Cybersecurity & Information Assurance Graduate Certificate

Earn a certificate in as little as 12 months and increase your marketability as a cybersecurity professional.

Program Overview

The Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance is a comprehensive hands-on program that covers the field of cyber security from both an ethical offensive perspective to a defensive preventative perspective to ensure that students fully understand the entire realm of global cyber security and information assurance. The program focuses on all aspects of cyber security from physical security through advanced cryptologic security and utilizes current and relevant tools to ensure that students are well equipped as they enter the cyber security field.

The certificate program also focuses on the vital skills and tools of machine learning and data visualization, which are pervasive and highly desired in the cybersecurity domain. Students are taught data visualization and machine learning skills so that they can perform such tasks as advanced attack campaign and defense analysis, malware forensics/reverse engineering, and malware detection through deep learning and neural networks, which are skills that are in high demand in the cyber security domain.
The program also focuses on cryptography to ensure that students are well versed in encryption and encryption based attack and defensive systems. Machine learning and data visualization hands-on applications are presented as major tools in the cryptologic domain to ensure that students are skilled in their programming and application.

All courses in the certificate program are reviewed on a quarterly basis to ensure that all material taught is current, relevant, and cutting-edge. All industry-relevant tools utilized in the program are also reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that students are job-ready when they complete the program.
Additionally, students that complete the program will be highly prepared to sit for the CompTIA Security+ exam ( as well as the ISC2 CISSP exam (, as well as other cyber security-centric certifications.

Upcoming Start Dates

Spring – April 3, 2023

Summer – July 3, 2023

Fall – October 2, 2023

Winter – January 8, 2024

Program Length

12 months



Total Units


Admissions Requirements

Check out the Admissions Requirements for this program.


Choose from On-Ground or Hybrid & Weekend Courses*

Effective from the Fall 2021 Quarter Term, our MSCS courses will be offered only during the weekends and through the University’s Learning Management System (which can be completed at home). Some courses may be structured as directed studies in which students work one-on-one with the Program Chair or other faculty.

Program Highlights

Interested in discovering how you'll learn in the classroom?
Hands-on Labs
Field trips to local technology companies
Traditional graduate-level academics
Significant research and writing
Networking with graduate students in Silicon Valley and Southern California


To receive a Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance, students must successfully complete a minimum of 18 units. The following are specific required courses.

MSCS 3804 - Cyber Security & Information Assurance (3 Units)

This course covers vital information assurance and computer security principles as applied to computer systems and organizational information systems. Information assurance principles such as availability, integrity, and confidentiality are applied strategically to ensure the integrity of data and information. The complex concepts of data privacy, data security, and the relationship of security to organizational computer systems are integral to this course. Many facets of computer security such as integrated circuit security, physical security, personnel security, systems security, and operations security are discussed and related directly to information assurance principles. The concepts of risks, threats, and vulnerabilities as applied to computational systems are covered as well as the mitigation them through various forms of software and computer technologies in a defense in depth structure. The course also includes a survey of various laws and government initiatives to implement information assurance in the organization in a lawful manner. The course concludes with the development of a NIST compliant comprehensive information assurance plan for the complete organization: PCs, networks, databases, and supporting communications infrastructure.

MSCS 3920 - Cyber Security: Defense (3 Units)

This course will cover the proactive and pre-emptive cyber defense of information system assets at the data level through the organizational level and ultimately the national level. The ultimate goal of proactive defense is to mitigate the cyber risk of the organization. As such, risk management is comprehensively integrated into the course. The defense of critical infrastructure is studied and plans for preventing, protecting, and providing time sensitive responses to attacks or threats are covered in detail to insure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data and information throughout the organization. The complexity of attacks and blended threats is covered from a holistic security point of view to ensure that threats from advanced or multiple sources are effectively mitigated to protect sensitive information and to safeguard organizational assets.

MSCS 3921 - Cyber Security: Forensics & Attack Analysis (3 Units)

This course covers the art and science of cyber security forensics, which is the application of investigation and analytical techniques to cyber systems to extract and preserve information that can inform cyber professionals on risk mitigation and that can legally be presented as evidence in a court of law. The course covers attack analysis in detail and provides sound investigative methods for collecting, analyzing, preserving, and interpreting cyber information and evidence. In addition to the technological aspects of cyber forensics, the course will cover the legal aspects of cyber forensics including classifications of evidence, evidence preservation, evidence tampering, discovery procedures and protocols, and case presentation in court. The course will conclude with a comprehensive case study and the techniques and processes used to construct cyber forensic reports and evidence repositories for pending cyber-criminal cases.

