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Master of Science Degree in Cyber Security

degree in cyber security


Earn a graduate degree in cyber security

Detect threats. Protect data. Get a high-paying job.

SFA’s cyber security program provides students with the knowledge and the skills necessary for students to respond to online threats to computer systems. As a cyber security student, you’ll learn how vulnerabilities occur in a computer system – and how to protect these systems from exploitation.

Get your (virtual) hands dirty

As a cyber security graduate student, you’ll do more than listen to lectures. Our program provides students with plenty of opportunities for hands-on experimentation and research. You’ll work closely with faculty members whose research interests include secure coding and implementation, cyberattack defense, cryptography, malware detection/prevention and cyber data analysis. As part of the program requirements you will either partake in an internship or conduct original research in cyber security.

SFA’s computer science research laboratories are equipped with systems and software needed for cyberattack analysis and simulation. Our labs allow you to run simulated attacks, find security flaws and, most importantly, learn how to prevent future cyberattacks.

Graduate program and requirements

Master of Science in Cyber Security

The Master of Science in cyber security prepares students to identify and respond to threats to computer systems, learning how vulnerabilities occur and how to prevent them. Students work closely with faculty while conducting research and experiments in SFA’s state-of-the-art research laboratories.

Students with a computer science background

All students with a bachelor’s degree in computer science will have the necessary background to begin study in the master’s program. Students entering with degrees, such as Information Technology, may be required to complete undergraduate leveling courses.

Students with a non-computer science background

Entrance into the cyber security program is open to all students holding a bachelor’s degree without regard to major. It is not necessary to have any previous computer science coursework to be admitted, but students must have some basic computer science knowledge and may be required to take undergraduate computer science courses to raise your baseline skill set. Our program requires a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all leveling computer science courses and a B or higher in CSCI 3302.

Students are encouraged to begin their time at SFA in the summer leading up to their first semester to complete foundational undergraduate courses such as CSCI 1302 and CSCI 2302.

All Cyber Security students

All cyber security students are required to complete 36 hours of graduate level courses, which includes 15 hours from required courses, 12 hours general cyber security electives graduate courses and 6 hours of graduate statistics. In addition, students either complete 3 hours from an approved cyber security internship or an original research project with a graduate faculty member. A complete list of courses and instructions on how to apply are available on the Graduate Bulletin.

Cyber Security Sample Degree Plans

Please see below for sample degree plans for students entering our programs in either a fall even year or odd year semester.

Undergraduate students enrolled in our computer science programs can take advantage of SFA’s overlap program and can commence taking graduate courses while completing their undergraduate requirements. Students should review the requirements and steps to apply for the overlap program in the Graduate Catalog or email our department at Taking advantage of the overlap program will enable a student to complete their undergraduate and graduate degrees in five years at SFA.

Please see below for 5 year sample degree plans for students beginning the overlap program in a fall even year or odd year semester.

Cyber Security Advising Form

Please see an advising form for our degree program. The advising form shows the degree requirements, including the suggested undergraduate course coverage that a student should complete prior to beginning graduate coursework.

Graduate Assistantships

The Department of Computer Science is allocated a limited number of graduate teaching assistantships that prospective students can apply for. The assistantships provide a 9-month academic year stipend and enables a student to eligible for an additional GTA/GRA Scholarship. As a teaching assistant you will work closely with faculty mentors in providing academic support in training undergraduate students through teaching, tutoring, grading or other teaching-related duties. This is an excellent way to serve the community, enhance your communication skills and develop closer relationships with graduate faculty.

Interested students can apply for an assistantship once they have submitted their graduate application and been accepted into our Cyber Security graduate program. Students are then able to apply using the the Graduate Teaching Assistant Application Form. For full consideration, applications must be received prior to March 1.

Graduate Teaching Assistant Application Form


Department of Computer Science

Physical Address:
Cole STEM Building
Suite 312

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 13063, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962