Cyber Security Engineering is concerned with the development of cyber-resilient systems which include the protection of physical as well as computer and network systems. It requires a proactive approach in engineering design of physical systems with cyber security incorporated from the beginning of system development. Cyber security engineering is an important quantitative methodology to be used in all industries including transportation, energy, healthcare, infrastructure, finance, government (federal, state, and local), and defense. The program is focused on the cyber security engineering of integrated cyber-physical systems. This degree provides a foundation in cyber security engineering and is most appropriate for students with a strong mathematics and science background.

Policies

For policies governing all undergraduate degrees, see AP.5 Undergraduate Policies.

Advising and Plan of Study

All cyber security engineering students are assigned a faculty advisor. With the advisor's help and approval, each student is required to complete a plan of study, which constitutes a learning plan for the degree program. The plan of study must be signed by the student's advisor and the Program Chair and be updated and signed by the advisor at least once a year.

Change of Major

See Change of Major for more information. 

Grade Requirements

Students in the Cyber Security Engineering, BS program must complete all mathematics, science, and VSE courses with a grade of C or better.

Termination from the Major Policy

No math, science, or Volgenau School of Engineering course that is required for the major may be attempted more than three times. Those students who do not successfully complete such a course within three attempts will be terminated from the major. Undeclared students in the Volgenau School who do not successfully complete a course required for a Volgenau School major within three attempts will also be terminated. 

In addition, students in the Volgenau School with evidence of continued failure to make adequate progress toward declaring or completing a Volgenau School major will be terminated from the school. Adequate progress is determined by the major program. For more information, see AP.5.2.4 Termination from the Major.

Once a student has attempted one of these courses twice unsuccessfully, the third attempt must be no later than the next semester of enrollment, excluding summers. Failure to take the course at that time will result in termination from the major. A third attempt of a Volgenau School of Engineering course requires support by the student's major department as well as permission by the department offering the course. This permission is not guaranteed. If the student is unable to take the course when required, the student may request an extension to a future semester; extensions require approval of the student's advisor, their department, and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs. The deadline for extension requests is the add deadline for the semester in which the course is required.

Students who have been terminated from a Volgenau School of Engineering major may not register for a Volgenau School course without permission of the department offering the course. This applies to all undergraduate courses offered by the Volgenau School except IT 104 Introduction to Computing (Mason Core) and STAT 250 Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core).

A student may not declare any major in the Volgenau School of Engineering if the student has previously met the termination criteria for that major at any time, regardless of what the student's major was at the time the courses were taken.

Banner Code: EC-BS-CYSE

(Banner code updated on July 12, 2021. Formerly: VS-BS-CYSE)

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 126

Cyber Security Engineering Core

Core Courses
CYSE 101Introduction to Cyber Security Engineering3
CYSE 130Introduction to Computing for Digital Systems Engineering3
CYSE 211Operating Systems and Lab3
CYSE 230Computer Networking3
CYSE 411Secure Software Engineering3
CYSE 421Industrial Control Systems Security3
CYSE 425Secure RF Communications3
CYSE 430Critical Infrastructure Protection3
CYSE 445System Security and Resilience3
CYSE 450Cyber Vulnerability Lab1
CYSE 470Human Factors and Cyber Security Engineering3
CYSE 476Cryptography Fundamentals3
CYSE 491Engineering Senior Seminar2
CYSE 492Senior Advanced Design Project I2
CYSE 493Senior Advanced Design Project II (Mason Core)3
Technical Electives
Select 9 credits from the following approved technical courses:9
Embedded and Real Time Systems
Power Systems and Smart Grid Security
Mobile Devices and Network Security
Transportation Systems Design
GPS Security
Intrusion Detection
Cyber Security Audit and Compliance
Methods of User Authentication
Reverse Software Engineering
Special Topics in Cyber Security Engineering
Total Credits50

Electrical and Computer Engineering

ECE 301Digital Electronics3
Total Credits3

Systems Engineering

SYST 205Systems Engineering Principles3
Total Credits3

Mathematics and Statistics

MATH 113Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)4
MATH 114Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
MATH 125Discrete Mathematics I (Mason Core)3
MATH 203Linear Algebra3
MATH 213Analytic Geometry and Calculus III3
MATH 214Elementary Differential Equations3
STAT 344Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I3
Total Credits23

Natural Sciences

PHYS 160University Physics I (Mason Core)3
PHYS 161University Physics I Laboratory (Mason Core)1
PHYS 260University Physics II (Mason Core)3
PHYS 261University Physics II Laboratory (Mason Core)1
Total Credits8

Computing

CS 112Introduction to Computer Programming4
SYST 230Object-oriented Modeling and Design4
CS 222Computer Programming for Engineers3
Total Credits11

Engineering

ENGR 107Introduction to Engineering (Mason Core)2
Total Credits2

Oral Communication and Economics

COMM 100Public Speaking (Mason Core)3
or COMM 101 Fundamentals of Communication (Mason Core)
ECON 103Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core)3
Total Credits6

Remaining Mason Core

Students must complete all Mason Core requirements not fulfilled by major requirements.

