PhD Programs

URI's PhD Degree Program is a Computer Science PhD degree with its coursework concentration and research in Digital Forensics or in Cyber Security. Students must meet the admission and graduation requirements for the Computer Science PhD Degree program described here. This is an in-person program and can not be completed online. If you are interested in an online program review our Professional Science Master's Degree in Cyber Security.

Typically, students take the requirements for the Graduate Certificate (See Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics and/or Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security, get the Graduate Certificate degree, and then apply those courses towards their PhD degree. In addition to the courses applied from their Graduate Certificate, PhD students will work with their advisor to choose 4 MORE Digital Forensics or Cyber Security related courses to take, AND six traditional Computer Science courses from the six groups described here:

  • Algorithms
  • Programming Languages
  • Computer Architecture
  • Computer Systems
  • Software Design
  • Theory of Computation

In addition to the eight courses, PhD students do a research project in Digital Forensics or in Cyber Security as their dissertation topic.

The expected completion time for a PhD degree is 4-6 years full-time. The digital forensics courses and cyber security courses are done online while most of the other computer science courses are done in-person. Also, up to three courses can be transferred from another institution, which is a way that students can fill in the Computer Science course requirements.

Please note that admission to the Computer Science PhD degree program requires a computer science background and that additional course work may be required to attain that background as described on the Master's degree information page.

Also note that a Master's degree in Computer Science or related field from any acceptable institution can be used to transfer credit to count for 8-10 of the 16 courses required.