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Ph.D. in Cybersecurity in the United States: A Comprehensive Guide For 2024

Phd in cybersecurity in usa

The number of potential programs open to students interested in seeking a Ph.D. in cybersecurity is one predictor of the industry’s growth and development.

When the range of skill sets for cybersecurity practitioners evolves and expands, so do the different types of doctorate programs.

Moving outside the realm of computer science, cybersecurity experts are now receiving education in fields such as law, politics, management, and planning, among many others.

This guide is intended to provide prospective cybersecurity Ph.D. students with a comprehensive analysis of a doctorate in cybersecurity programs accessible.

It would also go through some things to think about while looking for the best Ph.D. curriculum, such as course standards and tuition costs.

Until recently, cybersecurity Ph.D. programs, like other cutting-edge technology areas, were often testing grounds for specialty positions in advanced studies, mostly for government departments (such as the CIA, NSA, and FBI), or closely adjacent research organizations or entities.

Can You Have a Ph.D. in Cybersecurity?

Of course, you can!

A Ph.D. in Cybersecurity gives applicants a solid base in computer science when concentrating on advanced research in information technology security.

Data collection, program exploitation, reverse engineering, and malicious code analysis are among the techniques studied in this course.

Programming, network management, stable operating systems, software engineering, and software architecture can all be included in the class.

Students learn how to spot cybercrime and safeguard sensitive data stored on devices and servers.

Ph.D. in Cyber Security graduates are specialized in analysis methodology and develop a greater knowledge of cybersecurity issues.

Students develop their problem-solving and decision-making capabilities when they focus on different cybercrimes.

They become familiar with ideas and proficient in the skills used to tackle technical and intelligence applications.

The cost of a Ph.D. is determined by the institution’s rules, the country of study, and the duration of the degree. Learn more by calling the university’s admissions office and requesting more details, including curriculum costs.

Ph.D. in Cybersecurity graduates are specialized in analysis methodology and develop a greater knowledge of cybersecurity issues.

Students develop their problem-solving and decision-making capabilities when they focus on different cybercrimes.

The cost of a Ph.D. is determined by the institution’s rules, the country of study, and the duration of the degree.

Learn more by calling the university’s admissions office and requesting more details, including curriculum costs.

Is a Ph.D. Much Harder Than a Masters?

In all honesty, yes!

It is rare to see a doctoral degree with the official designation of Ph.D. in Cybersecurity. Although many initiatives focused on cybersecurity, it is uncommon to see a program with a cybersecurity major.

Any cybersecurity and internet security programs are part of another major, such as a Master’s of Computer Science or a cybersecurity concentration.

Ph.D. in Information Assurance, Ph.D. in Information Security and a doctorate in Computer Science with a Security Focus.

The cybersecurity Ph.D. program is a research-based doctoral program that requires candidates to specialize in areas such as cyberinfrastructure, human-centered computing, and embedded devices, to mention a couple.

The Ph.D. program lasts between five and seven years. Two years are spent taking graduate courses and qualifying exams.

In comparison, the remaining three to five years are spent doing independent studies for a mandatory dissertation, which is a scientific, systematic account of the student’s work.

Cybersecurity is an interesting field for computer-savvy people who like a challenge. It is also an interesting area because there are so many career options and opportunities for advancement.

A doctorate in Cybersecurity opens doors to lucrative and rewarding jobs at the highest levels.

Is a Ph.D. in Cyber Security Worth It?

Many students interested in the fascinating world of cybersecurity wonder if a Ph.D. would benefit them if they chose this profession as a profession.

Although doctoral degrees are not necessarily needed to work in cybersecurity, getting a Ph.D. would only boost a resume and place the applicant in a position to compete for jobs that are not open to those with lesser degrees.

Cybercrime has become a serious problem in recent years, and cybersecurity experts are in high demand. Here is a rundown of what a Ph.D. in Cybersecurity means and the types of employment accessible.

Although a Ph.D. is not needed for most cybersecurity positions, it can be advantageous. The more schooling a student gets, the more job chances he or she would have after graduation.

