Master of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity Engineering

The Master of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity Engineering at Washington University will give students the skills, knowledge and expertise needed to work in the rapidly growing field of cybersecurity and to design, engineer and architect cybersecurity technology and systems. Graduates of this program will be equipped with the theoretical and hands-on engineering expertise required to solve complex cybersecurity problems that affect diverse enterprises worldwide.

The program includes a set of core foundational courses that focus on operating systems as well as network and systems security. Students pursuing this degree may also choose from more advanced cybersecurity elective courses that will build deeper integrative knowledge of key concepts. Work in the program culminates in either a capstone project or a final thesis. The capstone project should focus on a specific set of technical cybersecurity challenges, with the objective of designing an implementable solution to those challenges. The thesis option allows students to plan, execute and report on an individual project that addresses a substantial problem, covering both practical and scientific aspects. Students planning to pursue a PhD degree after completing the MS in Cybersecurity degree are particularly encouraged to pick the thesis option.

All students in the MS in Cybersecurity Engineering program must have previously completed (as documented by their undergraduate transcript), successfully tested to place out of, or completed at the start of their program the following courses: CSE 501N Introduction to Computer Science and CSE 502N Data Structures and Algorithms (or equivalent courses offered at other institutions).

Core Courses

CSE 422SOperating Systems Organization3
CSE 433SIntroduction to Computer Security3
CSE 473SIntroduction to Computer Networks3
CSE 523SSystems Security3
Total Units12

Program Electives

Choose three courses:

CSE 434SReverse Engineering and Malware Analysis3
CSE 522SAdvanced Operating Systems3
CSE 544TSpecial Topics in Computer Science Theory3
CYBER 565Cybersecurity Analytics3
CYBER 566Cybersecurity Risk Management3
CYBER 567The Hacker Mindset: Cyber Attack Fundamentals3
CSE 569SRecent Advances in Computer Security and Privacy3
CSE 571SNetwork Security3
CSE 637SSoftware Security3

Culminating Experience

Choose one of the following:

CSE 598Master's Project6
CSE 599Master's Research6
(6 units required, typically completed over the course of two semesters)

General Degree Requirements

  • Students who have already taken core or elective courses specified by the program can, with departmental approval, substitute other courses that are suitably technical and appropriate to the degree program. Departmental approval will require justification and will be evaluated with increasing stringency for each additional substitution.
  • None of of the 30 units may be taken as independent study (i.e., CSE 400 or CSE 500).
  • Courses with an "N" designation do not count toward the master's degree.
  • All courses must be taken for a grade of C- or better.
  • As per McKelvey School of Engineering guidelines, students must maintain a grade-point average of at least 2.70.

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