Master of Science in Cybersecurity

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity.  The MS in Cybersecurity provides a high quality, academically challenging, and career-enriching educational program that is responsive to industry trends, changing standards, and employer needs.  The degree develops students who are highly skilled in the field, technically savvy, and think critically about cybersecurity challenges.  Applications are being accepted.

 

Excellence in cybersecurity

The UNT Center for Information and Cyber Security (CICS) has been designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education and Research. As a center for excellence, our students learn from experts in the field and gain knowledge and skills that have practical applications in industry post-graduation.

Growing industry needs in cybersecurity

Currently, there are an estimated 500,000 cybersecurity jobs unfilled in our country, from management, scientists, architects, and administrators to every kind of technical personnel. The Cybersecurity Jobs Report 2018-2021 predicts that there will be 3.5 million unfilled jobs in cybersecurity by 2021. As new technologies enter every part of daily life, due to lack of expertise, we expect the demand for people with higher degrees will exponentially increase.

Competitive salaries

Companies hiring cybersecurity professionals are also offering lucrative salaries.

  • On average, information security professionals earn $106,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2019). That’s almost three times the national median income for full-time workers in the United States.
  • The Computer Systems Design and Services industry has the highest concentration of cybersecurity jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • As of April 2020, the average annual pay for a Master’s degree in cybersecurity in the United States is $102,037 per year. Based on our students' employment, an MS degree is considered equivalent to 2 years of experience in the industry. Many MS students are hired into leadership roles in the industry after graduation.

Jobs after graduation

After graduation, MS in cybersecurity graduates will be prepared for jobs in secure software development, system test/evaluation, data security analysis, IT security project management, cyber defense analysis, vulnerability assessment, and system security engineering, security architecture, enterprise architecture, and scientific research positions.

Program Requirements

Please review our Requirements for Admission and UNT's Graduate Admission page before you apply.  

All students applying for the Master's program must have completed a 4-year bachelor’s degree.  In addition, international applicants who do not have a previous degree from a U.S. institution must provide proof of English language proficiency (ELP). It is the student’s responsibility to have official scores sent to the University of North Texas Graduate Admissions Office.   If a student has not submitted proof of ELP at the time the application is reviewed, they may be conditionally accepted to the MS program, however, they will be required to provide proof of ELP before they will be permitted to enroll in classes.  If you do not meet the minimum English requirements, you will have the option of registering for the IELI program.

A prior Computer Science and Engineering degree is not required for admission to the Master’s program, but the admission committee will look for evidence that the applicant has a good chance of thriving in a scientific graduate program.  Admission is competitive and based on the number of positions available in our program.

Program Curriculum

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering offers two Master's Degree options:

Option A: Thesis Option with 30 hours (24 semester credit hours of coursework and 6 semester credit hours of thesis). Leveling and internship courses cannot be counted toward the degree plan hours.

Option B: Course Option with 33 semester credit hours. Leveling and internship courses cannot be counted toward the degree plan hours.

Course Selection All Master’s students in Cybersecurity must take the six required courses listed below and five electives with a grade of B or better. The electives and areas of specialization are selected in consultation with the student’s advisor. 

Required courses:

CSCE 5050:  Applications of Cryptography
CSCE 5550:  Introduction to Computer Security
CSCE 5555:  Computer Forensics
CSCE 5560:  Secure Electronic Commerce
CSCE 5565:  Secure Software Engineering
CSCE 5585:  Advanced Network Security

Electives

Students also will take 15 semester hours taken from the approved list of prescribed electives below.   No more than 3 hours in non-organized courses (such as directed study or special problems) will be permissible.  Students will be permitted up to 2 Internship credits (max 2 SCH) on their degree plan.  

Elective courses:

CSCE 5170:  Graph Theory
CSCE 5210:  Artificial Intelligence
CSCE 5215:  Machine Learning
CSCE 5216:  Pattern Recognition
CSCE 5290:  Natural Language Processing
CSCE 5300:  Introduction to Big Data and Data Science

Financial Assistance

Currently, UNT has an SFS (scholarships for service) program for MS students pursuing a PhD program. Students interested in scholarships can find information at https://cics.unt.edu/sfs-phd-program.

Teaching Assistantship or Teaching Fellow (TA/TF) positions are offered to current Cybersecurity majors who are attending classes at UNT.   Prospective students are welcome to apply, but these positions are very rarely offered to potential new students.  Research Assistant (RA) positions are selected by the individual professors from their current students.  Students must submit a completed Assistantship Application, separate from the Admission Application form, in order to be considered.  

If you have any questions about the MS in Cybersecurity program, please contact Ms. Melanie Dewey at melanie.dewey@unt.edu