Dec 02, 2022  
Graduate Catalog 2022-2023 
    
Graduate Catalog 2022-2023

Cyber Operations, Ph.D.


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Program Description

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Cyber Operations 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 program aims to produce graduates with a commanding knowledge of cyber security, of the applications and research in cyber security, and of supporting technology and innovation in computer science.

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

Residency Requirements

Students will be required to complete three on-site research seminars (CSC 890 , one credit each, taken three 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. Minimum time to complete this program in 3 years. The program must be completed within 7 years of the semester of the student's admission.

Admission Requirements Specific to the Ph.D. in Cyber Operations

Dakota State University seeks highly motivated masters prepared individuals with education and professional credentials that will enable them to be successful doctoral students. It is mandatory that students must have a bachelors or master's degree in computer science to apply.  Only US residents and those holding a Permanent Resident Card are allowed to apply to this program.

Admission Requirements

  1. Baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education with full regional accreditation for that degree.
  2. Minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent on an alternative grading system).
  3. Master's degree completed at the time of application.
  4. Baccalaureate and/or master's degree must be in Computer Science.

Program Faculty:

Yong Wang, Program Coordinator
Andrew Kramer, Bhaskar Rimal, Cody Welu, Kyle Cronin, Meikang Qiu, Michael Ham, Shawn Zwach, Stephen Krebsbach, Tom Halverson, Tyler Flaagan, Yong Wang

Program Curriculum


Research Core (9 Credits)


On-Site Research Seminars (3 Credits)


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. 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.

  • 1 credit each (residency requirements, 1 credit each - 3 credits required)

Dissertation (19 Credits)


Electives (15 Credits)


Any 700 or 800 level course offering with a CSC, INFA or INFS prefix (subject to elective program approval).

Note: Program committee strongly suggest CSC 842, CSC 791 (INSuRE Research), and CSC 748 as electives.

Course Grades


Course Grades are used as an indirect measure of student attainment of specific program goals and objectives. DSU Program Guidelines require students to maintain a 3.0 GPA in the program, receive no grades below a C, and have no more than 2 grades of a C. If you do not maintain the required "B" average you will be placed on academic probation and given the opportunity to raise your GPA to 3.0 within the next nine credit hours. If you do not raise your GPA to 3.0 you will be suspended from the program. If you receive more than 6 credits of "C" or any grade lower than a "C" you will be suspended from the program. You may appeal the suspension. If students have questions regarding grading, they should review the "Satisfactory Progression" Program Guidelines or speak with their advisor.

Course Rotation


Course Rotation Schedule

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