Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Every year the importance of cybersecurity as an educational imperative grows. Cyber attacks on individuals, organizations and critical infrastructure are reported with increasing frequency and urgency, as companies, organizations and governments work tirelessly to minimize the damage caused by data breaches in both the public and private sectors. Cybersecurity is one of today's fastest growing occupations.

Whether you are a working professional or a student, Clarkson's new Master of Science in Cybersecurity prepares you to enter this important and growing field with an advanced understanding of cybersecurity defensive strategies. 

We familiarize students with evolving trends in offensive techniques deployed by attackers and the corresponding evolution in defense, and allow students to gain practical skills with cybersecurity tools.

The cybersecurity program is extremely flexible. It can be completed in person or online. We offer thesis and non-thesis options, too. 

The non-thesis option requires students to complete a cybersecurity project and additional coursework. The thesis option requires students to successfully complete and defend, in front of a faculty committee, original cybersecurity research.

Clarkson’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity is a joint program of the Computer Science and the Electrical and Computer Engineering departments, led by a committee of faculty from both departments who do research and teach in the area of cybersecurity. 

Why Earn an MS in Cybersecurity From Clarkson University?

A master's in cybersecurity from Clarkson can prepare students for a career in cybersecurity or a PhD program. Job opportunities range from cybersecurity analyst to network security engineer to chief information security officer.

The Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty at Clarkson are internationally recognized, with notable teaching and research experience in the cybersecurity realm. 

Our program immerses you in the most recent innovations and strategies. Coursework is experiential, and what you learn in the classroom and in your own research can be applied to the most complex challenges facing the industry today. 

We keep our class sizes small, so our outstanding faculty can give you the personalized guidance needed to help you achieve your goals. You can also tap into Clarkson's extensive and engaged alumni network.

What You'll Learn

Students who complete their degree will:

  • Have an advanced understanding of cybersecurity defensive strategies including strategies for prevention, detection, recovery and response.
  • Be familiar with both the evolving trends in offensive techniques deployed by attackers and the corresponding evolution in defensive strategies that is necessary to counter attackers.
  • Gain practical skills in the use of cybersecurity tools with an emphasis on defensive techniques.

A Master of Science degree at Clarkson requires a minimum of 30 credits.

The semester-based program has a thesis option and non-thesis option. Four core courses are the same for both options:

CS557/EE510 Computer and Network Security
CS556 Cryptography
CS555/EE507 Computer Networks
One security-related 600-level CS course

The CS 600-level courses have a research component. They include a research project (individual or group at the discretion of the instructor), or the reading and discussion of research papers, or both. The inclusion of such a course in the core requirements is a distinguishing feature of our program. 

4 core courses (12 credits)
2 security-related electives (6 credits)
2 credits of seminar (CS707, 708)
A thesis based on cybersecurity research (1-10 credits)
Professional electives (as needed, to bring total to 30 credits)

The thesis option requires a written thesis based on cybersecurity research. The thesis will be examined by a committee of Clarkson faculty and must be defended orally to that committee. 

All students must have a research advisor by the end of their first semester of study and must submit a research proposal to their thesis committee by the end of the semester before they plan to graduate.

Full-time thesis students can expect to complete a degree in four semesters.

4 core courses (12 credits)
4 security-related electives (12 credits)
A cybersecurity project (0-6 credits)
Professional electives (as needed, to bring total to 30 credits)

The non-thesis option requires a cybersecurity project that can be a standalone project done for course credit. It can also be a project done as part of a security-related course or a project done for an internship or at a full-time job. 

Every project must be approved in advance by the program committee. After the project is completed, a written report will be examined by the program committee, or by a faculty member designated by the program committee.

Full-time non-thesis students could expect to complete a degree in three semesters. 

A completed application consists of the following:

  • Online Application Form.
  • Résumé.
  • Statement of purpose.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Official transcripts.
  • GRE test scores.
    • Required. Waivers will be considered.
  • For international applicants, an English proficiency test is required.
    • Minimum test score requirements: TOEFL (80) and TOEFL Essentials (8.5), IELTS (6.5), PTE (56) or Duolingo English Test (115).
    • The English language-testing requirement is not waived based on language of instruction, nor do we accept university certificates. English testing is waived if an applicant has a degree from a country where English is the Native Language. Click here to see the list of these countries.

Applicants are normally expected to have an undergraduate degree in computer science, computer engineering or software engineering. 

At a minimum, applicants should have completed two courses in computer programming, one course covering computer organization topics, and a mathematics course with an emphasis on proofs.

Faculty members in the Department of Computer Science perform research in a broad set of areas, spanning the fields of theory, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, software, systems and networks. Brief details on each faculty member’s research areas and expertise can be found here. Complete details can be found by visiting individual faculty pages.

Career Possibilities

In today's digital landscape, cybersecurity continues to grow in importance across all sectors. With a projected job growth rate of 32 percent, cybersecurity professionals are in high demand and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. For those with a background in computer science or software engineering, a career in cybersecurity can be an exciting, rewarding and impactful career path.

| STEM OPT Eligible

Contact Us

Computer Science Department
Box 5815
Phone: 315-268-2395
Fax: 315-268-2371 

99% Placement Rate - 2023 Graduate School Overall