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The Master of Science in Cyber Security & Operations degree program is designed for students who wish to help meet the challenges posed by increasing cyber-threats. Using a multidisciplinary approach, the program is designed to provide students with a focused education within a broad analytical framework for evaluating, understanding, and solving cyber security problems. This program offers thesis or non-thesis options.

    Program highlights:

    • Fixed on defeating the full spectrum of cyber-attacks, Mississippi State’s NSF CyberCorps program is the 3rd largest in the country.
    • Recognized nationally for its leadership in cyber security, MSU is one of only nine schools in the U.S. to hold all three of the National Security Agency’s centers of academic excellence credentials: CAE-Cyber Defense Education, CAE-Cyber Defense Research, and CAE-Cyber Operations.
    • Via its nationally ranked cybersecurity program, MSU’s M.S. in Cyber Security and Operations was selected by the US Navy as a model curriculum.

    This degree focuses on those aspects of cyber security that are needed to operate in the cyber domain. Material will prepare the student for advanced operations in the cyber domain such as penetration testing, after action analysis, and malware analysis. This degree is designed to satisfy the requirements for the Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations program of the Department of Defense.

      Program Structure

      The program of study of a Master of Science in Cyber Security and Operations (MS CYSO) degree includes advanced courses in computer security that are selected according to the goals of the student. The program of study includes a thesis option, a professional project option, or courses-only option.

      Master of Science in Cyber Security and Operations - Thesis

      Major Required Courses
      CSE 8011 Graduate Seminar 1
      CSE 6243 Information and Computer Security 3
      CSE 6173 Cryptography 3
      CSE 6363 Software Reverse Engineering 3
      CSE 6383 Network Security 3
      CSE 8713 Advanced Cyber Operations 3
      CSE 8763/ECE 8823 Wireless Networks 3
        Electives 3
      CSE 8000 Thesis Research/Thesis in Computer Science and Engineering 6
      Total Hours   31

      Master of Science in Cyber Security and Operations – Non-Thesis

      Major Required Courses
      CSE 8011 Graduate Seminar 1
      CSE 6243 Information and Computer Security 3
      CSE 6173 Cryptography 3
      CSE 6363 Software Reverse Engineering 3
      CSE 6383 Network Security 3
      CSE 8713 Advanced Cyber Operations 3
      CSE 8763/ECE 8823 Wireless Networks 3
        Electives 3
        Non-Thesis Option: 6 hours of CSE or ECE electives 6
      Total Hours   31

      Admissions Requirements

      Students seeking full admission into this program should apply as a classified student. Non-degree seeking students wishing to take classes offered through the Online program should apply as an Unclassified student.

      Applications for the degree programs are reviewed two times a year. The application deadlines for those semesters are as follows:

      • Spring Enrollments need applications by November 1
      • Fall Enrollments need applications by June 1

      An applicant for admission to graduate study must hold a bachelor's degree from a fully recognized four-year educational institution that has unconditional accreditation with appropriate regional accrediting agencies. They must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School and the Cyber Security and Operations program.

      Regular admission to graduate study in the program requires a minimum grade point average (last four semesters of undergraduate work) of 3.00/4.00. When a student is deficient in one of the criteria cited, the student's application, nevertheless, may be considered for admission based on the strength of other materials contained in the student's application.

      The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores are NOT required for entry into this program.


      Attention International Students

      International students are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and score greater than 550. Detailed information regarding international applications can be found in the Graduate Catalog. Questions regarding international applications can be addressed to the Office of the Graduate School at gradapps@grad.msstate.edu.

      • ETS is providing home testing for the TOEFL iBT test, and MSU is encouraging students to take advantage of this testing option. For those students applying who have taken the TOEFL within five years of the semester they plan to enroll and are unable to access the TOEFL iBT test from home, we will accept your previous test scores.

      Admission Options

      Domestic/International Classified Admissions

      1. Submit online application. You will choose Cyber Security and Operations as your Program of Study and Online Education as your campus.
      2. Statement of Purpose
      3. Three letters of recommendation
        • You will be asked to submit three names and three email addresses of individuals you are using as references. Once you click submit, these individuals will be sent an email from MSU, which will provide a link to an online form for completing their recommendations.
      4. One official transcript showing bachelor’s degree or progress toward degree. (For international students, please submit a copy in native language along with translated copies, if appropriate.)
      5. One official transcript showing ALL work after bachelor’s degree. (For international students, please submit a copy in native language along with translated copies, if appropriate.)
        • Electronic transcripts should be sent to: gradapps@grad.msstate.edu Mississippi State University, Graduate School. Only one copy of an electronic transcript is required.
        • Paper Transcripts Address (USPS):
          Mississippi State University
          The Office of the Graduate School
          P.O. Box G
          Mississippi State, MS 39762
        • Physical Street Address (for DHL, Fed Ex, UPS, DHS, etc.):
          Mississippi State University
          The Office of the Graduate School
          175 President Circle
          116 Allen Hall
          Mississippi State, MS 39762
      6. Payment of $60 non-refundable application processing fee for domestic students.
        Payment of $80 non-refundable application processing fee for international students.
      7. Once you are admitted, you will receive an email with complete instructions on registering for classes and contacting your advisor

      Courses

      BIS 6113 Business Information Systems Security Management: 3 hours.

