Advance Your Career by Securing Information Systems

Credit agencies, social media giants, health care networks, retailers, government and financial organizations—they all keep and maintain data that impact our lives. This data, or information, is often personal and securing it is vital—especially when it’s being stored and used in many places. NSU’s M.S. in Cyber Defense, prepares you to build better infrastructures, with security mechanisms to help protect all that data.

Your strong mathematical aptitude and interest in algorithms and data structures makes you a good candidate for a master’s degree in Cyber Defense. This is a technical degree that comes with global opportunities and great earning potential. You can work in public or private sectors, in a vast number of industries.

NSU’s Cyber Defense program focuses on the protection and mechanisms associated with the technology infrastructure of applications, systems and networks. You will learn how to design systems that help maintain the confidentiality and integrity of information. In this multidisciplinary program you’ll gain specialty knowledge in cybersecurity, computer science, user experience, and more. Our curriculum evolves based on the needs of the real world, which means you’ll always be current with what’s happening in the industry.  

Upon completion of the program you’ll be prepared for careers as a chief information security officer, information systems security officer, cyber defense analyst, cyber defense infrastructure support specialist, cyber defense incident responder, vulnerability assessment analyst, and more. And you’ll have a wide variety of technical and soft skills to help you succeed.

Why Earn Your M.S. in Cyber Defense at NSU?

NSA-Designated University

The National Security Agency (NSA) and its affiliated federal agencies have designated NSU as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) Cyber Defense (CD) and Cyber Research (R). NSU is among the few institutions around the nation to obtain both designations. Learn more.



Quick Facts


NSU’s M.S. in Cyber Defense is 30 total credits (10 courses) to complete. 8 week courses are available, so you can earn your degree in 1 year.

Start Dates

All College of Computing and Engineering master's degree programs begin in AugustJanuary, and May.

Delivery Options

Classes for the M.S. in Cyber Defense program are offered online or at our Fort Lauderdale/Davie campus.


Visit the Tuition and Fees page for more information.

Career Outcomes

Security Engineer

$92,642 Average Salary Per Year

Chief Information Officer

$165,752 Average Salary Per Year

Information Security Analyst

$72,748 Average Salary Per Year


Did You Know?

Learning Outcomes

A graduate with an M.S. in Cyber Defense will have the ability to:

  1. Describe the primary types of access control and the potential applications of each type
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental concepts, technologies, and challenges of telecommunications and network security
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the key concepts of information security governance and risk management, including current best practices in business continuity and disaster recovery planning
  4. Describe the components of effective security architecture and the various security models that can be used in the design of secure architectures
  5. Possess an understanding of the major cryptographic algorithms used in information security and how each can be effectively integrated into a secure information infrastructure
  6. Understand the common techniques to achieve effective physical security of protected information systems

M.S. in Cyber Defense Curriculum

Prerequisite Courses*
MSIT 501
Foundations of Programming, Data Structures, and Algorithms (MSIT 501 / Credits: 3 )
CISC 501
Computer Organization and Architecture (CISC 501 )
CISC 502
Mathematics in Computing (CISC 502 )
CISC 503
Data Structures and Algorithms (CISC 503 )
Core Courses (30 credits)
CISC 640
Operating Systems (CISC 640 / Credits: 3 )
CISC 650
Computer Networks (CISC 650 / Credits: 3 )
CISC 680
Software Engineering (CISC 680 / Credits: 3 )
ISEC 615
Fundamentals of Cybersecurity (ISEC 615 / Credits: 3 )
ISEC 620
Applied Cryptography (ISEC 620 / Credits: 3 )
ISEC 640
Database Security (ISEC 640 / Credits: 3 )
ISEC 650
Computer and Network Forensics (ISEC 650 / Credits: 3 )
ISEC 660
Advanced Network Security (ISEC 660 / Credits: 3 )
ISEC 690
Information Security Project (ISEC 690 / Credits: 3 )
MSIT 630
Database Systems (MSIT 630 / Credits: 3 )

*Applicants who do not have adequate academic backgrounds may be required to take one or more of the 500-level graduate prerequisite courses during the first two terms of the program.

Students who wish to take an elective (above the 10 required courses) must request approval from the program office before registration.

Courses at the 500 level, when required, must be completed prior to taking courses at the 600 level. All 500-level courses must be completed with a grade of ‘B’ or higher to continue in the information assurance and cybersecurity program. 

For a full list of all course descriptions, visit

Which Cybersecurity Degree is Right for Me?

M.S. in Cyber Defense

The Master of Science in Cyber Defense degree program is designed for someone who wants to focus on Network Security Engineering by obtaining the necessary skills and abilities for the design of secure network infrastructures and security analysis of network traffic.

Cybersecurity Management

The Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management degree program is designed for individuals who want to focus on Security Policy Development and Compliance by obtaining the necessary skills and abilities for the development of organizational policies related to information assurance/cyber defense and the analysis of operational systems for compliance with applicable IA/CD-related laws and policies.

Alumni Success Stories

T.J. Moore

DevOps Engineer 2
NSU B.S. in Computer Science Graduate

Priscila Reyes

NSU B.S. in Computer Science Graduate

Catalina Bolaños Sippli

IT Consultant
NSU M.S. in Management Information Systems Graduate

Ben Sirof

NSU M.S. in Information Technology Graduate

Diaa Fathalla

NSU Ph.D. in Computer Science Graduate

Rita Barrios

Adjunct Professor, Cybersecurity & Information Systems
NSU Ph.D. in Cybersecurity Management Graduate

Take The Next Step

The College of Computing and Engineering graduate enrollment office is located on the fourth floor in the Carl DeSantis Building on NSU's Fort Lauderdale-Davie campus in Davie, Florida. Click here for a map.

Phone: (954) 262-2031 or Toll-Free: (800) 986-2247 ext. 22031


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