Getting an affordable online PhD in computer and information systems security not only assures having a long-lasting career with a substantial salary, but it also gives a sense of pride while working to eliminate digital threats and protecting the technological world from cyber attacks. Cybersecurity and Information Systems Assurance has the fastest rate of growth within IT jobs and has one of the top growth rates (at 12%) in all jobs combined. A doctoral graduate in information systems and security can get a job with government agencies, business management organizations, sales companies, financial firms, and more. Working independently as a contractor is also an option for a PhD graduate. There is also a myriad of career options in Systems Security. Some of these job titles include Security Directors, Chief Technology Officers, Network Security Consultants, and Senior Security Professionals. In a world that is dominated by technology, the high level of importance in keeping governments, businesses, medical facilities, and individual identities secure from cyber attacks is crucial. Those with a doctorate have the highest advantage in opportunities within the field. Getting a cost-effective online doctorate in computer information systems and security is a realistic goal, and we’ve gathered a list of the top 19 colleges with the most affordable PhD in information systems and security online.
Methodology for Ranking Affordable Online Doctorate in Information Systems and Security Programs
Cost and value are the highest priorities in this ranking of these colleges with PhD programs in information systems and security online. The colleges are ranked on their raw cost after they have been filtered based on having online availability and having a PhD program in information systems and security or a program that is a very close match. It will be noted in their write up if any of these colleges have received special honors such as being ranked in US News and World Report, Forbes, The Economist, or Financial Times.
1. Aspen University
Online PhD in Computer Science
Since its start in 1960, Aspen has always valued affordable education and has changed throughout the years to better accommodate its students. Aspen University is dedicated to graduating their students with quality degrees while being financially responsible. They offer monthly payment plans with no interest to help keep the tuition attainable. Aspen maintains its economically responsible goal by offering tuition rates low enough that most students can pay tuition in cash or through a monthly payment plan. Their Federal Financial Aid revenues remain below 50%.
Aspen has several Ph.D. programs, Computer Science being one of them. It is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. This affordable 100% online Ph.D. in Computer Science includes a risk and security component. Graduates from the program go on to have careers in computer information systems management and information security, as well as many others. This 60 credit course will take about 40 months to complete. The financial carefulness, online flexibility, and quality make Aspen a considerable option to complete a doctorate study.
2. American Public University
Online PhD in Global Security
Charles Town, West Virginia
In 1991, a retired Marine Corps officer named James P. Etter founded American Military University. He wanted to provide easily accessible online education to the military. Since then, it has opened up to other learners as well. Offering over 190 academic programs, APU has become one of the largest online schools for higher learning.
This reasonably priced 100% online Ph.D. in Global Security is a Ph.D. that focuses more on security but has an IT component in technology and global security. It also targets domestic security and foreign policy. This Ph.D. takes 3 years plus the time for a dissertation. APU is accredited by the HLC and is recognized by the National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and the NSA. Graduates from this program will be fully equipped for a career in international and homeland security.
3. Northcentral University
Online PhD in Technology and Innovation Management
San Diego, California
Northcentral University is an accredited online university with its headquarters situated in San Diego. Founded by Donald Hecht in 1996 as a 100% premier online school, Northcentral offers top-notch flexible graduate programs for busy students. While being reasonably priced already, it also offers financial aid to its students. Within the many areas of focus studies, Northcentral has a 100% online Ph.D. in Technology and Innovation Management with a specialization in Cybersecurity.
This online Ph.D. is comprised of a 60-credit course load along with a dissertation to complete. Within the 60 credits are 18 credits with a heavy focus on Cybersecurity. NCU works to give their graduate students flexibility while attaining a high-quality education through weekly course starts and a unique 1 to 1 learning method with the school’s well-trained professors. Upon completion of this Ph.D. program, graduates will be well-trained in business and technology management as well as have an in-depth knowledge of how to manage threats by anticipating and alleviating risks by deploying data-intensive systems. This should take an average NCU student about 53 months to complete. Graduates will come out with a strong understanding of the nuances of threats in the cyber world as well as the skills to fix complex computing problems.
4. Colorado Technical University
Online Doctorate of Computer Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Technical University is a college that has numerous undergraduate and graduate programs, including many PhDs. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers quality programs online as a way to provide flexibility to the student through the program. Faculty members make it a priority to mentor and guide their students through their time at CTU.
