Security Ph.D. Requirements

The security informatics track of the Ph.D. in Informatics offers the opportunity to conduct practical research in these important security issues:

  • Economics of security
  • User-centered design of security systems
  • Cryptographic primitive design
  • Security modeling
  • Foundational cryptography
  • Threat assessment and analysis
  • Protocol design
  • Provable security
  • Security heuristics
  • Lightweight cryptography
  • Malware
  • Network security
  • Privacy
  • Security auditing
  • Security and computer forensics
  • Trusted computing

Course work reflects our multidisciplinary approach, focusing on both current and emerging security technologies. The program of study includes an exploration of the economic and social impact of information security. Research will be focused on the effect of information security on organizations as well as systems and network security.

Doctoral students may also pursue a combined curriculum in security informatics and human-computer interaction design (HCI/d) that explores the connection among technology, social analysis, and applications. This program combines design space experience with practical application, where students can design interactions for security systems and experimentally verify their effectiveness.

Download the current Ph.D. in Informatics handbook (PDF). We also recommend consulting the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering Bulletin 2017-2018 (use the tabs on the left) and the University Graduate School Bulletin 2016-2017 (use the tabs at the top and at the left) for more detailed information about these requirements.


A total of 90 credit hours will be required for this degree. No more than 30 of those hours will be counted from a master’s degree taken at Indiana University or a graduate program at another university. An additional 6 hours of master’s thesis or capstone project may be counted toward the Ph.D. at the discretion of the student’s advisory committee, assuming the thesis or capstone project is of sufficient research quality.

Required Informatics courses (18 cr.)

Theory and Methodology (12 cr.)

Specific coursework, including research-oriented independent study, will be determined by the student’s advisory committee.

Electives (12-21 cr.)

Research lab experience may be substituted for classroom courses upon approval of the advisor and the advisory committee.

Minor (6-12 cr.)

All students are required to have an appropriate minor inside or outside the school. Minors will be selected with the advisor’s recommendation.

Dissertation Work (21-30 cr.)