The Ph.D. in Cybersecurity curriculum, on the other hand, is typically designed for students who choose to work in research-based positions such as college professors, business analysts, or policy advisors.

The doctoral degree program can be a complex and costly undertaking.

Students may invest more years in education, but the benefits are usually well worth it in the end.

Students learn useful business skills such as giving speeches, writing reports, working “in the box,” and how to overcome difficult problems.

Cyber and information technology are study-intensive areas, and doctoral students learn how to do successful research.

Overall, doctoral degree program graduates get decent jobs and make more money. There seems to be a near-constant scarcity of highly trained cybersecurity experts.

What Can You Do With a Ph.D. in Cybersecurity?

Suppose you are thinking of getting a doctorate in data security. In that case, you probably do not need to be reminded of the importance of information security and the problems that computer security and information assurance practitioners face.

Data breaches and cyber threats occur regularly, threatening government agencies, corporate organizations, and private lives. All indications suggest that the situation will worsen before it improves.

All have also started to be digitized: confidential documents, professional and business purchases, entertainment, correspondence – the list goes on.

Was a theoretical prospect, the Internet of Things has come for the long run, which means that by 2025, there will be 27+ billion linked “things.”

Anything from your vehicle to your house, which means 27 billion more possible vulnerabilities for cybersecurity professionals.

To put it another way, the future needs highly trained, expert data security experts. Obtaining a doctorate is one way to fulfill the challenge.

How long does it take to get a Ph.D. in cybersecurity?

A full-time cybersecurity study program in the United States runs for 3 or 4 years. The first year is normally probationary, and it is used to write a thesis proposal outlining your research degree.

The remaining time will be used to conduct research, write and apply your paper, and prepare for the Viva. Part-time cybersecurity programs could last 6 to 7 years. A full-time MPhil in cybersecurity usually lasts 1 to 2 years.

The first year is used to help your supervisor to find potential cybersecurity training that will aid in your research study, in addition to developing your thesis proposal.

It could take the form of online Ph.D. cybersecurity training courses, online doctorate seminars, or placement programs to provide you with an understanding of the computer security market and real-world implementations in your chosen area.

What is the quickest Ph.D. Cybersecurity Degree to get?

Doctor in Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs are offered in several subject areas. The best projects are usually supported by excellent grants, cutting-edge research laboratories, and an abundance of intellectual services.

We advise you to request information from each school for more clarity when choosing one of the shorter graduate programs or the simplest Ph.D. programs.

The easiest is not necessarily the shortest, and the quickest is not always the easiest.

The Most Convenient Ph.D. Programs, Both Online and On-Campus

To be sure, no Ph.D. route to Cybersecurity is “easy,” but there are some that are built to be easier than others.

Typically, education, humanities, and social sciences are regarded as the most specific disciplines to obtain a degree.

With this in mind, our ranking of the easiest Ph.D. programs covers schools and programs with substantially shortened residency requirements, accelerated classes, credit exchanges, and integrated dissertation colloquia.

The schools in the rankings below have earned accreditation from at least one of the six regional accrediting organizations.

All deliver at least one virtual Ph.D. United States News. The World Report and Forbes Magazine rankings were also used to coordinate online Ph.D. programs.

Cost /Tuition fee for procuring a Ph.D. in Cybersecurity

Obtaining a Ph.D. requires a significant commitment of both time and resources. Cybersecurity Ph.D. students are balancing the expense of being specialists in the field against the possible return of getting fascinating and possibly lucrative job prospects.

The majority of conventional, on-campus doctoral programs cost between $1,350 and $2,090 per credit hour. Degree standards are typically completed in 60-75 hours, so the expense of a doctoral degree can easily exceed six figures.

The positive thing is that by the time students reach the Ph.D. level, they have a wide range of financing opportunities, including certain doctoral programs entirely sponsored by the university or academic department.

Additionally, financing is available in research grants and other types of scholarships for students involved in conducting cybersecurity studies.

The CyberCorps: Scholarships for Service program is one example. Ph.D. candidates pursuing cybersecurity are eligible for a $34,500 per year grant, as well as a $6,500 career stipend to attend workshops, in return for committing to work for a federal department in the cybersecurity space during the Ph.D. program.

