Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity

The Department of Computer Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with the Department of Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering and the Department of Information Systems and Analysis, College of Business offer an online and on-campus 15–hour Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity tools and techniques protect devices, data, and even property from eavesdropping, altering, and destroying. In recent years, with the development of 'Internet of Things', virtual currency, and mobile apps connecting with social networks and personal information, demand has exploded for skilled cybersecurity analysts by individuals, enterprises, industries, and government.

Cybersecurity Jobs

According to ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association), a non-profit information security advocacy group, there will be a global shortage of two million cybersecurity professionals by 2019.

The average salary for a cybersecurity engineer is between $110,000 and $160,000. Skilled candidates are more able to negotiate salary, benefits, and perks such as working more remotely than in the past.

Our 'Cybersecurity' certificate program will provide skills to work as system/network/data/web/app analysts or designers in diverse employment sectors including:

  • IT
  • finance
  • government
  • military
  • manufacturing
  • e-commerce
  • transportation
  • health care
  • insurance
  • education
  • environmental management and more



In addition to the skills that students typically learn, graduates of this program will be able to:
  • Communicate effectively their knowledge about
  • Develop software code for vulnerabilities detection and their
  • Understand the technology necessary for risk management and
  • Design secure software and

Cybersecurity Certificate Courses

Required Courses

The Graduate Cybersecurity certificate entails the completion of the following requirements (five courses, 15 hours):

  • CPSC 5361 Secure Software Engineering
  • CPSC 5363 Cyber Security
  • COSC 5345 Computer Networks Security
  • ELEN 5307 Communication Networks
  • MISY 5325 Cybersecurity Management

Students with non-computer related degrees or who have no experience in programming will be required to complete:

  • COSC 4304 Programming for Graduate Students
  • Or the student may take the equivalency exam for COSC 4304 (credit by exam with an administrative fee of $75). Students who pass the exam, with a "B" grade or above, do not have to take the pre-requisite course.

Required Course Descriptions

CPSC 5361 Secure Software Engineering
This course covers five main secure software engineering topics: security (such as prevent code, XPath, LDAP injections, etc.), defensive programming (such as minimize the scope of variables, accessibility of classes and methods, etc.), reliability (such as properly encode relationships in declarations, do not use assertions to verify the absence of runtime errors, etc.), program understandability (such as avoid ambiguous overloading of variable arity methods, avoid in-band error indicators, etc.), programmer misconceptions (such as correct declaration and usage of variables, do not attempt to help the garbage collector by setting local reference variables to null, etc.). It is recommended to be already familiar with an object-oriented programming language (such as Java or C++).

CPSC 5363 Cyber Security
This course covers the principles of computer systems security. Topics include: network attacks and defenses, operating system holes, application security (web, email, databases, etc.), viruses, privacy, and the security issues on some hot topics, such as smart grid and internet of things. Two course projects focus on understanding the nature of new treats and building reliable code, respectively.

COSC 5345 Computer Networks Security
This is an introductory course in fundamental concepts and principles in the areas of computer and network security, including public and private key cryptographic algorithms and their applications, authentication protocols, hash functions, network access control mechanisms, network attack techniques and methods to defend against them, characteristics of typical security architectures and protocols.

ELEN 5307 Communication Networks
This course focuses on computer network communications and aims to prepare students with knowledge necessary for the further study of relevant cybersecurity problems. Particularly, this course discusses data communications and computer networks from a top-down approach. In addition, this course discusses network-based applications and layered network architectures. It develops fundamental concepts of computer and communication networks and show how these concepts are embodied in advanced network architectures such as TCP/IP.

MISY 5325 Cybersecurity Management
Students enrolled in this course will examine the security functions in a system and describe relevant strengths and weaknesses. they will acquire knowledge necessary to define and implement a security program for the protection of an organization's systems and data, assess the effectiveness of security program applications and analyze potential security risks. Students will be exposed to business cases from the healthcare industry that discuss security vulnerabilities emanating from outside as well as within a healthcare organization such as hospitals, physician networks, pharmaceutical firms and insurance companies. Students will learn to use SAS security analytics programs to conduct data-driven analysis of metrics associated with security risks and prediction of future risk events.

COSC 4304 Programming for Graduate Students
This is an accelerated introductory computer programming course using a high-level programming language. Topics include algorithms, pseudocode, structured techniques of problem solving and program design, data structures, sorting, searching and object-oriented design. Prior programming experience is not needed but is highly recommended.