Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership

Get Your Degree in 20 Months

Mitigate cyber security threats and become a leader in your organization with this fully online Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership.

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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 cyber security roles, as well as those interested in pursuing a career in cyber security, including:

  • Professionals with a background in information technology, information systems and/or computer science.
  • Those who have technology or cyber security industry experience.
  • Those in a variety of private business sectors, government, military and law enforcement.

Anyone interested in gaining a deep understanding of cyber security 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.


Innovative Curriculum

The USD Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership program features an innovative curriculum dedicated exclusively to critical aspects of cyber security.

Anyone interested in a comprehensive course of study in cyber security 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.


Program Goals

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 cyber security needs and priorities to key stakeholders throughout their organization.

Close Collaboration with Cyber Security Stakeholders

Our MS-CSOL program strives to collaborate with important stakeholders in the cyber security 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 cyber security education is taught by offering an innovative, immersive program that inspires students to realize their full potential as lifelong learners and cyber security leaders.


Tuition

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.


Financial Aid

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.

Learn More About Financial Aid at USD


Accreditation

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.


Awards

  • 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 Cyber Security

The global epidemic of cyber crime has triggered a worldwide effort to beef up cyber security at organizations across all industries. This means employers are paying top dollar for cyber security professionals who possess the needed skills, experience and education.

The cyber security 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 cyber security.


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!

Speak to an Enrollment Advisor  


 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.

Learn More About Earning Your Master’s Degree Online at University of San Diego


 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are classes scheduled to accommodate working professionals?
The fully online M.S. in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership degree program was designed specifically with the working professional in mind. Online courses can be completed on your own schedule (as long as deadlines are met). 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 cyber security industry.

Does the degree have to be completed within 20 months?
The fully online M.S. in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership degree program is designed to be completed in 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 that 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.

Is the cyber security master's degree offered fully online or are there some on-campus requirements?
The M.S. in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership degree program is fully online. University of San Diego offers two master’s degree programs in cyber security. The Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership is 100% online and the Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering is fully on campus.

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

Will my degree be conferred differently from an on-campus program?
The degree conferred 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.

Does the Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership 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 cyber security leader/professional.

Who will benefit the most from this program? Will I be a good fit for the program?
The program was designed specifically to help foster the next generation of cyber security leaders, regardless of where they may fall within the cyber security spectrum. This cyber security master’s degree program was designed specifically to serve the needs of a diverse set of individuals who are currently in cyber security roles as well as those interested in pursuing a career in cyber security.

Many of our students are existing cyber security professionals who are hoping to take the next step within their career. For those students, our degree program offers the security concepts, topics, theories and leadership skills necessary to be considered for C-level positions. For students with less experience, who may be at an earlier juncture in their cyber security professional career, or for those switching careers from more traditional IT roles, our degree program offers the education required to quickly advance into your desired career.

Center for Cyber Security Engineering and Technology

The University of San Diego’s Center for Cyber Security Engineering and Technology (CCSET) is designed to develop and coordinate opportunities for world-class education, research, and service to address threats to information systems. CCSET assists business, government, law enforcement, and private citizens to better prepare and respond to highly motivated, highly trained adversaries who are responsible for billions in lost revenue each year; catastrophic disruptions in service; terrorism and activism; a dark web of criminal activity; and constant peril to critical infrastructure.

*Tuition amounts shown here, or in other university publications or web pages, represent tuition and fees as currently approved. However, University of San Diego reserves the right to increase or modify tuition and fees without prior notice and to make such modifications applicable to students enrolled at USD at that time as well as to incoming students. In addition, all tuition amounts and fees are subject to change at any time for correction of errors.
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