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Dakota State to offer cyber security doctorate

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 4, 2014 at 3:44 pm •  Published: April 4, 2014

MADISON, S.D. (AP) — Dakota State University in Madison is reinforcing its specialty in cyber security by offering a new doctoral degree this fall.

The doctor of science in cyber security degree is designed to prepare students for cyber security careers in government agencies and the private sector, or to teach the topic at higher education institutions. It marks just the second doctoral degree offered at Dakota State.

University officials expect to admit 20 students and graduate about 18 annually once the program is fully ramped up. The South Dakota Board of Regents approved the degree this week, but it must also receive approval by the Higher Learning Commission.

Campus officials expect that many of Dakota State's undergraduate and graduate students in computer science and information assurance will be interested in the new degree program.

Omar El-Gayar, Dakota State's dean of graduate studies and research, said cyber security experts are in great demand, and the school has established itself as a leader in the field.

"We're really capitalizing on our accomplishments at the undergraduate and graduate levels," El-Gayar said.

In 2011, the school received a $1.3 million cyber security scholarship commitment from the National Science Foundation. The Federal Cyber Service "Scholarship for Service" program seeks to increase the number of qualified students entering the fields of information assurance and computer security.

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