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M.S. Cybersecurity

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Norfolk State University
Master of Science in Cybersecurity

The M.S. in Cybersecurity is an online degree program designed to focus on computer security and to increase the pool of well-educated security professionals. Theory and practical training will be combined with critical thinking and communication skills that are required by professionals in the cybersecurity field. Students will be prepared to apply their knowledge to defend against cyber threats directed toward the USA. In addition, students will be prepared to provide needed cybersecurity services to US agencies and organizations. Students will not only be trained to defend against cybersecurity attacks but also to use digital forensics to identify attackers.

What to Expect as a Student

Students will commence their course of study in the Fall or Spring semester and will typically take 3 courses each semester in addition to 2 courses during the summer semester. Students are given many opportunities to travel to professional conferences, symposiums and job fairs, around the country. They showcase their accomplishments, meet peers with similar interests, and get to know faculty at other institutions who might offer internships, employment or graduate school opportunities. Contact us at: (757) 823-9454 for additional information.

Program at a Glance

The curriculum for the Master of Science in Cybersecurity requires the successful completion of 36 credit of course work, including a 6 credit Capstone course CYS 795, with average class sizes of no more than 20 students.

  • • CSC 535 Computer Security I
  • • CSC 555 Management of Information Security
  • • CYS 564 Secure Operating Systems
  • • CYS 573 Network Fundamentals
  • • CYS 672 Computer and Network Forensics
  • • CYS 688  Human Aspects of Computing
  • • CYS 697  Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing
  • • CYS 721  Database Security
  • • CYS 755  Healthcare Information Security
  • • CYS 765  Advanced Topics in Cybersecurity
  • • CYS 795  Cybersecurity Capstone

Where Will My Degree Take Me?

Graduates of the NSU Cybersecurity Program are very successful in obtaining good jobs with great starting salaries from industry, government and academic institutions across the nation. 

Associations and Affiliations

Foundation Courses

All courses are required.

  • CSC 535 Computer Security I

    Course Description

    This course is designed for IT professionals to learn computer and network security theories and practices that can be used to significantly reduce the security vulnerability of computers on internal networks or the Internet. The course assumes some familiarity with various operating systems and computer networks. Topics include cryptography, program security, operating systems security, database security, network security, security administration, computer ethics, and legal issues.

  • CSC 555 Management of Information Security

    Course Description

    This course is designed to prepare students to become Security Systems Administrators and Managers who are responsible for the design, planning and management of security installations in business and Government Institutions. Topics include Management of Information Security, security planning, security protection (technical and procedural) best practices, risk management, Operations Security (OPSEC), legal issues and certification and accreditation. The course assumes some familiarity with various topics taught in an Introduction to Information Security course.

  • CYS 564 Secure Operating Systems

    Course Description

    This course introduces students to Operating Systems with the special emphasis on the security of these systems. Students will be introduced to the foundations of Operating Systems, the vulnerabilities of Operating Systems, the threats from attackers and the potential harm that can be caused by these attackers. Defense of these systems as well as the risk mitigation will be covered. The notion of a trusted Operating System will be introduced and will be a pivotal standard used to compare various Operating Systems.

  • CYS 573 Network Fundamentals

    Course Description

    This is an introductory course that covers the basics of how networks work, including the topics of OSI model, Internet model, network components, LANs, WANs, routers, switches, wireless communication, network security, TCP/IP Internet protocols, and network applications such as web and email. It also provides  hands-on experiences for configuring and troubleshooting network features on a Windows or UNIX workstation.

  • CYS 672 Computer and Network Forensics

    Course Description

    The topics covered in this course include fundamentals of digital forensics, forensic duplication and analysis, network surveillance, intrusion detection and response, incident response, anti-forensics techniques, anonymity and pseudonymity, cyber law, computer security policies and guidelines, court report writing and presentation, and case studies. The course will include lecture and demonstrations, but is designed around a virtual lab environment and scenario that provides for robust and realistic hands-on experiences in dealing with a range of cybersecurity topic areas. Students will be provided numerous practical opportunities to apply information security practices and technologies to solve real-world cybersecurity problems.

  • CYS 688 Human Aspects of Cybersecurity

    Course Description

    This course surveys the human aspects of cyber security. Topics include ethics, privacy, usability security, cyber crime and the social, psychological and cultural aspects of cyber crime. Emphasis will be placed on the theoretical as well as the practical aspects of human security.


  • CYS 697 Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing

    Course Description

    This course is designed for students pursuing a graduate degree in cyber security with particular interest in working as a white hat hacker. Students will be trained theoretically and practically in understanding vulnerabilities in network architectures, operating systems, database management systems and web servers. They will learn how exploits are designed by an adversary attacker to penetrate into vulnerable systems. Students will also learn how the hacker can move into a hacked system and remove her/his footprints. The course will expose students to a host of tools used for network scanning, finger printing and password cracking. These tools include Nmap, Nessus and Backtrack among others. There will be a thorough discussion on the emerging hack technology for wireless LANs and defenses against them.

  • CYS 721 Database Security

    Course Description

    This course focuses on the theory and practice of implementing secure database systems. Emphasis will be placed on security in database design, database security principles, database application security models, database auditing models, database auditing and testing.


  • CYS 755 Healthcare Information Security

    Course Description

    This course is designed for students seeking to learn more about the field of healthcare information security. It covers the fundamentals of computer and network security theories and practices that can be used to significantly reduce the security-related vulnerabilities of healthcare information on internal networks or the Internet. An in-depth view of healthcare information is provided by examining healthcare regulatory requirements and the functions of a healthcare organization, including its medical business operations, hardware, software, networking, and security. Topics include electronic health records, security policy, web security, database security, security administration, and healthcare ethics, privacy, and law.


  • CYS 765 Advanced Topics in Cybersecurity

    Course Description

    This course covers state-of-the art advances, emerging trends, and threats in cybersecurity. Topics to be covered include current topics in Cybersecurity, advanced digital forensics, new approaches to the management of cybersecurity and new threats, vulnerabilities and controls.

  • CYS 795 Cybersecurity Capstone

    Course Description

    This project course is the capstone experience for graduate students in the Master’s degree in Cybersecurity. This course provides students with the opportunity to carry out in depth research on a specified topic in cybersecurity. The student’s project will reflect the integration and application of the cybersecurity knowledge gained over the course of the program.