Frequently Asked Questions About The Master Of Science In Cybersecurity

Before Applying

How much does the Master of Science in Cybersecurity cost? Do both tracks have the same cost?

Each course in the program costs $9,168. There are also additional fees and costs; please see here for more information. Yes, the cost for both tracks is the same. Note that the University reevaluates tuition and fees each year.

Does Brown offer an in-person cybersecurity degree program?

We only offer one Master of Science in Cybersecurity program and it is delivered 100% online.

What are the criteria you use to evaluate applications?

We consider numerous criteria, including academic performance, letters of recommendation, and professional experience. We also consider TOEFL scores (if relevant), motivation, work experience, awards, honors, prizes, and other accomplishments. Because Master's applicants are so diverse, no single set of criteria adequately covers all the cases. GRE scores are optional, but we will consider them if they are submitted. In more detail, we're looking for:

  • Academic performance: The GPA isn't the only criterion. For our Computer Science Track, grades in math and programming prerequisite courses count more than grades in other areas. Also, we take into account the fact that at some very competitive schools it's very difficult to achieve a high GPA.
  • Letters of recommendation: Letters must give a detailed, factual, and candid evaluation of your capabilities. Rankings and comparisons with other students are very useful. Ask your recommenders to follow these guidelines. Remind your recommenders of deadlines to ensure they meet them. We routinely find ourselves unable to admit potentially qualified students because their letters of recommendation haven't been submitted on time.
  • Work experience: Please describe any work experience you might have. Obviously, not all applicants have work experience, but for those who do, some description of it helps us better evaluate your application.
  • General GRE scores: These scores let us compare the basic skills of applicants from diverse backgrounds. We're aware that test performance can improve considerably with practice, some people don't perform well on tests, and the verbal GRE is harder for some foreign applicants. While we don't require general test scores, the test provides an additional objective form of evaluation that's often helpful in determining your abilities.
  • TOEFL and IELTS scores: If your native language isn't English and you haven't received a college degree from an institution in an English-speaking country, you must take the TOEFL exam. We don't consider applicants who have scored below 620 (PBT) or 260 (CBT) or IBT (105), and prefer scores higher than that. The corresponding minimum IELTS score is 8.0. If you feel you're exempt from taking the TOEFL, please email the Graduate School directly to get a waiver.
  • Statement: The statement that accompanies your application helps us learn more about you.
  • Awards, honors, and prizes: Unless they're well known (for example, an NSF fellowship or graduation with honors), please give details about them (how many candidates? how many awards? what were the selection criteria?). This is especially important for foreign applicants.
  • Research experience: Research experience isn't required for Master's applicants and many of our applicants don't have any, but you can use experience you've had to demonstrate your ability to handle graduate-level computer science material.

If I send you my resume by email, can you tell me if I am a good candidate for your program?

We do not conduct pre-evaluations of applicants. We encourage everyone that feels they have met the relevant prerequisites to apply for the Track of their choice.

Are you able to tell me my chances of being selected for a scholarship?

We do not assess competitiveness for admission or scholarships. 

Can I still apply if I don't have all the material ready by the deadline?

We need a complete application, including letters of recommendation, before we can make admission decisions. At the time of submitting your application through our online system, you only need to provide contact information for the people writing your recommendation letters, but please give them enough time to write the letters and submit them. All letters need to be received before the deadline.

How much does it cost to apply? Do you offer application fee waivers?

Submitting an application for review costs $100. The University does offer application fee waivers.

Here are the application fee waiver guidelines:

1) The application fee is automatically waived for:

  • Active duty U.S. Military personnel, as well as U.S. Military veterans. Please be sure to list your status within the application.
  • Domestic or international applicants who are members/alumni of certain programs listed within the application.
  • Current Brown undergraduates applying as a 5th-year applicant.

2) If you would like to request an application fee waiver based on high-financial need:

Please complete the Application Fee Waiver Form found within the online application. The Application Fee Waiver Form is located under the section entitled Financial Information. You will see a link that says Application Fee Waiver Form. Please note this form is only accessible once you have started an application and selected your program of study.

