While increased access to technology enhances our lives, it also presents significant threats to personal information and confidential data. That increased access, along with the speed at which technology develops, has made cybersecurity one of the world's most important emerging industries. Our MS in cybersecurity program focuses on teaching you how to think strategically, ask the right questions and address cybersecurity challenges in any context. Courses in the MS in Cybersecurity provide you with comprehensive understanding and tools across the cybersecurity domain, including:

  • Protecting security information systems and infrastructure
  • Detecting, countering, recovering, and preventing cyber incidents
  • Ensuring availability and integrity of data resources
  • Assessing security risk across information systems 
  • Understanding and affecting cybersecurity policy

Your learning will be reinforced with practical, hands-on projects with industry partners, giving you several opportunities to apply your skills in real-world settings. A previous background in computer science or cybersecurity is not required to apply. If you have previous coursework in computer science theory and systems, it will take you less time to complete your degree. With industry experts predicting 1.5 million cybersecurity job openings by 2019, our graduates come out of school ready to enter the workforce and impact the field. 

Details about the MS in Cybersecurity

  • Curriculum

    Given how quickly technology evolves, our program focuses on teaching you how to think strategically, ask the right questions and address cybersecurity challenges in any context. Courses in the MS in Cybersecurity provide you with comprehensive understanding and tools across the cybersecurity domain, including:

    • Protecting security information systems and infrastructure
    • Detecting, countering, recovering, and preventing cyber incidents
    • Ensuring availability and integrity of data resources
    • Assessing security risk across information systems

    Your learning will be reinforced with practical, hands-on projects with industry partners, giving you several opportunities to apply your skills in real-world settings. A previous background in computer science or cybersecurity is not required to apply. If you have previous coursework in computer science theory and systems, it will take you less time to complete your degree. Once admitted, you will take a placement exam to ensure you have mastery of the foundational concepts to ensure success in the program. If you do not have previous coursework in these subjects, you’ll take four bridge courses that will serve as a foundation for your cybersecurity courses. Passing the bridge courses with a 3.0 GPA is required to continue on in the program. 12 Courses (48 Credits)

    Cybersecurity Coursework Requirements - 12 Courses – 48 Credits

    • COMP 3006 Python Software Development
    • COMP 3356 Introductory C/C++ Programming
    • COMP 3361 Operating Systems
    • COMP 3731 Computer Forensics
    • COMP 4455 Shell Scripting and System Tools
    • COMP 4384 Secure Software Engineering
    • COMP 4621 Computer Networking
    • COMP 4721 Computer Security
    • COMP 4722 Network Security
    • COMP 4723 Ethical Hacking
    • COMP 3722/4732 Human-Centered Data Security and Privacy
    • COMP 4799 Capstone Project* 4 credits

     

    Cybersecurity Development Coursework Requirements - 8 Credits from a combination of the following:

    • COMP 3904 Internship/Co-Op* in Computing 1-8 credits
    • COMP 4991 Independent Study 1-8 credits
    • COMP 4995 Independent Research 1-8 credits

     

    *Internship/Co-Op is no longer a requirement but is allowed to substitute for COMP 4799 Capstone Project

     

    Choose from a variety of electives, including: Introduction to Databases, Advanced Data Structures and Algorithms, Data Privacy, Data Mining, Network Administration, Applied Cryptography, IoT Security, and various special topics courses. Bridge (12 credits if required)

    • COMP 3003 Bridge Course I: Computer Organization
    • COMP 3004 Bridge Course II: Discrete Math/Algorithm
    • COMP 3005 Bridge Course III: Python Programming I

     

    With an impressive mix of full-time university faculty, you’ll learn from instructors who are on the front lines of cybersecurity.

  • Career

    As concerns escalate across all sectors of the U.S. economy – corporate, nonprofit, government – about cyberattacks and cyber warfare, the cybersecurity field is booming.  Cybersecurity professionals are in high demand, commanding an average salary of $116,000. Yet, a large talent gap continues to persist in the field, with a projected  1.8 million unfilled openings globally by 2022 There is no better time to consider a career to cybersecurity.  After completing your MS in Cybersecurity, you’ll be prepared for a range of rapidly growing positions, including roles in security planning and strategy, programming, and analysis with titles such as Security Analyst, Information Security Engineer, or Threat Intelligence Analyst. With projected job growth of 74% in the field, you’ll be well positioned to meet the growing demand.

