Capitol Technology University: European-Style Doctorates

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by sanantone, Jul 21, 2021.

  1. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Capitol Technology University has a large selection of unique doctoral programs. In my opinion, some of them are redundant and/or too specific. Do people really need degrees in space cybersecurity, healthcare cybersecurity, and financial cybersecurity? Why not offer concentrations? The occupational risk management and occupational health and safety programs are practically the same thing.

    They accept up to 42 transfer credits for all of their doctoral programs except for the DSc in Cybersecurity and PhD in Business Analytics and Data Science. I can't remember how many transfer credits are accepted for those, but the amount is much lower. Doctoral transfer credits can be up to 10 years old. In almost all of the programs, the coursework focuses solely on writing the dissertation or three publishable articles. Unlike the vast majority of doctoral program in the United States, Capitol Technology's doctoral programs are not course-based. If you're able to transfer in 30+ credits, you can possibly finish in one year.

    When searching for their graduates to see if they were teaching at other colleges and universities, there were a good number of DSc graduates in tenure-track positions.

    PhD in Artificial Intelligence

    PhD in Aeronautical Science

    PhD in Construction Science

    PhD in Counterterrorism

    PhD in Critical Infrastructure

    PhD in Cyberpsychology

    PhD in Cybersecurity Leadership

    PhD in Emergency and Protective Services

    PhD in Facilities Management

    PhD in Financial Cybersecurity

    PhD in Healthcare Cybersecurity

    PhD in Human Factors

    PhD in Manufacturing

    PhD in Military Leadership

    PhD in Occupational Health and Safety

    PhD in Occupational Risk Management

    PhD in Operational Technology

    PhD in Product Management

    PhD in Quantum Computing

    PhD in Real Estate Management

    PhD in Space Cybersecurity

    PhD in Technology

    PhD Unmanned Systems Applications

    PhD in Technology with MS in Research Methods (for those without a master's degree)

    PhD in Business Analytics and Data Science

    DSc in Cybersecurity

    Doctoral Degrees | Capitol Technology University (
  2. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I thought about transferring to the Ph.D. in Emergency and Protective Services just when I was about to start my dissertation at Liberty. Since the programs do not require any coursework, I don't think the idea of offering concentrations would work. I agree though, that all those specific degree titles seem too much. They could offer, for instance, a Ph.D. in Business Administration and allow the student to focus their dissertation on production management, facilities management, etc.

    How do you know the graduates are in TT positions versus NTT?
  3. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Just an educated guess based on some schools mainly hiring their assistant and associate professors as TT. At some schools, all of their NTT faculty are called visiting professors, instructors, or lecturers.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  4. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Well, this is interesting. Surprised to see that I know a few of their faculty members.
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    What makes them "European-Style"? The PhD in Europe is typically a "big book" thesis effort. These look like American-style taught degrees (with a "small book" dissertation) with liberal transfer policies as an added feature.
  6. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    They refer to it as European style in their literature, because of the dissertation options they provide. Certainly not the best equivalency but also some fairly interesting options.
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  7. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    That is how they describe their programs. Even with no transfer credits, there's no subject matter coursework. The dissertation courses are broken down like they are probably for financial aid and transcript purposes. The entire program consists of working on a proposal and dissertation or three articles, so it's not like American-style doctoral programs. It's a dissertation-only program.
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The problem I have with this list is that so many of these degrees are not in scholarly subjects. I don't know how they can justify a PhD in many of them. A professional doctorate? Sure. But not a scholarly one.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I'm not seeing that. Each PhD seems to have a curriculum of taught courses associated with it. What am I missing?
  10. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    They're not taught courses. I had a conversation with the dean. If you look at all the degrees, you'll notice that most of the course titles are similar; it's because they're not specific to a field of study. Click on the course titles for descriptions, and you'll see that the courses are about choosing a research question, selecting research methodologies under the supervision of the chair, collecting data, etc. These are all done with the chair and committee with the goal of developing a research proposal.
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    That still makes them "taught" programs.

    We had a similar situation at Leicester. Each "course" was made up of scholarly articles bound by connective material prepared by the school. You read the material, selected a research question from a list, and write a paper about it. That section was distinct from the thesis.

    It would appear this content must be done, even if it isn't a traditional set of curricular material.

    The PhD, on the other hand, didn't have any of that. It was judged by the thesis only.

    The degrees offered by this school are most certainly not "European-style." They are taught, small-book doctorates, typical of PhD programs in the US. The difference is that this content points towards completing the thesis. We've seen this at a few other US PhD programs. I like it, since doing the thesis is what really matters.
  12. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    In the research proposal part of the program, there doesn't appear to be a curriculum. The work that's done goes toward creating a research proposal, which probably has to be defended before moving on to the dissertation that is based on the research proposal. I didn't ask about whether a defense of the research proposal is required. I don't think there are comprehensive exams.