Students looking to further their higher education in technology can get a doctorate of computer science in cybersecurity and information assurance. This accommodating online program can be completed in as little as 3 years. Through learning tools like CORBA, XML, and UML, this affordable online doctoral degree program will teach graduates how to manage enterprise systems expertly. To speed up degree completion, CTU fast track allows students to test on key course objectives and be given credit for what they already know. Students can look to save up to 30% on tuition and finish quicker if they test well.
5. Dakota State University
Online Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Information Systems
Madison, South Dakota
Dakota State is a longstanding university of high-quality teaching. Founded in 1881 as a school of teaching, DSU has continued to grow into a university offering many high-quality fields of study. It specializes in computer management and computer information systems and has accreditation through The Higher Learning Commission.
DSU offers over 45 majors, including two affordable 100% online Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Information Systems with a specialization in Information Assurance and Computer Security and Cyber Operations. These Ph.D. programs online teach the latest techniques in cyber operation activities. These programs can be completed in as little as 3 years or be taken part-time as long as the degree is completed within 7 years. Graduating students will have no problem finding work in government security agencies and private firms. DSU has strong relationships with many security organizations like the NSA, CIA, Navy, Department of Homeland Security, Army, and Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute. They are regularly working to fill security positions with their students.
6. Capella University
Online Ph.D. in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
Since Capella University has 25 years’ experience in online higher education, it knows how to cater to the needs of working professionals and busy students. Along with its many excellent schools, Capella has a School of Business and Technology that has an affordable online Ph.D. in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity.
This online doctorate program is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense by the NSA and DHS and was awarded the distinction as a 2016 military-friendly school. It’s also accredited through the Higher Learning Commission. Capella knows that cost matters to its students and so does quality. Keeping in step with these ideals, it offers two budget-conscious tracts to finish any of the degree programs. They are FlexPath and GuidedPath. FlexPath is a flexible subscription-based course program. GuidedPath is also flexible, but with more structure and in-classroom discussions. The U.S. Department of Education states that Capella leads in salaries for many of their programs, so their Ph.D. in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity offers a high-quality education while maintaining affordability and flexibility.
7. Purdue University Polytechnic Institute
Online Doctor of Technology
West Lafayette, Indiana
Born out of Abraham Lincoln’s Morrill Land Grant Act in 1862 was Purdue University in Lafayette, IN. It is known for its strong academics, student life, and athletics as an NCAA school. There are several campuses and universities within Purdue’s learning system. To offer a much more flexible education, they created Purdue Online – Polytechnic Institute. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Purdue’s online graduate degree programs among the best in the country several times. It is a noteworthy research university and is ranked in the top 10 best public universities in the U.S. by The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education.
Purdue Global is a great option for a Ph.D. with a variety of course studies including Leadership of CyberSecurity & CyberForensics. After students complete their first semester, there is a plan of study set up for each one’s specific interests. Students entering the doctorate program can transfer up to 30 credits that apply, making it faster to complete.
This program department is accredited by the ABET Computing Accreditation Commission, HLC.
As far as accolades, Purdue Online has a number of them. It was ranked #4 in preparing students for the workforce by The Wall Street Journal, #30 best U.S. school where graduates earn high starting salaries by the Business Insider, and US News and World Report ranks many of the programs as best in the US. With a total of 90 credit hours, a graduate can expect to complete this online doctorate in 3 1/2 to 7 years according to their schedule.
8. University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
Online Ph.D. in Engineering – Concentration in Security
Colorado Springs, Colorado
The University of Colorado has dozens of quality college departments, one of them being the College of Engineering and Applied Science. This esteemed college was founded by David Packard of Hewlett/Packard. UCCS extends an online Ph.D. in Engineering – Concentration in Security to its graduate students. Though there are mandatory campus components for this program, the Ph.D. with a concentration in Security gives more lead way for independent study throughout. UCCS is designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education. This affordable doctorate program teaches on topics like cybersecurity, homeland security, and physical security. A graduate will come out with the ability to research topics in security and contribute to the Computer Science world with knowledge and capabilities to secure networks and cybersystems.
9. Liberty University
Online DBA Information Systems
Liberty University is a fairly young school, being founded in 1971 in Lynchburg, Va. It has stood on the principles of its Christian values since its beginnings. It’s grown from a 154 student body to 15,000 residential students and over 94,000 online students today. Liberty University is a fully accredited online learning college.
