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 pre-assessment 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 three foundational courses that will serve as a basis for your cybersecurity courses. Passing the foundational courses with a 3.0 GPA is required to continue on in the program. 

    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

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

     

    Foundational Courses - 3 Courses (12 credits if required)

    • COMP 3003 Foundations in Computer Systems
    • COMP 3004 Foundations in Discrete Structures & Algorithms
    • COMP 3005 Foundations in Python Programming

     

    For more information on degree plans and course descriptions, visit DU's Bulletin.  

  • 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 significant talent gap persists in the field, with a projected 1.8 million unfilled openings globally by 2022. There is no better time to consider a career in 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 program is reduced by half from full tuition rates and is calculated on a per credit hour basis.

    For the 2022-2023 academic year, the cost per credit hour for the MS in Cybersecurity is $766.

    Total tuition for the full MS in Cybersecurity degree is roughly $36,768-45,960 depending on the number of foundational classes needed as determined by the admitted student’s performance on a pre-assessment prior to enrollment. Find out additional costs outside of tuition.

    Federal student loans are available for domestic students. More information on financial aid, including private loans for international students can be found on the financial aid website.

    As tuition is already reduced on a per-credit-hour basis for all admitted students, we do not provide additional departmental scholarships, graduate teaching, or graduate research assistantships.

    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 first day of class for fall 2022 is September 12th.

    • 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

    Applications and Admissions

    • Do you require the GRE or GMAT for admission?

      Neither the GRE nor the GMAT is required for admission.

    • Is there an application deadline?

      The final application deadline for fall 2022-2023 is August 15th, 2022.

    • 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 who have not earned a master’s degree or higher, the GPA from the graduate work may be used to meet the requirement.

    • From whom should I get letters of recommendation?

      Letters of recommendation can come from an applicant's professional or academic background. For recent graduates, ask for recommendation letters from former professors who 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 professional colleagues or supervisors.

      Applicants do not provide the actual letters of recommendation. Applicants will list their references' contact information and we will send the references a form to fill out.

    • Can I defer my admission if necessary?

      Deposited students can request a one-time deferment to the following start term.

      For more information about the deferment process, contact Kevin Alt at kevin.alt@du.edu.

    • 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.

    • 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 an OPT STEM extension. The OPT STEM 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.

    Application Information

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

    Fall 2023 Priority Deadline