Sep 27, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Cybersecurity, M.S.

Coordinator: Lori Sussman

Assistant Professor: Sussman; Lecturers: Hayes, Monnin

As the internet increasingly becomes a tool in both corporate and government arenas, the need for cybersecurity increases as well, and with it, the need for advanced, qualified cybersecurity professionals. One of the fastest growing job markets, demand for innovative cybersecurity professionals has increased in recent years. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, demand for computer security specialists will grow as businesses and governments invest more heavily in cybersecurity to protect vital computer networks and electronic infrastructures from attack.

The M.S. program in cybersecurity is jointly offered online by the University of Southern Maine and the University of Maine at Augusta. The program’s goals are to provide high quality master’s level education in the field of cybersecurity; to enhance knowledge, technical skills, and tools that can be applied immediately in the workforce; to fill the demand for cybersecurity professionals in all sectors and industries; and to enhance ethical behavior for professionals dealing with cyber assets.

Program Requirements

The M.S. degree in cybersecurity consists of 30 credits, including 24 credits of coursework and 6 credits of either thesis research or a capstone project. By the beginning of the second semester (or completion of 8 credits), students are required to choose either the thesis or capstone pathway, and they declare a research topic, advisor, and advisory committee. The committee consists of the advisor and at least two other faculty members. External committee members may be included, with approval of the advisor.

Whereas both thesis and capstone options combine theory and application, the thesis option is designed to train students as researchers, particularly if they wish to pursue doctoral degrees. The thesis option combines coursework with original research on a topic of interest, either as part of a larger research program of a faculty member or of the student’s own design, which culminates in a thesis worthy of publication in an appropriate, peer reviewed journal. The capstone project focuses on practical applications, extending classroom study to solve real-world problems. It is suitable for students pursuing careers in cybersecurity. Both options include coursework that strengthens a student’s knowledge of the field and develops critical thinking and communication skills.