May 11, 2021  
Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED 2014-15 
Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED 2014-15 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Cyber Security, DSc

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Program Description

The Doctor of Science (DSc) in Cyber Security is intended to be a technical program firmly grounded in computer science and will emphasize applied research in cyber security. Students enrolled in the program will become a vital resource for DSU researchers, as well as for regional and national employers. The proposed program is intended to produce graduates with a commanding knowledge of cyber security, of the applications and research in cyber security, and of supporting technology in computer science.

The program will provide a particular emphasis on technologies and techniques related to specialized cyber operations activities, including data collection, software exploitation, analysis of malicious code, and reverse engineering. These technologies and techniques are critical to intelligence, military and law enforcement organizations, as well as to employers in data-intensive industries.

Program Delivery

Courses in the DSc in Cyber Security program are offered using the instructional delivery methods below:

  1. Face-to-face on-site in Madison, SD in a traditional classroom setting.
  2. At a distance via Internet, using a combination of both live and/or encoded streaming videos of classes, interactive course web boards, course web sites, and e-mail. All courses are web-enhanced. There is a residency requirement with this program, please read section on Residency Requirements.

Instruction includes lectures, seminars, computer lab work, and guided research. This doctoral program uses a combination of on-campus and distance delivery methods.

Residency Requirements

Students will be required to complete three on-site research seminars (CSC 890 , 1 credit each, taken 3 separate times) in a face-to-face setting at the Madison, SD campus. These research seminars will be held annually and take place over multiple days. 

Program Completion

The program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, with classes offered in three academic terms: fall, spring, and summer. Full-time students with a master's degree in computer science should be able to complete this program in 3 years. The program must be completed within 7 years of the semester of the students admission.

Admission Requirements Specific to the DSc in Cyber Security

Dakota State University seeks highly motivated individuals with education and professional credentials that will enable them to be successful doctoral students. Students must have a bachelors or master's degree in computer science to apply.

DSc Admission Requirements

  1. Baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education with full regional accreditation for that degree. International students must have an undergraduate (bachelor's) degree that is the equivalent to a four-year undergraduate degree in the U.S. Students must have a bachelors or master's degree in computer science.
  2. Minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent on an alternative grading system).
  3. Satisfactory scores on the GRE. The test must have been taken within the last five years. The test can be waived if one of the following conditions is met:
  • A cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or higher on a 4.0 scale for a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S.;
  • Official admission into and demonstrated success in a regionally accredited graduate program in the U.S. Demonstrated success is defined as grades of A or B in at least 9 hours of graduate work;                                                  


  • Graduation from a regionally accredited college/university in the U.S. at least 15 years ago or more.

Specific Application Information:

  1. Application deadline: All application materials must be received by May 15th for admission for the following fall semester.
  2. Entry Semesters: Students enter the program in the Fall semester only.

Program Faculty:

Pat Engebretson, William Figg, Tom Halverson, Stephen Krebsbach, Josh Pauli, Ashley Podhradsky, Surendra Sarnikar, Kevin Streff, Yong Wang

On-Site Research Seminars (3 Credits)

Students will be required to complete three on-sight research seminars (CSC 890, 1 credit each, taken 3 separate times) in a face-to-face setting at the Madison, SD campus. These research seminars will be held annually and take place over multiple days. The research seminars are intended to acquaint students with contemporary cyber security research issues, allow students to report, present, and discuss articles pertinent to cyber security research and provide students an opportunity to meet faculty, identify a dissertation advisor, present their dissertation proposal defense, as well as completing the final dissertation defense and oral comprehensive exam.

Dissertation (25 Credits)

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