ColoradoTech's Doctorate in Computer Science or Nova's Ph.D in Information Systems?

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by TEKMAN, Aug 10, 2012.


    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I have a question about my future education, and input opinion would be greatly appreciated. I applied to Doctorate of Computer Science w/ Information Assurance at Colorado Technical University, and also Ph.D in Computer Science at Nova Southeastern University. I was accepted at Colorado Tech's program, but I was denied at Nova Southeastern University due to quota is filled. Therefore, they asked me if I wanted to apply to Ph.D in Information Systems, which I agreed to. Now, I am accepted to Nova Southeastern University's Ph.D in Information Systems w/ Information Security option. Should I choose DSc because of Computer Science over Ph.D in Information Systems, here is my comparison:

    Nova Southeastern University
    Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D): 1
    School Reputation: 1
    Information Systems: 0
    Residency Requirement (Travel Costs): 1
    Private, Non-Profit: 1
    Possibly Completion Time in 3 years: 1

    SCORE: 5

    Colorado Technical University
    Doctor of Computer Science (DSc): 0
    School Reputation: 0
    Computer Science: 1
    Residency Requirement (Travel Costs): 1
    Private, For-Profit: 0
    Possibly Completion Time in 3 years: 1

    SCORE: 3
  2. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Look like your scoring already picked Nova. What about overall cost? If I were you, I would go with Nova but I live in FL where Nova has a great reputation.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Dr. Randell,

    Actually the costs should be the same, after my post 9/11 GI Bill exhaust. I have put in $25,000.00 out of my pocket, but since I work full-time. My employer might cover some.
  4. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    At the doctoral level, NSU is a far bigger and better known player than CTU (this may be reflected in the "School Reputation" score in the comparison above).

    Total # of doctoral degrees issued in 2010-11, from College Navigator:

    NSU: 1,699
    CTU: 18
  5. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    1. Colorado Technical University is a joke.
    2. It's not a D.Sc. It's a DCS.
    3. It's not a Computer Science doctorate if it's in IA. That's marketing not reality.

    Go Nova. The programs aren't put together by the marketing team.
  6. atrox79

    atrox79 New Member

    I once requested information from Colorado Tech. They proceeded to bombard me with phone calls and emails every day for about three months straight. Based off of that alone, I would go with Nova. However, it sounds like you might not be fully content unless you get into the CS program, so I would see what the possibility is of transferring between programs after admission.
  7. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Another statistic that may be worth considering is the "cohort default rate". Schools that participate in federal student loan programs are now required to report the percentage of former students who are in default on those loans.

    If a school has a high CDR, it may raise questions about the school's admissions standards and/or quality of education. Schools with high CDRs can also lose their eligibility for student aid programs.

    Here are the latest (2009) numbers for CDR, from College Navigator:

    NSU: 2.4 %
    CTU: 16.4 %

    If CTU was located in California, it would be ineligible for state financial aid under the Cal Grant program, since California regards CDRs above 15.5% as unacceptable. However, the federal standards are more lenient.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2012
  8. Koolcypher

    Koolcypher Member

    Another pick for Nova, like Randell mentioned Nova has a great reputation. I live close bye and drive by their campus almost everyday and the campus is beautiful. I was there a couple of days ago for Dolphins training camp. The Miami Dolphins train at Nova. So again, go with Nova, great choice, you will no regret it. Oorah Marine!
  9. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Great Nova is flooding the market! :footinmouth:
  10. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Probably not, because while Nova produces a lot of doctorates, they spread them over a lot of different fields. In 2010-11, for example, NSU had large doctoral programs (75+ per year) in all of the following areas:

    - education
    - dentistry
    - medicine
    - pharmacy
    - law
    - psychology
    - optometry
    - physical therapy

    For computer/IT doctorates, NSU issued 39 and CTU issued 5.
  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Clearly the trend is obvious, but between those two I'm also on the Nova Southeastern bandwagon.
  12. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Thanks everyone for the input opinions. It seems Nova is the winner in everyone's eyes. I just registered for the first term, 2 courses (8 credits) are considering as full-time student status. I am going to drive to Fort Lauderdale the end of this month for residency and new student orientation. The program is design for 3 to 6 years, 2 years of coursework and 1 year of dissertation. It seems that Nova's program does not have comprehensive/qualification/preliminary exam.
  13. jam937

    jam937 New Member

    What do you plan to do with the degree? Rating "DSc vs PhD" and "Information Systems vs Computer Science" depends on what you want to do after earning such a degree.

    Also, I seem to recall some discussions on this forum that after you reach ABD with Nova it takes a long time to completed. You might not be able to complete their program in 3 years. I have no first hand knowledge about this but just remember reading a thread about it.

