Earn an Online PhD Information Security Degree

Online PhD Information Security Programs prepare graduate students with the advanced knowledge and credentials to respond to the alarming rise of cyber attacks. As an academic field, computer and Information Security focus on cyber-terrorism and computer forensics, but also involve an understanding of cyber-crime laws, evidence handling and analysis.

Whether you are looking for a business or a computer science degree, a PhD is usually considered qualification for advanced research, academia or upper management[i]. If you are a busy working professional or live too far from an accredited university program, earning your Information Security Doctorate degree online may be worth considering.

Online PhD Information Security Programs: Basics

While the typical prerequisite for an Online PhD Information Security Program is a Masters degree from an accredited program, specific requirements will vary depending on the university, and the program. Prospective candidates may be required to furnish transcripts, letters of recommendation, take an entrance exam, submit a resume, or write a personal statement.

Depending on the program orientation, you may also have to have a background in a related field (e.g. computer science, administration, information technology). Some programs are more business-oriented, such as the Doctor of Business Administration – Computer and Information Security while others are computer science oriented, such as the Doctor of Computer Science –Information Assurance.

Either way, a doctorate degree is research intensive, and candidates spend time with a supervisor to prepare (then defend) a dissertation. A Ph.D. usually requires 3 to 5 years of study, and aside from the dissertation, candidates must pass a comprehensive exam.


Most jobs for computer and information research scientists require a Ph.D. in computer science or a related field.[ii]>

Which Online PhD in Information Security Is Right for You?

It is likely that by the time you are ready for a doctoral degree you are already prepared with an idea of what direction to take. Certainly, Ph.D. candidates learn techniques for combating attacks on information systems and develop the skill sets needed to create new security protocol. So is there any difference between a Doctor in Information Security, a Doctor of Computer Science, and a Doctor of Administration in Information Security?

Online Doctor of Computer Science – Information Security Online

A Doctor of Computer Science (PhD) in Information Security often blends the theoretical, research and technical applications needed to manage and forecast future issues and information assurance issues. If you are a cyber security researcher, this may be the academic fit you are looking for. Usually before you begin work on your dissertation, you need to demonstrate proficiency core topics. Some of the courses you might study could include:

  • Advanced computer science
  • Advanced concepts in information security
  • Computational theory and practice (e.g. algorithms, engineering, database management, architecture, artificial intelligence)
  • Programming languages
  • Software design
  • Computer architecture

Online Doctor of Business Administration – Information Security

Security breaches affect businesses and organizations of all shapes and sizes, from someone’s credit card getting hacked to a large-scale breach of credit information from a major retail chain. If you aspire towards the management side and want to be capable of directing sophisticated security projects, this might be the academic fit for you. Some of the course topics you might study could include:

  • Forensic investigations, and analysis
  • Evidence handling
  • Federal and state privacy laws
  • Intellectual property
  • Search and seizure protocol
  • Cyber crime laws
  • Data preservation

Online PhD in Information Security and Information Assurance

The Online PhD in Information Security may require candidates to have a background in information technology, included related work experience. If you are a current IT professional with aspirations of moving into a leadership or consulting role, this might be a good academic choice. Students in Information Security PhD programs often take courses that might include:

  • Software testing
  • Database systems
  • Network testing
  • Software modeling and design
  • Applied statistics
  • Risk management
  • Integrated programming
  • Systems analysis
  • Engineering

About Online

In terms of convenience, Online PhD Information Security programs offer busy adults the opportunity to study when they can from wherever they have Internet. In most cases, digital tools make it possible to keep in contact with your supervisor, log into your virtual classes 24/7 and use online library research tools.

Bear in mind though, that your program may involve a short residency or intensive or have some in-person requirements that you will have to schedule. Sometimes you may also have to be present for live-streaming seminars.


Applied Science, Computing, Engineering and Engineering Technology programs are accredited by ABET[iii]

Business programs may be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)[iv], the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP)[v], or the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)[vi] depending on what is appropriate.

Take the Next Step

If all that is stopping you from looking into a PhD program in Information Security is that you ‘can’t get to class’, bring the classroom to you. Cyber attacks are not a passing trend in today’s digital age; in fact they are on the rise.[vii] With this, experienced and skilled professionals are needed to stay at least one step ahead. So take that next step – find a doctoral program that aligns with your ambitions today!

[i] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm [iii] abet.org[iv] aacsb.edu/accreditation/accredited-members | [v] acbsp.org |[vi] iacbe.org/accreditation.asp | bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm| [vii] bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-2/careers-in-growing-field-of-information-technology-services.htm