Comparison of Graduate Degrees and the Certificate Program

Relationship between the M.S. in cybersecurity and the M.S. in computer science
The two degree programs overlap but are different. With appropriate selection of courses, a graduate student in the Department of Computer Science could satisfy the requirements of either M.S. degree, but the two programs have important differences, and a student cannot be in both programs at the same time. The commonalities and differences are highlighted below.


Commonalities

  • Students in both degree programs must take the same three required core courses
  • Both degree programs require 30 credit hours, and both allow for a thesis option
  • Both programs have the same admission requirements and the same scholarship requirements
  • Both degrees allow students in the Computer Security and Information Assurance (CSIA) graduate certificate program to roll their CSIA courses into the M.S. after they have been admitted to either M.S. degree program.


Differences

  • Students in the cybersecurity M.S. program are required to take five cybersecurity courses, whereas students in the computer science M.S. program do not have to take any cybersecurity courses.
  • Students in the cybersecurity M.S. program can take up to 3 courses from outside the Department of Computer Science if, in consultation with and approval of their advisors, the students wish to have a broader perspective of cybersecurity, such as the management, policy and/or legal perspectives. Students in the computer science M.S. program, on the other hand, can only take at most two courses from outside the department, and those courses must generally be technical in nature.
  • Students in the cybersecurity M.S. program must take the course EMSE 6540 Management of Information and Systems Security, from the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, whereas students in the computer science M.S. program do not have to.


Could a student take both M.S. degrees?
Yes, students can take both M.S. degrees, in sequence. With approval of the Department of Computer Science chair and SEAS dean, students may double-count the three required courses toward both degrees. But no other courses can be counted towards both degrees.

Students who have completed one of the two M.S. degrees and wish to go on to the second M.S. degree program must formally apply to the second program. Please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at [email protected] for more information.


Relationship between the M.S. in Cybersecurity and the CSIA Graduate Certificate
Students who are enrolled in or have completed the certificate program in computer security and information assurance (CSIA) may choose to continue their graduate studies and apply to the M.S. in cybersecurity program. Students accepted to this M.S. program may transfer all credits earned from the graduate certificate program. Students who enter the M.S. in cybersecurity program directly may pick up the CSIA graduate certificate any time after completing the requirements of the CSIA.