Dakota State University students walking around campus

Preparation + opportunity = success

That's the DSU equation. We're a four-year university with nationally recognized programs, cutting-edge facilities, and the brightest thinkers. But we're also a tight-knit, inclusive community. Small class sizes mean hands-on training and individualized attention. All this with an affordable, public school price that's among the best values in the region.

Majors & Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy in Cyber Operations

Pair computer science with IT security

Gain a foundation in cyber operations while specializing in data collection, software exploitation, analysis of malicious code, and reverse engineering. Our PhD in Cyber Operations is a technical program grounded in computer science with an emphasis in cyber security.

In addition to online curriculum, complete three on-site research seminars designed to acquaint you with cyber security issues. Discuss articles pertinent to cyber security, meet faculty, and present your dissertation proposal. These research seminars are held annually and take place over multiple days. Because of this, there is a residency requirement for this program.

Only US residents and those holding a Permanent Resident Card are allowed to apply to this program.


Grow your connections

When you attend DSU, you make connections with real-life professionals and organizations. Our partnerships with these organizations help fill the national need for cyber security professionals and researchers nationwide. After graduation, you’ll have commanding knowledge of cyber security, making you an essential attribute to any company.

We have ties with – but not limited to – the following organizations:

  • National Security Agency (NSA)
  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  • Navy SPAWAR
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab
  • Army INSCOM
  • Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute
  • MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory


We are experts in cyber security. We leverage our expertise in all things tech to give you an innovative doctoral degree that meets the needs of a vast array of organizations.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the Doctor of Philosophy in Cyber Operations, students will:

  • Be able to articulate the importance of software reverse engineering and successfully complete hands-on exercises and demonstrate a thorough understanding of the domain
  • Be able to apply low-level programming and understanding of operating systems and software to explain various types of vulnerabilities, their underlying causes, their identifying characteristics, and the ways in which they are exploited
  • Be able to conduct research that demonstrates an ability to model, analyze and design cyber operation processes and systems
  • Be able to communicate technical information, both orally and in writing, in an effective manner
  • Be able to fill the gap having well-trained and talented professionals in academic, industry, and government