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Cyber security professionals hold essential roles in protecting organizations’ assets in industries including finance, insurance, manufacturing, public policy, and defense. WPI’s Master’s in Cyber Security trains students to be highly technical cyber security professionals who apply their knowledge within the contexts of business and human behavior.

Unlike other master’s in cyber security programs, WPI’s Master’s in Cyber Security program teaches security subjects and skills within a societal context. Students learn rigorous technical material and its application within business, policy, and other fields. Students in WPI’s Master’s in Cyber Security graduate program choose courses that match their interests and specific career goals. A path of study may include applying security techniques, researching new techniques, or combining research with its application in policy and industry. The program uses real-world experiential learning and research opportunities to ensure students are prepared for an evolving threat landscape.

The Master’s in Cyber Security draws from WPI’s deep expertise across the computer science, electrical and computer engineering, and mathematical sciences departments and the Foisie Business School.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology indicates there is a global shortage of three million cyber security professionals. The job market for master’s and cyber security jobs is rapidly growing and lucrative. These positions play an important role in finance, insurance, manufacturing, public policy, and defense. Without well trained security professionals, organizations are vulnerable to security breaches, which cost the global economy hundreds of billions of dollars annually.

Applicants are expected to demonstrate sufficient background in computing for graduate-level work. Background in developing or using software tools is required. A bachelor’s degree in computer science, electrical engineering, information technology, or other related fields should be adequate preparation. Students from other backgrounds may apply if they can demonstrate their readiness through other means, such as GRE exams, professional certifications, or relevant technical work experience.

Working on computer terminal

Curriculum

WPI’s Master’s in Cyber Security program has both a standard and an advanced academic track to accommodate students with significant prior preparation as well as those seeking to become professionals in the field. 

Students on either WPI Master’s in Cyber Security degree program track complete 30 credits and earn the same credential (the tracks are for course selection only and are not officially recorded). On each track, students focus on either a software-centric or hardware-centric collection of courses.

Students on the standard track may complete

  • 3 bridge courses 
    • CS 5007 Introduction to Programming Concepts, Data Structures, and Algorithms
    • CS 5008 Introduction to Systems and Network Programming
    • CS 509 Design of Software Systems
  • 3 core courses
    • One technically-focused course from:
      • CS 557 Software Security Design and Analysis
      • CS 558 Computer Network Security
      • DS/ECE 577 Machine Learning in Cybersecurity
      • ECE 579S Computer Security
      • ECE 579C Applied Cryptography and Physical Attacks
    • One human behavior-focused course from:
      • CS 571 Case Studies in Computer Security
      • CS 525 Digital Forensics
      • CS 525 Computer Crime Law
      • ECE 579B Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies
         
    • MIS 582 Information Security Management
  • 3 depth courses 
  • ECE 573/CS 578 Cryptography & Data Security
  • ECE 673 Advanced Cryptography
  • CS 564 Advanced Topics in Computer Security
  • OIE 542 Risk Management & Decision Making
  • Any core course from above that has not been used to satisfy the core requirement.
  • capstone experience 

 

Students on the advanced track may complete 

  • 3 core courses 
    • One technically-focused course from:
      • CS 557 Software Security Design and Analysis
      • CS 558 Computer Network Security
      • DS/ECE 577 Machine Learning in Cybersecurity
      • ECE 579S Computer Security
      • ECE 579C Applied Cryptography and Physical Attacks
    • One human behavior-focused course from:
      • CS 571 Case Studies in Computer Security
      • CS 525 Digital Forensics
      • CS 525 Computer Crime Law
      • ECE 579B Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies
         
    • MIS 582 Information Security Management
  • 3 depth courses 
  • ECE 573/CS 578 Cryptography & Data Security
  • ECE 673 Advanced Cryptography
  • CS 564 Advanced Topics in Computer Security
  • OIE 542 Risk Management & Decision Making
  • Any core course from above that has not been used to satisfy the core requirement.
  • 3 elective courses 
  • capstone experience 

For students pursuing a thesis, the capstone and two elective courses may be swapped for a 9-credit MS thesis.

Facts & Figures

Research

WPI’s cyber security research groups are open to faculty and students to collaborate, innovate, and make new discoveries.

  • The Cake Lab explores various problems related to security and applied logic, including research on privacy, network security, software engineering, software verification, security, and programming languages.
  • The Vernam Group researches hardware security and the consequences of hardware vulnerabilities to the future of computing, from the cloud to the Internet of Things. Topics cover secure system software, innovations in cryptography including post-quantum cryptography and lightweight cryptography, machine learning applications of security, hardware security of FPGA and SoCs, side-channel analysis and fault attacks, physical tamper resistance, solutions for Trojan detection and anti-counterfeiting, and much more.
Andrew  Clark

Andrew Clark

Associate Professor-Engineering

I'm an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute since January 2015. My main research areas are in control and security of networked and cyber-physical systems. Prior to joining WPI, I received a BSE in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (2007), an MS in Mathematics from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (2008), and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington - Seattle (2014) under the supervision of Radha Poovendran and Linda Bushnell.

