Jul 17, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2022-2023 
Graduate Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Cyber Defense, Ph.D.

Program Description

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Cyber Defense program addresses important technical aspects of cyber defense, yet infuses cyber defense leadership, ethics and management concepts to ensure will rounded graduates.  Students learn how to work in a variety of research methodologies to support innovation in technical careers, research and develop tools to advance the field of network defense, cyber and privacy risk management, software assurance, Internet of Things security (IoT), 5G network security, digital forensics, penetration testing, incident response, vulnerability scanning, network security monitoring and response, data privacy, multinational cyber security defense, IT governance and compliance, and privacy enhancing technologies. 

The program provides a particular emphasis on research and applying ethical frameworks to security decisions to integrate cyber ethics into leadership and decision-making; and research and develop models to measure cyber security and date privacy effectiveness in both public and private sector organizations.

The Ph.D. in Cyber Defense takes a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to cyber defense, including important technical, leadership, ethics, and management concepts.  Graduates are prepared for careers in private industry, government agencies, the military, research labs and academia.  At DSU, we have a recognized excellence in cyber security, education, and research from the National Security Agency (NSA) and The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that is central to our technological mission.  DSU currently holds four prestigious Center of Academic Excellence Designations from NSA and DHS, including the most technical for Cyber Operations and the prestigious Cyber Defense Consultative Regional Resource Center.

Residency Requirements

This program is offered on campus and online.  However, online students are required to complete three on-site research seminars (CSC 890 , one credit each, taken three separate times) in a face-to-face setting on the Madison, SD campus. These research seminars will be held annually and take place over 3-4 days.  Students unable to physically attend the on-site research seminars may petition their program coordinator to participate from a distance.  

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 cyber, data privacy, computer science or a technology-oriented degree 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 Ph.D. in Cyber Defense

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 cyber, data privacy, computer science or a technology-oriented degree to apply.

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 cyber, data privacy, computer science or a technically-oriented degree.
  2. Minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent on an alternative grading system).

Program Faculty:

Kevin Streff, Program Coordinator
Kyle Cronin, Edward Dennis, Philip Egeberg, Michael Ham, Ashley Podhradsky, Meikang Qiu, Bhaskar Rimal, Yong Wang

Dissertation (24 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 from 3-5 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 defense 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.

Course Rotation

Course Rotation Schedule