Professional Science Master's in Cyber Defense and Information Assurance

Today, our physical and digital worlds are so tightly interwoven that the distinction between the two is rapidly disappearing. Consequently, cybercrime and terrorism has become an increasing threat to our privacy, our finances, our health, and even our national security. The current and projected shortage in our cybersecurity workforce is so critical that our government has issued directives that emphasize its support to meet this urgent need.

A Professional Science Master's Degree is a unique master’s degree with a dual emphasis on science training and professional development. It is specifically designed to prepare students to move directly from school, or another career into a new career.  In addition to classroom learning, students gain hands-on experience through the program’s onsite technology laboratory integrated into many courses.
The program draws from the strengths of the diverse industry-aligned partners that bring industry-relevant and resume building classroom activities, standups, executive presentations, Temple facilitated industry events, and guest speakers. You’ll also complete an industry-aligned project capstone and have the flexibility to pursue cyber focused Independent studies, which set you up for success as a Cyber Defense and Information Assurance professional.

Our Professional Science Master's degree in Cyber Defense and Information Assurance (PSM in CyberDIA) provides aspiring technical professionals with the skills necessary to protect organizations from increasing cyber-threats. This program prepares students for high demand security careers, such as:
  • Security Analyst,
  • Information Security Officer,
  • Computer Security Forensic Investigator,
  • Cyber Security Systems Engineer, 
  • IT Network Security Penetration Testing. 
The PSM in CyberDIA also prepares students for the following professional certifications:
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), by EC-Council
  • Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator (CFHI), by EC-Council
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), by ISC
  • ACE – AccessData Certified Examiner (Computer Forensics) 
Students learn how to use the latest technology tools that assist in the detection and prevention of security breaches, for example:
 Category      Tool
 Sniffers   Wireshark, Cain and Abel, AirCrack, Snort, NetStubmler 
 Exploitation   Web Goat, Metasploit, Social Engineering Tool Kit 
 Password Cracking   Cain & Abel, John the Ripper, BurpSuite, THCHydra 
 Intrusion Detection
 and Prevention
 Snort, Bro
 Social Engineering   Maltego, Social Engineering Tool Kit 
 Scanning and
 nmap, zenmap, netcat, WebScarab, Nessus, hping, hping2,
 User2SID, SID2User 
 Digital Forensics   WinHex, FTK, HxD, BulkExtractor, The Sleuth Kit, Maltego, NetworkMiner,
 Helix, Metasploit MAFIA, SIFT, FTK Imager, EnCase
 Imager, Paraben Forensic Replicator, CLI Imaging tools - dd, dcfldd,
 dc3dd, CLI Hash tools – md5, md5deep 
 Other  Ping, Telnet, Dig, Traceroute, whois, netstat, nslookup 

While the CyberDIA curriculum is technology intensive, it also bridges the ever increasing gap between cybersecurity technology and the overarching cybersecurity standards and policies. Of particular interest will be standards and policies such as: FIPS, FISMA, NIST, FedRAMP, SOX, COBIT, HIPAA/HITECH, GLB, STIX, CybOX, and TAXII.  The focus of the CyberDIA program can be categorized as follows:
  • Technology (60%)
  • Leadership and Ethics (10%)
  • Laws and Regulations (15%)
  • Compliance, Standards, & Policies (15%)

Course Requirements

To earn a PSM in Cyber DIA, students take ten graduate courses (30 credits)1 as described below2.
  • Five Required Core Courses
    • CIS 5003 Networking and Operating Systems
    • CIS 5107 Computer Systems Security & Privacy
    • CIS 5405 Introduction to Digital Forensics
    • CIS 5415 Ethical Hacking & Intrusion Forensics 
    • CIS 5425 Audit & Compliance for Security & Digital Forensics 
  • Four Elective Courses, selecting from courses and topics, such as
    • MIS 5211 Ethical Hacking -OR- CIS Ethical Hacking & Intrusion Forensics-II (select one - cannot count both)
    • CIS 5637 Network & Information Security 
    • CIS 5210 Seminar in Information Technology (Security Topics approved by the PSM Director)
    • CIS 5635 Security in Cyber-Physical Systems
    • ECE 5528 Introduction to Cryptography and Information Security
    • LAW 0433 Cyberspace
    • CIS 9182/9282 Independent Study3 registration form
  • Master's Project (CIS 9991) registration form

  1. All courses are three credits. CIS courses are online technology assisted.
  2. Academic Standards. Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA in order to graduate. Students who receive more than two substandard grades (C+ or lower) are dismissed from the program.
  3. Up to six credits of independent study can be applied to the CyberDIA degree, up to three of which may be related to an internship.​

Prerequisite Requirements

Before a student can apply to Temple's CyberDIA program, they must have completed (or be registered in) the following prerequisite courses and/or have equivalent work experience.
  • Computer Architecture, Operating Systems, and Networking, such as CIS 2229
  • Data Structures, such as CIS 2168
Prerequisite courses may be taken at Temple, as a non-matriculated student (through Continuing Studies, 215 204-2500), or at any accredited college. If you lack some of these requirements, click here to learn how you can prepare to apply to this or any of our other MS programs.

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