    Keep us informed on how it goes.
  14. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Nova is an established school with an OK reputation that offers a PhD. CTU has little reputation and offers a D.Sc not a PhD.

    With CTU, you are going for a degree with little respect and with designation that is not known.
    Why the comparison? Nova is the obvious winner.
  15. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Actually, the CTU doctorate is called the DCS. Aspen (DETC only) offers the D.Sc. in Computer Science.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2012
  16. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I just completed my first cluster last week/weekend while Hurricane Isaac chased me out of Southern Florida. Nova Southeastern University has a beautiful campus with all new facilities, technologies, and equipments. The drive to the campus for cluster meeting was okay, but with two infants in the car was a little hassle. According to the Dean of Academic in the program that 50% students did not complete the program, he encourage new students make a wise decision on the program. Obviously, the program is much better than Capella University's with my own observation and experiences. The program can be completed in 10 years, but must require LEAVE of ABSENCE request every single term; fail to do so will be dismissed from the program.

    For those who use Post 9/11 GI Bill, you will receive full Housing Allowance if you take two courses (8 credits) per semester with NSU's zip code: $1,863.00 per month. Because the program is registered as campus not distance learning.
  17. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    50% is average so it is not bad considering that most people do it part time and not many are willing to do it for long time. I don't know Capella but Nova is respected so you cannot wrong with them.

    I dont know about your goals after graduation but rushing your doctorate might not be a good idea if you want a tenure track position after graduation. Most tenure track positions require publications in journals of good caliber and this might take good 4 to 5 years to accomplish.

    I dont think the DL stigma matters much nowadays as many schools are going in this direction but what seems to matter is Accreditation and Publications.

    Nova is not accredited by AACSB as this its weakest point but they have a good chance of getting in the future so it might not be a bad bet.

    There are some AACSB accredited programs that can be completed distance but not many options in IS. IF you are interested, I met in my last conference an American doing a PhD from the University of Western Australia at distancce in IS that is AACSB accredited. It seems that tuition fees can be very low if you become an Australian permanent resident.
  18. jabramson

    jabramson New Member


    It is an applied research doctorate. There is a dissertation that is involved, there is a paper option, but this is just the same amount of work if not more. Colorado Technical University's doctoral program is called the Institute of Advanced Studies, which is located in Colorado Springs, CO. I and others thought that the program was very intense, it technically is not considered a distance learning program. There are many well accomplished faculty that offer a wealth of knowledge.

    I do not think that there are many regionally accredited universities that are awarding doctorates. I am not sure if you have one or are in the process, but I can assure you it is the most work that you will ever do. I enjoyed the program at CTU, I stated when the program was smaller, as it is growing.

    There are not to many universities where you know the Dean of the doctoral program and the rest of the faculty very well. CTU doctoral program is small and intense. The program is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a research institution. The residencies are intense as well as the online work. Additionally, the CTU Colorado Springs campus is NSA and Dept of Homeland Security designated as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.


    Jonathan Abramson, D.C.Sc.

  19. jabramson

    jabramson New Member


    CTU Colorado Springs is not a joke, you are highly misinformed. The program is intense and from what I have heard and seen on par or better than many doctoral programs. Six residencies over three years, expected and intense class work online and on-ground. The faculty is top notch and demand your all. Expect to defend a dissertation as well, which is not required at many programs.

    NSA and Dept of Homeland Security designated CTU Colorado Springs a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.

    Carnegie Foundation classifies Colorado Technical University in Colorado Springs as a “Doctoral/Research University”


    Jonathan Abramson, D.C.Sc.

  20. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    How many graduates get tenure at quality schools? How many graduates are teaching at quality schools?

    1. There isn't an average person alive that wouldn't find a doctoral program rigorous.
    2. Students are not the best judge of quality when they:
    a. Have to justify their expense psychologically.
    b. Are learning things they don't know already. There's no basis for quality other than qualitative feelings.

    Are you serious?

    Nope. Not even close.

    In reverse order:
    1. Every school I've seen lately in IA has been NSA and DHS Accredited. This is no longer a differentiator of merit.
    2. Small and intense is good. As is the research classification, I'll look that up later to confirm for self-improvement.
    3. I'll have to take your word on that as will anyone else here (re: faculty)

    My experiences are:

    1. They are marketing a IA degree as a CS degree. These disciplines are not commonly marketed together.
    2. It is not a PhD, but a research professional doctorate. This combined with the CS designation is confusing.
    3. The program costs a boat load as opposed to a usual stipended CS program. It reeks of business marketing.
    4. CTU has been advertising on prime time TV and had a Super Bowl ad this last year.

    All of this reeks and I run from it like the plague.. which when you compare that reaction to NOVA you go NOVA and avoid the sillyness.


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