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The University of Colorado (Ph.D. in Engineering – Concentration in Security) For 2023

The Engineering Doctorate (abbreviated Eng.D., D.Eng., D.Engr., Dr.Eng., or Dr.-Ing.) is a degree conferred on those who have completed advanced study and research in engineering and applied sciences.

It is a terminal research doctorate in most nations. A DEng/EngD is similar to a Ph.D. in engineering, but it differs in that it includes a strong industry foundation and a taught component.

The DEng/EngD and the Ph.D. are the highest academic qualifications in engineering, and completion of one or both is usually necessary to work as a full-time, tenure-track university professor or postdoctoral researcher in the discipline.

Individuals may use the academic title doctor, often abbreviated as “Dr.” in English.

Starting in Fall 2008, the College of Engineering and Applied Science at UCCS will offer a new Security specialization in the Ph.D. in Security degree program.

Students may study and undertake multi-disciplinary research in topics such as cyber security, physical security, and homeland security, which have become vital and more urgent in today’s personal, company, and government activities, via this nationally unique specialization.

This new multi-disciplinary specialization merges current curricular and research programs, addressing the significant security issues while maintaining the high standards that the University of Colorado is known for.

The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, has been recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE/IAE) by the National Security Agency and Homeland Security.

This distinction is valid for the academic years 2014 through 2021. The UCCS Center of Information Assurance and Security Technology (CIAST) has further information on our IA programs and activities.

Why the University of Colorado?

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Security is offered by the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) College of Engineering and Applied Science (EAS).

Security is a multi-disciplinary specialization choice.

It requires a comprehensive and in-depth grasp of its foundation of cyber and physical security technologies. It also has to do with the policy, administration, mechanics, and engineering of a broad range of homeland security systems.

This doctoral concentration combines a breadth of knowledge in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, and Homeland Security with technical expertise in technology-based security support and mastery of security engineering’s independent research, performance analysis, synthesis, and design skills.

This collection of recommendations aims to assist accepted students in fulfilling the program’s requirements and aid prospective students in entering the Ph.D. program.

The graduate faculty of UCCS’s Computer Science Department determines the degree requirements. The university’s College of Engineering and Applied Science and the Graduate School may apply additional rules.

The student should be aware of and comply with any applicable regulations.

Graduate students are encouraged to take part in the college’s professional activities. Attending seminars and colloquia, advocating changes to the curriculum (both undergraduate and graduate), suggesting novel teaching strategies, and helping to improve the college’s hardware and software capabilities are all examples of this.

The Security emphasis is more research-oriented and allows for greater course flexibility. A student may work full-time or part-time on their Ph.D. studies. With a Ph.D. adviser, up to 9 credit hours of independent study may be taken via distance learning.

Students in the program will be expected to have at least three months of operational security experience (as an internship, training, etc.) as approved by the Ph.D. in Security Committee, in addition to the conventional study component (PSC).

A peer-reviewed article or passing the CISSP certificate test may be used to fulfill this criterion.

Academic Requirements

Since the Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado offers this degree, a working understanding of the industry or a closely connected topic is required.

This is a campus-based program with mandatory attendance. Adult professionals may attend lessons Monday through Thursday after 4 p.m., but classes can be booked at any time.

The Ph.D. committee will review all applicants for admission and will be looking for these specific classes:

  • CS 1150 Principles of Computer Science
  • CS 1450 Data Structures and Algorithms
  • CS 2080 Programming in UNIX
  • CS 2060 Programming in C
  • CS 2160 Computer Organization and Assembly Language Programming
  • CS 3160 Concepts of Programming Languages
  • CS 3300 Software Engineering
  • MATH 1350 Calculus 1
  •  MATH 1360 Calculus 2
  • MATH 2150 Discrete Math

A student can be admitted as a regular degree student if the student satisfies the following conditions:

1. The student holds a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in any of the branches of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), homeland security, or closely related field from a college or university of recognized standing.

Depending on the Ph.D. track, program candidates may be required to complete prerequisite courses in STEM and/or homeland security policy.

A student who is admitted without a master’s degree may earn that degree as a part of the Ph.D. studies.

2. The student has at least a 3.3-grade point average (on a scale of 4.0) in the bachelor’s or master’s degree program attempted.

Graduate students in the University of Colorado’s Homeland Defense Certificate program must complete the certificate with a 3.3 GPA or better prior to starting Security Ph.D. studies.

3. U.S. resident applicants that have not graduated from a program of recognized standing, must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with a minimum score of 148 (new grading scale) on the quantitative portion.

4. International applicants must follow the international applicant requirements located on the ‘How to Apply’ page to include the GRE and proof of English proficiency either via the TOEFL examination with a minimum score of 80 (internet-based), or IELTS with a minimum of 6.5; or have completed a degree at an accredited U.S. university, or complete an English as a Second Language program through level 5 or level 112 (depending on the program).

5. Complete a personal statement and within that personal statement name a potential advisor and justify your choice. Please visit our faculty website for research interests.

6. A resume is required.

7. Three letters of recommendation.

8. Applicants with any foreign post-secondary course work should also submit a course-by-course evaluation by a NACES member.

All application documents for international students applying to the program must be received by the Admissions Office at UCCS by May 1st for the fall semester and November 1st for the spring semester.

Late or incomplete applications submitted after these deadlines may be considered for the next semester. The student must ensure that all materials are received on time.

  • It is necessary to have a GRE score of 148 or better.
  • A TOEFL or ILETS score of 6.5 or above is necessary for English proficiency. This prerequisite may be eliminated if a student has finished a degree in the United States.
  • Course by Course Assessment: You will get a confidential link to submit each international post-secondary transcript from universities you have attended after completing your online application. These transcripts must include all courses and grades, be provided in the original language, and, if necessary, be supplemented by certified English translations.

For UCCS candidates, this service is given at no cost. After getting your completed application, we will send you further information through email. Please keep an eye out for the uploading instructions in your email.

Program Curriculum and Courses

The degree requires a total of 60 credit hours. A minimum of 30 credit hours of course work at the 5000-level or higher, including independent study, which may be completed via distance learning, is needed for applicants entering the program with a bachelor’s degree in STEM and/or national security.

Up to 24 credit hours of course work from a previously achieved Master’s degree in STEM and/or homeland security may be transferred to the Ph.D. program to complete the 30 credit hour course requirements for applicants entering with an M.S. degree in STEM and/or homeland security.

A total of 30 semester hours of dissertation credits is needed in all situations. CS 6000, Intro to Computer Science Research, will be mandatory for all Ph.D. candidates of the University of Colorado.

Students in the program will be expected to have at least three months of operational security experience (as an internship, training, etc.) as approved by the PESC, in addition to the conventional academic component.

A peer-reviewed article or passing the CISSP certificate test may be used to fulfill this criterion.

Please contact the Computer Science Department for further details.

Career Opportunities Post Ph.D.

Simply put, there aren’t enough certified and trained cybersecurity experts to meet the expanding demand. Cybersecurity engineers are among the most in-demand professionals in the business.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “the demand is making it difficult for chief information security officers to recruit and keep seasoned engineers who can identify and neutralize attacks.”

Because of the high demand for engineers and the scarcity of skilled experts, pay, career prospects, and work chances are all excellent.

According to the InfoSec Institute, “one of the trendiest occupations in information security today is that of a cybersecurity engineer.”

“It makes use of some of the most in-demand information security and IT capabilities, pays well, and is a function that many companies are anxious to fill.”

A position as a cybersecurity engineer might be an appealing and profitable career choice if you have an engineering degree and are interested in this developing subject.

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.