension – Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

Critical Thinking – Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

Active Listening – Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

2022 Median Salary for Information Security Analysts

The median salary for those working as an information security analyst is as follows by state, based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

New Jersey$129,330Missouri$88,790
New York$138,730Nebraska$95,590
North Dakota$90,130New Hampshire$135,320
Oklahoma$97,050New Mexico$119,010
Pennsylvania$100,370North Carolina$122,580
South Carolina$102,270Ohio$105,960
Utah$109,880Rhode Island$110,880
Virginia$131,340South Dakota$97,800
West Virginia$92,350Wyoming$87,630

Is computer systems analyst a good career?

A computer systems analyst is a professional that analyzes science, engineering, business, and other data processing problems. They typically work to develop and implement solutions to complex application problems. They may also handle administration problems and network concerns. These individuals may also perform systems management and integration functions while working to improve the current computer systems in place. They may also review computer system capabilities, schedule limitations, and overall workflow. They may also analyze and recommend commercially available software as it applies to their needs.

The tasks for those working in this position may test, maintain, and monitor computer programs and systems. They may also troubleshoot programs and system malfunctions to restore normal function to operations. They may also work to expand or modify systems to improve overall work flow within the system or to serve to meet new purposes. They may also use the computer in the solution and analysis of business operations. This may include the development of integrated production and inventory control. Computer systems analysts may also need to consult with management to manage system goals and principles.

The work activities of those who work in this field may also include coordinating software and hardware installation, monitoring the performance of systems to ensure they are working properly, and working to troubleshoot issues as they arise. They may also need to modify software programs to improve performance.

To do this type of work, individuals typically need to have a bachelor’s degree, though some employers require a higher degree. Those who work in this position may need some experience in the field and may have some support in learning the necessary steps to conducting the work on the job.

PhD in Cyber security , Important skills for Computer Information Systems Managers

Active Listening – Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking – Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension – Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

2022 Median Salary for a Computer Systems Analyst

The median income for those working as a computer systems analyst is as follows according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for each state.

New Jersey$123,690Missouri$99,580
New York$114,570Nebraska$89,650
North Dakota$95,540New Hampshire$111,930
Oklahoma$89,800New Mexico$91,200
Pennsylvania$95,740North Carolina$99,830
South Carolina$94,520Ohio$100,830
Utah$100,970Rhode Island$104,660
Virginia$114,050South Dakota$90,660
West Virginia$81,f870Wyoming$72,040


Sandy Baker


Sandy has extensive experience writing educational articles for topics ranging from online education to college degrees. She’s worked with several Ivy League colleges to create blogs, newsletters, sales material for recruiting as well as “how to manage” college lifestyle pieces. Additionally, she’s written for well-respected study abroad programs helping students to find international opportunities spanning the globe from South America to Africa and Asia.

Sandy’s experience also includes writing about financial aid, FAFSA, scholarship searches, and managing college loans and grants. This includes aiding both students and parents in managing the application and financial aid process from start to finish. Her writing in this area has been featured in The New York Times, Cleveland Magazine, and several blogs.

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