Doctor of Computer Science - Information Assurance

As enterprise information systems in organizations grow increasingly more complex, the need for management professionals qualified to take the lead in evaluating, analyzing and solving problems pertaining to Information Assurance is vital. CTU’s Doctor of Computer Science - Information Assurance degree program is designed to help you develop the theoretical, research and applications capabilities needed to manage and forecast future issues and developments in this field. It will challenge you to demonstrate expertise in a sub-discipline of Information Assurance by selecting and conducting research on an important problem, then communicating your results and preparing them for publication.

National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cybersecurity 2014-2021*

Relevant Institutional/Programmatic Accreditation
CTU is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

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  • Program Availability

    Online | Denver

Program Details

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  • Courses

    Degree Requirements

    Courses: Core
    CS814Current Topics in Computer Science and Information Systems4
    CS861Information Assurance4
    CS875Futuring and Innovation4
    CS880Foundations of Digital Systems Security4
    CS884Enterprise Security Architecture4
    EIS846Enterprise Tools, Concepts and Processes4
    EIS852Governance, Quality, Compliance and Ethics4
    EIS854Security Management4
    RES804Principles of Research Methods and Design4
    RES812Qualitative Research Methods4
    RES814Quantitative Research Methods4
    RES860Doctoral Research I: Principles of Research and Writing4
    RES861Doctoral Research II: Annotated Bibliography4
    RES862Dissertation Research Process4
    RES863Doctoral Research III: Dissertation Literature Review4
    RES864Doctoral Research IV: Dissertation Methods4
    RES865Doctoral Research V: Dissertation Introduction4
    RES866Doctoral Research VI: Dissertation Findings4
    RES867Doctoral Research VII: Dissertation Discussion and Conclusion4
    RES868Doctoral Research VIII: Dissertation Conclusion4
    ElectivesSelect four 4- credit courses from 800-level CS or EM or EIS courses16

    Total Credit Hours: 96

    *DCS students must complete four 4-credit courses for these electives.  These courses may be selected from any of those offered under DCS.  One of those electives may be chosen from the Doctor of Management program instead.


    Each of the three years of the DCS program is designed to provide candidates with theoretical, research, and application capabilities in the field. The organization of each year is described below.

    Year 1: Foundations
    Year one focuses on computer science and information systems topics and an orientation to research and writing at the doctoral level. Coursework covers current topics in the disciplines as well as research methods and qualitative techniques. The research component results in a broad overview of the student’s area of concentration in order to put the research into context and inform the student’s selection of a research topic.

    Year 2: Acquisition of Knowledge
    Once the foundations are in place, year two is where each student develops an in-depth understanding of the knowledge and research methods in his or her chosen area of study. While most of the effort in year two is on developing a richer understanding of the discipline, the research courses include quantitative methods and the dissertation process.

    Year 3: Leadership and Professional Advancement
    Coursework in the final year of the program includes the two remaining concentration courses plus the final six doctoral research courses that enable one to complete the research and dissertation.

    The program thus includes fifteen instructional courses, plus nine doctoral research courses. Each class is conducted online. 

    Doctoral programs at Colorado Technical University require a residential symposium. Additional information about CTU's doctoral symposium can be viewed in the Doctoral Symposium section of this catalog.

    Graduation Requirements
    In addition to the successful completion of the above 96 credits with an acceptable GPA, students must also satisfactorily complete and defend their research proposal and final dissertation. The research proposal must be approved by the student's committee, consisting of a mentor and two readers. The dissertation is an extensive document that incorporates the literature review, a major study, and a proposal for further investigation. The dissertation must be approved by the student's committee.

    Degree Completion and Post Doctoral Study
    The student must be continuously enrolled until all graduation requirements are fulfilled. A student who has not completed the research requirements by the end of the formal coursework continues by registering for RES893 Research Continuation according to CTU’s re-take policy.

    The Doctoral Advantage
    While a relevant master’s degree is ordinarily required for admission to CTU doctoral programs, there is also the option of completing a CTU MSCS, MSIT, MSM-ISS, MSM-IT/PM, or MSSE degree while starting work on the Doctor of Computer Science degree. The program outcomes remain the same for the DCS and the master’s degrees under this option, but the normal completion time for the degrees in the combined program is reduced. Through this program, doctoral work is started after ten of the twelve required master’s courses have been successfully completed. Program plans must be approved by the Dean of Doctoral Computer Science.

    Note, however, that for the MSSE degree to be awarded under doctoral advantage the student must successfully complete SE600, SE610, SE612 (for CTU Virtual Campus students), and SE620.
    The MSCS, MSIT, MSM-ISS, MSM-IT/PM, or MSSE degree will be awarded upon successful completion of the ten approved master’s courses plus the first two courses in the doctoral degree program: one five-hour 800-level course plus one research and writing course.

    National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security

    The Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency have recognized Colorado Technical University as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense (CAE IA/CD). The CTU cyber security curriculum was certified thereby to map to the DHS/NSA cybersecurity knowledge units. This recognition and certification is valid through 2021.

    This CAE IA/CD designation is applicable to this degree program.

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  • Tuition

    $57,408 Tuition

    $4,000 Symposium Fee*
    $200 Graduation Fee

    We understand that paying for your education is an investment in your future. Visit our tuition resources page for links to full tuition, books and fees.

    *A $1,000 non-refundable fee is charged to a student’s account each quarter in which a student is registered for symposium (attendance at four symposia are required as part of the degree). This fee covers administrative costs such as conference rooms, AV equipment, academic event materials and supplies that are associated with the symposium event. Please see the Doctoral Symposium section of the catalog for more information.
    **Financial aid available for those who qualify

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  • Outcomes

    CTU's Doctor of Computer Science degree builds on the foundation of a master’s degree to prepare students for senior level leadership, consulting, and teaching positions within business, government, nonprofit organizations, and higher education. CTU doctoral students are educated to discover new solutions to unsolved problems in a range of fields. Students develop analytic and research skills to define problems, study advanced content knowledge to discover innovative solutions, and practice consulting and leadership techniques to facilitate innovative change in organizations, communities, and society. Using these skills, graduates may find opportunities as leaders within nonprofit organizations and businesses, as consultants, or as faculty within higher education.

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*CTU has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cybersecurity for academic years 2014-2021 for its cybersecurity and information assurance programs