Fully Funded Ph.D. in Cyber Security in the US

Cybersecurity is one of those programs in which many people are interested nowadays. Many of you might be looking for a fully-funded Ph.D. in cyber security in the United States of America.

So let me tell you one most important things about a Ph.D. in the United States of America.

Funding is always guaranteed there, now always, but most of the time. So don’t worry about funding. However, students are always encouraged to seek external funding, like through private institutes.

A stipend is given to the student twice a year. Although it’s not a large amount of money, it is intended to cover the minimum basic living costs needed during the study period.

Many universities offer students a basic income because, in the United States of America, students don’t have enough time to do a part-time job while studying.

But don’t forget to apply to the program early because universities prefer giving total funding to those students who apply quite early. Universities are quite strict about the requirements of stipends.

If you miss the early application deadline, there are few chances that you will get any funding for your program.

If you expect that your Ph.D. program will take longer than the standard four to five years, you should consider external funding options to cover the remaining years until you complete your program.

Following are the ways to get funding for your Ph.D. program in the United States of America:

You might be curious to know about the methods by which you can get full-fledged funding for your program.

Many of you might consider working part-time, but it will be challenging to work after dedicating 40 hours to your studies. So here are the ways that will help you:

  • Scholarships

Full funding for your Ph.D. in cybersecurity can cover fees, living costs and other expenses during your student life.

Private universities will give more funding than public universities, although these also have higher fees.

You can also search for some of the Ph.D. funding available using the official tool provided by Education USA.

  • Assistantships

It’s common for US universities to offer assistantships to graduate students. This is a direct form of funding.

Common types of Assistantships are:

  • Graduate teaching assistantships
  • Research Assistantships
  • Administrative assistantships
  • Fellowships.
  • National Science Foundation

You can also get full funding for your cybersecurity program via the National Science Foundation. It is a long-established federal grant scheme that provides the opportunity for a fully-funded Ph.D. in cybersecurity and other programs.

But to get funding in this manner, you should be an American citizen.

This offers the following benefit:

  • An annual stipend of $34,000.
  • $12,000 allowance for tuition fees is paid directly to the university.
  • Federal loans for grad. Students

If you are an American national, you can access a federal loan from the government to finance your Ph.D. studies.

There are two types of loans you can consider about:

  • Direct Unsubsidized loans
  • Direct PLUS loans

These scholarships are provided to each Ph.D. program, so these all things are applicable to the cybersecurity program. If you have any questions regarding the scholarship, feel free to ask in the comment box.

Eligibility Criteria

The outstanding intellectual potential is shown by a first-class honors degree, a Master’s degree with distinction, or an equal Grade Point Average (GPA). Check out our complete entry criteria for more details.

Benefits Provided

The program is a fully-funded Ph.D. scholarship with a stipend of $3,225 per year to cover living expenses. This studentship is only available to US citizens.

Why are Institutions Offering Fully Funded Scholarships?

Cyber-attacks, including consumer identity leakage and malware attacks, are becoming an increasingly prevalent threat to organizations.

It is well acknowledged in data defense that the issue is not when an organization would be hacked, but rather when.

It is evidenced by the fact that all the world’s biggest and most technologically advanced organizations, such as Google and Facebook, have experienced significant cybersecurity breaches.

The involvement of individual workers within the organization who, by action or inaction, can unwittingly encourage cyber-attacks is an aspect of many cyber-attacks.

While psychological and behavioral sciences research is highly applicable to these topics, there is an interdisciplinary disparity between this evidence base and its relevance to cybersecurity challenges.

Cybersecurity Ph.D. Scholarships For 2024

Cybersecurity scholarships are essentially “free money” for universities. You should not have to return the funds, as you will, for a loan.

The majority of these grants are for students who choose to pursue cybersecurity. Or college majors that are connected to it.

Homeland defense, forensics, emergency management, and intelligence are only a few examples. Some only have funding for tuition and fees. Others can include a summer internship and a deal to retain you when you graduate.

