Curriculum Designed for Cyber Security Engineers

The 30-unit program consists of ten courses. Courses are offered year-round with three semesters every year; Spring, Summer, and Fall. Each semester lasts 14 weeks.  Students take two courses per semester. Courses run for seven weeks each with a one or two week break in between semesters. This intensive format allows students to focus on one course at a time and to still complete the degree program in 20 months.

Courses typically meet twice a week, after hours, for three-hour sessions. Additional homework, research, and study time are required. Students are advised to spend 15-18 hours per week in each course in order to be successful.

NOTE: Courses and units/course subject to change until classes start. Some students may be required to take CYBR 505, Computational Roots of Cyber Security, as a prerequisite.

Program Learning Outcomes

The curriculum is designed to achieve the following learning outcomes, in addition to the graduate learning outcomes shared across all of USD’s Master’s level programs. The Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering program provides knowledge and skill in architecting, developing, and fielding secure network solutions against cybersecurity threats. Throughout their studies, students will:

  1. Apply the foundational concepts of cybersecurity and engineering principles to architect, build, and field secure systems.
  2. Analyze a system to determine the security objectives, policies, and threats, and select appropriate and cost-effective controls to mitigate risk.
  3. Perform system security assessments by applying skills in security testing, forensics, incident response, and continuity planning in order to identify potential weaknesses and solutions.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in the use of a scripting language to write simple scripts to automate system administration tasks.
  5. Recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgements in cybersecurity practice based on legal and ethical principles.

Test Out Simulation Lab

TestOut is an online service for students working on certifications. It consists of courses taught through “lab sim (simulation)” with text, videos, labs, and assessments. Each course runs approx. $129-$179.

USD students in the CSE program will be required to utilize TestOut as part of the curriculum. Instead of purchasing TestOut for the proper courses outside of Blackboard, the TestOut online service will be embedded in the Blackboard classroom. As soon as they log into their course, they will have access. The “lab fee” will go towards the student’s tuition. The students will only be required to purchase each course once. So, if Security Pro for TestOut is used in 3 classes, the student only has to pay that lab fee once.

While a student will use portions of the TestOut courses, they will not be required to complete the full course, just the professor prescribed exercises. If they do choose to complete the TestOut course in its entirety on their own time, they will be qualified to sit for different certifications (highlighted below). Once a student accesses a TestOut course, they will have access to it for 24 months.

CYBR 501

Security Pro Test Out Course = $129

Prepares students for:
TestOut Security Pro CompTIA Security+ (SY0-501).

CYBR 502

Ethical Hacker Pro Test Out Course = $179
Prepares students for:

TestOut Ethical Hacker Pro EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker

CYBR 503

Security Pro and Ethical Hacking Pro = $0 (since already charged in CYBR 501/502)
Cyber Defense Pro = $109

Prepares students for:
TesOut CyberDefense Pro Certification
CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) Certification

CYBR 504

Security Pro and Ethical Hacking Pro = $0 (since already charged in CYBR 501/502)

Program Course Curriculum

The MS in Cyber Security Engineering program spans over five different semesters which includes a mandatory orientation course. Each semester is fourteen weeks and is split into two different courses. The first course is seven weeks and the second course is seven weeks. Below is a sample outline of what the span of the MS in Cyber Security program may look like:

Position yourself for the future and contribute to the mitigation of modern threats.

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Building in Security from the Start: Why Cyber Security Engineers Will Soon be in High Demand
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Curriculum