PhD in Engineering - Security: Program Information

The Doctor of Philosophy is a degree that is conferred on a student who has demonstrated proficiency in some broad area of learning, and who has proven that he or she has the capability to evaluate work in the security field critically. In addition, the student must have demonstrated the ability to work independently and make original contributions to the field. No single prescribed set of courses can be established that, when completed, guarantee the student has attained this high level. Rather, the degree is conferred after the student has satisfied both a course work and an independent study requirement under the supervision of a committee. Minimum course work and independent study requirements and the composition of the advisory committee for the Ph.D. program are described below.

The program is research oriented with a strong self learning component. The plan of study is decided by the Ph.D. advisor and the Advisory Committee according to the student's specific research topic. Beyond the traditional learning component, the students in the program will be required to have at least 3 months of operational security experience, such as internship or training, as determined by the Advisory Committee. The second uniqueness of the program is the use of short intense workshops where students and faculty will meet to discuss emergent theories and techniques in security, and carry out exercises simulating critical security events. They will provide opportunities for students to apply what they learn in the self paced courses and to learn how to coordinate and cooperate in cyber war and homeland defense scenarios. Students have to come to the workshop at least once a year to report their research progress in the past year and the plan for the following year.

See Appendix A for two Model Curriculum. One for students without a master degree. The other for students with a master degree.

Credit Hours

For candidates entering the program with a bachelor's degree in STEM and/or homeland security, a minimum of 48 credit hours of course work at the 5000-level or above, including independent study, which may be taken as distance learning, is required. For candidates entering with an M.S. degree in STEM and/or homeland security, a minimum of 24 additional credit hours at the 5000- level or above, including independent study, which may be taken as distance learning, is required. In all cases, 30 semester hours of dissertation credits are required. Beyond the traditional learning component, the students in the program will be required to have at least three months of operational security experience (as internship, training, etc.), as determined by the PESC. All students in the program will be required to attend security workshops on campus at least once a year (around qualifying examination times), meeting with the advisor and giving a seminar about the research progress of the past year and the research plan of the next year. Some prerequisite courses may be required for students who have not taken these courses or their equivalents before. The specific required courses will be determined by the Ph.D. advisor and the Ph.D. Advisory Committee according to the study area and research topic.

For application information: How To Apply

For additional information, please contact the Computer Science Department.