Written Communication6
Literature3
Arts3
Western Civilization/World History3
Global Understanding3
Total Credits18

Note:

All students must submit at least 24 credits of social science and humanities coursework, which is normally satisfied by the 24 credits of Mason Core social science and humanities courses listed above and with the oral communication and economics requirement.

Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security Engineering Sample Plan of Study

Detailed four year plans and degree planning checklists can be found at https://advising.gmu.edu/current-student/majors-at-mason/.

Cyber Security Engineering, BS/Computer Engineering, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified undergraduates may be admitted to the bachelor's/accelerated master's program and obtain a BS in Cyber Security Engineering and an MS in Computer Engineering in an accelerated time-frame after satisfactory completion of a minimum of 150 credits.

See AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees for policies related to this program.

This accelerated option is offered jointly by the Cyber Security Engineering Department and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

BAM Pathway Admission Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions Policies and Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degree policies. 

Students will be considered for admission into the BAM Pathway after completion of a minimum of 60 credits with an overall GPA of 3.0.

Students who are accepted into the BAM Pathway will be allowed to register for graduate level courses after successful completion of a minimum of 75 undergraduate credits and course-specific pre-requisites.

Accelerated Master’s Admission Requirements

Students already admitted in the BAM Pathway will be admitted to the MS program, if they have met the following criteria, as verified on the Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s Transition form: 3.0 overall GPA, successfully meeting Mason’s requirements for undergraduate degree conferral (graduation), and completing the application for graduation.

Accelerated Pathway Requirements

To maintain the integrity and quality of both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs, undergraduate students interested in taking graduate courses must choose from the following:

Advanced standing courses: Students may take up to 6 credits of graduate-level courses that will count as advanced standing (i.e., overlap between the BS/MS program) from the list below: 

ECE 505Hardware Security3
ECE 508Internet of Things3
ECE 511Computer Architecture3
ECE 512Computer Architecture Security3
ECE 542Computer Network Architectures and Protocols3

These courses may be used as technical electives in the Cyber Security Engineering, BS program. 

Reserve credit courses: Additional courses (up to 6 credits) may be selected from the above list as credits to be put on reserve to be later applied to the graduate program. Students can take these courses while undergraduates but these reserve courses will only count for the graduate degree program. 

For more detailed information on coursework and timeline requirements, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees.

Cyber Security Engineering, BS/Cyber Security Engineering, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified undergraduates may be admitted to the bachelor's/accelerated master's program and obtain a BS in Cyber Security Engineering and an MS in Cyber Security Engineering in an accelerated time-frame after satisfactory completion of a minimum of 144 credits.

See AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degree for policies related to this program.

This accelerated option is offered by the Department of Cyber Security Engineering.

Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfil all university requirements for the master's degree. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

BAM Pathway Admission Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions Policies and Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degree policies.

Students will be considered for admission into the BAM Pathway after completion of a minimum of 60 credits with an overall GPA of 3.0.

Students who are accepted into the BAM Pathway will be allowed to register for graduate level courses after successful completion of a minimum of 75 undergraduate credits and course-specific prerequisites.

Accelerated Master’s Admission Requirements

Students already admitted in the BAM Pathway will be admitted to the MS program, if they have met the following criteria, as verified on the Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s Transition form:

  • 3.0 overall GPA,
  • successfully meeting Mason’s requirements for undergraduate degree conferral (graduation),
  • and completing the application for graduation.

Accelerated Pathway Requirements

To maintain the integrity and quality of both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs, undergraduate students interested in taking graduate courses must choose from the following:

Advanced Standing Courses

Students may take up to 12 credits of graduate-level courses that will count as advanced standing (i.e., overlap between the BS/MS program) from the list below:

CYSE 521Industrial Control Systems Security3
CYSE 570Fundamentals of Operating Systems3
CYSE 580Hardware and Cyber Physical Systems3
CYSE 587Cyber Security Systems Engineering3

These courses may be used as technical electives in the Cyber Security Engineering, BS program.

For more detailed information on coursework and timeline requirements, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degree policies.

Cyber Security Engineering, BS/Digital Forensics, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified students in the Cyber Security Engineering, BS have the option of obtaining an accelerated Digital Forensics, MS.

