Cyber Security

Program Contact Information

Dr. Nitesh Saxena
Department of Computer Science
1402 10th Avenue South.
UH 4145
Birmingham, AL 35294-1241
saxena@uab.edu

Program Information

The Master of Science in Cyber Security (formerly known as Computer Forensics and Security Management) (MSSec) is an interdisciplinary program that prepares graduates for a professional career in the field of cyber security by developing in them the necessary skills crucial for success. The program also provides current practitioners the opportunity to obtain advanced-level training to facilitate career advancement. The program includes a set of core, required courses and the opportunity to select from a default option or two tracks of specialization.

Admission Requirements

Students accepted into the program will have earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university or recognized university from abroad. Most of these students will have earned a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take either the TOEFL or the IELTS and score 80 or higher on the TOEFL or 6.5 or higher on the IELTS. The GRE is NOT required.

Students seeking admission to the program who lack a background in computer science but meet the remaining minimum requirements for admission may be admitted contingent on them completing a set of prerequisite courses (or their equivalents) that may include the following (the program directors may waive/require some courses in addition to the ones listed below depending upon the students’ specific background): Among these courses, CS 532/532L can also be counted towards the MS Cyber Security degree.


RequirementsHours
CS 103
103L
Introduction to Computer Science in Python
and Introduction to Computer Science in Python Lab
4
CS 203
203L
Object-Oriented Programming
and Object-Oriented Programming Lab
4
CS 532
532L
Systems Programming
and Systems Programming Lab
3

Similarly, students seeking admission to the program (especially to the Cyber-Crime Investigations track) who lack a background in criminal justice but meet the remaining minimum requirements for admission may be admitted contingent on them completing a set of prerequisite courses (or their equivalents) that may include the following (the program directors may waive/require some courses in addition to the ones listed below depending upon the students' specific background)

RequirementsHours
CJ 230The Judicial Process in America: An Overview3

Master of Science in Cyber Security

A total of 30 semester hours are required for the degree, organized into: (a) 15 hours of required core courses, (b) 9-12 hours of course work following a standard option or one of the two tracks of specialization, and (c) 3-6 hours of electives from an approved list of relevant courses. The two specialization tracks are Cybercrime Investigations and IT Audit/Fraud Examination.

RequirementsHours
Core courses
CS 534Networking3
CS 534LNetworking Laboratory0
CS 623Network Security 3
CS 623LNetwork Security Laboratory0
CS 636Computer Security3
CS 689Cyber Risk Management3
or IS 613 Information Security Management
CJ 502Computer Forensics 3
Total Hours15

In addition to completing the five (5) core courses worth 15 credit hours, students by default may choose three courses worth nine credit hours from the following list of approved courses in cyber security, followed by two additional computer science electives worth six credit hours at the 500+ level or 600+ level1. Alternatively, students may choose one of the two tracks of specialization (Cybercrime Investigations and IT Audit/Fraud Examination, both worth 15 credit hours) to fulfill the requirements of the Master’s degree. 

Approved Cyber Security Centric Courses

RequirementsHours
CS 645Modern Cryptography3
CS 646Blockchain and Cryptocurrency3
CS 643Cloud Security3
Choose two (2) CS electives at the 500+ level or 600+ level 16
Total Hours15

Cybercrime Investigations Track

RequirementsHours
CS/CJ 519Investigating Online Crimes3
CS/CJ 537Digital Media Forensics3
CJ 675Law Evidence and Procedure3
Choose two (2) CS electives at the 500+ level or 600+ level 16
Total Hours15

IT Audit/Fraud Examination Track

RequirementsHours
AC 572Information Technology Auditing3
AC 573Fraud Examination3
LS 571Legal Elements of Fraud Investigation3
Select two (2) courses from the IS courses listed below or approved CS courses 1
IS 620Cyber Attacks and Threat Mitigation3
IS 621Incident Response and Business Continuity3
Total Hours15

Faculty

Gardner, Elizabeth A., Associate Professor and Director, Master of Science in Forensic Science Program, 2007, B.S. (Penn State), Ph.D. (Michigan State), Drug Chemistry, Legal Highs, Gun Powder Residue, Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, Pharmaceutical Spam
Linville, Jason G., Teaching Assistant Professor, 2004, B.S. (Ohio), M.S., Ph.D. (UAB), Forensic Biology, Entomology, Forensic Science Education