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MS Cybersecurity

Offered Online

 NSA LogoDHS Symbol


The Master of Science in Cybersecurity: A Professional Science Master’s degree is a fully online program that uniquely combines technical courses, MBA-level business courses and real-world experience. Prepare for advancement in the cyber industry by gaining more experience in security management, risk analysis, network protocols, incident response, encryption algorithms, ethical hacking, intrusion detection and much more.  

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have designated CSUSM as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.

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Information Sessions

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New cohorts begin every fall semester.

Application and document deadline:

  • Fall 2020: Feb. 19, 2020

View application instructions.

Fall 2020 Application

  • Recognized by NSA and DHS

    CSUSM was designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security

  • No GRE required

    No GRE is required to apply for this fully online program that can be completed part time in five semesters

  • Play in the sandbox

    Gain hands-on experience and practice real cyber defense within a secure network with opportunities to work in the sandbox

  • No thesis required

    Program culminates with a Semester-in-Residence project where you work with a biotech company to address a real-world issue, project or problem

Program Details


    How to Apply

    Refresher Course

    Do you need a refresher before starting the program? Sign up for CSUSM’s Cyber Boot Camp, a fully online 10-week program designed to prepare you for this program.

    Interested in only taking select cyber courses? Complete the Cyber a la Carte form and a faculty member will reach out to you soon.

    Admission Requirements

    • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or equivalent education background
    • Applicants with a baccalaureate degree in a related field may be able to meet prerequisites with equivalent work experience in computer science and will be considered for conditional admission
    • Admission requires a minimum of 3.0 GPA in upper-division computer science courses and at least a 2.5 undergraduate GPA in the last 60 semester units (or last 90 quarter units) attempted
    • One official transcript from each academic institution attended
    • A personal statement describing reasons for pursuing this program
    • Résumé or curriculum vitae
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • No GRE required to apply

    Please note: To be considered for admission you must reside in an approved state.


    The review committee looks for courses in:

    Operating Systems

    • Overall understanding of operating system design
    • Familiarity with the topics of process coordination and scheduling, interface devices, memory and device management


    • Overall understanding of communication network design
    • Familiarity with the general topics of network architectures and protocols

    Software Engineering

    • Overall understanding of programming paradigms and programming constructs in object-oriented languages such as C++
    • Knowledge of the important features and concerns of programming languages in common use today
    • Practical understanding of the basic principles and applications of software engineering, including process models and objected oriented analysis

    Please view the Work Experience Questions for Applicants to see if your work experience will satisfy some or all of the required prerequisites.


    Semester Units* Subtotal**

    Fall Semester 1



    Spring Semester 1 9


    Summer Semester 1 3


    Fall Semester 2 9


    Spring Semester 2 8


    Total 38 $31,350

    *Unit rate for this program is $825

    **University semester fees not included. View complete breakdown of Extended Learning fees. Semester tuition subtotals based on sample program sequence. All quoted tuition rates are based on previous academic years and are subject to change without notice.

    Funding and Financial Aid

    • This program is eligible for financial aid
    • Visit the Extended Learning funding page or call 760-750-4850 to learn more about your funding options
    • Federal VA educational benefits can be used for this program (not eligible for Cal Vet fee waiver)
    • Active duty military, veterans and dependents should visit the military services page or call 760-750-8705

    View course descriptions and specific program requirements on the Cybersecurity Catalog Page

    Sample Schedule for Fall Start

    Semester Course (units)

    Fall Semester 1

    MCS 500 (2)

    MCS 511 (3)

    MIS 522 (2)

    MGMT 521 (2)

    Spring Semester 1

    MCS 510 (3)

    MIS 622 (3)

    MATH 503 (3)

    Summer Semester 1 MIS 621 (3)
    Fall Semester 2

    MCS 512 (4)

    MCS 610 (4)

    MCS 680A (1)

    Spring Semester 2

    MCS 611 (4)

    MCS 680B (4)

    Schedule is subject to change.

  • FAQ

    What is a cohort?

    A cohort is a group of students who work through a curriculum together to achieve the same academic degree. Because they are accepted into the same program, take their classes together and graduate together, students in cohorts tend to form a strong support system and professional network that benefit them during their degree program and beyond.

    What is the Semester-in-Residence?

    The Semester-In-Residence (SIR) program helps you put your coursework in action by working with a cybersecurity business to address a real-world issue, project or problem. The SIR functions as a capstone experience in lieu of a master’s thesis.

    What does my personal statement need to address?

    The personal statement helps determine if work experience and prerequisites satisfy program requirements. Based on your experience, you may be able to waive, or need to take, Cyber Preparation Modules.

    What services do you offer to active military, veterans and dependents?

    Please visit our military and veteran services page to learn how we can help you with VA benefits, campus resources, financial aid and more.


“There is no sitting in a hole and hoping no one will attack you. As they say in the industry, it’s not a matter of ‘if,’ it’s a matter of ‘when.’ We need many more smart people in the mix, we need fresh ideas and we need across-the-board collaboration.”




“If your goal is to become an information security officer, you need to be able to understand the business side of the house and to be able to communicate with the C-suite about security. You need to know what is important to them and how to frame the conversations with that in mind. The ability to convey technical concepts with nontechnical language is an asset in this field.”

– Chelsea Power

Graduate; Information Security Analyst, CSUSM

– Chelsea Power

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How to Apply