M.S. in Cybersecurity

Program Description

Cybersecurity is a computing-based discipline where technology, computer science, people, and processes are aligned to enable assured operations of computer systems in the presence of risks and adversities in cyberspace. The Master of Science in Cybersecurity program provides students with the knowledge, skills, and professional practices needed for careers in cybersecurity fields.

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.

Student Outcomes

The Marshall University Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information System program graduates shall be able to:
  1. Analyze a complex computing problem and to apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions.
  2. Design, implement, and evaluate a computing-based solution to meet a given set of computing requirements in the context of the program’s discipline.
  3. Communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts.
  4. Recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgments in computing practice based on legal and ethical principles.
  5. 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

Admission 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 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 Weisberg Division of Computer Science, based on the information provided in the admission application and transcripts. Applicants with a four-year bachelor degree in a major other than 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 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)

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

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 (New Course)
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 (Also listed in the Network Security Concentration)
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 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. Thesis option can be taken after the completion of 12 credit hours. The 6 CR of 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)

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

CYBR 500 Computer Security Design
CYBR 535 Cyber Risk (cross-listed with CS 435)
CYBR 542 Cyber Operations (cross-listed with CS 442)
CYBR 625 Applied Cryptography
CYBR 630 Network Security
CYBR 640 Security in Internet of Things
CYBR 650 Cybersecurity Data Analytics
CYBR 655 Cloud Security
CYBR 682-84 Special Topics in Cybersecurity
CYBR 685-89 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 692 Image Processing for Forensics
IS 631 Information Security
IS 646 Computer Systems Security
IS 647 IT Disaster Planning & Recovery
IS 656 Communication and Network Technologies

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
1 FA CYBR 510: Introduction to Cybersecurity 3 None
CYBR 530: Cybersecurity Policies and Management None
CYBR 615: Cybersecurity Vulnerability Assessment None
SP CYBR 620: Cyberwarfare None
Concentration Course 1
Elective Course 1
2 FA CYBR 680 (Research) or Core Elective 1 3 CYBR 510
Concentration Course 2
Elective Course 2
SP CYBR 681 (Thesis) or Core Elective 2 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.

Some courses may have pre-requisite as indicated with