How To Apply For a Scholarship in Cybersecurity Ph.D. Programs

You must be eligible to apply for a data security scholarship. This requirement is normally fulfilled by enrolling in cybersecurity degree programs.

And, if you qualify, you fill out an application. Being a US citizen or permanent resident is a common requirement. You will also be required to demonstrate your status as a current student enrolled in an accredited institution.

Academic excellence and an engagement in national security are also essential to providers. As a result, you also send transcripts demonstrating that you have a certain GPA. Often, SAT/ACT scores must be within an acceptable range.

Often people make choices based on their financial situation, which means you’ll need to have your family income tax records or fill out a FAFSA. Aside from that, many providers wish to learn about you and your objectives.

To do so, you will be required to write an essay on a prompted topic, include references, and include a current CV.

Online cybersecurity Ph.D. programs are growing in popularity, both as a degree choice for students and a feasible option for schools looking to educate more specialists in the sector.

Programs to raise public awareness of the issue and draw talented young minds to the discipline are becoming more common and are beginning to impact.

Certificate, preparation, and curriculum services are in high demand as the pool of qualified applicants grows. Several degree programs offered by colleges and universities, in particular, are increasing.

In recent years, bachelor’s degrees have been almost mandatory for new cybersecurity practitioners. Higher-level posts, such as chief information security officers (CISOs), often necessitate a master’s degree.

At the moment, though, there is a growing demand for doctorate degrees in cybersecurity. High-level executive positions, higher-education faculty jobs, and advanced research programs are all in greater need than there are applicants to fill them.

Online Ph.D. in Cyber Security

Although most doctoral degree programs last two or three years, we discovered one university that offers a 12-month online doctoral program in Cybersecurity:

BREYER STATE UNIVERSITY Online Doctoral Programs for One Year – ethereal accelerated doctorate in grief therapy. This online program is by far the most accessible on our list, with tuition starting at merely $3,550.

When new 1-year virtual doctoral programs become available, they will be added to this list. This list was most recently revised on April 1, 2019.

In general, most doctoral candidates will work in the increasingly evolving and vital fields of education, consulting, and science. For these positions, Ph.D.s (doctor of philosophy degrees) and DScs (doctor of science degrees) are designed.

Ph.D.s study philosophy and science, while DScs study research and scientific skills. With a greater emphasis on technological expertise, DScs can continue to work directly in field applications.

On the other hand, the DPS degrees are almost enticingly dedicated to the highest stages of instruction in hands-on practical experience and skills rather than philosophy and science.

Doctoral programs of all three types are now open to those seeking to progress their careers to the top of the cybersecurity sector.

However, at this moment, the Ph.D. is by far the most widely offered doctoral cybersecurity degree, followed by DScs and DPSs.

There is a critical need for information security experts in the world. Still, there is also an essential need to increase the ability of our educational institutions to train new practitioners.

We will urgently need advanced, creative, and strategic thinkers to perform cybersecurity research.

List of Ph.D. in Cyber Security Colleges in the United States

A list of cybersecurity Ph.D. programs is shown below. The listing is intended to function as a high-level index, providing enough specific details to allow for fast side-by-side comparisons.

Specific information on what and school needs (such as a GRE score or previous academic work), as well as the number of credits needed, projected expenses, and a guide to the curriculum, should be available.