  • Tuition & Financial Aid

    Tuition for all students in the MS in Cybersecurity degree is reduced from the full rate of tuition and is calculated on a per credit hour basis. For the 2018-2019 academic year, DU’s cost per credit hour is $1,426. Thus, the cost per credit hour for the MS in Cybersecurity is $713.

    At this rate, tuition for the full MS in Cybersecurity degree in 2019-2020 is roughly $34,224-$45,632 depending on the number of bridge classes needed as determined by the admitted student’s performance on a pre-assessment prior to enrollment.

    Federal student loans are available for domestic students. As tuition is already reduced on a per credit hour basis for all admitted students, we do not provide additional scholarships, assistantships or financial assistance.

    Credit Hours Full Tuition MS Cybersecurity Tuition Amount of Reduction
    1 $1,426 $713 $713
    4 $5,704 $2,852 $2,852
    8 $11,408 $5,704 $5,704
    12 $17,112 $8,556 $8,556
    16 $17,112 $11,408 $5,704
     

Ready to learn more?

Submit an Inquiry

It's a sense of pride to be able to impact a field as it grows.

Heather McPherson, Alum

FAQ's about the MS in Cybersecurity

General

  • When does the program start? Can I begin anytime?

    The MS in Cybersecurity program. only starts in the Fall quarter. The courses are sequence in such a way that it is only possible to begin the program in the fall.

  • When are classes held? Are there weekend classes?

    The program is designed for working professionals with all classes being held between 5-9 PM on weeknights. There are no classes held on the weekend.

  • What is the average class size?

    The average class size for the program is 15-20 students.

  • What makes your Cybersecurity program different?

    First, our program is open to analytically minded students from diverse academic backgrounds, not just computer science. As cyberattacks become more sophisticated, leaders in industry and government have emphasized the need for professionals who not only have technical aptitude, but can also contextualize the greater social, global, and political context in which these threats occur. As part of a liberal arts university, our program prepares students to assume positions of leadership with an understanding of the broad and complex nature of cybersecurity.

    Second, our program trains you to think strategically about cybersecurity challenges and devise innovative solutions. Many programs will teach students technical skills only. However, these skills will likely become obsolete as technology evolves. Our program not only prepares you with the technical fundamentals you need, but also the ability to think strategically about the cyber threats companies, organizations and governments face and ask the right questions, even as the technology changes.

  • What kind of job opportunities will be available to me with an MS in Cybersecurity?

    A few job titles potentially available to graduates of the MS in Cybersecurity program include incident responder, security analyst, penetration tester, security architect, software engineer, security consultant, and threat intelligence analyst.

    Job duties for these roles may include security planning, security strategy, programming, debugging, source code version control, and malware analysis.

Program

  • How long does it take to complete the program?

    Full-time students can complete the programs in 18-24 months depending on the bridge courses.

  • How many credit hours are required to earn the MS in Cybersecurity degree?

    For MS in Cybersecurity students who require the bridge courses, it is 64 credit hours. For students who do not require the bridge courses, the degree is 48 credit hours.

  • How many credits do I need to be considered full-time? Can I enroll part-time?

    Students have the option of enrolling full or part-time. Full-time enrollment status in a graduate program is achieved by taking a minimum of 8 credit hours per quarter.

  • Is it possible to work while enrolled in the master’s programs?

    Yes. It is recommended that students take no more than 8 credit hours per quarter if they intend to continue working. Upon accepting an offer of admission, the student should discuss plans of study with their faculty advisor.

  • What if I did not major in Computer Science or a STEM field?

    A degree in Computer Science is not required. However, candidates that do not have a background in computer science will be required to complete bridge courses providing foundational computer science coursework OR pass a pre-assessment exam before continuing to the 48 credit hours of master’s coursework.

  • When are the bridge courses offered?

    The bridge coursework will be offered in in the fall and winter quarters for the program. All incoming students are either required to test out of the bridge coursework or pass these courses with at least a 3.0 GPA.

  • Will I be required to take the pre-assessment?

    If a student feels they have the background necessary to test out of the bridge classes, they may opt to take the pre-assessment exam. There are generally three outcomes from the pre-assessment. Admitted students may 1) test out of the bridge coursework entirely, 2) test out of one to two of the four bridge courses, or 3) demonstrate that they need all require all four of the bridge courses.

    If a student knows they need the bridge courses, they are not required to take the pre-assessment and may proceed immediately to enrolling in bridge coursework.

Applications and Admissions

  • Do you require the GRE or GMAT for admission?

