Cybersecurity, MS

School of Interdisciplinary Informatics, College of Information, Science & Technology

Vision Statement

The School of Interdisciplinary Informatics (Si2) is the academic home of the Master of Science (MS) in cybersecurity (previously information assurance). Cybersecurity is a rapidly expanding, multi-faceted science that integrates a diverse set of disciplines to address fundamental problems in the design, development, implementation and support of secure information systems. The Master of Science is a full graduate degree program balancing theory with practice in order to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to protect information systems. Because of the wide variety of subject areas to which cybersecurity can be applied, this degree program has two paths; cyber operations, a concentration with highly technical content, and interdisciplinary, with the opportunity for the students to tailor the degree to specific management goals. Students may also choose between a thesis or capstone exit option based on their individual interests.

Program Contact Information

Matt Hale, PhD, Graduate Program Chair (GPC)
174D Peter Kiewit Institute (PKI) 
402.554.3978
mlhale@unomaha.edu

Carlee Heylmun
176C Peter Kiewit Institute (PKI) 
402.554.3819
carleebrown@unomaha.edu

Program Website

Other Program Related Information

Fast Track

The College of Information Science & Technology has developed a Fast Track program for highly qualified and motivated students providing the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in an accelerated time frame. With Fast Track, students may count up to 9 (nine) graduate credit hours toward the completion of their undergraduate program as well as the graduate degree program. Students will work with both undergraduate and graduate advisors to ensure graduate classes selected will count toward both programs, should a student wish to earn a graduate degree in a separate CIST area than their undergraduate degree.

Program Specifics:

  • This program is available for undergraduate students pursuing any CIST undergraduate degree desiring to pursue an MS in either the same or a related CIST field.
  • Students must have completed no less than 60 undergraduate hours.
  • Students must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0, with the exception of Computer Science, which requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.5.
  • Students must complete the Fast Track Approval form and obtain all signatures and submit to the Office of Graduate Studies prior to first enrollment in a graduate course.
  • Students will work with their undergraduate advisor to register for the graduate courses.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in the graduate coursework is required to remain in good standing.
  • Students remain undergraduates until they meet all the requirements for the undergraduate degree and are eligible for all rights and privileges granted undergraduate status including financial aid.
  • Near the end of the undergraduate program, formal application to the graduate program is required. All applicants will need to meet any other admission requirements established for the MS in selected CIST program. The application fee will be waived, and the applicant must contact the Office of Graduate Studies for a fee waiver code.
    • Admission to Fast Track does NOT guarantee admission to the graduate program. 
    • For all CIST degrees, if a student successfully completes their undergraduate BS degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (3.5 for computer science) and all graduate courses with a 3.0 or better, you may be recommended for admission to the graduate program.
    • The admit term must be after the completion term of the undergraduate degree.

Admissions

General Application Requirements and Admission Criteria

Program-Specific Requirements

Application Deadlines (Spring 2022, Summer 2022, and Fall 2022)

  • Fall: July 1
  • Spring: December 1
  • Summer: April 1

Other Requirements

  • The minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) requirement for the MS in Cybersecurity program is 3.0 or equivalent score on a 4.0 scale. Applicants should have the equivalent of a four-year undergraduate degree.
  • Entrance Exam: International applicants without a baccalaureate or equivalent degree from  the United States are required to submit GRE scores. There is no minimum GRE requirement, but for international applicants the score will be one factor used in evaluating the student’s portfolio.
  • English Language Proficiency: Applicants are required to have a command of oral and written English. Those who do not hold a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from the United States OR a baccalaureate or other advanced degree from a predetermined country on the waiver list, must meet the minimum language proficiency score requirement in order to be considered for admission.  Minimum acceptable scores are:
    • Paper-based TOEFL: 550, Internet-based TOEFL: 80, IELTS: 6.5, PTE: 53, Duolingo: 105
  • Statement of Purpose: a two-page, double-spaced, word-processed essay that addresses the following two topics:
    • Discussion of two accomplishments that demonstrate your potential for success in the graduate program
    • Discussion of your unique personal qualities and life experiences that distinguish you from other applicants to this graduate program
  • Resume: Submit a detailed resume indicating your work experience and background.
  • Letters of Recommendation: At least one but no more than three letters of recommendation from references who can evaluate your work and/or academic achievements. 
  • Applicants with International Transcripts: Any applicant to this program who has completed undergraduate or graduate coursework at an international higher education institution outside of the United States may submit transcripts and degree certificates (with an English translation) in lieu of a course-by course transcript evaluation from World Education Services (WES), Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE), or Educational Perspectives.  This graduate program will conduct an in-house credential evaluation of your transcript(s).​

    • UNO reserves the right to require a course-by-course evaluation from WES, ECE, or Educational Perspectives if the program is unable to complete an evaluation or should there be any questions or concerns about the documentation that is received. The applicant will be notified by the individual program if an external course-by-course evaluation is required.

    • *Note: If admitted, official transcripts and degree certificates (with an English translation)/official course-by-course transcript evaluation, and any applicable official exam scores are required
  • Interview (optional): Although not required, the graduate program committee may ask to conduct a telephone interview to further assess the experiences of the applicant.

Requirements

Foundation Courses

Foundation courses ensure that all students in the degree have a solid groundwork upon which to build the rest of the program. These courses not only provide essential prerequisite knowledge and skills for other courses in the program, but they also contain a distinct body of knowledge that is an important part of the cybersecurity professional’s education. All foundation courses are required for all students, however, students who have obtained an undergraduate degree in a related field may already have this foundation.  In such a case, most, if not all, foundation courses are waived. Students with undergraduate degrees in other disciplines, including computer science, management information systems, or engineering, will usually require one or more foundation courses. Occasionally, a student’s work experience may be sufficient to waive one or more of the foundation courses.

