Categories: Doctorate's Degree

Best Online Doctoral Programs in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance

Information security and assurance have always gone hand in hand with success. This principle holds for politics, economics and societies in general from the local to the international levels. Cybersecurity professionals are at the forefront of making sure vital and sensitive information is kept safe. Cybersecurity is booming.

Over the next eight years, the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 28% growth. Cybersecurity experts are also paid very well with a median annual income of $92,600. With such a rapidly growing and diversifying industry, earning a doctorate will put one in the prime position for securing the most lucrative and advanced positions in the information assurance field.


The 5 Best Online Doctoral Programs in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance



This Doctor of Computer Science-Cybersecurity and Information Assurance degree has been recognized by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense.

This online program divides into three basic components which are spread over three years of study. The first looks at the foundations of cybersecurity.

The second moves into an in-depth study of cybersecurity. And the third component fills out the program with instruction in leadership and career advancement. The final stage of this program is the writing of a dissertation. All these components work together to create graduates able to evaluate, analyze, and solve cybersecurity and technology problems. This program’s graduates are security professionals able to research, integrate, and apply theory to real-life situations and scenarios.

Campus Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Retention and Acceptance Rate:

  • Retention-47%
  • Acceptance-Open Admissions

Admission Requirements:

  • Admissions interview with admissions advisor
  • Completed application
  • Transcripts and proof of degrees
  • Entrance Essay (May be required)

Sample Coursework:

  • Futuring and Innovation
  • Enterprise Security Architecture
  • Governance, Quality, Compliance and Ethics

Degree Outcomes: This degree program provides the skills and knowledge necessary for creating security frameworks for organizational assets to operations and data. Graduates learn how to evaluate security solutions and models. Graduates are able to engage in threat and vulnerability assessment and response as well as create security awareness and prevention programs. Finally, graduates of this program are able to address security matters related to the management of business continuity and disaster recovery.



This online Doctor of Science in Cybersecurity prepares its students for careers as professors, researchers and managers in private industry or in state, federal and locals agencies. This degree program claims strong ties with the NSA, CIA, Navy, SPAWAR, Department of Homeland Security and many other defense and research institutions and agencies.

Graduates from this program learn the cybersecurity skills necessary to address risks, threats, and breaches in the various IT fields of data collection, software exploitation, malicious code, and reverse engineering. Although this degree program is considered online, there are three short residency requirements throughout the course of the program.

Campus Location: Madison, SD

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Retention and Acceptance Rate: 

  • Retention-72%
  • Acceptance-83%

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed Application
  • Master’s (Bachelor’s) degree in computer science from a fully accredited institute
  • Minimum GPA of 3.00
  • Satisfactory GRE scores OR test may be waived if one of the following conditions is met:
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.25 or above
    • Demonstrated success in a regionally accredited graduate program
    • Graduation from a regionally accredited college/university in the U.S. at least 15 or more years ago

Sample Coursework and Requirements:

  • Cyber Operations
  • Advanced Reverse Engineering
  • Cybersecurity Research
  • 3 On-Site Research Seminars (annual and over multiple days)
  • Dissertation

Degree Outcomes: This degree program is designed as a technical program that is grounded in computer science, which emphasizes applied research in cybersecurity. Graduates will possess a mastery of cybersecurity in general, its applications, and will able to advance the field through research and supporting technology development.



The University of Fairfax offers a 100 percent online doctoral program of Information Assurance. This degree program places special emphasis on cybersecurity policy-related matters in enterprise management. Graduates of this degree program have gone on to work in security positions for the U.S. Navy, the Department of Veterans of Affairs, Lockheed Martin, Cisco Systems, Wells Fargo, among others.

Graduates are prepared for careers as Chief Information Officers, Chief Technology Officers, Information Technology Strategists, Computer and Information Systems Managers. Online classes in this program are offered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats.

Campus Location: Roanoke, VA

Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission

Retention and Acceptance Rate: No data is provided.

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application
  • Official transcripts
  • Master’s degree from accredited institutions

Sample Coursework and Requirements:

  • Cloud Cyber Security
  • Business and Security Risk Analysis
  • Forensic Evaluation and Incident Response Management
  • Dissertation

Degree Outcomes: Graduates of this program are able to analyze, assess and critique the practical applicability of information techniques and technologies. Graduates will have demonstrated, through original research, mastery and competency in cybersecurity theory and application as well as specialized topics. Graduates will be able to gather, organize and present evidence that informs cybersecurity policy.




Capital Technological University’s online Doctor of Science in Cybersecurity is the first of its kind. It is designed to prepare its graduates to conduct research and demonstrate innovation and creativity in the field of cybersecurity across a range of industries and agencies. All this is geared towards preparing its graduates to make executive decisions and take decisive action as cybersecurity leaders.

A solid core foundation and a wide variety of electives make this degree program an outstanding option for online cybersecurity doctoral education. Although an online program, this program requires one two-week on-campus session in each of its three years of coursework.

Campus Location: Laurel, MD

Accreditation: Maryland Higher Education Commission

Retention and Acceptance Rate: 

  • Retention-83%
  • Acceptance-61%

Admission Requirements:

  • Completed application
  • Application essay stating vision of what you plan to do to advance the cybersecurity profession
  • Master’s degree in one of the following: computer science, information assurance, information technology or related field
  • Minimum of 5 years of directly related work experience
  • 3 completed recommendation forms
  • Must hold one of the following certifications:
    • CISSP
    • GSE
    • CGEIT
    • CISM

Sample Coursework and Requirements:

  • Information Assurance Research Literature
  • Situation Awareness Analysis and Action Plan Processes
  • Applied Research in Information Assurance
  • Software Assurance Development
  • Dissertation

Degree Outcomes: Graduates of this degree will demonstrate advanced knowledge, research and application competencies in the various fields of cybersecurity. Graduates will be good communicators, able to express cybersecurity-related theory and applications in a manner and at a level appropriate to different audiences. This degree equips students to make evaluations about ethical obligations and responsibilities related to cybersecurity management. Finally, this degree program requires its graduates to demonstrate effective research skills through formulating a topic, researching this topic and composing a dissertation.




Nova Southeastern University’s Ph.D. in Information Assurance is an online doctoral degree program in cybersecurity recognized by the U.S. National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. It is also a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education. This degree combines “technically intensive and management-focused security courses” designed to “provide a comprehensive approach” to cybersecurity.

This program contains an on-campus component that requires attendance at quarterly weekend meetings. Graduates are prepared for key management positions in the cybersecurity field. Each of the program’s instructors holds a Ph.D. Graduates from this degree program have gone on to careers as college instructors, chief information security officers, information security consultants, research and development, vice president of information security.

Campus Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Retention and Acceptance Rate: 

  • Retention-75%
  • Acceptance-53%

Admission Requirements:

  • Complete online application
  • Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Sealed official transcripts
  • Overall GPS of 3.25 or higher
  • CV/Resume
  • Two essays discussing:
    • Personal goals
    • Research goals
  • 3 letters of recommendation

Sample Coursework and Requirements:

  • Network Security and Cryptography
  • Information Privacy
  • Managing Risk in Secure Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Dissertation

Degree Outcomes: The key outcomes of this degree are: the ability acquire advanced knowledge and understanding in the field of cybersecurity; communicate professionally and ethically about cybersecurity research issues; identify, analyze and synthesize scholarly literature; generate new knowledge in cybersecurity literature.


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