As the need for cybersecurity increases, several universities throughout Alabama offer master's level degree programs in the field. Students in these programs usually take coursework involving aspects of computer science, business and/or engineering. Explore some of the different program options at a few of Alabama's schools.
Schools in Alabama with Graduate Programs in Cybersecurity
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers a Master of Science (MS) in Cyber Security that totals 30 semester hours. Students in the program select a concentration in IT audit/fraud examination or computer forensics/cybercrime investigation and take courses in their selected area in addition to the core courses for the program. Students in either specialization receive hands-on experience through a practicum with an organization in the public or private sector. Core courses cover topics in networking, computer and network security, forensics and cyber risk management.
Auburn University in Auburn has a unique MS in Cybersecurity Engineering degree program. The program requires a total of 33 credit hours and culminates in a capstone engineering project. The project requires a written report and students must create a software that confirms their understanding of cybersecurity engineering. Students can take the program completely on-campus, online or in a hybrid format and must complete core courses in algorithms, digital forensics, operating systems, computer and network security and computer architecture.
Auburn University at Montgomery
Auburn University at Montgomery offers a Master of Computer Information Systems and Cyber Security degree program. Students can complete the program in 2 years and must complete 36 semester hours to graduate. The program provides a thesis option and a non-thesis option, where in place of a thesis, students complete a practicum experience, seminar in security policy and a research course in operations. Students in the program take courses in network security, software systems security, cryptology, modeling and simulation and more.
Although it is not a degree program, Troy University in Troy has a Cyber Security Certificate Program through their Continuing Education program. The certificate program is completely online and is designed for working professionals. Students in the program complete 4 courses that are each 4-weeks in length and cover topics in networks, web security, computer security and network security. Each course also includes 1 Saturday laboratory on-campus that provides hands-on learning opportunities for students, but it is optional.
Common Entrance Requirements
Students pursuing graduate degree programs in cybersecurity usually need to have a bachelor's degree, but the major for the degree can usually be in any field. However, some programs may require students who do not have the necessary background in various areas of computer forensics, like networking, probability and statistics and computer programming, to take some prerequisite coursework while they are admitted on a contingency basis. Applicants may need to meet minimum GPA requirements, usually around a 3.0, and most programs require students to submit GRE scores. Other common application materials for these degrees include letters of recommendation.
Alabama primarily offers MS programs that are specifically in cybersecurity that usually include a capstone experience. These MS programs typically require 30 to 33 credit hours and may offer additional concentrations or tracks, but students can also pursue certificate programs in cybersecurity or degree programs in computer systems that include cybersecurity issues.