DCS Degree Program Online

Doctor of Computer Science

CTU’s Doctor of Computer Science degree program is designed to provide an in-depth study of specialized subjects related to computer science so that you can predict trends and, ultimately, make contributions in your area of expertise. Along with intensive research and writing projects, you will have the opportunity to explore high level design issues, evaluate methods of maintaining security in distributed systems, develop a software process improvement plan for an organization, and design, test and implement an experiment–including reporting on the results.

This computer science degree program offers a general track or concentrations in Big Data Analytics or Cybersecurity and Information Assurance.

At CTU, students come first. Our flexible online course schedule helps you to build a class schedule around your schedule. And with grants and scholarships available for those who qualify, a degree from CTU can be both achievable and affordable. Learn more below or fill out the form to speak with an admissions advisor.

Program Credits
5 Weeks
Course Length
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Program Overview

Effective February 2019, this program is no longer available for future enrollments at the Denver South campus.

The Doctor of Computer Science is a 100-credit-hour terminal degree in computer science. The program includes 40 credit hours of core management courses, 20 credit hours for elective courses, 4 credit hours of symposium-related courses, and 36 credit hours of doctoral research. The research element will culminate in a dissertation.

The Doctor of Computer Science program is a terminal degree for computer science professionals, consultants, and academics. The program encourages students to think and act strategically and demonstrate the ability to make positive contributions in their chosen area of technical expertise.


This program does not lead to additional licensure or certification.  As such, CTU has made no determination regarding prerequisites for licensure or certification in any state or jurisdiction.

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Courses: Core Credits
CS818 Current Topics in Computer Science and Information Technology 4
CS875 Futuring and Innovation 4
RES804 Principles of Research Methods and Design 4
RES812 Qualitative Research Methods 4
RES814 Quantitative Research Methods 4
RES863 Doctoral Research III: Dissertation Literature Review 4
RES864 Doctoral Research IV: Dissertation Methods 4
RES865 Doctoral Research V: Dissertation Introduction 4
RES866 Doctoral Research VI: Dissertation Findings 4
RES867 Doctoral Research VII: Dissertation Discussion and Conclusion 4
RES868 Doctoral Research VIII: Dissertation Conclusion 4
RSCH860 Doctoral Research I: Principles of Research and Writing 4
RSCH861 Dissertation Process I 4
RSCH862 Dissertation Process II 4
Select ten 4-credit courses from 800-level CS or EM or EIS courses 40
SYMP801 Doctoral Symposium I 2
SYMP802 Doctoral Symposium II 2
Electives: DCS students must complete ten 4-credit courses for these electives. These courses may be selected from any of those offered under DCS. Up to two of those electives may be chosen from the Doctor of Management program instead.

Total Credit Hours: 100

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Learning Outcomes

Doctor of Computer Science Outcomes

  1. Assess the evolution of knowledge within the chosen computer science discipline in addressing a technical real-world technical problem.
  2. Contribute to the body of knowledge within the computer science industry through ethical research, scholarly writing, dissemination of research and real-world innovations in evolving, diverse environments.
  3. Develop analytical and critical thinking proficiencies that clearly articulate applying computer science principles and models in solving real-world technical problems.


Dr. Yanzhen Qu

Dr. Yanzhen Qu

University Dean

Dr. Yanzhen Qu is the University Dean and Professor at the College of Computer Science, Engineering and Technology at Colorado Technical University (CTU). During his tenure at CTU, Dr. Qu has taken a leadership role in modernizing the curricula of CTU’s CS, IT and Cybersecurity degree programs, ranging from Associate to Doctoral levels.

Dr. Richard Cai

Dr. Richard Cai

Executive Program Director

Dr. Richard Cai is CTU’s Executive Program Director for the College of Computer Science, Engineering & Technology. In this role, Dr. Cai supervises curriculum design, development and revision for the degree programs offered in the college. He also plays a key role in the program assessment and accreditation.

Admission Requirements

Program Areas of Focus

The DCS program is designed to provide candidates with theoretical, research, and application capabilities in the field. The areas of focus are described below.


The program provides a focus on computer science and information systems topics and an orientation to research and writing at the doctoral level. Coursework covers current topics in the disciplines as well as research methods and qualitative techniques. The research component results in a broad overview of the student’s area of concentration in order to put the research into context and inform the student’s selection of a research topic.

Acquisition of Knowledge

Once the foundations are in place, the focus is on student development of an in-depth understanding of the knowledge and research methods in his or her chosen area of study. While most of the focus is on developing a richer understanding of the discipline, the research courses include quantitative methods and the dissertation process.

Leadership and Professional Advancement

The program includes the two remaining concentration courses plus the final six doctoral research courses that are designed to help students to complete the research and dissertation.


Doctoral programs at Colorado Technical University require a residential symposium. Additional information about CTU's doctoral symposium can be viewed in the Doctoral Symposium section of this catalog.

Graduation Requirements

In addition to the successful completion of the above 100 credits with an acceptable GPA, students must also satisfactorily complete their research proposal and final dissertation. The research proposal must be approved by the student’s Research Supervisor and University Reviewer. The dissertation, which must be approved by the student’s dissertation committee, is an extensive document that includes the research study. In addition, graduation requires presentation of the final dissertation.


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