DU Cyber Security MS Curriculum (students beginning Fall 2021)

Program Overview

Given how quickly technology evolves, our program focuses on teaching you how to think strategically, ask the right questions and address cybersecurity challenges in any context. Courses in the MS in Cybersecurity provide you with comprehensive understanding and tools across the cybersecurity domain, including:

  • Protecting security information systems and infrastructure
  • Detecting, countering, recovering, and preventing cyber incidents
  • Ensuring availability and integrity of data resources
  • Assessing security risk across information systems
  • Programming languages relevant to cybersecurity and problem solving

Your learning will be reinforced with practical, hands-on projects with industry partners, giving you several opportunities to apply your skills in real-world settings. A previous background in computer science or cybersecurity is not required to apply. If you have previous coursework in computer science theory and systems, it will take you less time to complete your degree. Once admitted, you will take a placement exam to ensure you have mastery of the foundational concepts to ensure success in the program. If you do not have previous coursework in these subjects, you’ll take four bridge courses that will serve as a foundation for your cybersecurity courses. Passing the bridge courses with a 3.0 GPA is required to continue on in the program. 12 Courses (48 Credits)

Cybersecurity Coursework Requirements - Ten Courses – 44 Credits

An overview of our cybersecurity program is given below. For most courses, details are available at the link(s) specified.

(note: courses listed in the recommended order students will take them in)

Introductory Bridge Courses (12 credits if required)

Our bridge courses are intended to give students with limited computer science background an introduction to computer organization, programming, and related math required for the cyber security degree program. It is infeasible to gain the equivalent of a 4 year bachelors degree in computer science in just two quarters (20 weeks), so our bridge courses give students the fundamentals that they will build on throughout the rest of the program.

Please note that incoming students that test out of bridge courses are encouraged to delay their start time until they get on the same schedule as the rest of their cohort. In other words, if an incoming students tests out of COMP 3005 and 3003, their best course of action would be to delay their program start until Winter of year 1. This allows students to progress through the program with a group of their peers. It also avoids issues of taking courses out of sequence (such as taking networking in Fall of year 1, where many of the pre-requisites are missing at that point).

Course TitleQuarter TakenDetails
COMP 3005 Bridge Course I: Python IFall year 1COMP-3001
COMP 3003 Bridge Course III: Computer OrganizationFall year 1COMP-3003
COMP 3004 Bridge Course IV: Discrete Math/AlgorithmWinter year 1COMP-3004

Program-Specific Courses

Course TitleQuarter TakenDetails
COMP 3006 Python Programming IIWinter year 1COMP-3006
COMP 4721 Computer SecuritySpring year 1COMP-4721
COMP 4455 Shell Scripting and System ToolsSpring year 1COMP-4455
COMP 3356 C/C++ ProgrammingSummer year 1COMP-3356
COMP 3361 Operating SystemsSummer year 1COMP-3361
COMP 4621 Computer NetworkingFall year 2COMP-4621
COMP 4384 Secure Software EngineeringFall year 2COMP-4384
COMP 4732 Human-Centered Data Security and PrivacyWinter year 2COMP-4732
COMP 4723 Ethical HackingWinter year 2COMP-4723
COMP 3731 Computer ForensicsSpring year 2COMP-3731
COMP 4722 Network SecuritySpring year 2COMP-4722
COMP 4799 Capstone ProjectSummer year 2COMP-4799

The program includes cybersecurity Development Coursework Requirements - 4-12 Credits1 from a combination of the following:

  • COMP 4995 Independent Research 1-8 credits
  • COMP 4991 Independent Study 1-8 credits
  • COMP 4799 Capstone Project2 4 credits

The intention of the Capstone project is for students to work in the cybersecurity industry as an intern or full-time employee. The Capstone itself culminates in a report detailing the student’s journey from the start of the program through on-the-job experience or other experience (projects/research). In the case that an internship is not possible (none found or not desired), independent study or other elective courses may take the place of an internship. However all students must complete the Capstone report. Non-internship Capstone’s will be determined appropriate by the department and/or the student’s major advisor.

While the courses listed above are the recommended cybersecurity curriculum, on a case-by-base basis students may choose to substitute certain courses from a variety of electives, including: Introduction to Databases, Advanced Data Structures and Algorithms, Data Privacy, Data Mining, Network Administration, Cryptography, IoT Security, and various special topics courses. Restrictions apply; a maximum of two courses from the curriculum may be substituted with appropriate electives1. Some courses not applicable for substitution.

With an impressive mix of full-time university faculty, you’ll learn from instructors who are on the front lines of cybersecurity.

DU Program Overview

This site provides additional details for the MS Cyber Security program. DU maintains this information on the main computer science site here: Main University Program Site

  1. A maximum of two required courses may be replaced by independent study, independent research, or another course deemed appropriate by the student’s degree advisor ↩︎

  2. Capstone Project – Required ↩︎