MS in Cybersecurity
The Master of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity is an interdisciplinary program that prepares students with both the academic and practical training to be competitive in the ever-changing technical landscape of cybersecurity. The program is designed for students with backgrounds in computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, telecommunications engineering or other related technical fields and aims to provide deeply technical and specialized training to develop professionals that are able to understand, adapt, and develop new techniques to confront emerging threats in cybersecurity. The program consists of core courses designed to build theoretical foundations in computer networking, mathematics, policy, ethics, privacy and legal issues along with electives in specialized technical areas. Electives are selected in consultation with an academic advisor to provide depth in one or more technical areas. In addition, students in this program have a unique opportunity to gain valuable hands on experience by participating in Drexel's well established graduate co-operative education program as well as a unique, program-specific research rotation program that allows students to perform research in two or more university laboratories that focus on contemporary cybersecurity topics. The ECE Department prepares students to make contributions in these areas by providing advanced studies as part of the MS in Cybersecurity degree program, which can be completed on campus or online.
The MS in Cybersecurity curriculum encompasses a minimum of 45 or 48 (with the two-term graduate co-op participation option) approved graduate quarter credit hours, chosen in accordance with the following requirements and a program plan arranged with the graduate advisors in consultation with the student's supervising professor, if applicable. The general structure of the program is outlined below.
The core courses provide students with a theoretical foundation in the field of cybersecurity and a framework to guide the application of knowledge gained in technical electives to the practice of cybersecurity. All students pursuing the MS in Cybersecurity degree must take 15 credits of core courses, broken down in the following manner:
|Core Courses Total
||Principles of Cybersecurity
|Information Ethics (temporary substitute for CST 510)
|Select one of the following:
||Principles of Computer Networking
|Select one of the following:
||Data Structures and Algorithms I
||Probability & Random Variables
Cybersecurity Technical Electives
Cybersecurity technical electives are used to build a deep understanding of one or more areas of technical expertise within the field of cybersecurity. All students pursuing the MS in Cybersecurity degree are required to take a minimum of 18 credits of cybersecurity technical electives. Students should choose cybersecurity technical electives from the graduate course offerings of the Department of Computer Science; the Department of Computing and Security Technology; and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Cybersecurity technical electives should be chosen from the following list:
- CS 522: Data Structures and Algorithms II
- CS 543: Operating Systems
- CS 575: Software Design
- CS 576: Dependable Software Systems
- CS 645: Network Security
- CST 604: Technology for Homeland Security
- CST 609: National Security Intelligence
- CST 614: Counterintelligence
- ECEC 621: High Performance Computer Architecture
- ECEC 622: Parallel Computer Architecture
- ECEC 623: Advanced Topics in Computer Architecture
- ECEC 632: Performance Analysis of Computer Networks
- ECEC 633: Advanced Topics in Computer Networking
- ECEC 641: Web Security I
- ECEC 642: Web Security II
- ECEC 643: Web Security III
- ECES 522: Random Processes & Spectral Analysis
- ECES 523: Detection & Estimation Theory
- ECES 621: Communications I
- ECES 631: Fundamentals of Deterministic DSP
- ECES 632: Fundamentals of Statistical DSP
- ECES 682: Fundamentals of Image Processing
- ECES 811: Optimization Methods in Engineering Design
- ECET 501: Foundations of Communications Engineering
- ECET 511: Physical Foundations of Telecommunications
- ECET 512: Wireless Systems
- ECET 602: Information Theory and Coding
- ECET 604: Internet Laboratory
The following special topics courses, when offered, may also be taken as cybersecurity technical electives:
- CS 680: Special Topics: Privacy
- CS 680: Special Topics: Risk Analysis/Policy
- CST: Special Topics: Applied Cryptography
- CST: Special Topics: Intrusion Detection
- ECES 690: Special Topics: Data Fusion and Network Anomaly Detection
- ECET 690: Special Topics: Information Theoretic Secrecy
- ECET 690: Special Topics: Physical Layer Security
- ECET 690: Special Topics: Wireless Network Security Lab
The remaining courses needed to reach the minimum credit hour requirement for the degree program are considered general elective courses. General electives can be chosen from among the graduate course offerings of the College of Computing & Informatics; the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and the Department of Mathematics. In order to have courses outside of these departments and schools count towards degree completion, they must be approved by the graduate advisors prior to registration for said courses.
Master's Thesis, Research Rotations & Independent Research
Although not required, students pursuing an MS degree, especially those interested in eventually pursuing a Ph.D. or entering a research-intensive career, are encouraged to complete a Master's Thesis as part of their MS studies.
Learn More about Master's Thesis
Students enrolled in the MS in Cybersecurity program have the opportunity to gain research experience across multiple sub-disciplines through research rotations. The research rotation model, inspired by medical school clinical rotations, allows students to gain exposure to research that cuts across conventional departmental barriers and traditional research groups, prior to identifying and focusing on a specific interdisciplinary project or thesis topic. Students choosing to participate in research rotations would participate in the research activities of two labs for each three credits of research rotation they undertake. There are currently two research rotations courses:
- CS 695: Research Rotations in Cybersecurity
- ECE 695: Research Rotations in Cybersecurity
Selection of the course in which a student enrolls should match the departmental affiliation of the faculty members under which research is being completed. If the faculty members' departmental affiliations vary, please consult the the graduate advisors for more guidance. Students interested in participating in research rotations under the ECE 695 course number, should read more about their options on the graduate student-initiated courses information page.
It is also possible for MS students to engage in research for academic credit outside of the scope the thesis option. This research is still performed under the supervision of a faculty member; however, the end result is not submission of a Master's Thesis. This option is best suited for those students interested in gaining exposure to the research process and environment without the commitment to writing a thesis or for those students interested in delving deeper into a topic that is outside the scope of the normal graduate course offerings.
Learn More about Graduate Student-initiated Courses
Regardless of whether or not a Master's Thesis is being completed, a total of 9 credits of research-oriented coursework (CS 695, ECE 695, ECEx 697, ECEx 898, ECEx 997, ECEx 998, or equivalent classes in other approved departments) may be counted towards the minimum credit hour requirement for the MS degree program. These credits are counted as general electives.
Graduate Co-op Program
Students pursuing an MS degree may choose to participate in the graduate co-op tract. Students will have the opportunity to take a no-credit professional development course that will prepare them for the coop application process, in addition to providing resume critiques and interview skills. After completing 3 quarters of full-time coursework, students will then participate in coop for 6 months before returning to the classroom to complete their degree requirements. For more specific information relating to the graduate coop process, please consult the Graduate Coop Coordinator or the ECE Program Manager for Graduate Programs.
Learn More about Graduate Co-op