Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity handbook

University of Nevada, Reno
Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Revised July 2021

The MS in Cybersecurity online program is a non-thesis, course-based only program. The committee composition is the graduate program director only and the program does not qualify for health insurance.

1. Program description

The Cybersecurity Center at the University of Nevada, Reno offers an online integrated course of study covering the theory, implementation, and design of secure cyberspace (i.e., secure communication, computation, information, cyber-physical systems, IoT, hardware and embedded systems) for those seeking the Cybersecurity, M.S. The home department for this program is Computer Science and Engineering department. A versatile degree program and the opportunity to work with faculty who specialize in various areas, prepares our graduates to take full advantage of the diverse job opportunities available for computer experts.

1.1 Program/student learning outcomes (SLOs)

  • An ability to apply engineering research and computer science research and theory to advance the art, science and practice of the discipline.
  • An ability to design and conduct experiments as well as to analyze, interpret, apply and disseminate the data.
  • An ability to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of research methodology.

1.2 Graduate degree offered

Graduate program offered lead to the degree of:

  • Cybersecurity, M.S.

1.3 Contact information

Contact Information of the Program Director

Dr. Shamik Sengupta, Executive Director, UNR Cybersecurity Center
(775) 784-6953

Mailing Address:

University of Nevada, Reno
Department of Computer Sciences and Engineering, Mail Stop 0171
1664 North Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89557-0330

Department website:  

UNR Cybersecurity Center website:

2. Cybersecurity, M.S.

The Cybersecurity Center at the University of Nevada, Reno offers an online integrated course of study covering the theory, implementation, and design of secure cyberspace (i.e., secure communication, computation, information, cyber-physical systems, IoT, hardware and embedded systems) for those seeking the Cybersecurity, M.S.

2.1 Course work

Each student’s program of study and notice of completion must be approved by the Cybersecurity Center Director. At least 15 units must be completed at the 700-level.

2.1.1 A. Required courses

  • CS 645 - Internet Security (3 units)
  • CS 647 - Computer Systems Administration (3 units)
  • CS 650 - Fundamentals of Integrated Computer Security (3 units)
  • CS 653 - Mobile Computing Security and Privacy (3 units)
  • CS 654 - Reliability and Security of Computing Systems (3 units)
  • CS 701 - Introduction to Interdisciplinary Cybersecurity (3 units)
  • CS 702 - Cybersecurity Law and Ethics (3 units)
  • CS 703 - Game Theory for Cybersecurity (3 units)
  • CS 704 - Digital Forensics (3 units)
  • CS 705 - Cryptography and Blockchain (3 units) 

2.1.2 B. Bridge courses

  • CS 601 - Fundamentals of Computer Science (3 units)
  • CS 646 - Principles of Operating Systems (3 units)

2.2 Timeline

All course work must be completed within six years preceding the awarding of the MS degree. 

3. Transfer credits

Not applicable.

4. Timeline for degree completion

  • Program of Study form
    • Completed form must be submitted to Graduate School by the end of the student's third semester
  • Graduation Application form
    • Graduation can be a very exciting and hectic time. Be sure to review the items below to ensure you meet your deadlines to graduate on time.
  • Notice of completion – Notice of completion form should be submitted after all requirements have been met. See website for exact form.
  • Exit survey

4.1 Program of study

A program of study describes the student's specific plan of courses per semester. The approved Program of Study Requirements Form must be filed with the Graduate School. The program of study must be approved by the Graduate Dean prior to the student applying for graduation. Students can list Graduate Program Director only and leave advisor blank. Changes to the program of study can be made using the change in program of study form or the change of advisory form with approval from the program director. 

4.2 Applying for graduation

Completing all the requirements for your degree may then involve:

  • Completing all course work and having final grades filed
  • Filing all outstanding paperwork (notice of completion, etc.) 

After you've completed all requirements and submitted all necessary documents, you should check your transcript after the semester ends to ensure that grades have been received for all course work. If, for example, you take a course in your final semester that does not apply to your degree requirements and receive an “I – Incomplete” grade in that course, you will NOT be able to graduate: grades must be received for all course work regardless of whether or not the course applies to fulfilling degree requirements. If you've finished work for a previously received “I” grade, you should check your transcript to ensure that the instructor has actually filed a final grade for that course. There are cases where courses exceed the time limit for the degree or that grades received for particular courses do not meet minimum university standards (i.e. receiving a “C-”  or lower in a course). In these instances, the student must meet with their program director to explore corrective measures such as petitioning for an extension of the time limit.

4.3 Commencement

Commencement - Review the Commencement Checklist to make sure you're prepared for graduation. 

To participate in this ceremony, students must have:

  1. Filed an application for graduation for the appropriate semester (fall or spring); and
  2. Successfully completed all the courses and filed the Notice of Completion with the Graduate School at least one week prior to the commencement exercises.

Commencement exercises are held each December and May.

5. Committee selection guideline

Not applicable.

6. Comprehensive exams

Not applicable.

7. Thesis requirements

Not applicable.

8. Graduate assistantship

Not applicable.

9. Health insurance

Not applicable.

10. Policies

10.1 Academic status

To be considered in good academic standing, all graduate students shall:

  • Complete each graduate course with a grade of “C” or better for the units to be acceptable toward an advanced degree. Some graduate programs, at their discretion, do not accept any grade lower than “B” or “B-“ for the fulfillment of graduate program requirements.
  • Maintain a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least 3.0.
  • Maintain a passing grade in the clinical or practicum course.
  • Have not been placed on formal probation by the Graduate School for academic deficiencies or clinical or practicum placement deficiencies.

