On-Campus Online

Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering

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At a Glance

Earn your master’s degree online or on campus in just 20 months to position yourself for success in cybersecurity engineering.

Summer, Fall and Spring Start Dates

20 Months
30 Units
September 3
August 2
20 Months
30 Units
September 3
August 2


Students are admitted throughout the year for admission into one of three semesters (Spring, Summer and Fall). Each semester two courses are offered, with students focusing intensively on one course at a time – a total of seven weeks for each course.


Cyber Security Engineering for Real-World Applications

This Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering (MS-CSE) provides essential knowledge and skills training for information security practitioners (public or private) who work to protect the safety and prosperity of companies, communities and the nation.

Offered through USD’s Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the MS-CSE program has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity by the federal government. Colleges and universities that receive this designation have met rigorous requirements and are recognized for a robust curriculum that is aligned with the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework.

This program emphasizes a mission-centric focus while engaging students in academically rigorous training on the engineering aspects of software and hardware security. It is designed for industry professionals and bachelor-prepared students who want to effect positive change by developing and deploying engineering solutions to mitigate cybersecurity threats.

The MS-CSE master’s degree program is distinguished by:


Average annual salary with a cybersecurity master’s degree, according to ZipRecruiter.


Percentage of cybersecurity professionals contacted weekly by recruiters, regardless of whether they are actively looking for a job.


Number of months it takes to earn your cybersecurity master’s degree through the University of San Diego.


Inside the University of San Diego Cybersecurity Degree Programs

Who Enrolls in the Cybersecurity Engineering Master’s Degree Program?

Our Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering program is ideal for bachelor-prepared students who are currently working in a wide range of cybersecurity roles or aspiring to work as a security engineer.

It is especially ideal for those with an engineering background who wish to effect positive change by developing and deploying engineering solutions to safeguard systems and networks, and mitigate cybersecurity threats.

Anyone interested in gaining a deep understanding of cybersecurity engineering concepts, theories and threat mitigation strategies will benefit from this program, which is designed to be an invaluable asset for career advancement.

Applicants come from varying backgrounds and fields including:

  • Traditional educational paths
  • Technology industries
  • The military
  • The intelligence community
  • Government organizations
  • Private industry
  • Law
  • Ecommerce
  • Private and public safety agencies


This program provides good guidance to help cyber security engineers think beyond their day to day tasks and look at the bigger picture. It also helps them to plan longer term strategy with direction to effectively deal with cyber threats.

How to Apply

Get a closer look at the application process with detailed instructions about on how to apply for your career-building cybersecurity master’s degree program.

Asian women sitting at desk with laptop smiling at the camera

Cybersecurity Careers

The global epidemic of cybercrime has triggered a worldwide effort to beef up cybersecurity at organizations across all industries. The cybersecurity job market is booming, with employers paying top dollar for cybersecurity professionals who possess the needed skills, experience and education.

Information Security Analyst

  • Avg. Salary:
Lead Software Security Engineer

  • Avg. Salary:
Security Architect

  • Avg. Salary:
Chief Information Security Officer

  • Avg. Salary:
Information Security Crime Investigator

  • Avg. Salary:

Salary data from employment websites including Indeed, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, PayScale, Salary and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Admissions (Earn Your Degree in 20 Months)

Getting Started with Your Cybersecurity Engineering Master’s Degree Application

Students are admitted throughout the year for admission into one of three semesters (Spring, Summer and Fall). Each semester two courses are offered, with students focusing intensively on one course at a time – a total of seven weeks for each course.

Admission application packets are accepted on a rolling basis. For details on specific requirements needed for admission, please visit our Admissions page.

If you are interested but do not meet all of the published admissions requirements, please contact an enrollment advisor.

Or, if you are ready to apply, we make it easy to start your application process.

Academic Calendar

Degree candidates are admitted throughout the year to begin their program during one of three semesters (spring, summer and fall). Students take two courses during each 14-week semester, focusing on one 7-week course at a time. Most of our master’s degree programs can be completed in 5 semesters (20 months).


The University of San Diego’s Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering degree program features an innovative, hands-on curriculum focused on critical aspects of cybersecurity.

