The Master of Science in Cybesecurity (CYBSC) is a multi-disciplinary degree designed to provide students the opportunity to obtain professional training in the emerging field of information assurance, studying the practices and policies we use to safeguard data. It is offered through the Cyber Security program (CYBSC) and is built around Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science courses that introduce students to software and hardware aspects of cryptography and computer security.

The program also recognizes, however, that information assurance—defined in terms of security, privacy, access, and reliability—is not simply a technical problem but also involves important societal dimensions, including policy, education, ethics, and management. Political science offers many potential intersections with information assurance, including

  • public sector management of information technology
  • forensics and computer crime
  • information technology policy and law
  • information technology and international relations
  • information warfare

Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission to the Master of Science in Cybersecurity with a home department in Political Science must meet the following minimal requirements:

  1. All relevant university, graduate college, and cybersecurity entrance requirements
  2. Verbal and quantitative GRE scores if the student does not have a bachelors or masters degree from a U.S. institution.
  3. At least three letters of recommendation
  4. A 250-500 word statement outlining applicant’s reasons and plans for graduate study

In addition to these requirements, a TOEFL score of at least 85 is required for applicants whose degree is not from the U.S or a country where English is the only official language. Applications are normally processed on a year-round basis. Decisions will be made as quickly as feasible once the applicant has submitted all relevant materials.

Admission materials should be submitted at They will be evaluated for approval by both the cybersecurity program and the Department of Political Science.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements for students with political science as their “home department” include:

  1. All relevant university and graduate college requirements.
  2. Require core courses listed below.
  3. Three courses (9 credits) of electives from the list below.
  4. Students taking the thesis option must complete 6 credits of thesis research with their thesis advisor. Students taking the non-thesis option must complete 3 credits of creative component with their advisor.
  5. Non-thesis students must take 6 additional credits in political science and 3 elective credits. Thesis student must take 6 additional political science credits. The total program of study, including required courses, should total at least 30 credits.

Course Requirements

  • CYBSC 5310      Computer Security
  • POLS 5340      Ethical and Legal Issues in Computer Security

  • POLS 5870      Electronic Democracy
  • CYBSC 5300      Advanced Computer Networking
  • CYBSC 5320      Information Warfare
  • MIS 5380       Business Process and Systems
  • MATH 5530       Encryptology

  • COMS 2070       Programming I   (strongly recommended)
  • COMS 2080       Programming II   (recommended)

Students in the Political Science Cyber Security program will be expected to develop an appropriate course of study, in consultation with their advisor, to achieve their own particular academic and career goals. Any 4000-5000 level political science courses may be used if approved by the DOGE and POS Committee. 4000 Level political science courses may not exceed the total allowed by the Graduate College. If POLS 5870 was used for the supplemental core, students can choose to substitute an additional elective for three of these credits. Three of these credits may be POLS 5900.

Additional political science course approved by DOGE and POS committee, additional supplemental core course, or one of the following (3000-4000 level classes may not exceed the total allowed by the Graduate College):

  • COMS 3110      Design and Analysis of Algorithms
  • COMS 3630      Introduction to Database Management Systems
  • COMS 3520      Introduction to Operating Systems (Network focus)
  • COMS 4610      Database Systems Concepts and Internals
  • MIS 5330      Data Management for Decision Makers (highly recommended)
  • MIS 5350      Telecommunications Management (highly recommended)
  • CPRE 5370      Wireless Security
  • CYBSC 5920      Seminar in Information Assuran

  • POLS 5990     Creative Component (3)
  • POLS 6990     Thesis Research (6)