The Master of Science in Cybersecurity is a fully online degree program — a one-of-a-kind Ivy League graduate program offered by Brown University’s Computer Science Department.
Brown is a longtime cybersecurity innovator, and the program’s curriculum is rooted in an interdisciplinary approach that provides students with sophisticated technical skills and a comprehensive understanding of cybersecurity technology and policy at the local, national and global levels.
Our program offers two tracks: the Computer Science Track and the Policy Track, offered in collaboration with the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. Graduate students will benefit from online courses taught by world-class faculty and industry experts that will prepare them with real-world solutions for a career that's in demand. When our students examine cybersecurity events such as the SolarWinds incident, they explore politics and history alongside the technical elements of cyber threats.
Through your coursework, you'll:
- Gain intellectual and scientific frameworks for approaching novel cybersecurity challenges
- Assess security and privacy implications of emerging technologies to identify vulnerabilities and create solutions
- Develop methods for understanding and describing threat intelligence through demonstrations of vulnerabilities, attacks and defenses
- Examine the technological, economic, human, legal, organizational, socio-political and policy challenges in this field
Time Commitments, Planning and What to Expect
As an online graduate student, you will attend many of the same classes as other Brown students, but remotely. This means that while some class sessions will be held live and in person for on-campus students, you'll have the ability to fully participate by viewing recorded sessions and engaging online with all other class activities. Attendance at a set class time will not be mandatory and you won't be penalized for missing live sessions. Many courses (and all required courses) will allow online attendance to live sessions, and you will have the ability to join them if your schedule allows.
You can complete the entire program asynchronously — you'll view lectures when your schedule permits during each week of classes. The program is not self-paced, so you'll need to stay on schedule with the same assignment deadlines and readings as your in-person classmates.
Prospective students with additional questions about the program should contact John Tracey-Ursprung (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If your native language is not English, the TOEFL or IELTS is required. A minimum score of 105 on the TOEFL or an overall band score of 8.0 on the IELTS is a prerequisite for admission to the program.
The TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition and the IELTS Indicator exam are accepted. Students from mainland China may submit the TOEFL ITP Plus exam.
Please submit transcripts for all programs, both undergraduate and graduate, for which you were awarded a degree. Please note that unofficial transcripts may be uploaded to the online application, but official transcripts will be required before enrolling if you are admitted to the program.
Letters of Recommendations:
Three (3) recommendations required.
For applicants that graduated more than 5 years ago, at least one academic reference is highly recommended. Please visit our admissions page for more information.
All other applicants: One recommendation from a professional reference is required and two recommendations from either an academic or a professional reference.
Please write and upload a personal statement on why you are pursuing a master’s degree in cybersecurity. The statement should specify which track you are applying to, why you selected that track, and your professional goals for pursuing this degree. If relevant, include content that describes your previous professional work in cybersecurity and academic research. Your statement must be double spaced and in Times New Roman font. The statement should not exceed 800 words.
Computer Science Track
To apply to the Computer Science Track, you must have successfully completed:
- An undergraduate degree in a STEM or social sciences discipline
- Undergraduate-level coursework in (1) mathematics that covers calculus, discrete mathematics, and probability or statistics, and (2) introductory computer science that covers computer programming and data structures and algorithms
- 8 courses required for completion
For the Policy Track, you will be reviewed on the totality of your application, with an emphasis on coursework or other experience that demonstrates the writing and analytical skills relevant to the study of cybersecurity policy. You also must have completed an undergraduate degree in any subject.
We strongly encourage you to submit an additional statement that summarizes any relevant academic, professional or volunteer experience in policy and cybersecurity. You also may include information about coursework that involves significant writing. Information about coursework should be listed with descriptions and grades earned.
Restrictions and Licensing Requirements
To comply with OFAC restrictions and licensing requirements, Brown University currently does not offer online programs to individuals physically located in the following areas: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. Please note that this limitation is location based, as well as applies to all citizens of these countries, regardless of location, who are ordinarily resident in these countries. View more information pertaining to embargoed country regulations for online courses.
If you have any questions regarding the application process for this program, please email email@example.com.
- Fall 2023: Opens September 1, 2022
For more information about Fall and Spring admissions deadlines, please visit our Cybersecurity Admissions webpage
Early Admission Deadline
5th Year Deadline
Graduate Tuition & Fees: Please visit the Bursar's Office for up-to-date tuition rates.
The Master of Science in Cybersecurity program offers two types of scholarships: one covers 50% of the cost of tuition; the other covers 25% of the cost of tuition. Scholarship funds only apply to courses that are required for graduation from the program.
You're automatically considered for scholarships; there is no separate scholarship application. If you're not awarded one, there's unfortunately no opportunity for reconsideration. Our scholarships are limited at this time, and you should explore a variety of funding options.
Note that if you are interested in our limited scholarships, we encourage you to apply at the earliest date possible. The advantage of applying by our Priority Deadlines is that you will be among the first considered for scholarships. Find out more about graduate financial aid.
In addition to meeting the course requirements listed on the Curriculum and Tracks page, regardless of which track you're in you must:
- Complete all courses with a grade of A or B
- Enroll in courses at the 1000 level or higher only
- Complete at least two 2000-level courses
- Ensure that all courses are approved by your academic advisor and the director of graduate studies for your track