Not only does it have an affordable Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems and Security, but it also allows a student to transfer up to 50% of their master’s credits toward their program. Liberty University is ranked in the top 1% of all online learning schools by Best Colleges for their affordability, accessibility, and academic quality. The Online Information Systems Doctorate Degree is a part of their School of Business. It takes about 4 years to complete this program. Quantitative Research Methods and IT Infrastructure are two of the many quality courses in this program. Liberty provides a convenient learning structure with courses being 8 weeks each, new start dates each year, and no set log in times. A graduate from Liberty’s doctorate in information systems leaves with an innovative strategic mindset and knowledge in computer security, ethics, and design and development.
10. University of the Cumberlands
Online PhD in Information Technology
The University of the Cumberlands is a school rich in heritage. Its attention to higher education served governors, presidents, military generals, judges and many more. It is an accredited school situated in Williamsburg, Kentucky. UC has a vibrant student campus life while also offering an online program.
One of UC’s affordable online doctoral programs is in Information Technology and accommodates the working professional. Not only does it teach the ins and outs of information technology, but there is a focus on cyber threats as well. This program will cover subjects like information governance, technology for a global economy, and new threats and countermeasures for them. Named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the NSA and DHS, University of the Cumberlands’ Online Ph.D. in IT program is a great choice with its cost-conscious tuition at $500 per credit hour.
11. Mississippi State University
PhD in Computer Science and Engineering Online
Mississippi State, Mississippi
Mississippi State University is one of the universities that took advantage of the national land-grant created the 1862 Morrill Act by President Lincoln and Congress and was established February 28, 1878. MSU is rich in student pride, their athletics, and their robust choices in educational programs.
Mississippi State is recognized by The Carnegie Foundation as a “Comprehensive doctoral research university with very high research activity” and has been recognized multiple times as one of “America’s Best College Buys.” It holds an accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Mississippi State offers a reasonably priced distance learning Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering. This Ph.D. program has a security component with a core course requirement of computer security and forensics. Completing 48 doctoral credit hours along with orally defending a thesis will earn students a Ph.D., and they will be well equipped for a career in any number of IT and Security facets.
12. Capitol Technology University
Online Doctorate in Cybersecurity
Capitol Technology University has had a long-time focus in technology, being founded in 1927 with the name Capitol Radio Engineering Institute. It has adapted with the changing technologies and now has many degree programs. It sits in the heart of the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., right in the hub of government agencies and high-tech companies who are looking to give Ph.D. students and graduates opportunities for internships and high paying jobs.
Capitol Technology University is accredited by the Maryland Higher Education Commission as well as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The NSA and DHS designated Capitol as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education. It provides a Ph.D. in Cybersecurity online with a small on-campus component. Some classes featured are applied research in information assurance and special topics in information assurance. While taking the core courses in security, grad students will also choose from elective topics like healthcare information security and software assurance development. This affordable online degree program has a total of 54-66 credits at a cost of $893 per credit.
13. Missouri S&T University
Online PhD in Computer Science
Missouri University of Science and Technology has been around since 1870 and was the first of its kind west of the Mississippi. Its faculty members value lifelong success, creativity, integrity, sustainability, and partnerships. It proudly holds recognition by several well-respected sources. Forbes ranked it top 24 in STEM colleges and 15th in public colleges with the highest-earning graduates, and Payscale ranked it 6th university in the nation for an annual return on investment. These acclaims show that this school values its students’ economic livelihood.
Missouri S&T is an online college that has a computer science department offering extensive courses for master’s degrees and PhDs. These courses range from software engineering to data mining to cybersecurity, and more. Their departments boast two areas of excellence: software engineering and infrastructure protection. This affordable online Ph.D. in Computer Science features information systems and security and has a 72-hour curriculum including course work, research, lecture, and dissertation. Missouri S&T also offers fellowships and assistantships for cost-relief.
14. University of Rhode Island
Online PhD in Computer Science with a specialization in Security
Kingston, Rhode Island
The University of Rhode Island is one of the early universities birthed out of the Morrill’s Land Grant Act signed by Abraham Lincoln. From its humble beginnings as an agricultural school, URI has grown into a university full of excellent programs, diverse fields of study, and competitive athletics.
The University of Rhode Island is just about ready to open the doors of its brand new College of Engineering facility in September 2019. URI offers several PhDs in computer studies. One of these is an affordable online Ph.D. in Computer Science with a specialization in Security. To help their students complete this in an affordable and timely fashion, students may transfer up to 30 computer related credits towards their PhDs. URI’s technology department is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology. Boasting a designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security for its Digital Forensics and Cyber Security Center, URI is a great choice for completing a Ph.D. on this topic.
