Curriculum and Tracks

 

 

In this photo, Professor Shriram Krishnamurthi teaches students outside.

Our two tracks (Computer Science Track and Policy Track) allow you to choose a curricular focus. Upon graduation, your track appears on your transcript and helps you communicate your particular cybersecurity expertise.

Both tracks share two required courses and have a third required computer security course that explores similar content. These required courses enable students in both tracks to build a common foundation, learn from each other, and formulate a shared framework for creating cybersecurity solutions. Required courses cover cybersecurity from three complementary perspectives: computing, management, and law.

It's important to note that our course offerings are intentionally curated and limited. Students should not expect a variety of new courses to be frequently added or a substantial number of course options each term. This is especially true for the Policy Track because it does not benefit as extensively as the Computer Science Track from as many of the established courses in the Computer Science Department since courses in the Policy Track assume no prior programming knowledge. However, our courses and curriculum are studied and assessed by program leadership often to ensure that our program reflects the most contemporary challenges facing cybersecurity practitioners. 

The standard curriculum of the Master of Science in Cybersecurity degree is designed for students completing the program full-time (two courses per semester). We offer the flexibility to complete the program part-time (one course per semester) as well. 

The program is designed to be completed in 4 semesters. It takes 8 courses to complete the program and you can take up to 3 courses per semester, but we strongly recommend taking 2 courses per semester--especially during your first term at Brown. We do not currently offer summer term courses in the program, so courses would be completed during fall and spring. Please note that configurations outside the two courses per semester program may affect the courses that are avaiable to you and may prevent you from graduating in your intended semester since the program offers limited courses and courses are offered in different terms.

Students in the program are only pre-approved to take the courses from the standard curriculum during the specific semesters listed below. If you deviate from the standard curriculum without approval from your Director of Graduates Studies, the course you register for may not count towards your degree. 

Note that course details and available courses are subject to change. Also, note that all courses are executed differently. Each faculty member offers a different online learning experience. For more information about what to expect from courses, please read this page.

For more information about all Brown CS courses, click here.

For questions related to the Policy Track and the Computer Science Track, please contact John Tracey-Ursprung (john_tracey-ursprung@brown.edu)-Student Affairs Manager.

Computer Science Track*

Required Courses (All are required.)

  • CSCI 1860 Cybersecurity Law and Policy
  • CSCI 2660 Computer Systems Security
  • CSCI 2999A Cybersecurity Management Within Business, Government, and Non-Profit Organizations

Track Courses (Up to three of these courses may be able to be substituted for non-required courses in the standard curriculum.)

  • CSCI 1310 Fundamentals of Computer Systems or CSCI 1330 Computer Systems

  • CSCI 1340 Introduction to Software Engineering

  • CSCI 1510 Introduction to Cryptography (prerequisite: CSCI 1010 Theory of Computation, prerequisite/corequisite: CSCI 1660 Computer Systems Security)

  • CSCI 1515 Applied Cryptography (prerequisite: CSCI 1310 Fundamentals of Computer Systems or CSCI 1330 Computer Systems)

  • CSCI 1650 Software Security and Exploitation (prerequisites: CSCI 1330 Computer Systems, CSCI 1670 Operating Systems)

  • CSCI 1670/1690/2670 Operating Systems (prerequisite: CSCI 1330 Computer Systems)

  • CSCI 1680 Computer Networks (prerequisite: CSCI 1310 Fundamentals of Computer Systems or CSCI 1330 Computer Systems)

  • CSCI 1730 Programming Languages

  • CSCI 1951-L Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies (prerequisite: CSCI 1330 Computer Systems)

  • CSCI 2590 Advanced Topics in Cryptography (prerequisite: CSCI 1510 Introduction to Cryptography and Computer Security)

  • CSCI 2951-E Topics in Computer Systems Security (prerequisite: CSCI 1660 Computer Systems Security)

  • CSCI 2951-U Topics in Software Security (prerequisite: CSCS 1650 Software Security and Exploitation)

Elective Courses (Up to two electives from this list may be able to be substituted for non-required courses in the standard curriculum. This may include up to two independent study courses.)

  • CSCI 1010 Theory of Computation

  • CSCI 1260 Compilers and Program Analysis

  • CSCI 1270 Database Management Systems
  • CSCI 1360 Human Factors in Cybersecurity

  • CSCI 1570 Algorithms

  • CSCI 1760 Multiprocessor Synchronization

  • CSCI 1800 Cybersecurity and International Relations

  • CSCI 1805 Computers, Freedom and Privacy

  • CSCI 1870 Cybersecurity Ethics

  • CSCI 1951-R Robotics

  • CSCI 2002 Privacy and Personal Data Protection

  • CSCI 2980 Reading and Research

  • Other appropriate courses are possible with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies and the instructor if you've satisfied their prerequisites.

*Note this list is subject to change and not all courses may be offered or available in a given semester. Listed courses may also have a limited number of seats available for Master of Science in Cybersecurity students.

The Standard Computer Science Track Curriculum

Note that the standard curriculum for each track is subject to change and not all courses may be offered or available in a given semester. Listed courses may also have a limited number of seats available for Master of Science in Cybersecurity students, even if a notice about limited enrollment is not included.

