Masters in Cyber Security in USA: A Course Guide for International Student

    Masters in Cyber Security in USA is 1 to 2 year course which prepares professionals for cybersecurity and information assurance leadership roles in various corporations, agencies and organizations. The mode of delivery of program could be on-campus, online or both. It can be pursued as both full-time and part-time degree from universities of USA. 

    • A bachelors degree in computer science or related field is required to apply for MS in Cyber Security in USA.
    • Tuition fees of universities offering Masters in Cyber Security in USA range between 30,800 USD to 119,000 USD.
    • The average salary of cybersecurity graduates in the USA is up to 75,817 USD per year. 

    Why Study Masters In Cyber Security in USA?

    Masters in Cyber Security in USA is gaining popularity among study abroad aspirants in recent years because of the emerging career opportunities. Following are some of the reasons supporting this statement:

    • Job growth for Information Security Analyst is expected to be 32% by the year 2028 which is much higher than the national average of 5%.
    • Paygrade for an Informational Security Analyst is 99,730 USD per annum while the average of all computer occupations is only 88,240 USD per annum. 
    • Top recruiting industry for cybersecurity graduates in USA is finance and insurance paying up to 103,510 USD per year. 
    • Salary of a Cyber Security Analyst increases to 87,000 USD per annum with 5-9 years of experience.
    Salary increase

    Best Universities for Masters in Cyber Security in USA

    According to THE World University ranking for 2020, following are the 10 best universities for Masters in Cyber Security in USA along with their total program fees, duration and mode of delivery: 

    THE Ranking 2020 University Program Offered, Duration and Mode of Delivery Total Program Fees (in USD)
    13 University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley) Master of Information and Cybersecurity (1.7 years, Online) 118,973
    91 University of Maryland Masters of Engineering in Cybersecurity (1 year, Online) 30,840
    139 Tufts University MS in Cybersecurity and Public Policy (1 year, On-campus) 51,530
    198 George Washington University  MS in Cybersecurity in Computer Science (2 years, On-campus) 67,500
    251 – 300 Syracuse University  MS in Cybersecurity (1.25 years, Online) 60,750
    251 – 300 University of Delaware MS in Cybersecurity (2 years, Online) 74,220
    501 – 600 New Jersey Institute of Technology MS in Cybersecurity and Privacy (1 year, On-campus) 54,060
    601 – 800 Stevens Institute of Technology  Master in Cybersecurity (2 years, On-campus) 77,752
    - Mercyhurst University MS in Cybersecurity (2 years, Online | On-campus) 36,000
    - University of Tampa  MS in Cybersecurity (2 years, On-campus) 40,678

    Course Details of Masters in Cyber Security in USA

    MS in Cyber Security is a computer-based degree that includes studying communication networks and technologies and discussion of legal and ethical issues in computer security. In the USA, you can apply for on-campus, online, full-time as well as part-time Masters in Cyber Security degrees.

    While studying in the USA, you get to learn about forensic issues that helps in finding the source of a data hack. Most universities include a research or thesis project as part of the program, which gives the students a chance to focus on a specific area of interest.

    Types of Degrees in Masters in Cyber Security in USA

    • MS in Cyber Security: An MS in Cyber Security includes methods related to data integrity, disaster recovery, business continuity planning and risk management. The courses deal with advanced tools and techniques (e.g. forensics, cryptography/cryptanalysis) and important organizational practices (e.g. access control). 
    • MS in Computer Science (CS) with Specialization of Cyber Security: Some universities have chosen to stick with an MS in Computer Science and offer an elective/concentration in security instead of creating a separate degree program in cybersecurity. 
    • MS in Information Assurance (IA): Information assurance encompasses both the technical and managerial aspects of protecting and controlling information and information systems. In addition to technical courses on forensics, auditing, intrusion detection, etc., the students examine security policies, best practices, cyber law and other management issues.
    • MS in Information Technology (IT): An MS in Information Technology with a concentration in security is a qualification that CTOs and IT Managers may be interested in. Courses often deal with security risks, regulatory issues, organizational objectives and IT best practices.

