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Cyber Secuirty

Master of Science

Prepare for in-demand jobs in cybersecurity with the Master of Science in Cyber Security at Mercyhurst University.

As the world has become more connected, cybercrime has risen exponentially. The demand for cybersecurity professionals has never been higher — and it’s only going up. In fact, there’s a projected shortage of hundreds of thousands of qualified candidates for cybersecurity jobs in the coming years.

As an international leader in applied intelligence and cyber education, Mercyhurst University offers an online or on-campus cybersecurity master’s program that will prepare you for these roles, even if you have no prior experience in computer science.

Gain the knowledge and skills you need, from Cloud Security Skills, Web Security Skills, Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing Skills, to how to evaluate the legal, regulatory, and ethical issues related to cybersecurity and privacy, as well as how to effectively communicate complex cybersecurity information.

Program Overview

  • Location(s): Online or On Campus
  • Credits: 36
  • Duration: Minimum 24 months
  • Cost: $1,026 per credit; $39,000 total
  • Deadline: Rolling admissions
  • Start term(s): Fall or spring semester


As new threats and technologies have emerged, Mercyhurst has invested heavily in both data science and cybersecurity with the development of new master’s programs. Drawing on the diverse learning resources and experienced faculty in Mercyhurst's School of Intelligence, Computing, and Global Politics, home to our world-renowned applied intelligence studies department, these programs harness our national security bona fides to offer unparalleled instruction in some of today’s most dynamic fields.

Learning Outcomes

You’ll gain a competitive edge that will put you in high demand in the marketplace when you study cybersecurity at Mercyhurst. When you finish the cybersecurity program, you’ll be able to:

  • Analyze various cyberthreats to individuals and organizations 
  • Perform risk management for organizations
  • Recognize different risks that threaten an organization’s business and make recommendations on how to manage those threats
  • Evaluate the United States and international legal, regulatory, policy, and ethical issues involved in cybersecurity

Career Outlook in Cybersecurity

You’ll be in high demand for jobs across a wide range of industries, including banking, finance, insurance, as well as many government agencies. Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing professions with an expected 31% increase in jobs through 2029, well above the national average of 4% for all jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    CIS 500 Computing & Information Science Concepts

    Computing & Information Science studies the design, application, use, impact and ethical implications of computational principles and technology. This foundational class prepares students for advanced courses in Data Sciences, Cyber Security, and Cyber Risk Management. Topics covered include: computer organization, data structures, computer programming, networking concepts, computer security, and ethics.

    CIS 502 Penetration Testing

    This course introduces students to the principles and techniques of penetration testing and ethical hacking. Course topics include, reconnaissance, scanning, exploitation, and result reporting. The students will learn how system vulnerabilities can be exploited and the way to avoid such problems.

    RMGT 520 Cyber Risk Management

    This course covers the introduction to Risk Management to understand and mitigate cyber risk exposures. This course will review the risk management process, cyber risk exposures, cyberinsurance, regulatory environment and how cyber risk management applies to the enterprise.

    CIS 510 Algorithm Development

    This course introduces students to fundamental concepts of computer programming. Topics include: algorithms, abstract data types, linear and non-linear data structures, and software engineering. Students will get hands-on experience with the use of a high level programming language to search and sort data.

    CIS 560 Cyber Networks

    This foundational course prepares students to better understand today’s cybernetworks and how they can support the requirements of organizations. It introduces networking basics and demonstrates how networks can support the increasing demands of advanced communications. The course examines networking standards, protocols, architectures, management and security.

    CIS 561 Cyber Security

    This course provides a comprehensive overview of essential concepts to better understand cyber security. This course explores the risks, threats, and vulnerabilities associated with the digital world and introduces students to the principles of risk management, security standards, access controls, security audits, cryptography, compliance laws and privacy issues.

    CIS 562 Digital Forensics

    This course introduces students to the principles and practice of digital forensics, including computer crime, intellectual property, privacy issues, legal codes; risks, vulnerabilities, and countermeasures; methods and standards for data extraction, preservation, analysis; and deposition of legal evidence in a court of law.

    CIS 563 Cryptography & Network Security

    The Cryptography & Networks Security course covers the aspects of computer communications and networking security to secure data while in transfer or in storage. This includes cryptography, secret and public key cryptography, message digests, password-based, address-based, and cryptographic authentication, privacy, access controls, network security protocols and wireless security.

    CIS 564 Cyber Law & Policy

    The Cyber Law & Policy course covers different aspects of national and international legal issues concerning cyberspace. This includes computer-related crimes, legal rights and liabilities associated with computer security, computer fraud and unauthorized computer use, information privacy, espionage, HIPPA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, GDPR and Digital Rights Management.

    CIS 565 System & Application Security

    This course focuses on the security aspects of systems that are composed of components and connections, and use software. It addresses the security issues of connecting components and using them within larger systems. It covers the concepts, principles, models and techniques of access control, authentication, secure communication and audit, system’s virtualization, real-time systems, software security, and operating systems security.

    CIS 566 Cloud Security

    This course will describe the Cloud security architecture and explore the guiding security design and development principles, security patterns, industry standards, applied technologies and will address regulatory compliance requirements critical to design, implement, deliver and manage secure cloud-based services.                                    

    CIS 567 Web Security

    This course provides students an overall understanding of the most common web attacks and their countermeasures. This course deals with web security issues, such as web authentication, directory traversal, SQL injection, cross site scripting, and other web vulnerabilities.

    Successful completion of the Cyber Risk Management coursework will earn students two course waivers toward the prestigious Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation from The Institutes.