Lorenzo  DeCarli

Lorenzo De Carli

Assistant Professor-Computer Science

I am generally interested in network security and traffic analysis, and in the challenges that arise when attempting to design security systems which are performanteffective, and usable. My interests cover:

  • IoT and residential network security
  • Web and cloud security
  • Software security
  • Malware detection and understanding
  • Usable security
Daniel J. Dougherty

Daniel J. Dougherty

Professor

The common thread running through my teaching and research is the use of mathematical methods---especially methods based on logic---in designing and building systems. Interesting systems are too complex to be understood by informal intuitions, and it can be very powerful to use formal tools to help understand whether the system we are actually building really fulfills our ideas about what it is supposed to do. Tools based on logic can help people build things in a way guided by specification, and indeed they can help people arrive at the right formal specification in the first place.

Fatemeh  Emdad

Fatemeh Emdad

Teaching Professor-Computer Science

Professor Fatemeh Emdad completed her Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics with a concentration in Applied Mathematics at Colorado State University. She is the recipient of the top-ranked student academic award from the President of Shiraz University. She is the author of the book High Dimensional Data Analysis and more than 20 journal and conference articles. She completed her postdoctoral degree with the University of Texas Medical Branch and Shriners Hospital for Children Burn Unit when she was the NIH postdoctoral scientist fellow (under Ruth L.

William J. Martin

William Martin

Professor

Bill Martin's goal is to find mathematical research projects that lie between beautiful and powerful mathematical theory, on the one hand, and pressing technological applications, on the other. This effort requires one to keep abreast of both mathematical developments and applications in computer science and engineering. Professor Martin's mathematical research is in the area of algebraic combinatorics, where tools from linear and abstract algebra are applied to problems in discrete math.

Craig A. Shue

Craig A. Shue

Associate Professor

I am interested in computer networking and security. Given the significance of the Internet in our economy and society, I am interested in improvements and studies that can have a real-world impact. My recent work has focused on how to make both enterprise and residential networks more secure. In my research work, I am exploring ways to change the traditional computer network communication model using techniques such as software-defined networking and network function virtualization.

Berk  Sunar

Berk Sunar

Professor

I received my PhD in ECE from Oregon State University in December 1998 and worked briefly as a member of the research faculty at OSU's Information Security Laboratory. In 2000 I joined WPI as an assistant professor. My research interests include cryptography and data security; I head the Cryptography and Information Security Laboratory, whose mission is to address security problems and develop new security technologies to ensure the safety of all facets of the communication and computing infrastructure.

Robert Joseph Walls

Robert J. Walls

Assistant Professor

My research focuses on systems security and performance.  Consequently, my projects often lie at the intersection of software and hardware. Some of my projects include developing compiler-based defenses for embedded microcontrollers, providing security and privacy for deep learning, and reverse-engineering the behavior of proprietary GPU microarchitectures to improve system performance. 

Craig E Wills

Craig Wills

Professor and Department Head

My research has primarily focused on Internet application performance and measurement with more recent work examining issues related to Internet privacy. This work has led to a number of research publications and presentations as well as visibility in venues such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and NPR Science Friday.

Patrick Robert Schaumont

Patrick Schaumont

Professor-Engineering

I joined Worcester Polytechnic Institute in January 2020. Before that, I was a faculty member at Virginia Tech, a graduate student at UCLA, and a researcher at IMEC in Belgium. My research interests are in hardware security related topics, a field that gained enormous traction over the past two decades. I work on challenges in cryptographic engineering, and on making systems secure and tamper resistant.

Fatemeh  Ganji

Fatemeh Ganji

Assistant Professor

Before joining the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Fatemeh was a Post Doctoral Associate at the University of Florida (from 2018-2020) and at the Telecom Innovation Laboratories/Technical University of Berlin (from 2017-2018). She defended her dissertation with the title "On the Learnability of Physically Unclonable Functions" at the Technical University of Berlin, with an overall grade of "distinction" (= summa cum laude). For her dissertation, she was awarded the BIMoS Ph.D.

After Graduation

WPI’s Master’s in Cyber Security prepares students to be leaders in the fields of cyber security and computer science. The career outlook for these industries, and for cyber professionals who combine their expertise with business and social needs, is robust. A master’s in cyber security salary is lucrative, and master’s in cyber security jobs include options in areas as diverse as intrusion detection, security information and event management, and cloud computing.

Getting Involved

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Elevate Your Career with a Master’s in Cyber Security

WPI’s cyber security department gives you the chance to work side-by-side with faculty leaders in the field. The university is designated as a National Center of Excellence in Cyber Security Research by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, so you’ll have access to important cyber security research addressing a host of security threats across multiple disciplines. If you have questions about prospects for master’s in cyber security jobs, or want to know more about how WPI can help you gain skills and leadership in the cyber industry, explore our career outcomes page for graduates in this field. You’ll find resources, expert guidance, and a rigorous curriculum that covers the technical and societal implications of cyber security.