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Cybersecurity Master’s Degree Program

  • Online Courses

    11 out of 12 total courses

  • On-Campus Experience

    3-week summer course

  • Tuition

    $3,220 per course

woman working on cybersecurity issues on computer

The cybersecurity master’s program offers a strong foundation and detailed technical knowledge in security, privacy, and cryptography.

You will acquire knowledge and skills to plan, manage, and maintain the security of an organization’s cloud infrastructure and applications through online courses, an experiential on-campus course, and a capstone project.

Program Overview

The demand for knowledgeable professionals with the skills to detect, respond to, and prevent cyber-attacks is at an all-time high. With a graduate degree in cybersecurity, you will build a comprehensive and strong foundation in the technical skills you need to keep your organization’s computer systems, networks, and data safe, secure, and private. 

Through the cybersecurity master’s degree program, you will: 

  • Acquire the knowledge and skills to plan, manage, and maintain the security of an organization’s computer infrastructure, networks, and applications. 
  • Build an understanding of data network infrastructure and communications technology, architecture, and management.
  • Develop strategies to mitigate security risks for traditional and cloud-based environments.
  • Develop and communicate effective enterprise information security policies that address internal and external national and international threats.

Program Benefits

  • Map with a flag.

    Customizable online curriculum

  • Teacher speaking to class.

    Instructors who are academics and professionals at the top of their fields

  • Four people around a globe.

    Real-word capstone experience

  • Two people talking at a table.

    Personalized academic & career advising

  • Lightbulb in a hand.

    Entrepreneurial opportunities through the Harvard Innovation Labs

  • Graduation cap and diploma.

    Harvard Alumni Association membership upon graduation

Customizable Course Curriculum

Our curriculum is flexible in pace and customizable by design. You can study part time, choosing courses that fit your schedule and align with your professional goals.

As you work your way through the program’s core courses, you’ll take core courses in application development, cloud computing, compliance and controls, and risk assessment. You can choose the elective courses that interest you most, exploring topics like crypto and blockchain, application security, and networking.

Learning is hands-on. Classes and the capstone experience feature collaborative activities like online discussions and group projects.

11 Online Courses

  • Primarily asynchronous
  • Fall, spring, January, and summer options

On-Campus Precapstone

You’ll complete the 3-week precapstone course on campus during a summer session, working with your team to kickstart your capstone project.

Capstone Project

In collaboration with your peer team and an industry partner, you’ll complete a real-world cybersecurity project.

Admissions

The path to your degree begins before you apply to the program.

First, you’ll register for and complete 2 required courses, earning at least a B in each. These foundational courses are investments in your studies and count toward your degree, helping ensure success in the program.

Getting Started

We invite you to explore degree requirements, confirm your initial eligibility, and learn more about our unique “earn your way in” admissions process.

Career Opportunities & Alumni

There are a broad range of careers available to cybersecurity professionals. Whether you want to build platforms and programs, test for vulnerabilities in existing systems, or respond to threats as they occur, there are plenty of options to explore. 

Sample job titles in cybersecurity include:

  • Information security engineer
  • Cloud security architect
  • Cyber incident responder 
  • Cyber vulnerability analyst
  • Data security officer 
  • Cyber risk analyst 
  • Cybersecurity compliance lead 

Careers in cybersecurity require strong coding skills in a variety of languages, programming and database languages, knowledge of operating systems, system platforms, and cloud service providers, and a firm understanding of database management. 

Career Advising and Mentorship

Whatever your career goals, we’re here to support you. Harvard’s Mignone Center for Career Success offers career advising, employment opportunities, Harvard alumni mentor connections, and career fairs like the Harvard Startup Career Fair and the Data Analytics, Science, and Technology Fair held on campus.

Your Harvard University Degree

Upon successful completion of the required curriculum, you will receive your Harvard University degree — a Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Cybersecurity.

Expand Your Connections: the Harvard Alumni Network

As a graduate, you’ll become a member of the worldwide Harvard Alumni Association (400,000+ members) and Harvard Extension Alumni Association (29,000+ members).

 

Tuition & Financial Aid

Affordability is core to our mission. When compared to our continuing education peers, it’s a fraction of the cost.

Our Tuition (2023–24 rate) $3,220 per course
Average Tuition of Peer Institutions $4,330 per course
Average Total Cost $38,640

After admission, you may qualify for financial aid. Typically, eligible students receive grant funds to cover a portion of tuition costs each term, in addition to federal financial aid options.

Program Director Q&A

“Our goal is to create a cybersecurity talent pool to address the tactical need and the long-term strategic need in cybersecurity. By strategic need, we mean the need to have subject matter leaders who can think strategically and proactively when crafting cybersecurity plans and strategies for their organizations.” — Bruce Huang, Director, Cybersecurity Graduate Degree Program

Read more about the future of cybersecurity and the growing demand for professionals with cybersecurity skills.

Preparing for Future Cyberattacks
software engineer sitting at computer

FAQs

What Can You Do With a Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity?

A master’s degree in cybersecurity can prepare you for a variety of careers. Cybersecurity jobs are not limited to the tech sector. Every industry is in need of professionals with advanced cybersecurity skills to protect their networks, data, and online transactions.

Healthcare, finance, state and local governments, fitness and hospitality, and even the Internet of Things all require protection from cyberattacks and data breaches.

A career in cybersecurity will allow you to utilize your technical skills in almost any industry that interests you.

Is a Degree in Cybersecurity Useful?

Businesses today must devote an increasing amount of resources—in time, money, and talent—to detecting and preventing cyberattacks. The result has been a boom in demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals.

With a master’s degree in cybersecurity, you will likely have the opportunity to take advantage of the skills gap and can also expect more job opportunities. You may even be able to negotiate a higher salary.

Is a Career in Cybersecurity a Good Career?

The demand for cybersecurity experts is growing rapidly with no signs of slowing. Between April 2020 and May 2021, there were nearly 500,000 cybersecurity-related job postings across the United States.

Those with a strong background in cybersecurity will likely have their pick of diverse job opportunities.

How Long Does It Take to Complete the Cybersecurity Graduate Program?

Program length is ordinarily anywhere between 2 and 5 years. It depends on your preferred pace and the number of courses you want to take each semester.

For an accelerated journey, we offer year round study, where you can take courses in fall, January, spring, and summer.

While we don’t require you to register for a certain number of courses each semester, you cannot take longer than 5 years to complete the degree.

What Coding Skills Do You Need Prior to Applying for the Cybersecurity Master’s Degree Program?

The cybersecurity degree program is for individuals who already know object-oriented programming using C++, Python, or Java. If you need to strengthen this background, you can complete our programming certificate.