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Cybersecurity

Degrees Offered

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity Program Overview

The Master of Science in Cybersecurity program provides students with in-depth knowledge in key areas of Computer Science and Computer Engineering such as cyber defense, cryptography, secure software development, vulnerability detection, wired and wireless networking, low-level programming, and the laws governing cyber operations.  Students learn a variety of in-demand skills, including detecting and preventing network attacks; identifying and preventing vulnerabilities in software applications; reverse engineering malware to understand its design, operation, and communications protocols; the use of cryptography in cybersecurity; and network reconnaissance, intrusion, and data exfiltration from both a defensive and offensive standpoint.  This 30-unit, 1-year program includes extensive hands-on labs, exercises, and projects.

Admission Criteria

The following admissions requirements have been set for entry into the program:

  • Bachelors degree
  • Official university transcript(s) showing a 3.0/4.0 GPA on the last 60 units of undergraduate study
  • Educational qualifications and/or work experience in:
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement discussing academic and/or industry credentials, knowledge of cybersecurity foundational topics, and enthusiasm for this course of study
  • For students whose first language is not English, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required.  The minimum score for admission is 550 (paper), 213 (computer), or 80 (internet).  An IELTS score of 6.5 is acceptable in place of the TOEFL.

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Students must complete a minimum of 30 units with a Pacific cumulative grade point average of 3.0 to earn the master of science in cybersecurity degree.

Technical Core
CYBR 200Secure Software Systems3
CYBR 210Vulnerabilities3
CYBR 220Software Reverse Engineering3
CYBR 230Advanced Computer Networking3
CYBR 240Cyber Defense and Offense3
CYBR 250Cybersecurity Law and Policy3
CYBR 280Cybersecurity Capstone Project3
Technical Electives
Select three of the following:9
Machine Learning
Data Science
Computational Intelligence
Sensor Networks for Engineering Systems
Cloud Computing
Applied Analytics for Decision Making
Techniques in Research
Technology Venturing
Numerical Methods for Engineering
Probability and Statistics for Engineering and Computer Science
Engineering Project Management and Leadership
Managing Science Technology and Innovation
Graduate Independent Study
Graduate Independent Study
Graduate Research
Graduate Research

Cybersecurity Courses

CYBR 200. Secure Software Systems. 3 Units.

In this course, students will study best practices for secure software development. Topics will include secure software design, secure coding, and security testing and auditing. Students will learn how cryptographic algorithms work and applications of cryptography in secure software design. Students will write and analyze code that demonstrates specific security development techniques. Prerequisites: COMP 053 or completion of “Data Structures”; COMP 157 or completion of “Algorithms”; COMP 047, MATH 049, MATH 074, MATH 110, MATH 148, MATH 174 or completion of “Discrete Math”; ECPE 170 or completion of “Low-level Programming” all with a “C“ or better.

CYBR 210. Vulnerabilities. 3 Units.

In this course, students will systematically study the fundamental principles of computer system security. Students will learn to identify vulnerabilities in computer systems and mitigate them. The course takes a practical approach to information security by focusing on real-world examples and hands-on lab activities. Prerequisites: COMP 173 or completion of “Operating Systems”; COMP 177, ECPE 177 or completion of “Computer Networking” all with a “C” or better.

CYBR 220. Software Reverse Engineering. 3 Units.

The objective of this course is to familiarize students with the practice of reverse engineering programs where the source code is unavailable. By this process, students can discover the specification for a given software program, thereby understanding its operation as well as any data it uses or communication protocols it employs. This knowledge is valuable for identifying and neutralizing malware on a system or discovering software vulnerabilities and patching them during the course of a security audit. Prerequisite: ECPE 170 with a “C” or better or completion of “Low-level Programming”.

CYBR 230. Advanced Computer Networking. 3 Units.