StateLocationSchool/UniversityPh.D./Doctorate Programs List
ArizonaTempeArizona State UniversityPh.D. in Computer Science – Cybersecurity
ArizonaTucsonUniversity of ArizonaPh.D. in MIS with Emphasis in Information Assurance
CaliforniaMontereyNaval Postgraduate SchoolPh.D. in Computer Science (You may elect Computer Systems and Security specialization)
CaliforniaDavisUniversity of California-DavisPh.D. in Computer Science – Information Assurance Focus
ColoradoGoldenColorado School of MinesDoctor of Philosophy in Computer Science – Cybersecurity
ColoradoColorado SpringsUniversity of Colorado Colorado SpringsPh.D. in Engineering – Concentration in Security
IdahoMoscowUniversity of IdahoPh.D. in Computer Science – Information Assurance
IllinoisChampaignThe University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignJuris Doctor Degree – Illinois Cyber Security Scholars Program
IndianaBloomingtonIndiana University BloomingtonPh.D. in Computer Science – Minor in Security Informatics
IndianaBloomingtonIndiana University BloomingtonPh.D. in Informatics – Security Informatics Track
IndianaWest LafayettePurdue UniversityInterdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Information Security
IndianaWest LafayettePurdue UniversityPh.D. in CS with an Info-Security Focus
IowaAmesIowa State UniversityPh.D. in Computer Engineering with a focus on Information Assurance
IowaAmesIowa State UniversityPh.D. in Computer Science with a focus on Information Assurance
IowaAmesIowa State UniversityPh.D. in Math with a focus on Information Assurance
Massachusetts BostonNortheastern UniversityPh.D. in Information Assurance
Massachusetts WorcesterWorcester Polytechnic InstitutePh.D. in Computer Science – Cybersecurity Focus
MississippiMississippiMississippi State UniversityPh.D. Computer Science – Computer Security Concentration
MissouriColumbiaUniversity of Missouri-ColumbiaPh.D. in Computer Science with a focus in Information Assurance
New JerseyHobokenStevens Institute of TechnologyPh.D. program in Computer Science – Computer Security
New YorkRochesterRochester Institute of TechnologyPh.D. in Computing and Information Sciences – Computing Security Focus
North CarolinaCharlotteThe University of North Carolina at CharlottePh.D. in Computing and Information Systems
PennsylvaniaPittsburghCarnegie Mellon UniversityPh.D. in ECE: Mobility Research Center
TennesseeKnoxvilleThe University of TennesseePh.D. in Computer Engineering – Cybersecurity
TennesseeKnoxvilleThe University of TennesseePh.D. in Computer Science – Cybersecurity
TexasHuntsvilleSam Houston State UniversityPh.D. in Digital and Cyber Forensic Science
VirginiaBlacksburg Virginia TechPh.D. in Computer Science with Cybersecurity Track

How much does a Ph.D. Holder in Cyber Security Make in the United States?

The cybersecurity job market is booming, but a significant talent gap persists. The unfilled cybersecurity positions range from 3.5 million globally to 750,000 in the U.S. alone. This gap is expected to widen through 2025.

Moving from the IT field to cyber protection can be as simple as obtaining a business credential for those who already work in IT and have a bachelor’s degree.

Individuals employed in R&D receive an average annual salary of $113,199. At the same time, information technology analysts earn about $98,600, and computer science professors earn more than $160,500.

Ph.D. in Cybersecurity: Career Outlook!

Graduates of cybersecurity doctoral degree programs are eligible for positions that pay well and have a high rate of development.

According to the prediction of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth for information security analysts is estimated to be 32% between 2019 and 2029. Computer science professors are still doing well in terms of career development.

There is still a scarcity of trained cybersecurity specialists, especially at the doctorate level. Earning a Ph.D. in Cybersecurity may be a very good choice.

Concluding Note

One new trend in the cybersecurity sector is that cybersecurity professionals must be well-versed in a wide range of emerging threats.

According to the latest news about cybersecurity breaches, there are a host of new threat mechanisms and prospects for cybercrime and related concerns.

Historically, cybercrime demanded resources and a degree of complexity that necessitated advanced preparation or abilities.

However, because of the internet’s pervasiveness, cybercrime is becoming more popular.

As a result, studying in a cybersecurity Ph.D. program allows students to become experts in one aspect of a rising and multi-layered sector.

Trying to forecast what potential cybersecurity threats could look like and then developing tools and systems to defend against such threats is an intriguing aspect of the cybersecurity sector.

However, conventional research-oriented cybersecurity positions remain in high demand in universities and elsewhere. This trend is expected to continue.

Kevin James

Kevin James

I'm Kevin James, and I'm passionate about writing on Security and cybersecurity topics. Here, I'd like to share a bit more about myself. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity from Utica College, New York, which has been the foundation of my career in cybersecurity. As a writer, I have the privilege of sharing my insights and knowledge on a wide range of cybersecurity topics. You'll find my articles here at, covering the latest trends, threats, and solutions in the field.