How to Get a PhD in Information Security in 2021: Schools, Cost & Requirements

Because of the increased rate of cyber-related crimes, there’s a need for experts in information security. Holding a PhD in information security makes you an expert and the best candidate with the needed knowledge to curb crimes. So, go ahead and badge that information security PhD.

According to Online Trust Alliance, over 159,000 business-related cyberattacks were reported from 2016 to 2017 only.

As technology evolves and the use of 5g is anticipated, there will be increased cyber attacks. This is not a prophesy but a reality which we will see in due time.

To be abreast of this situation, getting that PhD information security now will be the best option for individuals who are always on top of situations.

Their services will be so in demand that they’ll not only be very relevant but charge as they please.

A doctorate in information systems security degree prepares managers and executives for the ever-evolving challenges of protecting data and sensitive information from cybercriminals.

The table of content is right below.

What is Information Security?

Information security is the study of online security systems. It involves preventing and combating theft, cyber-attacks, and accidents that can damage computer systems.

IT security is concerned with ensuring that electronic systems, such as computers, phones, and smart devices, are protected from disruption.

What Is Involved in a Ph.D. in Information Security Degree Program?

Information security phd program is for students who’ve already earned master’s degrees in the field, have considerable work experience and who strive for professional development or better-paying positions.

Research is a major component of this PhD program. Students are encouraged to develop original ideas and to contribute to the ever-changing face of information security. 

What Careers are Open to Those with an Information Security Degree?

There are many career types open to people with phd in information security.

Firstly, you may take a job as a university professor. You can also take careers in developing secure data networks and instituting proper security protocols for organizations.

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Hare other jobs you can go for with an information security degree:

#1 Chief Information Officer

They focus on data processing, information networks, and long-term information technology purchasing priorities. They often develop organization-wide policies to protect sensitive information from malware attacks.

Annual Salary: $139,220

#2 Computer Network Architect

Network architects determine the hardware and software needs of an organization and provide ongoing support to their company. They analyze data traffic and determine how to meet both short-term and long-term IT needs.

Annual Salary: $104,650

#3 Network and Computer Systems Administrator

They install and maintain hardware and software across internal networks. They implement network security policies and set up monitoring that provides early warnings of data breaches.

Annual Salary: $81,100

Check out: How to Get a PhD in Computer Science Online: Schools, Programs, Cost

In addition to these, you may wish to become an independent contractor and charge for your services by the hour.

You can also work as an information technology manager/supervisor, database administrator, computer systems analyst, computer research scientist, chief technology officer.

How much is the Salary of a Ph.D. holder in Information Security?

Basically, Ph.D. in IT security holders can earn a  median salary of $139,220.

Reason being that as companies store more sensitive information in databases and cloud servers, the need for executives who understand how to protect that information continues to grow. This, in turn, means an increased salary.

Also, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) anticipates a 12% growth in employment through 2026.

Requirements and How to get a PhD in Information Security

To get an Information security PhD is quite easy if you know how to go about it.

You can get it online or in the traditional classroom. But, whatever mode of learning you choose, here are the things required of both learning styles.

PhD in Information Security takes about three to five years to complete. To be eligible to apply, candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in Computer science or Technology, and/or a master’s degree in a related field.

In a nutshell, these are the basic requirements for the program:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • GPA of 3.0 or more (Grade B or above) in computing/math courses
  • Excellent GRE scores
  • For international students TOEFL/IELTS scores
  • Relevant professional experience
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Research work, including publications

If you noticed, we didn’t include a master’s degree. This is because a lot of universities will grant you a master’s degree after you’ve completed the first 2-3 years of graduate coursework

After completing your course module and your research project, you will become a professional in information security.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Marketable Cybersecurity Careers | 2021

What Types of Courses Will I learn?

A Ph.D. in Information Security will equip you with methods of advanced research and a deeper understanding of information assurance and security.