For more detailed information, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Students in the Cyber Security Engineering, BS program may apply for this option if they have earned 90 undergraduate credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.25. Criteria for admission are identical to criteria for admission to the Digital Forensics, MS program.

Accelerated Option Requirements

Students must complete all credits that satisfy requirements for the BS and MS programs, with 6 credits overlapping.

Students register for two Digital Forensics core courses (6 credits) in place of two of the three required technical electives, as part of the undergraduate degree requirements.

Note: Students complete all Digital Forensics, MS core courses and apply the two courses from the above list toward the Digital Forensics, MS requirements.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply the semester before they expect to complete the BS requirements to have the BS degree conferred. In addition, at the beginning of the student’s final undergraduate semester, students must complete a Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s Transition form that is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar and the VSE Graduate Admissions Office. At the completion of MS requirements, a master’s degree is conferred.

Cyber Security Engineering, BS/Operations Research, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified undergraduates may be admitted to the bachelor's/accelerated master's program and obtain a Cyber Security Engineering, BS and an Operations Research, MS in an accelerated time-frame after satisfactory completion of a minimum of 144 credits.

Admitted students are able to use up to 12 graduate credits in partial satisfaction of requirements for the undergraduate degree. Upon completion and conferral of the bachelor's degree and with satisfactory performance (grade of 'B' or better) in each of the graduate courses, students are given advanced standing in the master's program. 

See AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees for policies related to this program.

Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

BAM Pathway Admission Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions Policies and Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degree policies.

Cyber Security Engineering, BS students will be considered for admission into the BAM Pathway after completion of a minimum of 60 credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.3, and completion of all MATH and PHYS requirements. Students must additionally complete MATH 203 Linear Algebra prior to applying for the graduate program.

Students who are accepted into the BAM Pathway will be allowed to register for graduate level courses after successful completion of a minimum of 75 undergraduate credits and course-specific pre-requisites.

Accelerated Master's Admission Requirements

The criteria for admission are identical to criteria for admission to the Operations Research, MS program. Students already admitted in the BAM Pathway will be admitted to the Operations Research, MS program, if they have met the following criteria, as verified on the Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s Transition form:

  • An overall GPA of at least 3.3
  • Successfully meeting Mason’s requirements for undergraduate degree conferral (graduation) and completing the application for graduation.

Accelerated Pathway Requirements

To maintain the integrity and quality of both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs, undergraduate students interested in taking graduate courses must choose from the following:

Advanced Standing course: Students must complete all credits that satisfy requirements for both the BS and MS programs. Up to four courses (12 credits) of approved master’s level courses taken as part of the undergraduate degree may be applied to the graduate degree. The courses selected for this purpose must be approved by the academic advisors of both the BS and MS programs and by the SEOR department chair. For the BS programs that allow undergraduate electives from the department of system engineering and operations research, the students may choose the graduate version of such elective courses to replace the corresponding undergraduate courses.

  • Students selecting up to two courses (6 credits) of approved master’s level courses may select from the combined Cyber Security Engineering course list and Systems Engineering and Operations Research course list given below.
  • Students selecting up to three or four courses (9 or 12 credits) of approved master’s level courses may select at most two courses from the Cyber Security Engineering course list and select the remaining courses from the Systems Engineering and Operations Research course list given below. Students are highly recommended to select courses marked as core courses because it applies to the master’s degree regardless of the graduate-level concentration chosen in the Operations Research, MS. The undergraduate version of these courses, if any, may not be applied toward the Operations Research, MS. Credit may not be received for both the undergraduate and graduate version of these courses. 
  • Some of the courses in the Systems Engineering and Operations Research course list applies only to certain concentrations in the Operations Research, MS program. 
  • Students must pay attention to the prerequisites required for a course, and the master's degree concentration that the course may satisfy.

Select at most two from the following Cyber Security Engineering courses:

Fundamentals of Operating Systems
Hardware and Cyber Physical Systems

Select the remaining from the following Systems Engineering and Operations Research courses:

Network Analysis
Analytics for Financial Engineering and Econometrics
Operations Research: Deterministic Models (Core)
Operations Research: Stochastic Models (Core)
Applied Predictive Analytics (Core)
Financial Systems Engineering I: Introduction to Options, Futures, and Derivatives

While still in undergraduate status, a maximum of 6 additional graduate credits may be taken as reserve graduate credit and applied to the master's program. Reserve graduate credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree.

For more detailed information on coursework and timeline requirements, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply the semester before they expect to complete the BS requirements to have the BS degree conferred. In addition, at the beginning of the student's final undergraduate semester, students must complete a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form that is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar and the VSE Graduate Admissions Office. At the completion of MS requirements, a master's degree is conferred.

