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

Komal Yadav Komal Yadav
Study Abroad Expert

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. It can be pursued as both full-time and part-time degree. The mode of delivery of the program in universities of USA can be online, on-campus or both. 

  • 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 2020UniversityProgram Offered, Duration and Mode of DeliveryTotal Program Fees (in USD)Annual Fees
13University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley)Master of Information and Cybersecurity (1.7 years, Online)118,97369984
91University of MarylandMasters of Engineering in Cybersecurity (1 year, Online)30,84030840
139Tufts UniversityMS in Cybersecurity and Public Policy (1 year, On-campus)51,53051530
198George Washington University MS in Cybersecurity in Computer Science (2 years, On-campus)67,50033750
251 – 300Syracuse University MS in Cybersecurity (1.25 years, Online)60,75048,600
251 – 300University of DelawareMS in Cybersecurity (2 years, Online)74,22037110
501 – 600New Jersey Institute of TechnologyMS in Cybersecurity and Privacy (1 year, On-campus)54,060
601 – 800Stevens Institute of Technology Master in Cybersecurity (2 years, On-campus)77,75238876
-Mercyhurst UniversityMS in Cybersecurity (2 years, Online | On-campus)36,00018000
-University of Tampa MS in Cybersecurity (2 years, On-campus)40,67820384

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 anF1 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 ExpenseCost (USD)
    Program Application Fees100-200
    Visa Application Fees160
    IElTS Fees185-190
    TOEFL Fees160-250

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

    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:

    ScholarshipAmount (in USD)
    Hubert H. Humphrey FellowshipVaries
    Aga Khan Foundation Scholarship50% grant & 50% loan
    Inlakhs Shivdasani Foundation Program Varies
    Women Techmaker’s Scholarship10,000
    Stokes Educational Scholarship 30,000
    NSF CyberCorps Scholarship for Service50,000

    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 DesignationAnnual Average Salary (USD)Job DesignationAnnual Average Salary (USD)
    Chief Information Security Officer125,000Security Engineer88,000
    Information Security Manager111,000Data Security Analyst85,600
    Cryptographer100,000Web Security Administrator85,400
    Network Security Systems Manager94,300Penetration Tester81,000
    Information Security Officer91,000Forensics Expert71,000
    Security Assessor90,000Security Administrator65,000

    The global epidemic of cyber-crime has caused a worldwide effort to beef up cybersecurity at organizations across all industry sectors. According to CybersecurityVentures.com, 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. 

    FAQs

    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. 

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