If you start the program in a fall semester and are a full-time student, this is the standard curriculum you are expected to follow:

First Fall Semester

  1. CSCI 1330 Computer Systems
  2. CSCI 1860 Cybersecurity Law and Policy

First Spring Semester

  1. CSCI 2660 Computer Systems Security
  2. CSCI 2999A Cybersecurity Management Within Business, Government, and Non-Profit Organizations

Second Fall Semester

  1. CSCI 1650 Software Security and Exploitation
  2. CSCI 1680 Computer Networks

Second Spring Semester

  1. CSCI 1340 Introduction to Software Engineering
  2. CSCI 1951-L Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies

If you start the program in a spring semester and are a full-time student, this is the standard curriculum you are expected to follow:

First Spring Semester

  1. CSCI 1310 Fundamentals of Computer Systems
  2. CSCI 2999A Cybersecurity Management Within Business, Government, and Non-Profit Organizations

First Fall Semester

  1. CSCI 1010 Theory of Computation
  2. CSCI 1860 Cybersecurity Law and Policy

Second Spring Semester

  1. CSCI 1340 Introduction to Software Engineering
  2. CSCI 2660 Computer Systems Security

Second Fall Semester

  1. CSCI 1650 Software Security and Exploitation
  2. CSCI 1680 Computer Networks

Note that the standard curriculum for each track is subject to change and not all courses may be offered or available in a given semester. Listed courses may also have a limited number of seats available for Master of Science in Cybersecurity students.

Policy Track*

Required Courses (All are required and must be prioritized before registering for other courses.)

  • CSCI 1360 Human Factors in Cybersecurity

  • CSCI 1860 Cybersecurity Law and Policy

  • CSCI 1880 Introduction to Computer Security

  • CSCI 2999A Cybersecurity Management Within Business, Government, and Non-Profit Organizations

Standard Curriculum Policy Track Courses

  • CSCI 1040 The Basics of Cryptographic Systems

  • CSCI 1800 Cybersecurity and International Relations

  • CSCI 1805 Computers, Freedom and Privacy

  • CSCI 1870 Cybersecurity Ethics 

  • IAPA 1811 Contemporary Digital Policy and Politics (Only Available for Synchronous Attendance) (Course With Limited Enrollment) or CSCI 1952X Contemporary Digital Policy and Politics (Asynchronous Version of IAPA 1811) (Course With Limited Enrollment)

  • CSCI 2002 Privacy and Personal Data Protection 

  • CSCI 2952S Topics in Cyber and Digital Policy (Course With Limited Enrollment)

Elective Courses (Courses from this list may be able to be substituted for non-required courses in the standard curriculum. This may include up to two independent study courses.

  • CSCI 1951-L Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies (if you have satisfied prerequisites).

  • ENGN 2125 Engineering Management & Decision Making [This course has a limited number of seats for ScM in Cybersecurity students. The number of seats available varies by semester.]

  • ENGN 2150 Technology Entrepreneurship & Commercialization I [This course has a limited number of seats for ScM in Cybersecurity students. The number of seats available varies by semester.]

  • ENGN 2180 Globalization Immersion Experience & Entrepreneurship Lab [This course has a limited number of seats for ScM in Cybersecurity students. The number of seats available varies by semester.]

  • CSCI 2951-E Topics in Computer System Security (if you have satisfied prerequisites).

  • CSCI 2980 Reading and Research (This course can be used for a project relevant to policy challenges in cybersecurity. It can count as 1 or 2 courses: shorter projects will count as one course and are completed in one semester; longer projects will count as two courses and are completed in two semesters.)

  • Other appropriate courses at the 1000 level or above, if they are related to technology, security or policy with the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies and the instructor.  You must satisfy all prerequisites.  

  • Note that one (but not more than one) elective course may be selected for the purpose of developing professional skills.

The Standard Policy Track Curriculum

If you start the program in a fall semester and are a full-time student, this is the standard curriculum you are expected to follow:

First Fall Semester

  1. CSCI 1360 Human Factors in Cybersecurity
  2. CSCI 1860 Cybersecurity Law and Policy

First Spring Semester

  1. CSCI 1880 Introduction to Computer Security
  2. CSCI 2999A Cybersecurity Management Within Business, Government, and Non-Profit Organizations

Second Fall Semester

  1. CSCI 1870 Cybersecurity Ethics
  2. CSCI 1805 Computers, Freedom, and Privacy

Second Spring Semester

  1. CSCI 1040 The Basics of Cryptographic Systems or CSCI 1800 Cybersecurity and International Relations or IAPA 1811 Contemporary Digital Policy and Politics (Only Available for Synchronous Attendance) or CSCI 1952X Contemporary Digital Policy and Politics
  2. CSCI 2002 Privacy and Personal Data Protection or CSCI 2952S Topics in Cyber and Digital Policy (Course With Limited Enrollment)

*Note that this list is subject to change and not all courses may be offered or available in a given semester. Listed courses may also have a limited number of seats available for Master of Science in Cybersecurity students.

If you start the program in a spring semester and are a full-time student, this is the standard curriculum you are expected to follow:

First Spring Semester

  1. CSCI 1880 Introduction to Computer Security
  2. CSCI 2999A Cybersecurity Management Within Business, Government, and Non-Profit Organizations

First Fall Semester

  1. CSCI 1360 Human Factors in Cybersecurity
  2. CSCI 1860 Cybersecurity Law and Policy

Second Spring Semester

  1. CSCI 1040 The Basics of Cryptographic Systems or CSCI 1800 Cybersecurity and International Relations or IAPA 1811 Contemporary Digital Policy and Politics (Only Available for Synchronous Attendance) or CSCI 1952X Contemporary Digital Policy and Politics
  2. CSCI 2002 Privacy and Personal Data Protection or CSCI 2952S Topics in Cyber and Digital Policy (Course With Limited Enrollment)

Second Fall Semester

  1. CSCI 1870 Cybersecurity Ethics
  2. CSCI 1805 Computers, Freedom, and Privacy

Important Notices

  • The standard curriculum for each track is subject to change and not all courses may be offered or available in a given semester. Listed courses may also have a limited number of seats available for Master of Science in Cybersecurity students.
  • Please note that this page is subject to change. Substitutions of courses used to complete one's degree are at the discretion of the Director of Graduate Studies for the relevant track.