Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership
Cyber Security Operations and Leadership for Real-World Applications
Who Is the CSOL Degree For?
Our online MS-CSOL program is ideal for bachelor-prepared students who are currently working in a wide range of cybersecurity roles, as well as those interested in pursuing a career in cybersecurity, including:
- Professionals with a background in information technology, information systems and/or computer science.
- Those who have technology or cybersecurity industry experience.
- Those in a variety of private business sectors, government, military and law enforcement.
Anyone interested in gaining a deep understanding of cybersecurity concepts, topics and theories, along with leadership skills, will benefit from this program, which is designed to be an invaluable asset for career advancement.
Admissions (Earn Your Degree in 20 Months)
Getting Started with Your 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. A decision will be recommended by the Review Committee within one week of your application being submitted. 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.
The USD Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership program features an innovative curriculum dedicated exclusively to critical aspects of cybersecurity.
Anyone interested in a comprehensive course of study in cybersecurity concepts, topics and theories, along with leadership skills will benefit from this program. Required courses include:
- Foundations of Cyber Security (CSOL 500)
- Applied Cryptography (CSOL 510)
- Secure Systems Architecture (CSOL 520)
- Cyber Security Risk Management (CSOL 530)
- Cyber Security Operational Policy (CSOL 540)
- Management and Cyber Security (CSOL 550)
- Secure Software Design and Development (CSOL 560)
- Network Visualization and Vulnerability Detection (CSOL 570)
- Cyber Intelligence (CSOL 580)
- Cyber Incident Response and Computer Network Forensics (CSOL 590)
- Capstone (CSOL 599)
An immersive career-building educational opportunity designed to be completed fully online in 20 months, this master’s degree program requires students to complete ten three-unit courses and a final Capstone project.
For full course descriptions visit the Curriculum page.
Lifelong Learning Skills
Because adversarial tactics change daily, the professors in this program not only teach state-of-the-art techniques and technologies to defeat adversaries from both theoretical and tactical perspectives — their goal is also to equip students to stay abreast of ongoing changes in threat and mitigation as lifelong learners in the field.
Ability to Lead Organizations in Contested Cyber Environments
The MS in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership focuses on three key areas:
This emphasis on leadership and on understanding the “big picture” is a key differentiator that makes the USD program unique in the nation — as graduates develop the ability to effectively communicate mission-critical cybersecurity needs and priorities to key stakeholders throughout their organization.
Close Collaboration with Cybersecurity Stakeholders
Our MS-CSOL program strives to collaborate with important stakeholders in the cybersecurity community to explore ways to keep the curriculum immediately relevant and to assist in the placement of USD graduates.
The goal is to change the way cybersecurity education is taught by offering an innovative, immersive program that inspires students to realize their full potential as lifelong learners and cybersecurity leaders.
University of San Diego tuition rates are competitive with other leading institutions. The degree you will earn as an online graduate student is the same as that earned by campus-based students. The online courses embody the same learning outcomes and high level of academic excellence, educational rigor and content delivery. Our online master’s degree programs enable you to earn your degree in as little as 20 months.
The cost for each master’s degree program varies by credit hour. The Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership program requires 31 total credit hours. Information on cost per credit for the program can be found on the MS-CSOL Program Snapshot page.
One of University of San Diego’s highest priorities is to ensure that sufficient tuition and financial aid support is available to all eligible students. The first step in applying for aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
In addition to financial aid, the University of San Diego provides assistance in securing additional financial support for students to further their education, including scholarships and grants.
Accreditation is an important quality indicator for college and university degree programs, generally regarded as a stamp of approval that ensures you will be able to apply for financial aid and transfer your credits if you decide to switch schools. Most state universities and private non-profit universities will have a regional accreditation. The University of San Diego has earned both regional and national accreditations. These include:
The WASC Senior College and University Commission – WASC is a regional accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as certifying institutional eligibility for federal funding in a number of programs, including student access to federal financial aid. Learn more about the importance of selecting a regionally accredited program.
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education – NCATE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to accredit programs for the preparation of teachers and other professional school personnel.
- Top 100 nationally ranked university (U.S. News and World Report)
- Recognized as a Community Engagement Institution by the Carnegie Foundation
- Selected as a designated Ashoka Changemaker Campus
Careers in Cybersecurity
The global epidemic of cyber crime has triggered a worldwide effort to beef up cybersecurity at organizations across all industries. This means employers are paying top dollar for cybersecurity professionals who possess the needed skills, experience and education.
The cybersecurity job market is booming, with a projected 3.5 million expected job openings by 2021. U.S. News and World Report lists Information Security Analyst as a top technology job — based on median salary ($95,510), employment rate, growth, stress, work-life balance and job prospects. For these and other reasons, there has never been a better time to start a career in cybersecurity.
Enrollment and Academic Advisors
Applying to a graduate program can be complicated — that’s why our team of advisors is here to help answer all of your questions.
When you first inquire about one of our graduate degree programs, you will be assigned a personal Enrollment Advisor who will be available to answer your questions, help you assess your eligibility for admission and guide you through the application process.
In addition, each of our graduate degree programs has an Academic Advisor, who is responsible for evaluating applications and admitting new students, monitoring your academic progress and providing guidance as needed. Program Advisors also serve as instructors for their respective programs.
Right from the start, you’ll receive support and guidance from experienced advisors who are invested in helping you achieve your education goals!
Online Learning at USD
Designed for busy working professionals who want to earn their master’s degree while balancing the demands of work and family life, the University of San Diego offers convenient, yet rigorous online learning programs achieve your educational goals on your own schedule.
As an online graduate student, you will have access to your classroom at any time and can view your assignments, syllabus and course resources from any computer with internet capability.
The degree you’ll earn as an online graduate student is the same as that earned by campus-based students. The online courses embody the same learning outcomes, educational rigor and high level of academic excellence.