Doctor of Science in Information Assurance

If you seek expert status as one who develops and adds empirical knowledge to the cybersecurity field in research institutes, think tanks, or academia or as a cybersecurity leader in policy, executive or senior consulting positions you will want to pursue this degree.

As a DSc student you will choose a challenging cybersecurity problem, relevant to your interests. Then, you will build on existing empirical research to design and conduct a research project. You will collect and analyze data to either test or develop a research hypothesis, which adds to the cybersecurity body of knowledge. The dissertation you produce will demonstrate how the new knowledge about your hypothesis relates to or adds to the existing knowledge about the cybersecurity research problem. DSc graduates can use their dissertations to pursue publishing opportunities.

Which Cybersecurity Doctorate is for you?

Comparison Dimensions Doctorate in Information
Doctor of Science, Information
Research Project Scope Focused Cybersecurity Problem Focused Cybersecurity Problem
Scope of Applied Research Conducted Using existing research and theory, design a novel solution, assess its feasibility and describe the implications for cybersecurity best practices Collect and analyze data to empirically test or develop a research hypothesis and describe how it adds to the body of cybersecurity knowledge
Dissertation Required Documentation of how the solution was designed, feasibility was assessed, and the implications for cybersecurity best practices Documentation of how the hypothesis was tested or developed, and its relation to the existing body of cybersecurity knowledge

Qualifying Exam
Evaluates mastery of concepts of applied research Evaluates mastery of concepts of applied research
No. of Comprehensive Exams Two Three
Minimum Number of Credits Required Beyond Master's 60 70
Completion Time 3-5 years 4-6 years
Publishable Research Opportunities Yes Yes
Admissions Requirements Master's and three years of relevant experience Master's and three years of relevant experience
Online Delivery Asynchronous and Synchronous Asynchronous and Synchronous
Student Career Objectives Expert cybersecurity practitioner in management, policy or consulting Leadership cybersecurity position in research, policy, management, academia or consultings
Title Dr. Dr.

DSc Program Objectives

The DSC program fosters the development of professionals who:

  • Are recognized as practitioners with expertise in a specialized field of study relevant to the cybersecurity community
  • Apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the analysis of information assurance issues
  • Possess an awareness and expertise in recognizing gaps in knowledge that have generalized applicability to the cybersecurity community
  • Have a commitment to advancing the state of practice and knowledge relevant to the field of information assurance
  • Contribute to the strategic development of practices in the field of cybersecurity

DSc Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the DSc degree program, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate primary research competencies through the completion of an original applied field research project in information assurance
  • Demonstrate secondary research competencies in the investigation and identification of research topics relevant to information assurance practitioners
  • Analyze, evaluate and propose opportunities for applied research projects relevant to the cybersecurity community
  • Formulate the rationale and justification for conducting primary research which investigates practice-relevant research questions
  • Apply appropriate hypothesis testing methodologies and analysis techniques in conducting practice-driven primary research
  • Interpret and apply the results and findings from individual primary research projects in the formulation of recommendations to industry practitioners

» Learn more about the DSc


Join the Cybersecurity Elite
U of F Cybersecurity Education Path

Education Path
Distinguish yourself and advance your cybersecurity career by following the University of Fairfax Online Cybersecurity Education Path. No matter which graduate program you pursue, all of your courses will explore relevant cybersecurity policy and management issues, and you will complete a cybersecurity project in each course. You can apply what you learn and make significant contributions in your workplace right away.
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