The University of New Orleans (UNO) has leveraged decades of experience in cybersecurity education and research, developing a nationally recognized academic program, offering an M.S. degree in Cyber Security and Operations.
A goal of this curriculum is to align educational outcomes with the national standard for the cybersecurity workforce—the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework developed by NIST. The framework defines categories, specialty areas, work roles, knowledge, skills & abilities (KSAs), tasks, and competencies, as they relate to the professional requirements of cybersecurity work. As a result, upon graduation, alumni will be demonstrably qualified to fill cybersecurity-related jobs in the workforce.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Students will have a conceptual understanding of the cyber domain including technology underpinnings and trends, legal and ethical code of conduct for cyber professionals, cyber threats and threat actors, vulnerabilities, risk, and universal principles of secure system design and operation.
- Students will have a comprehensive conceptual understanding of the fundamental components and mechanisms of cyber skills in cyber defense and operations, security engineering, reverse engineering, malware analysis, secure software development, cryptography, digital forensics and incident response, penetration testing, and cyberphysical systems security.
- Students will acquire essential-to-intermediate hands-on cyber skills in cyber defense and operations, security engineering, reverse engineering, malware analysis, secure software development, cryptography, digital forensics and incident response, penetration testing, and cyber-physical systems security.
- Students will experience working in small teams in cyber defense, operations, development, and testing environments.
- Students will experience communicating with customers to define the scope of cyber engagements, writing of informative report to both management and technical personnel, and oral presentations.
- Students following the research track will experience working through the solution of a cyber research problem, including problem statement, proof of concept implementation, scientific evaluation, written presentation of the results as a master’s thesis, and public defense of the thesis.
The master's degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, and will have both thesis and non-thesis options.
Non-Thesis Option [Professional Track]
Students that want to acquire employment in a specialized IT/Computer Science field may want to consider a non-thesis master’s degree. Students completing the master's degree without a thesis are required to give a satisfactory performance in a comprehensive examination covering course work. Thirty-six semester hours are required, no more than 12 of which may be at the 5000 level.
Thesis Option [Research Track]
Students interested in academic research (and perhaps continuing on to acquire a Doctorate) are encouraged to pursue a master’s degree via the thesis-included curriculum. Students completing the master's degree with a thesis are required to submit an acceptable thesis and give a satisfactory defense of the thesis. Thirty semester hours are required, no more than six of which may be thesis credit. No more than nine hours may be at the 5000 level.
Students must have completed a four-year Baccalaureate degree recognized by the University of New Orleans. Student must have successfully completed the following three UNO courses, or equivalent at another institution:
- CSCI 4311: Computer Networking
- CSCI 4401: Operating Systems
- CSCI 4621: Introduction to Cybersecurity
Students who do not meet the prerequisites can begin their program by taking the corresponding 5000-level section of these courses.
ALL degree students must complete at least five CORE 6000-level (15 credit hours) courses in cybersecurity from the ones listed below.
Students can take up to five 6000-level courses (15 credit hours) towards satisfying the degree requirements from the 6000-level BREADTH courses listed below in the SYSTEMS and ALGORITHMS categories.
- If two, or three, breadth courses are taken, then at least one of each of the two categories—SYSTEMS and ALGORITHMS—must be present.
- If four, or five, breadth courses are taken, then at least two of each of the two categories—SYSTEMS and ALGORITHMS—must be chosen.
At most 9 credit hours of the 5000-level SUPPORTING courses listed below can count towards satisfying the degree requirements. Students who have taken for credit CSCI 4622, CSCI 4623, CSCI 4625, and CSCI 4626 cannot take the corresponding 5000-level section for credit towards the degree.
Special Topic Options
Students may earn up to 6 credit hours (two courses) towards the degree for CSCI 6620 Special Topic in Cybersecurity if the topics covered between the two offerings are substantially different. Enrollment in the second topics course must be pre-approved by the Graduate Coordinator for the student to receive credit towards the degree.
