Cyrbersecurity professionals preventing a hacker from gaining access to system data.

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Transfer up to
15 Credits
Credit for prior coursework

Meet the Critical Need for Cybersecurity Professionals with an MS in Cybersecurity

Advance your career with a fully online Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity that prepares you to protect an organization’s cyber assets. Learn the techniques and knowledge to prevent, detect, counter, and recover from cyber incidents.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security have designated Excelsior College as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. The MS in Cybersecurity curriculum focuses on data communication, ethics, legal and compliance issues, operational process, ethical hacking, software security, project management and risk management, and defensive technologies.

A cybersecurity expert knows that the most complex challenges can’t be solved by in a vacuum. In Excelsior’s unique set of core courses, you’ll work on interactive projects with your fellow students from across our programs and disciplines to begin your graduate education building connections and expanding your worldview in a suite of two courses on ethical leadership and strategic talent management.
These courses gives focus to a set of soft skills that are crucial in the growth and longevity of a cybersecurity professional.

By the end of the program, you’ll know how to apply your knowledge of cybersecurity in the workplace, and understand the implications of legal issues related cybersecurity, whether you work for a government agency, nonprofit organization, or private sector business.

Making your graduate program experience excellent—meet this faculty program director.


General, Information Assurance

Fast Facts:

Employment of cybersecurity professionals is projected to grow 13% by 2026 (Source: BLS)

The average median salary for an information security analyst is $95,510 (Source: BLS)

Master’s degree holders earn on average $1 million more over a lifetime than those with only a bachelor's degree (Source: Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce)


credit hours

Online MS in Cybersecurity Program Details

Transfer up to 15 credits of graduate-level credit completed within the past five years.

Core Cybersecurity Course Requirements

Ethical Leadership

This interdisciplinary course will develop highly effective transformational leaders in their respective professions who formulate sustainable, ethically sound solutions to practical management problems encountered in a complex global environment. You will learn how to set direction and work with multiple constituencies with divergent needs through an ethical lens that includes social responsibility and the intersections of diversity, culture, and environment, and how these differences affect best practices in management in your discipline.

Strategic Talent Management

This interdisciplinary course will enable you to acquire the skills necessary to strategically lead decisively across all functions in organizations, including recruitment and selection of employees, training and development, performance appraisals, health and safety, labor relations, and change management. You will be introduced to leadership and talent management within and across disciplines and apply strategies to the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. This course will integrate legal, management, and social science research with an action learning-based approach to executive-level leadership education. You will have the opportunity to apply these skills through your own disciplinary lens, and will gain an in-depth understanding of how these skills are applied in other disciplines.
Additionally, this course explores practical application of concepts to current issues to the field of public administration.

Foundations of Cybersecurity

Gain the knowledge and tools necessary to research cybersecurity threats, identify threats, and take action to minimize, mitigate, or eliminate the threats. The course covers the concepts of continuous training within the organization and addresses the company-wide impact of cybersecurity.

Network and Communication Security

This introduction to network security fundamentals is organized into four parts. The first part covers the basics of private key and public key cryptography, including the common encryption algorithms AES, RC4, and RSA. The second part builds on cryptography to design secure protocols for confidentiality, authentication, and data integrity. The third part covers how cyber-attacks proceed from reconnaissance to exploits and intrusions, and the last part of the course focuses on intrusion prevention, detection, and response.

Legal and Compliance Issues in Cybersecurity

Coursework examines the ethical, legal, and regulatory compliance issues related to the practice of cyber security. Focuses on the requirements, challenges, and dilemmas of data protection, due diligence, privacy laws, fraud and risk management, intellectual property, and ethical corporate codes of conduct. Covers key mandates and laws, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCA) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). To minimize liabilities and reduce risks from electronic, physical threats and reduce the losses from legal action, the information security practitioner must understand the current legal environment and , stay informed of emerging laws and regulations.

Information Assurance

Gain awareness, guidance, best practices, and assessments on the principles of information systems security. Online coursework covers the foundations of information systems security as defined by industry experts and the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)2.

Master’s in Cybersecurity Capstone: 3 Credits

In this final course of the program, students examine computer security technologies and principles such as cryptography, authentication, access control, database and software security, human factors, and security auditing. The course also covers IT security management, risk assessment, and legal and ethical considerations.

Concentrations (Choose One): 9 Credits


Choose from 9 credits worth of approved technical electives to customize the concentration to your career goals.

Information Assurance

Designed as a specialization for an individual who desires to be hands on while combating cybersecurity threats, the information assurance concentration prepares students for roles on the front line of defense. Required courses include:

  • Software and Application Security
  • Cyber Attacks and Defense
  • Digital Forensics and Investigations

Continuously monitor, maintain, and enhance the protection of enterprise-wide information assets through effective industry accepted information management and risk management techniques.

Detect, analyze, and respond to cyber-attacks on networks and computer systems.

Conduct risk and vulnerability assessments of existing and proposed information systems.

Utilize the best sources of information available related to cyber security issues, threats, and recovery.

Apply interdisciplinary leadership practices based on evidence that promote ethical, and collaborative sustainable change in cybersecurity.

Demonstrate proficiency in communicating technical information in formal reports, documentation, and oral presentations to users and information technology professionals.

Demonstrate a commitment to professional development and to continue to engage in lifelong learning.

Evaluate interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving and opportunities to lead a diverse/global workforce.

View additional details about programs and courses:

Download the Graduate Studies Catalog

Common Careers with an
Online MS in Cybersecurity

Digital IT Security and Governance

Digital Crime Investigator

Information Security Officer

Penetration Tester

Security and Compliance Manager

Senior Security Analyst

Katharin Rice-Gillis
Master of Science in Cybersecurity, 2015

"Excelsior bridges the gap of the ever-evolving cybersecurity field with the shortage of skilled professionals, by offering challenging academics, coupled with educators who are the very best in their field of study. Every instructor I had was the perfect instructor for that course. They knew their stuff, they were passionate, [and] they interacted with all of their students."

Recognitions & Accreditations

Middle States Commission on Higher Education logo

Institutional Accreditation

Excelsior College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. (267-284-5000) The MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Phase: Accredited
Status: Accreditation Reaffirmed
Accreditation Granted: 1977
Last Reaffirmation: 2017
Next Self-Study Evaluation: 2021-2022

All of Excelsior College’s academic programs are registered (i.e., approved) by the New York State Education Department.