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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 Department of Computer Science.

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

Additional Information

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.

Admission Requirements

  • GRE General/Subject: Not required
  • Transcripts: 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.
  • Personal Statement: 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.
  • Recommendations: Two (2) recommendations required
    • If you graduated from a degree program in the last 5 years or if you are currently enrolled in a degree program:
      • One recommendation from a current or previous professor is required.
      • One recommendation from either an academic or a professional reference
    • All other applicants:
      • One recommendation from a professional reference is required.
      • One recommendation from either an academic or a professional reference
  • Resume: Required
  • TOEFL/IELTS: If your native language is not English, the TOEFL or IELTS is required. International applicants: a minimum score of 105 on your TOEFL 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.

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

Policy Track

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.

If you have any questions regarding the application process for this program, please email [email protected].

Application Deadlines: 

  • Spring 2023: TBA
  • Fall 2022: February 15th, 2022 for priority review. Regular deadline April 4th, 2022.
  • Brown undergraduates may apply as a fifth-year master’s student through May 1, 2022
  • For more information about Fall and Spring admissions deadlines, please visit our Cybersecurity Admissions webpage.

Financial Aid

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.

Sc.M. Completion Requirements

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

Department of Computer Science
Brown University
Box 1910

Visit the Department of Computer Science


Department Chair: Ugur Cetintemel

Computer Science Track:
Director of Graduate Studies, Adjunct Professor of the Practice of Computer Science
Bernardo Palazzi

Policy Track:
Director of Graduate Studies, Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs
Timothy Edgar

Brown Cybersecurity community, scholarships, and student experience:
Deputy Director of Graduate Studies, Adjunct Associate Professor of the Practice of Computer Science
Ernesto Zaldivar