The Application Fee Waiver Form must be submitted no later than three days before the application deadline. Applicants will be notified by email regarding the outcome of their request and should not submit their application until receiving notification about their waiver. In addition, you will need to upload documentation that substantiates your financial hardship.

Do you have scholarships available?

We offer very few scholarships to our Master of Science in Cybersecurity students. There are two types of scholarships: one covers half 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. Note however that these scholarships are very limited. We automatically consider all applicants for scholarships. If you're not awarded one, there's unfortunately no opportunity for reconsideration.

I'm a college senior and don't graduate until the May before the program's fall start date. Can I still apply?

Your May--or even June or July--graduation is not a barrier to applying for fall entrance, but your degree will need to be conferred and your prerequisites passed by the time you matriculate--if you're accepted to Brown.

Can international students apply? Are admitted international students eligible for visa documentation?

Yes, international students may apply. We do not provide any visa documentation to admitted students since their is no in-person coursework.

Do you admit students only from certain elite universities and reject ones not from there?

We admit only outstanding students to our program. The institution you attended is just one of many indicators we consider. In particular, we recognize that excellent students graduate from all kinds of institutions; it's what they do there and after graduation that makes their applications stand out. Thus, we do sometimes reject students from leading American and international institutions and accept students who did not attend such universities.

I've earned my Bachelor's degree from a three-year degree program. Can I still apply for a Master's degree?

The three-year programs we know about, specifically those in India, are acceptable, and students from those programs can apply. If you're coming from a program with which we are not familiar, we may need information from you before acting on your application.

Does the program require applicants to take the GRE General exam?

We don't require the GRE General exam for Master's applicants.

Does the program require applicants to take the GRE Subject exam?

We don't require the GRE Subject exam.

Does the program require applicants to take the GMAT?

We don't require the GMAT.

Who decides whom to admit?

Officially, admissions are generated by the Graduate School of Brown University. In practice, a group of faculty members evaluates your application and makes recommendations to the Graduate School, which typically follows our recommendations.


When Applying

Are scans of any of the application materials acceptable?

We encourage scanned copies as part of the initial application; original documents are required if you're admitted and decide to enroll here.

Where do I send my transcripts, score reports, and other materials?

If you're admitted and prompted to do so, please send supplemental materials to:

Brown Graduate School
47 George Street, Box 1867
Providence, RI 02912

Please don't send hard copies of any application materials unless requested by the Graduate School.

Should I use the institution code, the department code, or both for the GRE and TOEFL?

The GRE institution code is 3094 and the GRE department code is 0402. For the TOEFL, you should use the school code, which is 3094, and the department code, 78. Note that the answers to these questions and many like them may be found at the Graduate School web site.

Who will be the primary readers of my application?

Your application (in particular, your statement) will be read primarily by the program faculty members.

I was just accepted to the program, but I was not awarded a scholarship. Am I able to have my application reconsidered?

We do not offer a reconsideration process for scholarships. 

How do I contact the Graduate School?

The Graduate School's contact information is on their web site


After Graduation 

What will my diploma say? Will it have an “online” notation?

As a graduate of our program, you'll earn a Master of Science in Cybersecurity. Diplomas are similar to those of other programs at the University. There is no “online” designation on the program’s diplomas or transcripts.

Upon completion of the program, will I be eligible to enter Brown’s Computer Science PhD program?

If you complete the Computer Science Track, you will have the prerequisites necessary to enter Brown's Computer Science PhD program, but you must apply and you will have the same opportunity for admission as all other applicants. You do not recieve a special advantage as a graduate of the Master of Science in Cybersecurity program. Students that complete the Policy Track are well prepared to pursue PhD work in many subjects, but will not have prerequisites for applying to Brown's Computer Science PhD program.

Other Questions

What if I have other questions?

For questions concerning the application portal, application requirements, and submission of application materials:

For questions about financial aid:

For questions concerning the Policy Track, the Computer Science Track, the Brown Cybersecurity community, scholarships, and student experience:

John Tracey-Ursprung ( Affairs Manager