Cyber Security Engineering, BS/Systems Engineering, Accelerated MS

Overview

Highly-qualified undergraduates may be admitted to the bachelor's/accelerated master's program and obtain a Cyber Security Engineering, BS and a Systems Engineering, MS in an accelerated time-frame after satisfactory completion of a minimum of 144 credits.

Admitted students are able to use up to 12 graduate credits in partial satisfaction of requirements for the undergraduate degree. Upon completion and conferral of the bachelor's degree and with satisfactory performance (grade of 'B' or better) in each of the graduate courses, students are given advanced standing in the master's program. 

See AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees for policies related to this program.

Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

BAM Pathway Admission Requirements

Applicants to all graduate programs at George Mason University must meet the admission standards and application requirements for graduate study as specified in Graduate Admissions Policies and Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degree policies.

Cyber Security Engineering, BS students will be considered for admission into the BAM Pathway after completion of a minimum of 60 credits with an overall GPA of at least 3.3, and completion of all MATH and PHYS requirements.

Students who are accepted into the BAM Pathway will be allowed to register for graduate level courses after successful completion of a minimum of 75 undergraduate credits and course-specific pre-requisites.

Accelerated Master's Admission Requirements

The criteria for admission are identical to criteria for admission to the Systems Engineering, MS program. Students already admitted in the BAM Pathway will be admitted to the Systems Engineering, MS program, if they have met the following criteria, as verified on the Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s Transition form:

  • An overall GPA of at least 3.3
  • Successfully meeting Mason’s requirements for undergraduate degree conferral (graduation) and completing the application for graduation.

Accelerated Pathway Requirements

To maintain the integrity and quality of both the undergraduate and graduate degree programs, undergraduate students interested in taking graduate courses must choose from the following:

Advanced Standing course: Students must complete all credits that satisfy requirements for both the BS and MS programs. Up to four courses (12 credits) of approved master’s level courses taken as part of the undergraduate degree may be applied to the graduate degree. The courses selected for this purpose must be approved by the academic advisors of both the BS and MS programs and by the SEOR department chair. For the BS programs that allow undergraduate electives from the department of system engineering and operations research, the students may choose the graduate version of such elective courses to replace the corresponding undergraduate courses.

  • Students selecting up to two courses (6 credits) of approved master’s level courses may select from the combined Cyber Security Engineering course list and Systems Engineering and Operations Research course list given below.
  • Students selecting up to three or four courses (9 or 12 credits) of approved master’s level courses may select at most two courses from the Cyber Security Engineering course list and select the remaining courses from the Systems Engineering and Operations Research course list given below. Students are highly recommended to select courses marked as core courses because it applies to the master’s degree regardless of the graduate-level concentration chosen in the Systems Engineering, MS program. The undergraduate version of these courses, if any, may not be applied toward the Systems Engineering, MS. Credit may not be received for both the undergraduate and graduate version of these courses. 
  • Except for the courses marked as core, any course chosen from either course list can be used to satisfy SYST 505 Systems Engineering Principles core requirement in the Systems Engineering, MS program. 
  • Some of the courses in the Systems Engineering and Operations Research course list applies only to certain concentrations in the Systems Engineering, MS program. 
  • Students must pay attention to the prerequisites required for a course, and the master's degree concentration that the course may satisfy.

Select at most two from the following Cyber Security Engineering courses:

Fundamentals of Operating Systems
Hardware and Cyber Physical Systems

Select the remaining from the following Systems Engineering and Operations Research courses: 

Systems Definition and Cost Modeling (Core)
Systems Thinking
System Engineering Design (Core)
Systems Engineering Management I (Core)
Decision Support Systems Engineering
Decision and Risk Analysis
Analytics for Financial Engineering and Econometrics
Introduction to Air Traffic Control
Evidence-Based Systems Engineering
Applied Predictive Analytics
Heterogeneous Data Fusion
Financial Systems Engineering I: Introduction to Options, Futures, and Derivatives

While still in undergraduate status, a maximum of 6 additional graduate credits may be taken as reserve graduate credit and applied to the master's program. Reserve graduate credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree.

For more detailed information on coursework and timeline requirements, see AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degrees.

Degree Conferral

Students must apply the semester before they expect to complete the BS requirements to have the BS degree conferred. In addition, at the beginning of the student's final undergraduate semester, students must complete a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition form that is submitted to the Office of the University Registrar and the VSE Graduate Admissions Office. At the completion of MS requirements, a master's degree is conferred.