Department of Technology

MS in Cybersecurity

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.

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.

Required Courses: (24 Credits)

CYB 501 Cybersecurity Fundamentals (3 cr)
CYB 515 Research Methods (3 cr)
CYB 530 Project Management in Cybersecurity (3 cr)
CYB 551 Cyber Laws, Policies, and Ethics (3 cr)
CYB 576 Network Security Management (3 cr)
CYB 582 Cybersecurity Investigations (3 cr)
CYB 583 Database and Application Security (3 cr)
CYB 584 Cybersecurity Operations (3 cr)

In addition, students choose either a capstone project or thesis: (6 credits)

CYB 591 Capstone Project Proposal (3 cr) and CYB 592 Capstone Project Presentation (3 cr)
or
CYB 698 Thesis Research (6 cr)

Applicant Qualifications 

  • Bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Previous academic or work experience in Information Technology, Cybersecurity, or a related field.

Application Procedures and Required Materials 

Application Deadline: August 1 for Fall semester, January 2nd for Spring Semester


Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

  • Application: Online Application
    • Please note: The MS in Cybersecurity is offered in partnership with the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA). Applicants have the option of applying to either USM or to UMA. Learn more.
  • Application fee: Waived for all applicants 
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution. 
  • International College transcripts: In addition to an official copy of the transcript, an official evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency is required
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • Essay: Answer the following question: "What have you done in your education, experience, etc. that has prepared you to enter a Masters in Cybersecurity program.” 
    If you use citations, APA format is preferred.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation: Recommendations should be from individuals who are qualified, through direct experience with your academic or professional work, to comment on your ability to undertake graduate study and your chosen profession.  
  • TOEFL or IELTS: Students whose first language is not English may be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information below regarding test scores.

Where to send transcripts and application materials

Official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:

Application Processing Center
University of Maine System
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412

Colleges and universities that participate in electronic submission of transcripts can send official transcripts to edocs@maine.edu. Resumes, essays, and other documents can also be sent to edocs@maine.edu

For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation.

International Applicants 

In addition to the standard application materials, international students must also provide the following materials:

  • College transcript evaluation: official course-by-course evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency
  • Declaration of Finances form accompanied by the appropriate financial documentation
    International students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.

English Proficiency Test Scores

Official English proficiency examination scores are required from international applicants and/or applicants whose primary language is not English, unless the applicant has received a degree from an English-speaking institution. The University of Southern Maine accepts the following score reports sent directly from the testing agency. TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for a graduate program.

The MS in Cybersecurity is offered in partnership with the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA). Together, we offer a competitive tuition, expert faculty, and exceptional graduate student resources. Learn more.

Questions about the application process? Contact our Office of Admissions.