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Ph.D. in Information Systems (DISS)

Optional Concentrations in Information Security and Learning Technology.

  • Program Overview
  • Program Formats
  • Learning Outcomes
  • Admissions

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Information Systems (DISS) at Nova Southeastern University’s Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences (GSCIS) requires a minimum of 64 credits. Its cluster format combines traditional and online instruction to provide professionals the opportunity to pursue a graduate degree in information systems while continuing to work in their current positions. The information systems degree program offers two optional concentrations in Information Security or Learning Technology.

The Ph.D. in Information Systems program is especially well suited to professionals working in areas such as information system planning, information security, systems analysis and design, project management, information system administration, information science, or software engineering. It provides information technology professionals with the knowledge and ability to develop creative solutions to substantive real-world problems in information systems. Each student must complete eight core courses, two research courses, and a dissertation.

The information security concentration is recognized by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Program Sheet (pdf)

Full-time on-campus format: Beginning January 2015, courses are offered in a traditional on-campus format geared for full-time students. Courses run during the day on the main campus in Fort Lauderdale.

Cluster format: Since its inception, the school has run an executive Ph.D. format called the “cluster format" that blends weekend meetings with online interaction. Students taking courses in this cluster format attend four cluster sessions per year, held quarterly over an extended weekend (Friday and Saturday) at the university. (In a pilot effort summer 2015, we will also run cluster courses using an additional Friday and Saturday meeting, and one “virtual” meeting that does not require campus attendance; see those dates on the Academic Calendars.) The cluster sessions bring together students and faculty for participation in classes, seminars, and dissertation counseling, and provide ample opportunity for student-faculty and student-student interaction. Between cluster sessions, students work on course assignments and research, and participate in online activities that facilitate frequent interaction with the faculty and with other students.

A graduate with a Ph.D. in Information Systems will have the ability to: (1) acquire advanced knowledge and deeper understanding of the field of information systems; (2) communicate professionally and ethically about information systems research issues; (3) identify, analyze, and synthesize scholarly literature related to information systems; and (4) generate new knowledge through research/scholarship and disseminate that knowledge to others by demonstrating the necessary technical and intellectual skills to produce a written document that makes an original contribution to the field of information systems.
The Ph.D. in Information Systems is designed for the student with a master’s degree in information systems, information science, computer science, information technology, or a related area. In addition to holding a relevant master’s degree, the applicant should satisfy graduate prerequisites or have equivalent experience in information systems, programming languages, database systems, systems analysis and design, and telecommunications and computer networks. Alternatively, GSCIS master’s students in information systems or information security may apply for early admission into the Ph.D. in Information Systems.

Click here to apply now.

The program core, concentrations, and electives below are for students beginning the program fall 2014 or later.

The Ph.D. in Information Systems program requires at least 64 credit hours, of which 32 are for courses and at least 32 are for research and dissertation. To help students plan their studies, course plans are available for students pursuing both on-ground (full-time) study and the cluster format.

Course Plans
On-Campus Format     Cluster Format (recommended)

Courses, research, and dissertation registrations are as follows:

Program Core (12 credits)

General I.S. Elective Courses
(20 credits. Choose 5 courses from the following 11 courses.)

Concentrations (Optional)

Information Security Concentration, Required Courses

    Students complete the three program core courses (above) plus the concentration     curriculum: (20 credits)

    Required Core Courses

    Elective Courses  (Choose ONE of:)

Learning Technology Concentration, Required Courses

    Students must complete the three core courses (above) as well as:

    Students then choose four more courses from the list below to complete the concentration     curriculum.

Research Registrations:  Students are required to complete two sections (four credits each) of DISS 898, Directed Research, before entering candidacy. (Students beginning fall 2014 or later will instead take two or more sections of DISS 885, Doctoral Research.) Students must register for the course with a particular faculty member as directed in the course description. Directed Research / Doctoral Research registrations must be in sequence, not in parallel. Students are further advised to wait for the second year of study before registering for Directed Research / Doctoral Research.

Dissertation Registrations: Students must complete 24 credits of dissertation registrations, three registrations of DISS 901. Students who do not complete the dissertation within 24 credits will register for DISS 920 Continuing Dissertation until the dissertation is complete.

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Current DISS Students

School Overview

Since the introduction of the graduate computer science program in 1975, the school has been a pioneer in computing research and education. The school began offering online programs in 1983 and created the first electronic classroom in 1985. In 1989 the Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences (GSCIS) was formed.

Today, NSU is a not-for-profit, independent university that is classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and is one of only 37 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification.