Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Offered By: College of Science, Engineering, & Technology

What Is a Master of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is a growing concern in the increasingly interconnected digital landscape. Breaches in cybersecurity can lead to serious consequences for consumers, patients and companies. These breaches can also impact municipal, state and federal government agencies. There is a high demand for fully trained cybersecurity specialists in all areas of the country and global community. To meet this rising demand, Grand Canyon University has developed a Master of Science in Cybersecurity program. This is offered by the College of Science, Engineering and Technology.

Students in the online master's in cybersecurity program develop a keen understanding of the many factors that influence and jeopardize cybersecurity. This comprehensive program trains candidates to safeguard systems, data, processes and people through the use of white hat practices. Digital forensics, penetration testing, vulnerability assessment and exploitation techniques are examined. The modern curriculum in the MS in Cybersecurity degree at GCU includes the exploration of cyber-warfare and cyber-defense issues.

As a modern university, GCU understands the need for flexible learning paths. You can earn your MS in Cybersecurity while continuing to meet your current obligations. Our dynamic online learning platform enables you to collaborate with and learn from your peers. The online Master’s in Cybersecurity requires a total of 34 credits for completion. Most of the online courses take eight weeks to complete.

What You Will Learn in the MS in Cybersecurity Program at GCU

During this program, candidates develop core competencies that enable them to serve as industry leaders. Students learn the advanced technical skills necessary to defend organizations from cyber-attacks. At the same time, they enhance their communication skills, critical thinking abilities and leadership qualities.

There is an emphasis on the Christian worldview and ethical decision-making in the digital sphere. This online master's in cybersecurity gives students a firm grasp on the Hackers with Halos™ methodology. Hackers with Halos™ is an approach that embraces Christian ethics and principles and applies them to white hat computer applications.

Careers for MS in Cybersecurity Degree Graduates

GCU’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity offers students intensive, hands-on learning experiences to thoroughly prepare them to pursue challenging, high-tech careers. The following learning objectives and core competencies are included:

  • Risk assessment, countermeasures, security policies and frameworks
  • Ideologies of cyber-crime, identification of attack vectors and impact analysis of failed security measures
  • Policy perspectives on security design
  • Protection of intellectual property through encryption, hardware security and layered security defense strategies

The degree culminates with a capstone course: Cybersecurity Program Development. Students are required to develop a full cybersecurity program, taking any ethical or legal challenges into consideration.

Some of the job opportunities with a master’s in cybersecurity may include:

  • Corporate information systems manager
  • Information security analyst
  • Computer network architect
  • Chief executive
  • General operations manager
  • Management analysts
  • Project management specialists
  • Social and community service manager
  • Human resource manager

If you are interested in pursuing an MS in Cybersecurity but have an undergraduate degree in an unrelated field, you may consider applying for a certificate in cybersecurity before applying for the MS in Cybersecurity degree. Students interested in changing careers can use the certificate program to acquire the necessary foundational knowledge, and to prepare for success in the MS program.

Get More Information!

Loading Form

Total Credits: 34
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $575 per credit [More Info]

Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity FAQs

If completed without interruption, GCU’s master’s in cybersecurity takes 76 weeks to finish. With up to 12 transfer credits, it is possible to complete the program in less time.

If you have the drive to further your education and strengthen your career potential, a master’s degree in cybersecurity is absolutely worth it. As of September 2021, job growth for information security analysts is on track to grow by an estimated 33% from 2020 to 2030.1 Aside from the potential for higher pay and increased job security, an MS in Cybersecurity degree not only teaches advanced cybersecurity knowledge, but also leadership skills that will become necessary for a professional leadership role.

GCU’s MS in cybersecurity is offered fully online for students who need maximum flexibility, as well as on-campus for those in-person learners. The online master’s in cybersecurity provides students with the flexibility needed to pursue graduate school as a path to reach their professional goals.

