Cybersecurity, M.S.

Program Description

The Master of Science in Cybersecurity program provides students with the knowledge, skills, and professional practices needed for careers in the cybersecurity fields. The program also prepares students who desire to pursue further graduate work that leads to a Ph.D. degree. The curriculum covers several advanced topics in cybersecurity, such as; advanced cryptography, cybersecurity policy, cyber risk and vulnerability, cyber operation, wireless network security, web/mobile security, software security, security in Internet of Things (IoT), etc. These courses will be taught using the very latest, state-of-the-art security tools and technologies.

Why Master Degree in Cybersecurity?

Cyber security is a national priority and there is a severe talent shortage in cybersecurity area with a negative unemployment rate and analysts are estimating that there will be 1.5 million cyber security job openings by 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. Recent report shows that 84% of cybersecurity postings require at least a bachelor’s degree and 23% require at least a master’s. Although obtaining an advanced degree requires a significant investment of both time and money, M.S. in Cybersecurity is the degree that may well be worth since many employers seek a combination of both experience and education. Here are several reasons you should consider a master’s degree in cybersecurity:

  • 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 as 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 cybersecurity job requirement and the level of skills of fresh B.S. graduates has led the government and private sector to offer financial incentives for those looking to pursue a degree in cybersecurity such as the National Science Foundation Scholarship for Service (SFS), the Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP), etc.

Why Choose the Cybersecurity Graduate Degree at Marshall University?

The M.S. in Cybersecurity program at Marshall University is designed to prepare professionals in technical sector with or without cybersecurity background to fill the fast growing jobs in cybersecurity as well as serving the need of the important continual study in a field where life-long learning is paramount.

The curriculum covers the advanced topics in cybersecurity 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.

The program also prepares students who desire to pursue further graduate work leading to a Ph.D. degree.

What Careers in the Cybersecurity?

Professionals in Computer and Information Security have a wide range of responsibilities with different roles in government organizations and industries including banks, retailers, etc. On the job, you are expected to safeguard an organization’s data, computers, networks, create security plans and monitor activities. If a breach occurs, you’ll be responsible for identifying the problem and finding a solution quickly.

– Security Specialist, Cryptographer, Security Administrator/Manager, Incident Res-ponder, Penetration Tester, Security Architect, Security Consultant, etc.

Admission and Transfer Criteria

Minimum admission requirement for full admission includes completion of a four-year bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity or Computer Science or related program with GPA of 2.75 or higher on 4.0 scale. Applicants with a baccalaureate degree in a major other than computer science or related program may be admitted to the program and must successfully complete the following three additional bridge courses with a grade of B or above in the first two semesters of the program:

  • Data Structure and Algorithms (CS 210)
  • Internetworking (CS 320)
  • Statistics (STA 225, STA 346, or STA 345)

Whether an applicant meets the above requirements will be based on the information provided in the admission application and transcripts. International students must meet MU English proficiency standards and all other admission criteria prior to registering for the first semester of courses.

M.S. Degree Requirements

The MS degree requires 30 credit hours (CR) of graduate work. At least 15 credit hours should be taken from 600 level courses.

  • Core Required (12 CR):
CYBR 510 Introduction to Cybersecurity
CYBR 530 Cybersecurity Policies and Management
CYBR 615 Cybersecurity Vulnerability Assessment
CYBR 620 Cyberwarfare
  • Concentration (6 CR)

Student must choose two courses from ONE concentration area below:

Network Security

CYBR 535 Cyber Risk (cross-listed with CYBR 435)
CYBR 542 Cyber Operations (cross-listed with CYBR 442)
CYBR 625 Applied Cryptography
IS 656 Communication and Network Technologies

Application Security

CYBR 500 Computer Security Design (cross-listed with CYBR 400)
CYBR 535 Cyber Risk (cross-listed with CYBR 435)
CYBR 625 Applied Cryptography
IS 646 Computer Systems Security

Security Management

CYBR 500 Computer Security Design (cross-listed with CYBR 400)
CYBR 542 Cyber Operations (cross-listed with CYBR 442)
IS 631 Information Security
IS 647 IT Disaster Planning & Recovery
  • Thesis option or Core Electives Option (6 CR)

The Thesis option offers a student an opportunity for serious investigation into an area of interest by completing a 3 credit research course (CYBR 680) and a 3 credit thesis (CYBR 681) course. Students must summarize their thesis work in the form of a formal written document and deliver an oral presentation. Thesis work is typically conducted over two semesters. A thesis option can be taken after the completion of 12 credit hours. The 6 CR of the thesis option courses cannot be combined in a semester.

For the Core Electives Option, student may choose any two 600 level CYBR courses.

  • Free electives (6 CR)

Students may choose any two from following CYBR/CS/IS courses.

CYBR 500 Computer Security Design (cross-listed with CYBR 400)
CYBR 535 Cyber Risk (cross-listed with CYBR 435)
CYBR 542 Cyber Operations (cross-listed with CYBR 442)
CYBR 625 Applied Cryptography
CYBR 685 Independent Study
CYBR 698 Internship
CS 504 High Performance Computing
CS 542 Communication Networks and Distributed Systems
CS 579 Software Engineering
CS 620 Applied Algorithms
CS 625 AI Principles and Methods
CS 630 Machine Learning
CS 660 Big Data Systems
IS 624 Data Warehousing
IS 625 Software Engineering
IS 631 Information Security
IS 646 Computer Systems Security
IS 647 IT Disaster Planning & Recovery
IS 656 Communication and Network Technologies
IS 692 Image Processing for Forensics

Plan of Study

Below is a typical two-year study plan for a full time (9 credit hours a semester) students:

Year Term Course Hr Pre-requisite
1st FA CYBR 510: Introduction to Cybersecurity 3 None
CYBR 530: Cybersecurity Policies and Management 3 None
CYBR 615: Cybersecurity Vulnerability Assessment 3 None
SP CYBR 620: Cyberwarfare 3 None
Concentration Course 1 3
Elective Course 1 3
2nd FA CYBR 680 (Research) or Core Elective 1 3 CYBR 510
Concentration Course 2 3
Elective Course 2 3
SP CYBR 681 (Thesis) or Core Elective 2 3 CYBR 680 (thesis option)

Note: All four Core required courses will be offered every semester. However, some elective courses may be offered in one semester a year. Students should work closely with advisor in developing a study plan.