Cybersecurity, M.S.

Graduate Degree
The Cybersecurity, M.S. degree program has an online option. Learn more about the Cybersecurity, M.S. online degree program and Online Learning at Marshall University.

In today’s world, cyber security is key to almost every business and organization. Professionals in computer and information security defend digital information on computers and their servers, mobile devices, networks and other electronic systems from cybercrime and attack. They have a wide range of responsibilities with different roles in government, industry and other organizations. On the job, they are expected to safeguard an organization’s data, computers and networks, as well as creating security plans and monitoring activities. If a breach occurs, they’re responsible for identifying the problem and finding a solution quickly. It requires well-trained professionals skilled in network security, information security and application security to help organizations remain safe from the risk of digital attacks, and we at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, prepare our students well for these challenges.

Here are some specific reasons you should consider a master’s degree in cyber security

High salary. Cyber security professionals are among the most highly paid, posting a 9% salary premium over other IT jobs in general. A security software engineer receives an average annual salary of $233,333, while a chief security officer brings in an annual salary of $225,000.
Job security. Cyber security has moved to the forefront for organizations and governmental agencies with high demand, and this job will not disappear as long as we are using computers.
Incentive for higher education. The drastic skill gap between cyber security job requirements and the level of skills of fresh bachelor of science graduates has led the government and private sector to offer financial incentives for those looking to pursue a degree in cyber security, such as the National Science Foundation Scholarship for Service (SFS), the Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP) and more.

Why study Cybersecurity at Marshall University?

The Master of Science in Cybersecurity program at Marshall University is designed to prepare professionals in the technical sector with or without a cyber security background to fill the fast-growing job market in cyber security, as well as providing continual study opportunities in a field where life-long learning is paramount

The curriculum covers the advanced topics in cyber security such as advanced cryptography, cybersecurity policy, cyber risk and vulnerability, cyber risk and operation, wireless network security, web/mobile security, software security, security in Internet of Things (IoT), and more by using the state-of-the-art security tools and technologies

Graduates of the Marshall University Master of Science in Cybersecurity program are able to:

Analyze a complex computing problem and to apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions.
Design, implement, and evaluate a computing-based solution to meet a given set of computing requirements in the context of the program’s discipline.
Communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts.
Recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgments in computing practice based on legal and ethical principles.
Function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in activities appropriate to the program’s discipline. An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the program’s student outcomes and to the discipline.

The program also prepares students who desire to pursue further graduate work leading to a Ph.D. Marshall University’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity program is a CompTIA Academy Partner Program with benefits of:

Support from the CompTIA Authorized Academy, which helps Marshall University students achieve certification and secure job opportunities.
Complimentary CompTIA certification exams for qualified instructors
Access to CompTIA’s library of research reports and webinars
A 50% discount on the CompTIA CertMaster
Access to the academic marketplace for schools.

Marshall’s Cybersecurity graduate degree program also is affiliated with the EC-Council | Academia Partner program, which offers the benefits of:

An official EC-Council Academia Partner certificate
Faculty discounts and scholarships
Cyber competition discounts and scholarships
Student discount rates and exam eligibility
EC-Council Testing Center (ETC) Resources.

Top Facilities

Marshall University’s Cybersecurity master’s degree program is part of its Computer Science Division, which is housed in the 155,000-square-foot Weisberg Applied Engineering Complex. The complex contains multiple state-of-the-art labs for research and learning. It also has workstations outside faculty offices to facilitate student-to-student and student-to-faculty collaboration. Three labs are specifically dedicated for Computer Science: the cybersecurity and networking lab, the computer graphics lab and the project studio.

The cybersecurity and networking lab is the only lab on Marshall’s campus with dual network infrastructure. It is connected to the Marshall network for access to the Internet, but also boasts an internal network system within the lab itself. This contains network traffic during testing and deployment of malicious payloads.
Marshall’s computer graphics lab is a fully equipped iMac lab used for graphics-related development and Apple -specific development, including mobile apps for iOS. The project studio is a place where students can work with faculty to produce high-quality software products related to various real-world projects that are needed by Marshall’s partners in industry and government.

Marshall has a breadth of experienced and committed faculty members, who are dedicated to helping you reach your professional goals.

Career Outlook for graduates of the Cybersecurity master’s degree program

Cyber security is a national priority, and there is a severe talent shortage in the cyber security field. Analysts have estimated 1.5 million cyber security job openings in 2019. If you have been considering entering the field or advancing your career within the computing industry, this is the field of choice

While the opportunities and job openings in the cyber security field are high, you need to be highly educated to maximize the benefits of this opportunity and to land highly paid jobs. A recent report shows that 84% of cyber security postings require at least a bachelor’s degree and 23% require at least a master’s. A master’s degree in cyber security is valuable, as many employers seek a combination of both experience and education

Possible jobs with a master’s degree in cyber security include: Information Security Analyst, Information Security Analysts, Security Specialist, Cryptographer, Security Administrator/Manager, Security Architect, Security Consultant, etc

Graduates with a master’s degree in cyber security are expected to create networks that protect their company’s valuable data, and their average salary is $92,600


Students constantly work with faculty in various research projects. Here are some examples of projects that Marshall’s cyber security students and faculty have undertaken

Deployable Remote Online Network Evaluator (DRONE) sponsored by the West Virginia Office of Technology Cyber Security unit.
IP Reputation Tool for West Virginia Office of Technology to identify malicious IP or domain name and alert users
Undergraduate research on “Analysis of Cryptocurrency for Protecting from Social Engineering”

Students in the program have participated in various internships as well, including an internship with the West Virginia Governor’s Office and opportunities provided through the Faculty Mentored Internship Program

Admission Requirements and Transfer Criteria

Applicants should follow the admissions process stated in the graduate catalog or the graduate admissions web site. Minimum requirements for admission is a four-year bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 2.75 or higher out of 4.0 in Cybersecurity or computer science related programs.

Whether a student meets the above requirements will be determined by the chair or designee of the Department of Computer Sciences and Electrical Engineering, based on the information provided in the admission application and transcripts. Applicants with a four-year bachelor’s degree in a major other than a cybersecurity or computer science related program may be admitted to the program with a condition of successful completion of the following three bridge courses with a grade of B or above in the first two semesters of the program:

  • Data Structures and Algorithms (CS 210 Data Structures and Algorithms)
  • lnternetworking (CS 320 Internetworking)
  • Statistics (STA 225 Introductory Statistics (CT) or STA 345 Applied Prob and Stat)

Foreign nationals must provide proof of English proficiency with a minimum score of 6.5 in IELTS or 80 on the TOEFL IBT (or 550 paper-based) and must have met all other admission criteria prior to registering for the first semester of courses.

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