Master of Science in Cybersecurity Program Handbook

To learn more about requirements, please see the Curriculum And Tracks page.

Your Advisor

When you enter our program an advisor will be assigned to you based on your interests as expressed in your application. This person will discuss your initial course selection with you and be available to sign necessary forms. You may stay with this advisor for your entire time at Brown, but you’re free to choose someone else to be your advisor if they agree. In particular, you’re not committed to work with your initial advisor if you choose to do a research project via independent study – you’re free to select any program faculty member as your research advisor.

Master's Contract

So that you can be sure you have an approved plan for your Master’s program and so we can track our students, we ask that you fill out a Master’s contract.

If you make changes to your plan (which most students do), you must update the contract within 30 days.

Full-Time Status

Our policy is that if you're registered for two or more courses in a semester, you're a full-time student. If you're in your final semester and need only one course to complete, being registered for that one course makes you a full-time student. Thus, since eight courses are required to complete our requirements, a number of sequences are possible. For example, you might start with two courses the first semester, then take three in each of the next two semesters. You might start with three courses the first semester, then take two in each of the next two semesters and finish off with one course the fourth semester. Or you might take two courses in each of four semesters. Again, as long as you’re registered for at least two courses in all but your last semester, you are considered a full-time student.

Note that it’s important that you stay registered for at least two courses for the entire semester. If you decide to drop a course toward the end of the semester (perhaps because you’re concerned about your grade), you might jeopardize your full-time status. If you get a C or an NC in a course, while it won’t count towards your degree requirements, it does count toward the two courses required for full-time status. Please don’t drop a course without first discussing it with your advisor or the Director of Graduate Studies for the track that you're in.

Part-Time Status

Students may optionally complete the program part-time. This entails taking one class per semester. Students may also switch between full-time and part-time status provided they notify the DGS of their track ahead of changing status.  All students must complete the program in a maximum of ten semesters.

Degree 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

Transferring Courses From Other Institutions

Brown allows at most one course taken elsewhere to be used toward your Master’s requirements. This course must have been taken after you received your bachelor’s degree and must not have been used toward any other degree. The course should be a four-credit course taken in the semester system (as opposed to a three-credit course or a course taken in the quarter system). If, for example, you’ve taken two three-credit courses in the semester system, or two or more courses in the quarter system, they might be combinable into something equivalent to a Brown course. It’s also important that the course (or combined courses) cover the same material as one of our courses (and thus replace that course). If you think you have a course (or courses) that qualifies, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies for your track. You must receive a B or higher for a course to be considered for transfer credit.

Please note that 5th-year Master’s students may not use transfer courses to satisfy degree requirements.

Fifth-Year Master's Students

You're a fifth-year Master’s student if you were an undergraduate at Brown and were accepted into the fifth-year Master’s program, which allows you to use two courses taken as an undergraduate towards your Master’s requirements. Any two courses may be used (as long as they satisfy requirements of the Master’s), but you must have received an A or a B in them (an S is not sufficient). It doesn’t matter whether they were used to satisfy undergraduate concentration requirements. You indicated which two courses you planned to use in your application materials, but you may choose to use different courses if you’d like.

Again, please note that fifth-year Master’s students may not use transfer courses to satisfy degree requirements (this is a University rule).