    Admission Process of Masters in Cyber Security in USA

    Students with a bachelors degree in computer science, cybersecurity or a related field can apply in USA universities for Masters in Cyber Security. 

    Eligibility for Masters in Cyber Security in USA

    • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Cyber Security, or a related field
    • Many universities look for 3 or higher GPA (4-point scale) or 8.75 (10-point scale) or 83% for the last two years of the undergraduate studies.
    • Core Subject Requirements: 
      • 1-2 years of calculus
      • Math courses beyond calculus (e.g. linear algebra, discrete mathematics, differential equations, etc.)
      • Computer science courses (e.g. programming, data structures, computer architecture, etc.)
    • Proof of English proficiency

    Documents Required for Masters in Cyber Security in USA Admission 

    • Official transcripts
    • Statement of purpose (minimum 500 words)
    • Letters of recommendation
    • A writing sample from work or previous academic experiences. A two-page double-spaced word-processed essay that addresses the following two topics can be submitted as an alternative:
      • Discussing two accomplishments demonstrating the candidate’s potential for success in the graduate program.
      • Discussing unique personal qualities and life experiences that distinguish the applicant from other applicants to the graduate program.
    • Proof of English language proficiency
    • A financial certificate and supporting financial documents.
    • Current resume (a detailed summary of educational qualifications, personal profile, work experience, and extracurricular activities)
    • Copy of valid passport
    • Immigration Documents 
      • Bank and Sponsor Letter
      • Declaration and Certification of Finances
      • F-1 Transfer Form (if currently residing in the U.S. on an F-1 visa)

    English Language Requirement for International Students

    International students are required to submit IELTS or TOEFL test scores to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Minimum score requirement for applying to top universities of the USA is provided below:

    • IELTS: 6.5
    • TOEFL (iBT): 79
    • TOEFL (CBT): 213
    • TOEFL (PBT): 550

    Visa Requirement for International Students

    Getting an F1 student visa as an international student is an important aspect of the paperwork required. The requirements for the same is discussed in brief below:

    • Valid passport, expiry dates needs to exceed 2 years of the postgraduate program.
    • Bank balance covering the tuition fee and living cost of the first year. 
    • Bank statements that stands as a proof of scholarships offered by USA universities, in case the applicant has applied for any. 
    • Eligibility forms like I-20
    • SEVIS fees of 200 USD 

    Cost of Studying Masters in Cyber Security in USA

    The cost of study is a broad detail of the expenses that an international student planning to study abroad has to pay. The USA is not only one of the most popular international student destinations but also one of the most expensive student destinations too. So when planning for pursuing Masters in Cyber Security in USA, you must be familiar with the following costs. 

    Pre-Arrival Costs

    Before leaving for the USA, international students will have to spend a hefty sum of expenses like application fees, visa application fees, fees for exams required to study in the USA, etc. Some of these are discussed in the table below:

    Type of Expense Cost (USD)
    Program Application Fees 100-200
    Visa Application Fees 160
    IElTS Fees 185-190
    TOEFL Fees 160-250

    Tuition Fees for Masters in Cyber Security in USA

    UC Berkeley has the highest annual tuition fees for Masters in Cyber Security in USA ie. 69,984 USD. Mercyhurst University and University of Tampa has the lowest tuition fees. 

    Tuition Fees

    Cost of Living in USA

    The cost of pursuing studies in the USA is quite expensive as the cost of studying in the USA can be around 1000 USD/month approximately which is equivalent to 74,000 INR. Given below are the details of some of the monthly expenses that an international student will experience on a regular basis while studying here:

    • Accommodation - 200 USD (This cost will vary depending on the type of student accommodation in the USA opted by students)
    • Groceries - 200 USD
    • Food - 150 USD
    • Transport - 100 USD
    • Entertainment and shopping - 250 USD
    • International calls - 15 USD
    • Total expenses - 915 USD

    Note: These costs are an estimate and will vary as per the lifestyle of the applicant. 