10.1.1 Academic standing and dismissal policy 

Students should familiarize themselves with the Graduate School's Academic Standing and Dismissal Policy. This covers what is needed to remain in good standing as well as grounds for probation and dismissal. 

10.2 Continuous enrollment

Graduate students must register for a minimum of three graduate credits each spring, summer and fall semester until graduation or have an Application for Leave of Absence form approved by the Program Director of the program and the Graduate School. Approved leaves of absence do not abrogate the time limitations on course work (six years for a master's degree program).

10.3 Leave of absence

All graduate students are required to maintain continuous enrollment of a minimum of three (3) graduate credits each spring, summer and fall semester. A leave of absence is a temporary cessation of study due to medical reasons or other emergencies during which time the students are not required to maintain continuous registration. Students requesting a leave of absence must be in good academic standing and submit a completed Application for a Leave of Absence form to the Graduate School before the period of leave begins. Students applying for a leave of absence should not have any “incomplete” grade which could be changed to “F” and have a detrimental impact on their cumulative grade point average. Usually leaves of absence are approved for one to two semesters and may be extended by the student filling an additional leave of absence form. Time spent on an approved leave is included in the time allowed to complete the degree, i.e., six calendar years for the master's degree. That is, the clock doesn't stop.

10.4 Reinstatement

Students can request reinstatement to their graduate program after an unapproved Leave of Absence by filing a Notice of Reinstatement to Graduate Standing form with their graduate program. Once completed, the program will return this form to the Graduate School for final approval. This form allows the program the option to recommend the student be readmitted to their graduate program based on their previous admission or require the student to re-apply for admission which would require them to submit a new application for admission and pay the application fee.

10.5 Academic dishonesty

In order to maintain an academic climate conducive to each member's success in the pursuit and transmission of knowledge, the University of Nevada, Reno, has established a set of policies and standards for all of its members to adhere to. For student members of this community, enrollment at the university carries certain obligations related to activities in the academic setting, including behavior inside and outside the classroom. Specific details can be found on the Student Code of Conduct website.

10.6 Getting an M.S. while pursuing a Ph.D.

If a student who currently is enrolled in the Ph.D. program wants to earn an M.S. en route, then the student needs to complete a master’s degree program of study. The graduate director then will send a memo to the Graduate School informing them of this request and the student then can apply for graduation. There is no limit on the number of units transferred when students earn their master’s en route to Ph.D. in a University of Nevada, Reno doctoral program. If they take the thesis option, the six thesis credits cannot be used towards dissertation credits.

10.7 Completing two degrees simultaneously

Students may choose to complete two master’s degrees at the same time or complete a master’s degree while working on a doctoral program in a different discipline. Students may not complete two doctoral programs simultaneously. When completing two master’s degrees at the same time, the student must apply and be accepted to each graduate program; must submit a separate program of study for each degree; must form two separate advisory committees with no more than one member in common; and have no more than 12 credits in common with each program of study.

10.8 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

Personal and professional values in the University and the College of Engineering

The students, scholars and staff in the College of Engineering are united in our common desire to make the world a better place. We are firmly committed to fostering an environment of diversity, equity and inclusion that will allow everyone to realize their full potential. As a College, we acknowledge and are actively working to address any systemic barriers of prejudice that may exist within the engineering community and society at large. Our actions align with the goals of the engineering and computer science organizations and accrediting bodies that set the bar for personal and professional excellence in our vital disciplines.

University Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

The University of Nevada, Reno actively welcomes, embraces and nurtures a diverse and inclusive campus culture because we acknowledge that diversity and the unique beliefs, backgrounds, talents, capabilities and ways of living that come with it make for a stronger, smarter, happier and healthier University.

The University of Nevada, Reno is committed to providing a safe learning and work environment for all. If you believe you have experienced discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault or domestic/dating violence or stalking, whether on or off campus, or need information related to immigration concerns, please contact the University’s Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office at (775) 784-1547. Resources and interim measures are available to assist you. For more information, please visit the Equal Opportunity & Title IX website.

ACM Professional Code of Conduct

Computing professionals’ actions change the world. To act responsibly, they should reflect upon the wider impacts of their work, consistently supporting the public good. The ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct ("the Code") expresses the conscience of the profession.

The Code is designed to inspire and guide the ethical conduct of all computing professionals, including current and aspiring practitioners, instructors, students, influencers and anyone who uses computing technology in an impactful way. Additionally, the Code serves as a basis for remediation when violations occur. The Code includes principles formulated as statements of responsibility, based on the understanding that the public good is always the primary consideration. Each principle is supplemented by guidelines, which provide explanations to assist computing professionals in understanding and applying the principle.

11. Graduate Student Association

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) represents all graduate students and promotes the welfare and interests of the graduate students at the University of Nevada, Reno. The GSA works closely with appropriate university administrative offices, including the Graduate School and Student Services. The GSA government functions through the Council of Representatives, Executive Council, and established committees.

Graduate students have the right to form clubs and organizations within their programs, departments, colleges, ethnicities, shared interests, or any other constituencies, for the purposes of academic, professional, or social networking, sharing, and advocacy.

12. Acknowledgments

Parts of this handbook's text have been taken and adapted from UNR's Graduate Student's Guide to University, the UNR Graduate School website, and the UNR Graduate Student Association website.