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    Jun 22, 2021  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Cybersecurity, M.S.


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Priority Admission Application Deadlines:  http://www.grad.usf.edu/majors

Concentrations

Digital Forensics
Computer Security Fundamentals
Cyber Intelligence*
Information Assurance
*Cyber Intelligence requires 33 minimum total hours

Contact Information

College: Graduate Studies
Department: Cyber Florida
Contact Information: http://www.grad.usf.edu/majors


The Master of Science in Cybersecurity is an interdisciplinary major that utilizes talent across the Colleges of Business, Engineering, Arts & Sciences, and Behavioral and Community Sciences. The major prepares students for leadership, managerial and domain-specific roles in Cybersecurity and for employment in managerial and operational positions that require quick analytical thinking, decision-making under uncertainty regarding critical resources, and domain-specific technical skills for managing secure operations. Specifically, based on the design of the concentrations and the core of this major, the major is also expected to prepare students for

  1. intelligence positions that require innovative, analytical, decision-making, and technical skills for providing cybersecurity intelligence,
  2. information assurance positions that require secure management of information and data transferred, used, stored, and processed in information systems,
  3. law enforcement positions that are required to deal more and more with cyber-crimes, and
  4. cybersecurity positions that require deep technical skills in the security domain.

Because this is a graduate-level major, to ensure that students possess the foundational knowledge for academic success, students admitted to this major are most likely to be successful if they have academic or work experience in the areas of C/C++ programming, computer networks, operating-system design, algorithms, data structures, and computer organization. An undergraduate degree in computer science, computer engineering, MIS, or IT is recommended for admission. Note: For the Information Assurance Concentration it is recommended that students have a background in accounting information systems, database management, and systems analysis and design.

Major Research Areas:

Cyber, Cybersecurity, Cyber Security, Information Assurance, Secure Software, Information, Analytics, Intelligence, Computer, Network, IT, Software, Testing, Security, Analytic Communication, Data Communications, Cryptography, Information Security, Risk Management, Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, Digital Forensics, National Security

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements, as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

Applicants also must submit the following with their application:

  • A 250-500 word essay in which the student describes her or his academic and professional background, reasons for pursuing this degree, and professional goals pertaining to cybersecurity
  • Two letters of recommendation, at least one of which should come from a faculty member familiar with the applicant’s academic performance and potential. If the applicant is unable to provide the letter from a former professor, with approval from the program’s admission coordinator, letters from other professional sources will be accepted
  • Current Resume or CV
  • Scores from the GRE General Test. Applicants with degrees from accredited U.S. universities, however, may request a waiver of the GRE requirement.

The graduate admissions committee may request a video or phone admission interview or additional documentation, if necessary.

Curriculum Requirements


Total Minimum Hours: 30 credit hours

  • Core Requirements – 9 credit hours
  • Additional Required Course – 3 credit hours
  • Concentrations – 15 credit hours
  • Practicum – 3 credit hours

Additional Required Courses (3 Credit Hours)


Concentration Requirements (15 Credit Hours Minimum)


Students must select from the following concentrations:

Digital Forensics (15 Credit Hours)


Area of emphasis on forensics following attacks on critical infrastructure systems.

Computer Security Fundamentals (15 Credit Hours)


Area of emphasis in operating secure critical infrastructure systems.

Students select from the following options to complete the 12 hour requirement:

Cyber Intelligence (18 Credit Hours)


Area of emphasis in methodologies for analyzing threats against critical systems

Information Assurance (15 Credit Hours)


Area of emphasis in securing critical information and systems. The concentration requires students to take five out of the following six courses:

Comprehensive Exam


During the semester in which the student is scheduled to graduate, the student will be required to submit an electronic portfolio demonstrating completion of core major competencies in cybersecurity and in the area of concentration. This competency-based portfolio will substitute for the written comprehensive exam because the portfolio permits the capstone assessment to align exactly with the degree program’s objectives. Each objective in the portfolio is reviewed and rated by graduate faculty for Content (demonstrating knowledge of accepted practices, procedures, and trends in the field) and Critical Thinking (ability the student’s ability to analyze a problem, organize a response, synthesize perspectives, and draw practical, testable conclusions)

Non-Thesis


Because the primary aim of the M.S. in Cybersecurity is to train highly skilled practitioners for the workforce, the Degree does not include a research thesis requirement.

Practicum (3 Credit Hours)


Satisfactory completion of a three (3) credit hour applied learning experience (practicum) is a core degree requirement for all students pursuing the M.S. in Cybersecurity. The practicum experience is arranged and managed through the coordinator for the student’s concentration area. The student will register for practicum credit in her concentration area’s home department.

Until each department receives final approval for a “practicum” or “field work” course number, some departments will develop a learning plan with the student for the practicum and use the “Independent Study” course mechanism.

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