The PhD in Information Assurance program at Northeastern University prepares students with a variety of backgrounds and interests to advance the reliability and security of cyber space as researchers, faculty members, and policy advisors.
In addition to focusing on technology to address global threats to cyberspace, the program provides an understanding of how law, policy, and human behavior influence the design and implementation of security measures. Highly trained professionals with this comprehensive knowledge are in great demand in industry, government agencies, and academia.
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The Ph.D. in Information Assurance degree requires completion of at least 48 semester credit hours beyond a bachelors degree. Students who enter with an undergraduate degree will typically need four to five years to complete the program, and they will be awarded a masters degree en route to the PhD.
Students who enter the program with a masters degree will be required to complete 16 semester credit hours beyond the masters degree. They also must complete the required core courses.
The program includes a core of required courses to ensure students receive a sound foundation in information assurance. It also incorporates electives selected from three tracksNetwork/Communication Security, System Security, or Policy/Societyand general electives chosen from courses in computer science, electrical engineering, computer engineering, criminal justice, and the social sciences.
Core courses comprise a total of 20 semester credit hours:
Students who enter the PhD in Information Assurance program with a bachelors degree have the option of obtaining an MS degree from one of the departments participating in the program. To do so, they must meet all of the departments degree requirements.
A student is considered a Ph.D. degree candidate after:
Completing the core courses with at least a 3.4 GPA.
Either publishing a paper in a strong conference or journal or passing an oral exam that is conducted by a committee of three information assurance faculty members and based on paper(s) written by the student.
One year of continuous full-time study is required after admission to the PhD candidacy. During this period, the student will be expected to make substantial progress in preparing for the comprehensive examination.
The doctoral dissertation advising team for each student consists of two information assurance faculty members, one in a technical area. When appropriate, the second faculty advisor will be from the policy/social science area.
A Ph.D. students dissertation committee consists of the two members of the dissertation advising team plus two others: One is a member of the information assurance faculty, and the other is an external examiner who is knowledgeable about the students research topic.
A Ph.D. student must submit a written dissertation proposal and present it to the dissertation committee. The proposal should identify the research problem, the research plan, and the potential impact of the research on the field. The presentation of the proposal will be made in an open forum, and the student must successfully defend it before the dissertation committee after the public presentation.
A PhD student must complete and defend a dissertation that involves original research in information assurance.
Each university in the Unites States of America sets its own admission standards so there isn't the same criteria for all the students and the university can decide which applicants meet those standards. The fee for each application is between $35 to $100.
After the selections of the universities you want to attend, the best of all would be to contact each university for an application form and more admission information for the international students. Moreover, for a graduate or postgraduate program it's necessary to verify the admission requirements. Some programs require that you send your application directly to their department.
Admissions decisions are based on students's academic record and different test scores, such as TOEFL, the SAT or ACT (for undergraduate programs) and GRE or GMAT (for graduate programs). Admission decision is based on your academic results and motivation.
The PhD in Information Assurance program is designed for both students with a strong background in a technical field and those with non-technical backgrounds and a strong desire to pursue interdisciplinary work in areas related to information assurance. Applicants are expected to have a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA.
Students who do not have the necessary technical background may be required to take courses such as Fundamentals of Information Assurance, Network and Systems and Fundamentals of Computer Engineering to prepare for the program.