Waivers for foundation courses are potentially granted by the graduate program committee upon the recommendation of the faculty member who is responsible for an individual course. Students requesting a waiver for a particular course should be prepared to meet with a faculty member and answer questions in the area of the course. They should bring to the meeting any relevant transcripts, course syllabi, course material, or evidence of practical experience. Some foundation courses may have an option for testing out.

Foundation courses cannot be used to satisfy the 33 semester hours required for the MS in Cybersecurity (CYBR) degree. Students who have not completed all the foundation course requirements may be admitted on a provisional status until those requirements have been completed. All foundation courses must be completed prior to or concurrent with the first six (6) hours of MS in CYBR graduate coursework.

Foundation Requirements

(Nine hours if not waived)

CSCI 2240INTRODUCTION TO C PROGRAMMING3
or CYBR 2250 LOW-LEVEL PROGRAMMING
CYBR 2600SYSTEM ADMINISTRATION3
CSCI 3550COMMUNICATION NETWORKS3
or ISQA 3400 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INFRASTRUCTURE
Total Credits9

Degree Requirements

Capstone Option

Core Courses
CYBR 8366FOUNDATIONS OF CYBERSECURITY3
or CSCI 8366 FOUNDATIONS OF CYBERSECURITY
CYBR 8410CRYPTOGRAPHY AND NETWORK SECURITY3
or CSCI 8410 CRYPTOGRAPHY AND NETWORK SECURITY
CYBR 8420SOFTWARE ASSURANCE3
or CSCI 8420 SOFTWARE ASSURANCE
CYBR 8490CYBER INVESTIGATIONS3
Concentration
Select a concentration18
CYBR 8950GRADUATE CAPSTONE IN INFORMATION ASSURANCE3
Total Credits33

Thesis Option

Core Courses
CYBR 8366FOUNDATIONS OF CYBERSECURITY3
or CSCI 8366 FOUNDATIONS OF CYBERSECURITY
CYBR 8410CRYPTOGRAPHY AND NETWORK SECURITY3
or CSCI 8410 CRYPTOGRAPHY AND NETWORK SECURITY
CYBR 8420SOFTWARE ASSURANCE3
or CSCI 8420 SOFTWARE ASSURANCE
CYBR 8490CYBER INVESTIGATIONS3
Concentration
Select a concentration15
CYBR 8990THESIS IN CYBERSECURITY6
Total Credits33

Exit Requirements:

  • Capstone 3 Credits CYBR 8950
  • Thesis 6 Credits CYBR 8990  
    • All candidates should carefully review the Graduate College requirements for forming a supervisory committee, Thesis/Thesis Equivalent Proposal Approval forms and final approval and submission of a thesis.

Cyber Operations Concentration

A maximum of five cross-listed courses (courses ending in 8xx6) can be included on a plan of study for the MS in CYBR degree.
Electives
CENTER OF ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE-CYBER OPERATIONS COMPLETION CERTIFICATE
Select 18 hours from the following:18
MOBILE DEVICE FORENSICS
QUANTUM COMPUTING AND CRYPTOGRAPHY
SECURE SYSTEMS ENGINEERING
INDUSTRIAL CONTROL SYSTEM SECURITY
APPLIED CRYPTOGRAPHY
HOST-BASED VULNERABILITY DISCOVERY
SECURITY OF EMBEDDED SYSTEMS
NETWORK-BASED VULNERABILITY DISCOVERY
SECURE WEB APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT
SECURE MOBILE DEVELOPMENT
COMPUTER SECURITY MANAGEMENT
SPECIAL TOPICS IN INFORMATION ASSURANCE
INDEPENDENT STUDY AND RESEARCH IN CYBERSECURITY
INTERNSHIP
SPECIAL TOPICS IN INFORMATION ASSURRANCE
Total Credits18

Interdisciplinary Concentration

A maximum of five cross-listed courses (courses ending in 8xx6) can be included on a plan of study for the MS in CYBR degree.
Electives
Select 18 hours from the following:18
RESEARCH IN MIS
SEMINAR IN MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS
E-COMMERCE SECURITY
COMPUTER SECURITY MANAGEMENT
INFORMATION WARFARE AND SECURITY
INFORMATION SECURITY POLICY AND ETHICS
SECURITY RISK MANAGEMENT AND ASSESSMENT
IT AUDIT AND CONTROL
DATABASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS II
TRUSTED SYSTEM DESIGN, ANALYSIS AND DEVELOPMENT
ADVANCED OPERATING SYSTEMS
NUMBER THEORY & CRYPTOGRAPHY
FAULT TOLERANT DISTRIBUTED SYSTEMS
SPECIAL TOPICS IN INFORMATION ASSURANCE
INDEPENDENT STUDY AND RESEARCH IN CYBERSECURITY
INTERNSHIP
SPECIAL TOPICS IN INFORMATION ASSURRANCE
INTELLIGENCE AND NATIONAL SECURITY
INTERNATIONAL LAW
Total Credits18

Quality of Work Standards

The Graduate College’s Quality of Work Standards shall be applied to foundation courses as well as courses taken as part of the degree program. In particular, the GPC will recommend to the Graduate College that any

  1. Student receiving a grade of “C-” or below on any foundation course will be dismissed from the program or, in the case of unclassified or non-degree students, be automatically denied admission.
  2. Student receiving a grade of “C+” or “C” in any foundation course will be placed on probation or dismissed from the program.
  3. Student not maintaining a “B” (3.0 on a 4.0 scale”) average in foundation courses will be placed on probation or dismissed from the program.