The modern Internet is a communications system of global scale and high complexity. In this course, students will study the technological underpinnings that enable modern network communication, including routing, network, and application-layer protocols. Wired, wireless, and cellular networks will be examined. The course will include a laboratory, with emphasis placed on determining the current state of a network through network mapping, traffic analysis, and protocol analysis. Prerequisite: COMP 053 or completion of “Data Structures”; COMP 177, ECPE 177 or completion of “Computer Networking” all with a “C” or better.

CYBR 240. Cyber Defense and Offense. 3 Units.

This course offers a comprehensive study of the principles and practices of computer system security including operating system security, network security, software security, and web security. Students will learn common threats and vulnerabilities, along with basic principles and techniques when designing a secure system. Hands-on labs will help students gain an understanding on how to think like an adversary, how modern cyber-attacks and defenses work in practice, and how to assess threats and protection mechanisms. Prerequisites: ECPE 170 or completion of “Low-level Programming”; COMP 177, ECPE 177 or completion of “Computer Networking” all with a “C” or better.

CYBR 250. Cybersecurity Law and Policy. 3 Units.

A complex framework of laws, regulations, directives, and policies governs the field of cybersecurity today. In this course, students will study key legal and policy issues that apply to the government or private sector when defending computer systems and networks from attack. Further, students will study the legal authorities that govern offensive actions in cyberspace by governmental agencies. Federal laws, executive orders, regulations, and international laws will be examined in the context of defensive or offensive cyber operations, surveillance, privacy, and civil liberties. Students will gain an understanding of the extent and limitations of their authorities to ensure their operations in cyberspace are in compliance with applicable laws. Prerequisite: Enrolled in Masters of Science in Cybersecurity.

CYBR 280. Cybersecurity Capstone Project. 3 Units.

In this capstone design course, students synthesize their cumulative cybersecurity knowledge through the development of computer application or system. Students will establish design objectives and criteria, analyze solution alternatives, and evaluate design performance and capabilities. Students will then implement, test and evaluate the resulting prototype system. Complete documentation is required, including oral presentations, written reports, and demonstration of the final working system. Prerequisites: CYBR 200; CYBR 210; CYBR 220; CYBR 230; CYBR 240; CYBR 250 all with a “C” or better.

The MS in Cybersecurity prepares graduates for careers in the field of computer and network security. The eleven program educational objectives are:

  1. Low Level Programming Languages – Students will be able to write computer programs that interact with a system without the layers of abstraction that are provided by many high level languages.
  2. Software Reverse Engineering – Students will be able to deduce the design of a software component, determine how it works, and discover the data and communication protocols it uses, without knowing its design in advance.
  3. Operating System Theory – Students will have a thorough understanding of operating systems theory and implementation.
  4. Networking – Students will have a thorough understanding of how networks work at the infrastructure, network and applications layers; how they transfer data; how network protocols work to enable communication; and how the lower-level network layers support the upper ones to enable communications and data transfer.
  5. Cellular and Mobile Technologies – Students will have a thorough understanding of how data is processed and transmitted using mobile devices.
  6. Discrete Math and Algorithms – Students will be familiar with key theoretical concepts in the fields of discrete mathematics, algorithms analysis, and finite automata in order to make educated decisions when choosing between different algorithms and methods of solving design problems.
  7. Overview of Cyber Defense – Students will have a sound understanding of the technologies and methods utilized to defend systems and networks.
  8. Security Fundamental Principles – Students will possess a thorough understanding of the fundamental principles underlying cybersecurity, how these principles interrelate and are employed to build secure systems.
  9. Vulnerabilities – Students will possess a thorough understanding of the various types of security vulnerabilities (design and/or implementation weaknesses), their underlying causes, their identifying characteristics, the ways in which they are exploited, and potential mitigation strategies.
  10. Cybersecurity Law – Students will understand the many laws, regulations, directives and policies to ensure their actions are in compliance with state, federal, and international law.
  11. Communication Skills – Students will be able to communicate effectively with both technical and non-technical audiences.