MSCS 3922 - Applied Cryptography (3 Units)

This course covers the basic and advanced concepts of cryptography and applies them to real world applications with a special emphasis on cyber security applications. It covers the mathematical and logical aspects of cryptographic systems and how these constructs apply to real-world applications. The course also covers basic and advanced cryptographic protocols. Ciphers, encryption, and message integrity will be studied expensively. A comprehensive study of key systems will be a major part of the class. The course will conclude with the construction of original cryptographic constructs that are applied to real world applications and tested for effectiveness and efficiency.

MSCS 3019 - Data Visualization (3 Units)

Data visualization provides an effective means to communicate information and tell a story of quantitative data through graphic patterns. Especially in the big-data era, data visualization makes the massive data more approachable and valuable and greatly impacts the decision-making process in fields such as healthcare, manufacturing, finance, and science. This course introduces students to the core concepts and various techniques and tools for data visualization. The course will first explore what data visualization is. The techniques of good design consideration and data preparation for the best visuals will be discussed. The course will present the elements of cognitive science theory and the principles of graphic/interaction design. It will then apply them to the visualization of information. Finally, the course will examine the appropriate forms for data representation through case studies. A variety of common and uncommon digital visualization software tools are used in the class for information exaction and presentations.

MSCS 2202 - Machine Learning (3 Units)

Machine learning is a complex yet a fast-moving field with many real world commercial applications. The goal of machine learning is to build computer models that can produce useful information whether they are predictions, associations, or classifications. The ultimate goal for many machine-learning researchers is to build computing systems that can automatically adapt and learn from their experience. This course will study the theory and practical algorithms, basic concepts and paradigms, key techniques, challenges, and tricks of machine learning. It also covers examples of how machine learning is used/applied today in the real world, and exposes students to the construction and use of machine learning algorithms. This course discusses recent applications of machine learning, such as to robotic control, speech recognition, face recognition, data mining, autonomous navigation, bioinformatics, and text and web data processing. It also fuses machine learning with other areas of artificial intelligence and robotics.

Program Features

What are some of the benefits for taking the Cyber Security Graduate Certificate course?

  1. The program covers both the ethical offensive and defensive postures of cyber security.
  2. The program develops data visualization and machine learning skills to equip students with the ability to develop/utilize advanced cyber security tools and analytical methods.
  3. It covers vital cryptologic principles to ensure that students can use all encryption algorithms and products.
  4. Covers physical, managerial and technological-based security.
  5. Focuses on comprehensive risk management.
  6. Aligns with the NIST Cyber Security Framework (utilized by over 70% of US-based organizations).
  7. Aligns with ISO/IEC 27000 family of international standards utilized by organizations worldwide.
  8. Prepares students to sit for the CompTIA Security+ Exam.
  9. Prepares students to sit for the ISC2 CISSP Exam (the preeminent security certification).
  10. All courses in the program are integrated with each other to form a fluent program.
  11. All courses cover basic topics so that anyone can do well in the program, even without a cyber-security or computer science background.

Meet the Program Chair

Dr. Donna Dulo, Program Chair for Computer Science Department

Dr. Dulo has extensive experience in the field of aerospace software safety engineering and aviation cybersecurity and is an expert in drone systems engineering and drone/ aviation law. She retired from the Department of Defense as a computer scientist and mathematician with 34 years of combined active duty and civilian service. She writes extensively in the area of Aviation and Drone Law for the American Bar Association and wrote the seminal Drone Law book for the ABA which continues to be an authoritative legal reference.

  • Ph.D. US Naval Postgraduate School Software Engineering
  • JD Monterey College of Law
  • MS Johns Hopkins University, Systems Engineering
  • MAS Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Aeronautics & Aerospace Safety Systems
  • MS US Naval Postgraduate School, Computer Science: Cyber Security, Wireless Tech
  • MA US Naval War College, National Security and Strategic Studies
  • MBA City University of Seattle, Technology/Engineering Management
  • MS University of Phoenix, Computer Information Systems
  • Graduate Diploma US Naval College of Naval Command and Staff
  • Graduate Diploma US Marine Corps Command and Staff College
  • BS US Coast Guard Academy/SUNY, Management & Economics
  • Diploma Defense Language Institute, Modern Standard/Egyptian Arabic

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Cyber Security Graduate Certificate Program in California

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