Students will learn about digital and network forensics, the technical considerations for incident response and continuity planning, and much more. The program places students in simulated contestant cyber environments where they will perform system assessments, potentially on solutions they have engineered, and understand the various types of penetrations an adversary might attempt on an information system. The goal is a real-world experience in which cybersecurity engineering knowledge and skills can be applied and dynamic settings where innovation and problem-solving are required.

The program also features a Capstone project in which graduate students do hands-on project work that becomes part of an online portfolio showcasing their master’s degree experience.

Courses you will take


Where Our Graduates Work

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Program Goals

Core program goals for the University of San Diego’s online Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering include:


The University of San Diego’s high-quality academic programs are regionally accredited by the Western Association of Colleges and Schools.


All of the instructors in the Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering program are experienced instructor practitioners who hold advanced degrees in the fields of Computer Science, Engineering, Information Technology and Information Assurance/Cybersecurity.

Haydar Majeed
Haydar Majeed, MS
Academic Director and Professor of Practice
Headshot of Rufus Gant
Rufus Gant, MS
Adjunct Professor
Headshot of Mark Heckman
Mark Heckman, PhD
Professor of Practice
Headshot of Lynn Hijar Hoffman
Lynn Hijar Hoffman, MS
Adjunct Professor
Headshot of Doug Magedman
Doug Magedman, MS
Adjunct Professor
Headshot of Dan Ostermiller
Dan Ostermiller, MS, MBA, MAS
Adjunct Professor

Funding Your Graduate Degree

Your graduate degree is an investment in your future that pays for itself. Tuition is competitive with other top institutions and federal financial aid can help you fund your degree program.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Find helpful information on tuition and financial aid.

Scholarships & grants

Discover possible additional sources of funding to help pay for your degree.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are classes scheduled to accommodate working professionals?

Yes. The Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering degree program is designed specifically with working professionals in mind, offering both on-campus and online options for maximum convenience.

The online program can be completed on your own schedule (as long as deadlines are met). The on-campus program typically meets twice a week (Monday and Wednesday, or Tuesday and Thursday) with classes scheduled after 6 p.m.

It is important to note that all of our professors are industry practitioners, meaning that they have a significant amount of experience and are often well-respected leaders within the cybersecurity industry.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The program is designed to be completed in 20 months.

Does the program have to be completed within 20 months?

The curriculum schedule functions on a rotational system, meaning that if a student skips a course they will have to wait for the rotation to complete before jumping back in. We encourage individuals who are interested in the program to speak with an enrollment advisor or to work with their program coordinator, who is available to help every step of the way.

How long is each course?

Each course lasts a total of seven weeks with the only exception being introductory courses, which are 14 weeks. Students take two courses each semester, focusing intensively on one course at a time.

Who will benefit the most from this program?

This advanced degree program was designed specifically to help train the next generation of cybersecurity engineers.

For those already working in cybersecurity and looking to take the next step in their career, this is an academically rigorous program — including hands-on coursework utilizing a virtualized Cybersecurity Sandbox — that will prepare you for more advanced positions within the field of cybersecurity engineering.

For students with less experience, who may be at an earlier juncture in their professional career, or for those switching careers from more traditional IT roles, our this program offers a strong and comprehensive foundation, allowing you to quickly advance into your desired career.

Does the program require applicants to take the GRE or GMAT?

No. The admissions committee takes a comprehensive approach when reviewing applications. A GRE or GMAT score is not necessarily a good indicator that someone is, or will be, a successful cybersecurity engineer.

Is it true you offer the MS in Cyber Security Engineering online for students in India? What is the difference?

Yes! We are proud to offer the MS in Cyber Security Engineering from the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering to students who wish to study online in India. These students will get the same credential as an on-campus student or an online student in the US. The curriculum is just as rigorous and holistic as it is on campus, however it is globalized for the Indian audience so that the coursework applies to both Indian and the international job markets. In addition, to minimize language and cultural barriers the instructors are all from India and hired at the same standard as our campus faculty – with real-world experience and impressive academic backgrounds.

What is the total tuition cost for the MS-CSE program?

The total tuition cost for the MS in Cyber Security Engineering is $38,700. However, if you are required to take the pre-requisite course CYBR 505 that will add an additional 6 units for a total cost of $46,440. Make sure to speak with your enrollment advisor about whether you have the background experience needed to waive that course.

Chart Your Path in Cybersecurity

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