      (Prerequisite: BIS 3233 or any 3 hours of computer-related coursework). Three hours lecture. Concepts, skills, tools, and analytical techniques involved in management of computer security as it applies to today's business environment


      CSE 6173 Cryptography: 3 hours.

      (Prerequisite: CSE 2383 Data Structures and Algorithms). Three hours lecture. Discrete probability, Information theory, Symmetric Cryptography, Introductory Number Theory, Asymmetric Cryptography, Standard Cryptographic Primitives, Cryptographic Protocols


      CSE 6243 Information and Computer Security: 3 hours.

      (Prerequisite: Credit in CSE 3183). Three hours lecture. Topics include encryption systems, network security, electronic commerce, systems threats, and risk avoidance procedures


      CSE 6273 Introduction to Computer Forensics: 3 hours.

      (Prerequisite: Senior standing in CSE/SE/CPE/MIS/CJ) Three hours lecture. Introduction to computer crime and the study of evidence for solving computer-based crimes. Topics: computer crime, computer forensics and methods for handling evidence


      CSE 6363 Software Reverse Engineering: 3 hours.

      (Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in CSE 3183). Three hours lecture. Software specification recovery and malicious software analysis. Tools and techniques for analyzing compiled programs and communications in the absence of documentation


      CSE 6383 Network Security: 3 hours.

      (Prerequisites: CSE 4173/6173 Cryptography; and credit or registration in CSE 4153/6153). Three hours lecture. Basic and advanced concepts in cryptography and network security: symmetric and asymmetric cryptography, key management, wired and wireless network security protocols, network systems security


      CSE 8011 Graduate Seminar: 1 hour.

      One-hour seminar. Reports on recent advances and problems in computer science by guest speakers, faculty, and students, student participation, general discussion


      CSE 8753 Wireless Networks: 3 hours.

      Three hours lecture. Wireless network protocol design, theoretical analysis, and security and privacy. (Same as ECE 8823)


      ECE 8823 Wireless Networks: 3 hours.

      (Prerequisite: ECE 4813/6813 Communications Theory or equivalent). Three hours lecture. Wireless network protocol design, theoretical analysis, and security and privacy. (Same as CSE 8753)

      See More

      Accessing Online Courses

      Accessing Course Videos

      Online students will have access to course videos within 24 hours of the on campus course completion. Students should visit Engage to access the course videos. Instructions for viewing the recordings and downloading the recordings are offered below.


      View Videos

      Instructions for viewing course videos, use our course video viewing instructions.


      Download Videos

      Instructions for downloading videos, use our video download instructions.


      Viewing Classes Live

      To view the class live, distance students will need to go to http://it.engr.msstate.edu/distance/player/?id=buildingroom and make sure they change "?id=buildingroom" to the correct room for their class (i.e. http://it.engr.msstate.edu/distance/player/?id=walker304).

      If you experience technical difficulties or have any questions regarding the recording or format of our lecture capture, please contact:

      IT Support & Staff
      Bagley College of Engineering
      Mississippi State University
      distance-support@engr.msstate.edu
      662.325.7794


      Accessing Course Information

      Course information may be accessible through Canvas (NetID and Net Password login required). If you do not find course information within Canvas please refer to the course videos (links listed above) for information from your professor regarding the class. Within Canvas clicking on the title for a course will take you to the default course view. On the left, there will be a toolbar with options selected by the professor – these may be Assignments, Announcements, Grades, Web Links, or any combination of a wide variety of utilities. These will be different for each class. If you experience technical difficulties or have any questions regarding Canvas, please contact the Center for Distance Education’s Technical Assistance.


      Contact Information

      Photo of Daphne Knox

      Daphne Knox

      Online Education

      • Coordinator
      TJ Jankun Kelly Headshot

      Dr. T.J Jankun-Kelly

      Computer Science and Engineering

      • Graduate Coordinator
      Headshot of Tamra Swann

      Tamra Swann

      Engineering

      • Distance Education Coordinator