All information security Ph.D. programs require you to write an original research dissertation and defend it. You may be expected to submit your dissertation for publication.

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Some of the advanced course topics you may cover include:

  • Secure telecommunications
  • Network security
  • Detecting intrusions
  • Distributed systems security
  • Secure e-commerce
  • Secure software design and programming
  • Computer security

Schools to get a Ph.D. in Information security And Cost

Well, there are not many schools that offer a PhD in information security. Most of them are in cybersecurity and information systems, but there are some that teach information security.

We will just mention a few of them right below.

  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY – Information Security Institute
  • University of East London
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • United Arab Emirates University

#1. Royal Holloway, University of London

The Information Security Group (ISG) is a world-leading interdisciplinary research group dedicated to research and education in the area of information (cyber) security.

Royal Holloway is recognized as a UK Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR). Their breadth of coverage, coupled with our size, distinguished educational and academic track record, and long-standing and deep engagement with industry, makes the ISG a unique research group in the UK.

Here are vital information you should take note of:

  • The Information security PhD is typically for 3 years and it starts this 2020.
  • International students fee is £17,400 annually.
  • The minimum entry requirement is a UK Second Class Honours degree in an appropriate subject, a masters degree is required in many cases. Proficiency in the English language is also required.

#2 JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY – Information Security Institute

This prestigious university has an information security institute where prospective candidates can badge an information security Ph.D.

Students can join by applying to the Computer Science Department. All the students receive support, including an annual stipend, in the form of external and internal competitive fellowships, research fellowships, or teaching fellowships. Prospective Ph.D. students should review our publications and related security papers and contact us at

#3 University of East London

This phd in information security will start in September 2020.

The program aims to develop research-based practice amongst professionals currently working within the Information Security area. You should apply today.

“Despite the growing space and sophistication of cyber threats there are not enough people equipped with the appreciate knowledge, skills and abilities to protect the information technology for strategic advantage” – Professionalizing Cybersecurity: A Path to universal standards and status (2015).

The annual tuition is £3,490.

#4 Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Our society depends on reliable and available information to secure our technological everyday life. In line with this, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology offers the Ph.D. program in information security and communication technology.

The program is a three-year program with specializations available in security or communication solutions or a combination of these fields of research.

To apply for this Information security Ph.D., funding has to be in place. You must have also completed a five-year higher education with a B in masters and a C in bachelors.

#5 United Arab Emirates University

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) with Concentration in Information Security is available for high caliber individuals who are able to develop and implement their own research studies.

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The tuition is AED 2,400annually and it is a 4-year program.

Also, there is a Ph.D. scholarship for this program information security. The requirements can be seen in the link below.

Information Security Ph.D. FAQs

How long will it take for me to complete my Ph.D. information security?

In most programs, it is possible to earn your Ph.D. in information security in only three to five years.

However, this depends on your individual pace.

The most significant factor when it comes to degree completion time is whether you study full-time or part-time. Students who study part-time will require much more time than students who study full-time.

What is the difference between cuber security and information security?

Information security is all about protecting the information, which generally focus on the confidentiality, integrity, availability (CIA) of the information. While cyber security is about securing things that are vulnerable through ICT

What is my job description as an information security specialist?

Your primary responsibility is to prevent and respond to security breaches in your organization.

You are expected to be familiar with software such as data encryption programs and firewalls and assist other staff in installing and using this software. You must keep up with the latest trends in information systems security, as methods of breaching security are constantly evolving.

What is the salary outlook of a phd in Information security?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for information security analysts is $147,000 a year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also shows that employment in this field is projected to grow 28 percent from 2016 to 2026.


Cybersecurity is not the same as information security although many think it is the same.

The difference has been described earlier in the post.

Not many schools offer specific information security Ph.D. programs. Most of them are in other majors and some have a concentration in information security.

But, the schools provided in this post offer straight phd programs in informtion technologuy.

Do read the post and get back to us in the comment box.

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