15. Nova Southeastern University
Online PhD in Cybersecurity Management
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Located in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida is Nova Southeastern University. It was founded in 1964 as a university for Advanced Technology and has expanded into 16 colleges offering many diverse fields. NSU is named a 2019 Top 200 Best Colleges recipient by U.S. News & World Report as well as recognized by OnlineColleges.com as a Top Online College 2018-2019.
Nova Southeastern is proud to hold a top 10 spot for one of 10 best cyber security schools in the nation. They have a College of Engineering that offers 3 different doctoral programs: Computer Science, Cybersecurity Management, and Information Systems. While these touch on security, the cybersecurity management Ph.D. is the most relevant. This cost-effective Ph.D. offers an online component with mandatory meetings at the campus throughout. The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Cybersecurity Management Online at Nova Southeastern University is recognized by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security. It is also a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education. This quality education includes 7 core classes along with 2 doctoral research courses and a dissertation.
16. Marymount University
Online PhD in Cybersecurity
Marymount is a university in Virginia that started as a Catholic all-girls school in 1948 and has since become a thriving coeducational university close to the nation’s capital. It has many areas of study and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Marymount University has an online doctoral program in cybersecurity and it was awarded a designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence for Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. There are 2 entryways into this affordable online Ph.D. These are by way of a post-bachelor’s or a post-master’s degree. The courses in the program cover a myriad of security and safeguard topics such as Malware Analysis, Securing the Evolving Technology Infrastructure, and Computer Network Defense. Graduates from Marymount’s reasonably priced online Ph.D. in cybersecurity will be equipped for careers in government jobs, colleges, private firms, and businesses.
17. University of Fairfax
Online PhD in Information Assurance
The University of Fairfax was founded in 2002 in response to the attacks on the nation on 9/11. It is dedicated to a 100% cybersecurity focus. Graduates go on to have jobs with high-profile companies like Lockheed Martin, Dell, Wells Fargo, the NSA and DHS, and the Department of Treasury and Veterans Affairs. Fairfax is accredited and very military friendly.
The university offers affordable online and hybrid Ph.D. programs. All of the University of Fairfax’s eLearning programs are accredited. These programs offer SyncSessions, chat rooms, threaded discussions, and support. This makes the programs flexible while giving excellent support to graduate students. It features a Doctorate in Information Assurance online. Throughout this program, students will complete a minimum of 62 credits and spend time researching about a focused cybersecurity problem. They will write their dissertations on their individual research study. This affordable online Ph.D. in information assurance should take about 3-5 years. The graduate from the University of Fairfax will be an expert cybersecurity practitioner in management, policies, or consulting.
18. University of South Carolina
Online PhD in Computer Science
Columbia, South Carolina
Ranked an “Up and Coming” University by US News and World Report, the University of South Carolina features many areas of study, a vibrant student life, and great athletic programs. This diversity-minded university takes pride in its top 3% ranking in the number of African American graduates. Among their other quality colleges is the College of Engineering and Computing. It’s known for being at the heart of developing research, innovations and new discoveries.
The University of South Carolina offers a reasonably priced online Ph.D. in Computer Science. Students will learn a large assortment of topics including computer networks, cybersecurity, database systems, and many more. All of their computer programs are accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. The online doctoral degree in Computer Science and Engineering from USC prepares graduates for careers as innovators and academic researchers in computing.
19. Northeastern University
Online PhD in Information Assurance
Northeastern University offers many degrees throughout its many campuses. It provides classroom, hybrid, and online programs. Northeastern is ranked in the nation’s top 50 universities by U.S. News & World Report and has been for six consecutive years. Its graduates go on to work in government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit and global organizations, and universities.
Northeastern has an in-depth Ph.D. in Information Assurance program. The university combines courses in security technical foundations with security policies and social sciences, making this program unique in its perspective in information assurance. Northeastern focuses on technology and global threats as well as the laws, policies, and human behaviors that impact how security is handled. Northeastern is acknowledged by the DHS and the NSA as Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Education, Information Assurance Research, and Cyber Operations. It is also a part of the International Secure Systems Lab and the ALERT Center. Graduates will leave ready to make a difference in the cyber world.
This concludes our ranking of the most affordable online PhD in computer and information systems security programs.
- PhD Management Information Systems Online
- PhD Computer Science Online
- Highest Paying PhD
- Online Information Technology Degrees (Bachelor’s)
- Most Affordable Stem Degrees