Graduates of GCU’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity degree may become information technology managers who plan, coordinate and direct the security of an organization’s network. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for computer and information systems managers was $151,150 in 2020.2

1 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, the data shown is based on September 2021, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer and Information Systems Managers, retrieved in April 2022.

2 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer and Information Systems Managers as of May 2020. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as computer and information systems managers. It does not reflect workers’ earnings in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. The median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path.

Course List

34 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
34 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.

Course Description

With a brief introduction to cybercrime and cybersecurity, this course will provide students with an overview of the various attacks and the countermeasures organizations can use to defend themselves. Exploring concepts such as defense-in-depth, layered security, vulnerability assessments, risk management, governance and compliance, and encryption; students will become familiar with prevention and protection theories, best practices, and strategies to securing corporate data (intellectual property). This course will conclude with an exploration of the various hacker psychologies and the differences between black-hat, grey-hat, and white-hat (Hackers with Halos) hackers. Prerequisite: UNV-504 or UNV-507.

Course Description

This course introduces enterprise infrastructure design; including hardware, software, policies, and business processes. Emphasis is placed on integrating security solutions and theories in alignment with business objectives to achieve sustainability, reliability, and availability while deterring threats from cyber-attacks. This course also introduces students to the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, providing a foundation to formulating a strategy for cybersecurity program design. Prerequisite: CYB-505.

Course Description

This course examines the tools and technologies used to secure an organization’s intellectual property. Students will consider encryption, hardware security, software vulnerabilities, remote access technologies, and layered security defense strategies in the development of secure architectures. A technology-focused course, students will provide effective solutions around firewalls, networking, server security, database and website protocols, and VPN configurations. Prerequisites: CYB-505 and CYB-515.

Course Description

This course introduces a policy perspective on security design. Students will consider cybersecurity frameworks, policies, cyber law, regulations, and standards in the configuration, development, and design of an enterprise policy infrastructure. In addition, students will examine the impact of policy implementation on enterprise systems and personnel management. Prerequisite: CYB-505.

Course Description

This intensive hands-on course will provide with students the experience of working with various cybersecurity technologies and techniques that hackers and malicious actors use to scan, identify, and exploit vulnerabilities in an organization. Students will also formulate strategies of protection from such threats by identifying risks, countermeasures, security policies, frameworks, and best practices to align and enhance an organization’s security posture through the development of a risk management plan. Prerequisites: CYB-515 and CYB-525.

Course Description

This course explores the human and enterprise aspects of cybersecurity management. From information security awareness to strategic planning; students will begin with the examination of the ideologies behind cybercrime, where attacks come from and why, followed by implementation techniques to best align cybersecurity applications with business objectives. This course provides a look at the strategies security professionals use to identify the attack vectors and plan accordingly to secure information systems using various industry compliances, regulations, and standards to design and implement cost effective controls, policies, and training to implement defense-in-depth techniques. This course ends with an impact analysis of when security measures fail, which includes legal elements and liability and ethical issues relating to forensic investigations. Prerequisite: CYB-535.

Course Description

This course reinforces the significance, use, and deployment of security frameworks from a small-to-medium sized business (SMB) perspective to increase visibility, reduce risk from malicious activity, improve security posture, and enhance infrastructure to secure a company’s intellectual property. Using various controls, policies, best practices, and implementation guides, students will establish a security framework for an organization that secures and aligns with an appropriate regulation (e.g., PCI DSS, HIPAA, SOX, GLBA). Prerequisite: CYB-535.

Course Description

This course culminates the entire program by requiring students to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity program. Evaluating the legal and ethical challenges; incorporating the policies, frameworks, and methodologies; and identifying the hardware, software, and application requirements to secure an organization’s intellectual property, customer data, and resources. Students will apply managerial and leadership skills to develop and communicate an effective cybersecurity program. Prerequisites: CYB-610, CYB-630, and CYB-650.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

Scroll back to top