    Scholarships for Masters in Cyber Security in USA

    As discussed above, studying and living in the USA can be cumbersome. Scholarships available for international students are one way out of burning this hole in your pocket. Discussed below are certain grants that you can apply for:

    Scholarship Amount (in USD)
    Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Varies
    Aga Khan Foundation Scholarship 50% grant & 50% loan
    Inlakhs Shivdasani Foundation Program  Varies
    Women Techmaker’s Scholarship 10,000
    Stokes Educational Scholarship  30,000
    NSF CyberCorps Scholarship for Service 50,000

    Looking for more options for scholarships in USA, click here to read more. In case, you are unable to apply for scholarships available, loans are also available for international students in USA

    Scope of Masters in Cyber Security in USA

    Cyber Security experts are needed in companies from all fields, but especially in financial, healthcare, and even educational institutions, where transactions, assets, and health records need to be protected from hackers. 

    There are multiple positions which can be occupied in these fields. They have in common great salaries and high demand for technical skills, attention to details, problem-solving mentality, and the ability to analyze risks.

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 28% job growth for cybersecurity professionals by 2026 and salaries are expected to be over 135,000 USD per year, with numbers varying according to location and years of experience.

    Some of the best IT Security jobs in the USA and the average annual salaries are tabulated below:

    Job Designation Annual Average Salary (USD) Job Designation Annual Average Salary (USD)
    Chief Information Security Officer 125,000 Security Engineer 88,000
    Information Security Manager 111,000 Data Security Analyst 85,600
    Cryptographer 100,000 Web Security Administrator 85,400
    Network Security Systems Manager 94,300 Penetration Tester 81,000
    Information Security Officer 91,000 Forensics Expert 71,000
    Security Assessor 90,000 Security Administrator 65,000

    The global epidemic of cyber-crime has caused a worldwide effort to beef up cybersecurity at organizations across all industry sectors. According to, the estimated cost of cyber-crime worldwide will skyrocket to $6 trillion a year by 2021, with hackers working round the clock to hit high-profile targets as Target, Uber, Equifax, the FBI and many more, making it an increasing threat. 

    The stakes are incredibly high as there is a worldwide shortage of 2.93 million Cyber Security professionals according to ISC2 (International Information System Security Certification Consortium) which makes it the right career choice for the science graduates. If you have a knack for computer hacking and getting to these criminals gives you the adrenaline rush, then Masters in Cyber Security is the righteous choice for you. 


    Ques. Can anyone apply for a Masters in Cyber Security in USA if his/her previous degrees was not in computer science?

    Ans. Yes, you can apply to the Masters in Cyber Security in USA even if your background is not in computer science. An advisor will review the previous studies and if you have the skills required for the program, conditional admission may be offered. Conditionally admitted students will need to take a few computer science prerequisite courses.

    Ques. How many credits does a candidate need to qualify as a full-time student for Masters in Cyber Security in USA?

    Ans. Full-time: 9 credits (3 courses) per semester to qualify as a full-time student. Part-time: 1 or 2 courses per semester to qualify as a part-time student.

    Ques. Can the Masters in Cyber Security in USA be completed entirely online?

    Ans. Yes, candidates can complete Masters in Cyber Security in USA fully online from some of the universities. Almost all electives are offered online now. Some of the universities offering the degree online are UC Berkeley, Mercyhurst University, etc. 

    Ques. Is it mandatory to know Python to apply to the Master's in Cyber Security in USA?

    Ans. Yes, admission in Masters in Cyber Security in USA does require students to know Python. Students will be expected to successfully pass a Python skills test before they are able to take any course that has Python as a prerequisite. If students do not successfully pass the Python skills test, they are expected to take additional coursework or complete self-study until they are able to pass the skills test.

    Ques. How much does a Masters in Cyber Security in USA cost?

    Ans. A Masters in Cyber Security in USA can cost anywhere around 15,000 USD to 50,000 USD for a year. 

    Ques. How much does a student with a degree in Masters in Cyber Security in USA earns?

    Ans. With a Masters in Cyber Security in USA, you can make as much as 65,000-125,000 USD per annum. This is equivalent to at least 48,07,335 to 92,44,875 INR.