Become a cyber superhero. Technology and the sustained flow of information now touch every part of our daily lives. Attacks on our interconnected financial networks, utility systems, and lines of communication, if successful, can be crippling to the pulse of organized society. Concern about the global threat of cyber-terrorism led the Volgenau School of Engineering to design the only degree of its kind in the country. A BS in cyber security engineering focuses on safeguarding existing systems and building resilient new ones.
Cyber Security Engineering, BS
Please see the University Catalog for complete program requirements and policies, and discuss all program plans with an academic advisor. Certain courses may fulfill multiple requirements across the Mason Core general education program, the college or school, and/or the specific program.
Degree Requirements (126 credits total)
Mason Core General education program required for all undergraduate students.
College Requirement(s) n/a
Major Requirements (108 credits)
Advising and Plan of Study All cyber security engineering students are assigned a faculty advisor. With the advisor’s help and approval, each student is required to complete a plan of study. This plan of study constitutes a learning plan for the degree program.
Cyber Security Engineering Core (65 credits)
- CYSE 101 - Introduction to Cyber Security Engineering (3 credits)
- CYSE 205 - Systems Engineering Principles (3 credits)
- CYSE 211 - Operating Systems and Lab (3 credits)
- CYSE 220 - Systems Modeling (3 credits)
- CYSE 230 - Computer Networking (3 credits)
- CYSE 301 - Digital Systems (3 credits)
- CYSE 325 - Discrete Events Systems Modeling (3 credits)
- CYSE 330 - Introduction to Network Security (3 credits)
- CYSE 411 - Secure Software Engineering (3 credits)
- CYSE 421 - Industrial Control Systems Security (3 credits)
- CYSE 425 - Secure RF Communications (3 credits)
- CYSE 430 - Critical Infrastructure Protection (3 credits)
- CYSE 445 - System Security and Resilience (3 credits)
- CYSE 450 - Cyber Vulnerability Lab (1 credit)
- CYSE 465 - Transportation Systems Design (3 credits)
- CYSE 470 - Human Factors and Cyber Security Engineering (3 credits)
- CYSE 475 - Cyber Physical Systems (3 credits)
- CYSE 491 - Engineering Senior Seminar (2 credits)
- CYSE 492 - Senior Advanced Design Project I (2 credits)
- CYSE 493 - Senior Advanced Design Project II (3 credits)
- 3 approved technical electives selected from the elective requirements below. (9 credits)
Electives allow students to gain special expertise in selected areas of cyber security engineering. Students are required to take 9 hours selected from the following:
- CYSE 424 - Embedded and Real Time Systems (3 credits)
- CYSE 460 - Power Systems and Smart Grid (3 credits)
- CYSE 461 - Power Grid Security (3 credits)
- CYSE 462 - Mobile Devices and Network Security (3 credits)
- CYSE 467 - GPS Security (3 credits)
- CYSE 476 - Cryptography and Computer Network Security (3 credits)
- CYSE 477 - Intrusion Detection (3 credits)
- CYSE 478 - Cyber Security Audit and Compliance (3 credits)
- CYSE 479 - Methods of User Authentication (3 credits)
- CYSE 480 - Malicious Software and Hardware (3 credits)
Mathematics and Statistics (20 credits)
- MATH 113 - Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (4 credits)
- MATH 114 - Analytic Geometry and Calculus II (4 credits)
- MATH 203 - Linear Algebra (3 credits)
- MATH 213 - Analytic Geometry and Calculus III (3 credits)
- MATH 214 - Elementary Differential Equations (3 credits)
- STAT 344 - Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I (3 credits)
Natural Sciences Credits: (8 credits)
- PHYS 160 - University Physics I (3 credits)
- PHYS 161 - University Physics I Laboratory (1 credit)
- PHYS 260 - University Physics II (3 credits)
- PHYS 261 - University Physics II Laboratory (1 credit)
Computer Science Credits: (7 credits)
- CS 112 - Introduction to Computer Programming (4 credits)
- CS 222 - Computer Programming for Engineers (3 credits)
Engineering Credits: (2 credits)
Oral Communication and Economics Credits: (6 credits)
Additional Mason Core (18 credits)
Students must complete all Mason Core requirements not fulfilled by major requirements.
- Written Communication (6 credits)
- Literature (3 credits)
- Arts (3 credits)
- Western Civilization/World History (3 credits)
- Global Understanding (3 credits)
All students must submit at least 24 credits of social science and humanities course work, which is normally satisfied by the 24 credits of Mason Core social science and humanities courses listed above.
Total: 126 credits
Students who earn their degree from the first such program in the U.S. will be uniquely positioned for high-demand careers protecting physical systems from cyber attacks. Graduates will find jobs in government, defense, transportation, telecommunications, or almost any field they choose. The first class entered in 2014 and local employers such as the Advanced Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University and Northrop Grumman are already courting these students for internships.
By integrating areas of expertise (electrical engineering, computer engineering, civil engineering, bioengineering, systems engineering, computer science, and statistics) the program teaches a proactive approach in engineering design of physical systems with cybersecurity incorporated from the beginning.
Students learn in both virtual and physical labs using their strong computational foundation to solve problems. For example, students designed Wi-Fi-based local drone controllers for a lightweight quadcopter and a drone subverter that can hijack the quadcopter and steal the control when someone else is operating it. Students then explore possible security solutions to improve security.
In their final year, students will develop senior capstone projects in conjunction with current industry needs for cyber-resilient systems.