Program of Study
The Master of Science in Cybersecurity is a professional science degree program designed to meet the needs of the computing industry and associated organizations. The program is a blend of technical courses and business courses with a capstone project. The objective of the program is to train an expertly skilled workforce to fulfill the imminent needs of the emerging and evolving cybersecurity industry. The program is designed to prepare those with strong background in computer science for management positions in cybersecurity such as the manager of the information security department, the director of risk assessment and compliance, the chief information security officer, the director of IT security, and project managers of security related projects.
Throughout the program, students will be exposed to real-world problems/cases, leading-edge technologies, managerial/interpersonal skills, ethics and governance knowledge, and problem-solving skills.
The rigorous program is taught online to accommodate the working student. The program design is a cohort model that requires students to go through the program together over a five-semester period with a predetermined course sequence. It is a non-thesis degree program requiring a rigorous “Internship or Semester-in-Residence” project as culminating experience.
Each student will be guided and evaluated by an Advisory Committee that will be made up of university faculty, program instructors, and industry mentors, as well as program advisors.
*The M.S. in Cybersecurity is offered through the Office of Extended Learning.
Admission Requirements and Application
- Admission decisions will be made by the Admission Committee chosen by the Program Director in consultation with its faculty.
- Admission decisions will be based on 1) undergraduate courses and GPA, 2) GRE scores, or resume, 3) TOEFL for some students **, and 4) the statement of purpose and recommendation letters.
- Admission to the program requires an undergraduate degree in computer science or closely related discipline, and should include upper-division courses in operating systems, networks and software engineering. Applicants with a baccalaureate degree in a related field may be able to meet prerequisites with equivalent work experiences in computer science and will be considered for conditional admission.
- Admission requires a minimum of 3.0 grade point average in the upper-division computer science courses and at least a 2.5 undergraduate GPA in the last 60 semester units (or last 90 quarter units) attempted.
- All applicants must submit general GRE scores, or resume when applying.
Minimum GRE scores required are:
- Verbal 143
- Quantitative 155
- Analytical Writing 3.5 (this will also satisfy the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement)
- As an alternative to the GRE, applicants may submit a resume or CV showing work experience in Cybersecurity of technology field.
Applicants must submit:
- The program application form.
- The statement of purpose outlining the reason or pursuing the degree.
- GRE scores, or resume.
- TOEFL score if required.
- One set of transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
- Two recommendation letters on a provided form.
- Applicants to the program will be subject to standard background checks in accordance with Defense Security Service reporting requirements.
Student candidates may apply at any time throughout the year. However, selection and admission will be completed by early May for the Fall semester start. Later applications will be considered, as spaces remain available. Feedback to applicants, but not final admission decisions, will be provided on a timely basis regardless of the time of application.
**All applicants must have a TOEFL score of 80 iBT or above (213 on the computer-based examination, 550 paper-based), or an IELTS score of 6.0, unless they possess a bachelor’s degree from a post-secondary institution where English was the principal language of instruction.
Graduate students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 and earn at least a C (2.0) in each course, except those taken for credit/no credit. Any student whose overall GPA falls below 3.0 for two consecutive semesters will be dropped from the program. A full-time student should be enrolled in the predetermined course schedule and credit hours each semester for the program.
Advancement to Candidacy
The student will advance to Master’s Degree candidacy upon the completion of MCS 680A and approval of a Project Abstract by the student’s Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee is made up of a program faculty member, an industry mentor, and the Program Director.
All students must enroll in MCS 680A /MCS 680B Internship/Semester in Residence and successfully complete a 16-week project in lieu of a research thesis. Completion and defense of the culminating experience project results in an oral defense and a substantial technically written report. Student projects will address and affect real-world challenges in cybersecurity. Students will demonstrate their ability to integrate principals of science and technology with fundamental business practices. The type of experience and nature of the project will vary, depending upon the student’s background, employment, and right-to-work status. A substantive written project report must be submitted, orally defended, and approved at the end of the Internship/Semester-In-Residence. In unusual circumstances where project requirements are not completed, defended, and approved at the end of MCS 680B , a student may complete the requirements within six months under the guidance of the advisory committee. In such cases, enrollment in MCS 699 is required.
Degree Requirements and Courses
The Master of Cybersecurity requires thirty-eight (38) semester hours of coursework. Students must complete a set of courses and the culminating experience project with a 3.0 GPA and earn at least a C (2.0) in each course.
Seven Required Technical Side Courses (23 Units)
Four Required Business Side Courses (10 Units)
Culminating Experience Total (5 Units)
Total (38 Units)
A student who has obtained a waiver for a required course may enroll in Directed Studies, MCS 697A (1 unit), or MCS 697B (2 units), or MCS 697C (3 units) upon consent of the instructor.