- CSCI 4311/5311: Computer Networking & Telecommunications
- CSCI 4401/5401: Principles of Operating Systems
- CSCI 4621/5621: Introduction to Cybersecurity
SUPPORTING courses (5000-level):
- CSCI 5622: Reverse Engineering & Malware Analysis
- CSCI 5623: Digital Forensics
- CSCI 5625: Network Operation and Defense
- CSCI 5626: Introduction to Cryptography
CORE cybersecurity courses (6000-level):
- CSCI 6620: Special Topics in Cybersecurity
- CSCI 6621: Advanced Network Security & Operations
- CSCI 6623: Advanced Digital Forensics & Incident Response
- CSCI 6624: Advanced Operating Systems Security
- CSCI 6625: Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Assessment
- CSCI 6626: Advanced Cryptography
- CSCI 6627: Industrial Control Systems Security
- CSCI 6628: Software Security
- CSCI 6629: Programming Language Security
BREADTH courses (6000-level):
- [SYSTEMS] CSCI 6350: Development of Distributed Software
- [SYSTEMS] CSCI 6361: Topics in Mobile Computing
- [SYSTEMS] CSCI 6450: Principles of Distributed Systems
- [SYSTEMS] CSCI 6452: Cloud Computing
- [ALGORITHMS] CSCI 6250: Big Data Analytics and Systems
- [ALGORITHMS] CSCI 6633: Computer Vision
- [ALGORITHMS] CSCI 6634: Data Visualization
- [ALGORITHMS] CSCI 6635: Theory & Applications for Pattern Recognition
- [ALGORITHMS] CSCI 6650: Intelligent Agents and Multi-Agent Systems
CSCI 5621 Introduction to Cybersecurity -- Overview of information assurance; physical security models; authentication and access control mechanisms; application and operating system level security; malicious software; overview of digital forensics; encryption, including private- and public-key encryption methods. A balance between theory and historical/current practice. Students will be required to develop a large project in a team setting.
CSCI 5622 Reverse Engineering & Malware Analysis -- Deep analysis of the code, structure, and functionality of software using both static and dynamic methods. The course provides a solid foundation crucial to understanding modern malicious software and crafting potential solutions to recover from and prevent attacks.
CSCI 5623 Digital Forensics -- An introduction to the theory and application of computer forensics; topics include: types of digital evidence, obfuscation methods used to hide digital evidence, such as steganography and encryption, tools for data preservation and recovery, techniques for ensuring data security, and legal issues in the preservation, recovery, and presentation of digital evidence. The course includes a substantial lab component.
CSCI 5625 Network Operation and Defense -- An introduction to network and system administration with an emphasis on defensive technies. Topics include processes and files; scripting; system installation; boot and shutdown; process management; daemons and services; devices and drivers; network fundamentals; network file systems; network services; encryption and key management; PKI; intrusion detection; kernel configuration; accounting and system logging; security. The course requires lab projects on dedicated departmental equipment.
CSCI 5626 Introduction to Cryptography -- Elementary ciphers, Data Encryption Standard, Advanced Encryption Standard (Rijndael), Rivest-Adleman-Shamir (RSA) encryption, select topics in modern cryptography. This course contains both programming assignments and proofs as problem options.
CSCI 6620 Special Topics in Cybersecurity -- Advanced graduate-level course whose topics change from semester to semester; can be taken multiple times for credit with department consent.
CSCI 6621 Advanced Network Security & Operations -- Advanced network security and operation, emphasizing the development and application of tools and techniques for securing computer networks and preservation and recovery of digital evidence in networked environments. Topics include: network security concerns, network intrusion detection, honeypots and honeynets, and network forensics analysis. The course includes a substantial lab component.
CSCI 6623 Advanced Digital Forensics & Incident Response – Advanced digital forensic methods: main memory acquisition and analysis, live forensics, cloud forensics, acquisition and forensic analysis of data from cloud services. Integrity analysis, malware sample extraction from RAM capture, rootkit detection and analysis.
CSCI 6624 Advanced Operating Systems Security -- OS level mechanisms and policies in investigating and defending against real-world attacks on computer systems, such as self-propagating worms, stealthy rootkits and large-scale botnets. OS security techniques, such as authentication, system call monitoring, as well as memory protection will be discussed. Recent advanced techniques such as system-level randomization, hardware/software virtualization, and other hardware features will also be introduced.
CSCI 6625 Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Assessment -- Introduces network penetration testing as a means to continually improve the cyber security mechanisms deployed by an organization. Provides students with hands-on experience with reconnaissance, footprinting, scanning, vulnerability detection, reporting, and remediation techniques employed during a test.
CSCI 6626 Advanced Cryptography -- Modern cryptographic problems, including key management, public-key encryption, knapsack methods, number-theoretic methods, and the RSA public-key cryptosystem, digital signatures, the Digital Signature Standard, and cryptanalysis of knapsacks; threshold schemes, zero-knowledge protocols, mental poker, and implementations on uniprocessor machines, networks, and parallel machines.
CSCI 6627 Industrial Control Systems Security -- This course introduces the basics of industrial control systems, how their components interact with each other, how they can be programmed, their network protocols, cyber vulnerabilities and threats related to control systems, and how they are tackled in industry.
CSCI 6628 Software Security -- Secure software processes, common software vulnerabilities (input injection, buffer overflow, SQL injection, denial of service), data sensitivity, web security, secure authentication, usable security, secure design, secure coding practices, code review, static analysis, security testing.
CSCI 6629 Programming Language Security -- Programming language security features and, conversely, language features that give rise to vulnerabilities. Topics include the development of secure programs of secure programs in high-level programming languages such as C/C++/Java, programming languages designed from the ground up to support security, and software engineering security principles and patterns