Core Courses

Core Courses

The core curriculum creates a baseline of knowledge for students to operate within the world of cybersecurity. Core classes balance the needs of security engineers to apply secure development concepts coupled with theoretical computer science; all within a framework of ethical best practices.

In addition to the cybersecurity core courses, all students must take a one credit faculty seminar, and a writing assessment exam in their first quarter of enrollment. The Writing Assessment results will place students into (or out of) the technical writing skills courses (0-3 credits). All students must take these core courses to fulfill the breadth of knowledge requirements.

Cybersecurity Core Knowledge

Learning Objectives

  • Design, assess, build, and maintain secure systems and software
  • Understand ethical issues surrounding cybersecurity, and design and deploy solutions in an ethically sound manner
  • Identify, model, prioritize, and defend against threats to systems
  • Conduct a risk assessment for an information asset or system, and develop and characterize appropriate strategies for addressing residual risk
  • Design and implement the security practices of an organization that are informed by the understanding and interpretation of key laws, regulations, standards, and best practices
  • Evaluate the role of cybersecurity policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines within an organizational context, and design and implement one or more such solutions

Faculty Research Seminar

All students must take a one-credit CSS 599: Faculty Research Seminar. The seminar gives students the opportunity to interact and learn about current research conducted by the CSS faculty.  It is recommended students take this course in their first quarter, so that they are made familiar with current research early in their academic career. The course is 1 credit, and the class typically meets one hour per week.

CSS 599: Faculty Research Seminar (1)

Graduate-level Technical & Scientific Writing

Graduate-level competency on technical and scientific writing is a critical area of knowledge for students in any master’s degree. In the students first quarter of enrollment they will be given a writing assessment. 

Based on the results of the writing assessment, students may place out of any required coursework, or they will place into CSSKL 511: Technical Writing (2 cr) and/or CSSSKL 594: Scientific Writing for Thesis/Project (1 cr), as appropriate. Completion of these courses with a passing grade will show appropriate depth and skills of graduate level writing. 

All students will be given a writing assessment study guide and overview of expected knowledge at orientation. The writing assessment is given in the second month of the quarter in which a new student will have enrolled, allowing the student to have time to both orient themselves to the new degree program and study for the assessment exam.

  • CSSSKL 511: Technical Writing (1 cr): Students are advised to take CSSSKL 511 when enrolled in the Foundations core course, as the assignments required in the foundations course are used to help teach the goals of the CSSSKL 511.
  • CSSKL 594: Scientific Writing for Thesis/Project (2 cr): Students are advised to take CSSKL 510 in their final quarter of study, when the writing of the final thesis or capstone report is taking place. Course goals include helping students draft and edit thesis or capstone reports.