Master of Science in Cybersecurity

The Master of Science in Cybersecurity is designed to equip students with the latest knowledge and skills in cybersecurity and privacy. Graduates of the program will be employable by both businesses and governments that have important information assets to be protected from increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks. Specific educational objectives of the program include:

• A fundamental understanding of: common vulnerabilities of computing and networked systems, cyber-attacking methods, human and organizational aspects of Cyber Security, methods for compromising privacy, and risk assessment of cyber-attacks.

• Able to apply security techniques to analyze and evaluate the security risk of information systems and networks.

• Able to design information systems and networks with security controls to minimize security risks.

Students are required to complete 30 credit hours to complete the Master’s degree, of which (a) 12 are for 4 common core courses, (b) 9 are for breadth in cybersecurity, and (c) further 9 are for electives in security and computing and information technology.

Admission requirements

Applicants must have completed undergraduate or equivalent coursework in (a) data structures and (b) object-oriented programming in C++, C#, or Java, both with a minimum GPAs of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants who have substantial work experience in applying or developing computing and information technology may be able to substitute their work experience for the specific requirements for object-oriented programming and/or data structures, subject to review by the  Program Director.

All applicants must have an undergraduate GPA or equivalent of at least 3.0 on a scale of 1.0 to 4.0, and a Junior/Senior GPA of at least 3.0.

Applicants must meet all requirements of the UNC Charlotte graduate school.Applicants are required to demonstrate a satisfactory score on the aptitude portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). The GRE/GMAT requirement will be waived for applicants who:  1) Have a cumulative undergraduate or graduate GPA of 3.0 and above from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States, 2) Are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at UNC Charlotte, and have completed at least 3 courses successfully with a GPA of 3.2 or better, or 3) Have a minimum of five years of relevant work experience in information technology or related fields in the United States.

Application deadlines for fall: Priority deadline is March 1, final deadline is August 1

Application deadlines for spring: Priority deadline is October 15, final deadline is Jan 1


The MS in Cybersecurity requires the successful completion of 30 credit hours:

  • Core (12 credit hours)
  • Concentration (9 credit hours)
  • Security Electives (6 credit hours)
  • Capstone (0-6 credit hours)
  • Free Electives (3 credit hours)


Students are required to complete the following common core courses:

  • ITIS 5250 Computer Forensics (3 credit hours)
  • ITIS 6167 Network Security (3 credit hours)
  • ITIS 6200 Information Security and Privacy (3 credit hours)
  • ITIS 6240 Applied Cryptography (3 credit hours)


Students are required to complete one of the following concentrations (9 credit hours). Students pursuing a MS thesis will use 6 credit hours towards their concentration in place of coursework.

Network Security Concentration:

  • ITIS 6230 Information Infrastructure Protection (3 credit hours)
  • ITCS 6166 Computer Communications and Networks (3 credit hours)
  • Three credit hours of security elective

Secure Software Development Concentration:

  • ITIS 5221 Secure Programming and Penetration Testing (3 credit hours)
  • ITIS 6150 Software Assurance (3 credit hours)
  • ITCS 6114 Algorithms and Data structures (may be substituted by a security elective based on an approved undergraduate CS algorithm course)

Security for Emerging Technology

Nine credit hours of courses to achieve a clearly defined security theme. Must be under the direction of a member of CCI graduate faculty with program approval.


All students must complete a capstone experience. This requirement is satisfied by one of the following:

  • 15 page report (0 credit hours)
  • Internship (3 credit hours)
  • Master’s Thesis (6 credit hours)


Complete a team-based project that is originated from an IT organization and approved by the department related to cyber security. This course counts as one of the security electives and satisfies the capstone criteria (3 credit hours)

Security electives

Students must take at least 2 security electives, from the following approved list:

  • ITIS 5221 Secure Programming and Penetration Testing (3 credit hours)
  • ITIS 5246 Competitive Cyber Defense (3 credit hours)
  • ITIS 5260 Introduction to Security Analytics (3 credit hours)
  • ITIS 6010 Any topics course in cybersecurity (3 credit hours)
  • ITIS 6150 Software Assurance (3 credit hours)
  • ITIS 6230 Information Infrastructure Protection (3 credit hours)
  • IT IS 6260 Quantum Computing (3 credit hours)
  • ITIS 6320 Cloud Data Storage (3 credit hours)
  • ITIS 6260 Quantum Computing (3 credit hours)
  • ITIS 6268 Wireless Network Security (3 credit hours)
  • ITIS 6330 Malware Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • ITIS 6362 Information Technology Ethics, Policy, and Security (3 credit hours)
  • ITIS 6420 Usable Security and Privacy (3 credit hours)
  • ITIS 6880 Independent study for a security topic (may be repeated but only 3 credit hours can count towards the degree)
  • ITIS 6999 SFS Research (may be repeated but only 3 credit hours can count towards the degree)

Free Electives from CCI

Students may complete any additional course offered by the College of Computing and Informatics for their remaining elective.

Course descriptions may be found in the UNC Charlotte graduate catalog.