    The research courses are more like filler courses for accreditation purposes. That's why they're so easily disposable with unrelated transfer credits. Nothing is taught in those courses, and they're not like your typical independent study courses. My school has a rule that you can't work on your dissertation (research proposal first) until after you pass the comprehensive exams and are enrolled in dissertation sections with your chair.
  13. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    PhD by publication is not common in the U.S. as we all know. Of course, at Capitol Technology University, you'll publish while in the program unlike these types of programs in Europe that require you to already have publications. There are a handful of American programs that let candidates write publishable articles instead of a dissertation or capstone paper, but they won't let you spend the entire program working on those articles. They also usually don't require the articles to actually be published.

    I think one can argue that there are some American elements or unique elements blended with European elements, leaning more toward the European side. But, these programs stray far away from American-style doctorates. I'm in a traditional, ground PhD program in the U.S., and Capitol Technology University is nothing like it other than that one might only need a small book dissertation.
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    That seems to sum it up. Instead of getting caught up in labels like "European-style," it would be more interesting to examine these programs more closely. They do seem, indeed, to be almost entirely focused on producing a dissertation (or a set of publications), rather than following a robust curricular content. Even the content-based "courses" are really research projects.

    I can see why these programs are attractive to ABDs or to people interested in doing primarily research in completing their PhD. In that way, they do seem to be more European. But I still object to awarding the PhD in areas that seem non-scholarly. It would be interesting to see if the school requires an original contribution to scholarship, and how dissertation authors fit their work into which scholarly fields (and the relevant theories in each).

    They look kind of fun! (Note that a weekend in residence is required each year.)
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2021
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    If you are required to complete all the credits, the degree could cost more than $60K, plus travel and lodging for annual on-campus visits.

    There is a reference to Doctor of Science degrees buried in the tuition section. I found just one. That would be a much more appropriate designation for the non-scholarly degrees.

    The one is a Doctor of Science in Cybersecurity, which is weird because the offer several more specialized cybersecurity degrees as PhDs.
  16. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Their DSc and PhD in Business Analytics have higher admissions requirements. They look at relevant experience, certifications, and appropriate educational preparation. These two programs also have a lower transfer credit limit; I think it's 12. The PhD in business analytics appears to have some content-oriented courses.
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    As long as these guys are issuing degrees in a ton of fields, most based on the dissertation, it would be cool to see a catch-all DSc where you could earn the degree based on dissertations in other fields. Perhaps, instead of declaring a major, you could have a concentration or a specialization, while the degree itself remained generic. This is what Union eventually did to keep its PhD. (I don't have a major, but I have a concentration and a specialization.)
    sanantone likes this.
  18. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Agree. It would make more sense for them to have specializations or concentrations. The highly specialized majors could potentially be limiting to those who want to teach at the college level, and they can be confusing to employers outside of academia.

    One potential issue their graduates may run into in regards to federal employment is the lack of relevant coursework. This would apply to any doctorate that is not course-based. Even though my program is in the traditional, American style, some HR specialists have gone through my coursework one-by-one to determine if my education was relevant to a criminal justice-related position. I was shocked. I was thinking, "What can be more relevant to a CJ-related position than a CJ degree program?" The problem is that the old curriculum at my school was filled with research methods and stats courses. I took three different research methods courses, an advanced stats course, and a research planning course. The other courses were about leadership, law, behavioral science, and criminology. Some federal agencies wanted to see coursework that was specific to corrections, law enforcement, and security.
  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This would be inconsistent with my 13 years serving as a GS-15 in the HR and HRD fields.

    First, almost never is a doctorate called for in a position description. There are a few--primarily at graduate-level institutes run by the government (like the Air War College and the National Defense University).

    Second, no one knows what they're looking at when it comes to doctorates. They cannot make differences from the distinctions presented.

    Finally, contrary to popular belief, there is no premium paid to civil service members for having advanced degrees. I can't imagine a situation where a doctorate from an accredited school would prove to be problematic because of its curricular content--or lack thereof.

    Now, if you're using the doctorate to meet some credit-hour requirement you don't meet otherwise, then yes, it would be a problem because you didn't do those credits.
  20. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    GS-11 positions require one year of experience that is equivalent to GS-9 or a PhD, LLM, or three years of progressively higher education toward a doctorate. Eighteen credits counts as a year of graduate education.

    There are rare scientific research positions at the GS-12 position that allow a doctorate to substitute for experience; otherwise, substituting education for experience stops at GS-11.

    Different announcements say different things. I've seen these stipulations:

    PhD, LLM, or three years toward a doctorate, if related.

    PhD, LLM, or three years toward a doctorate in any major.

    PhD, LLM, or three years toward a doctorate that provided the necessary knowledge and skills to perform the duties.

    PhD, LLM, or three years toward a doctorate in (insert list of majors).

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