MS in Computer Science with Specialization in Cyber Security

To meet the burgeoning demand for computer experts with deep technical training and expertise in keeping computer systems reliable and safe, we offer our master’s students the opportunity to specialize in cyber security. The specialization encompasses courses that focus on technical issues related to safe software, languages, and architectures, as well as broader societal issues of privacy and legal ramifications. Through an eight-course program, students will be trained in topics ranging from cryptographic methods, data and information security, fault-tolerant computing, network security, privacy and anonymity, software safety, and system security. The computer science (CS) program at Boston University is geared toward students with a CS undergraduate degree, but we also welcome those with equivalent computer training and experience, as well as students with gaps in their CS background but strong academic records overall.

Course Requirements

The Master of Science (MS) specialization in cyber security has the same course requirements, eight graduate courses (32 credits), and core breadth course requirements as the MS in Computer Science. Course requirements are as follows:

  • Five designated breadth courses, including at least one course in each of the following areas:
    • Theory
    • Systems
    • Software
    • Applications
  • At least two core CS security courses
  • At least three CS security-related courses
  • Up to two elective non-CAS/CS security-related graduate courses, taught in a Reliable Information Systems and Cyber Security Center (RISCS) affiliated program and approved by the faculty advisor

For a full list of approved courses, see the department website.

Among the grades received for the five breadth courses, the number of grades of B– must not be greater than the number of grades of B+ or higher. The three remaining elective courses are determined in consultation with, and approved by, the student’s faculty advisor. No grade lower than B– may be used for graduate credit.

A CS course can be used toward satisfying multiple requirements. For example, CAS CS 552: Introduction to Operating Systems, can be used to satisfy both the systems breadth course requirement and the cyber security requirement, or CAS CS 538: Fundamentals of Cryptography, can be used to satisfy both the applications breadth course requirement and the cyber security requirements.

Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for this degree.

Master’s Project

While not required, MS candidates may complete a master’s project or thesis. Projects are carried out with the approval of, and under the supervision of, a faculty member. A master’s project can be expanded into a master’s thesis, which requires two faculty readers.