    Proof of quantitative ability is required as part of the application process. The following can be submitted as evidence of quantitative ability: GRE scores, GMAT scores with a request for GRE waiver, or a GRE Waiver Request.

  • Is there a minimum GRE or GMAT Score for admission?

    On the GRE, competitive applicants earn a score of at least 156 on the quantitative section and at least a 2 on the analytical writing section.

  • How do I know if I would qualify for a GRE waiver?

    The MS in Cybersecurity program will only consider GRE waivers on a case-by-case basis once all other application requirements are satisfied. Faculty reviewing an application must be confident in an applicant’s potential for success in a program based on past academic performance and thus must consider an application holistically before evaluating waiver requests. Students interested in a GRE waiver should email kevin.alt@du.edu for more information about the GRE waiver requirements.

  • Is there an application deadline?

    The application deadline for Fall 2020-2021 is August 15th, 2020. Late applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis, provided space is still available.

  • Is there a minimum GPA?

    The minimum undergraduate GPA for admission consideration for graduate study at the University of Denver is a cumulative 2.5 on a 4.0 scale or a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits (approximately two years of work) for the baccalaureate degree. An earned master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution supersedes the minimum standards for the baccalaureate. For applicants with graduate coursework but who have not earned a master’s degree or higher, the GPA from the graduate work may be used to meet the requirement. The minimum GPA is a cumulative 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all graduate coursework undertaken.

    Students with lower GPAs will need to demonstrate quantitative ability and success elsewhere in their applications to be admitted.

  • From whom should I get letters of recommendation?

    It is best to obtain letters of recommendation from professors or professionals who know you well. For recent graduates, ask for recommendation letters from former professors that can speak to your academic abilities as well as your character. For individuals entering the program with years of work experience, letters of recommendation from professionals who have worked with. Applicants do not provide the actual letters of recommendation, but list their references contact information and we send the references a form to fill out.

  • Can I defer my admission if necessary?

    Deposited students can request a one-time change deferment to the following start term of his/her intended enrollment for up to one academic year. Contact the Kevin Alt at kevin.alt@du.edu for more information about changing your admissions term.

  • What is the application fee?

    The application fee is $65.

  • Do you grant application fee waivers?

    We can grant application fee waivers to current DU alumni, veterans and active duty military.

  • What if I do not have a bachelor’s degree?

    Applicants must hold an earned baccalaureate from a regionally accredited college or university or the recognized equivalent from an international institution. Applicants who are in the process of completing their degree are eligible for admission so long as their bachelor’s degree is conferred prior to the start of the master’s program.

Tuition and Financial Aid

International Applications

  • Do you require TOEFL or IELTS?

    Official scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) assessment are required of all graduate applicants, regardless of citizenship status, whose native language is not English or who have been educated in countries where English is not the native language. We are currently accepting Duolingo as proof of English language as well. Please see DU’s English proficiency requirements for more information.

  • Do you offer provisional acceptance to applicants who have not achieved the minimum TOEFL or IELTS score?

    In cases where minimum TOEFL/IELTS scores were not achieved or no English proficiency test was taken, we may offer English Conditional Admission (ECA) to academically qualified non-native English speakers. Such applicants must enroll in DU’s English Language Center to meet the English language requirement prior to beginning the MS in Cybersecurity program curriculum. English language training at centers outside of DU will not be counted toward meeting English language proficiency requirements. International applicants with a three-year baccalaureate degree or any other academic deficiencies cannot be granted English Conditional Admission.

  • What is OPT?

    Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a work benefit allowed to international students in F-1 immigration status who are enrolled in, or completing a degree program in the U.S. This employment can be used pre-completion of studies, over the annual vacation or leave term, or post-completion of studies, after the student finishes the degree. For more information on OPT, please visit DU’s International Student & Scholars Services OPT website.

  • Will I be eligible for OPT?

    F-1 students who have been enrolled for a minimum of nine months are eligible for up to twelve (12) months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) work authorization by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). Employment under OPT must be directly related to a student's field of study and appropriate to the level of education.

  • Is this degree eligible for the OPT STEM extension?

    Yes. Eligible F-1 students with STEM degrees who finish their program of study and participate in an initial period of regular post-completion OPT (often for 12 months) have the option to apply for a STEM OPT extension. The STEM OPT extension is a 24-month period of temporary training that directly relates to an F-1 student's program of study in an approved STEM field. On May 10, 2016, this extension effectively replaced the previous 17-month STEM OPT extension.

Application Information

Take the first step toward your academic career at the Ritchie School and start your application today!

Fall 2022 Final Deadline