Master of Cybersecurity

About

Cybersecurity professor, Ayad Barsoum, Ph.D.

Cyber threats are emerging more than ever in today’s digital world, and organizations are faced with constantly staying a step ahead to avoid falling prey to cybercriminal attacks.

In response, the Department of Computer Science at St. Mary’s University offers a master’s program that will provide students with knowledge, skills and best practices on how to monitor, secure and safeguard an organization’s cyber assets.

A uniquely St. Mary’s program, the Master of Science in Cybersecurity combines technical rigor with sound ethics and implications to the law.

Students will take courses in risk management, wireless security, computer forensics, mathematics for cryptography, and cyber law to get hands-on experience with protecting networks, computers, programs, and institutional data from attack, damage or unauthorized access.

Degree Plans

Master of Science in Cybersecurity — Degree Plan
Cybersecurity Graduate Certificate — Degree Plan

Program of Study

The Master of Science in Cybersecurity Program consists of 33 credit hours: five required courses, five elective courses and three credit hours of a capstone project.

Students may also choose a thesis option, which consists of 27 hours of course credit and six hours of thesis work.

Foundational Courses

  • Mathematics for Cryptography
  • Advanced Network and Data Communication/Computer Networking
  • Computer Security and Privacy
  • Software Security
  • Applied Cryptography

Capstone (one is required)

  • Project
  • Thesis

Elective Courses

  • Computer Network Security
  • Wireless Security
  • Cloud Computing Security
  • Risk Management and Mitigation
  • Computer Forensics and Cyber Crime
  • Security Policy and Law
  • Preparation for Security Certification
  • Internship
Career Opportunities

Cybersecurity graduates can provide their expertise in the public and private sectors, benefiting the needs of large and small businesses, the U.S. government and military, contractors, and research organizations.

In San Antonio alone, the cybersecurity field is rapidly growing, with NSA/CSS Texas; the Twenty-Fourth Air Force (Air Forces Cyber); the Twenty-Fifth Air Force (Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance); the U.S. Air Force Cryptologic and Cyber Systems Division; and numerous military contractors such as General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Booz Allen Hamilton located in the area.

Additionally, Southwest Research Institute, USAA, Rackspace, Digital Defense and IPSecure represent a few of many private organizations that look to hire cybersecurity professionals.

Admission Requirements

Admission is granted only to those with high promise for success in graduate study. Applicants demonstrate this potential through previous academic records and testing.

To be considered for admission to the Master of Science in Cybersecurity program, applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, or a closely related discipline. Applicants who earned a bachelor’s degree in a closely related discipline, such as Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, or Physics may be admitted with the provision that they take the prerequisite courses listed below. The program director will evaluate applicants from other disciplines on an individual basis.
  • Have a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 for their bachelor’s degree.
  • Have a minimum GRE quantitative score of 152.
  • Applicants who fail to meet any of the above standards may be admitted on a conditional basis. The program director evaluates these cases on an individual basis.
  • International students must submit the TOEFL scores and show a minimum of 213 on the computer-based test, 550 on the paper-based test, or 80 on the Internet-based test. As an alternative, international students may take the IELTS test and show a minimum score of 6.0.
  • Submit a completed application form, a written statement of purpose indicating the applicant’s interests and objectives, two letters of recommendation concerning the applicant’s potential for succeeding in the graduate program, and official transcripts of all college-level work.

Prerequisites

Applicants whose Bachelor of Science degree is not in Computer Science, Computer Engineering or Software Engineering are required to demonstrate proficiency or take the following prerequisite courses: Object Oriented Programming, Data Structure and Algorithms, Discrete Math, and Calculus I and II.

Some other courses are considered a plus to excel in this program. For example, Probability Theory, Operating Systems, and Computer Architecture.

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