Who can help me with the admissions process?
- Tiffany Young is the admissions recruiter advisor for the MS in Cybersecurity program.
Do I have to submit transcripts from every school that I have attended?
- An official transcript is required from each institution of higher education that you have attended (except for USF). Electronic transcripts are preferred, however official paper transcripts can be mailed. All transcripts must be sent to the Office of Admissions:
University of South Florida
Office of Admissions
4202 E Fowler Avenue, SVC 1036
Tampa, FL 33620
- Unofficial transcripts may be used to grant conditional admission to the program; however official transcripts must be submitted before you will be permitted to register for your second semester classes.
I’ve been admitted to USF but cannot attend until next semester. Can I delay my enrollment?
- If you wish to enroll in a semester other than the one to which you were admitted, please email Tiffany Young to request a deferment and include your desired entry term.
Can I change my concentration later in the program?
- You may not request a change to your concentration during the first semester. After your first semester is complete, you may submit a Change of Graduate Concentration Form to your academic advisor (see below for contact information). Requesting to change concentrations is similar to requesting admission. All original application materials along with a new statement of purpose and any new grades will be reviewed by faculty to determine if acceptance into the new concentration is appropriate.
What are the admission requirements if I earned my undergraduate degree from a non-US institution?
- Beside the program admission requirements, International Applicants must submit a degree equivalency evaluation, English Proficiency scores, and GRE Test Results. For details download the International Admission Requirements Brochure or visit: https://www.usf.edu/admissions/international/admission-information/graduate/requirements-and-deadlines.aspx
Do I have to use my USF email?
- All official communication will be sent to your USF email. Advisors will provide important information on academic deadlines, policies, procedures and registration related information. You should check your USF email at least once a week, but preferably daily.
I have a disability. What kind of accommodations can be made for me in this program?
- Accommodations are determined by Student Accessibility Services. Please contact their office for more information.
Where can I get a USF ID card?
- You may obtain an official USF ID card by downloading the application and submitting the required documents. The cost is $10 for the first card.
Tuition and Financial Aid
How much does it cost to attend USF?
- You can estimate your tuition by using the Tuition and Fees Cost Calculator (select Graduate level). All cybersecurity courses are 3 credit hours.
What type of financial aid is available?
- Contact the Office of Financial Aid for a complete list of financial aid opportunities.
I am classified as a non-Florida resident. How do I get this changed?
- If you feel your initial classification is in error, you have until the last day of your first term to contact the Office of Admissions and request re-evaluation. Once you have completed your first term, you only may request reclassification for future terms through the Office of the Registrar.
I am a veteran. How do I find out how much my benefits will cover?
- Contact the Office of Veteran Success and speak with a benefits coordinator for help.
I have been dropped from my classes for non-payment. What do I do now?
- When you are dropped from classes for non-payment, you are also removed from Canvas
(with no access to course material). Resolving this quickly is essential to prevent
falling behind. The process for being re-added to your courses varies based on date.
Complete instructions can be found on the Registrar’s Re-Add Process page. It is important to note that you are required to pay all tuition and fees before
being added back into your classes. When viewing Oasis, the tuition will not show
up in your account balance (because the classes were dropped). You will receive an
email from the Cashier’s Office with instructions and your total bill. You must input
this specific dollar amount when paying through Oasis. It is also your responsibility
to communicate with your instructor and request their signatures (if required). Once
the Re-Add petition is approved and processed, you will be added back into your Canvas
courses. Please note that Canvas updates every day around midnight. So, you won't
see your course until the next day.
To prevent this going forward, please make sure you are familiar with important university dates, including the main tuition payment deadline, which can be found on the Registrar’s Academic Calendar. More detail regarding tuition payment dates can be found on the Controller’s Office website. Cyber students are required to pay for their entire semester of classes (even if there are multiple sessions) no later than 1st week of the semester.
Who do I contact for help after I am admitted?
- Lisa Wetmore is the academic advisor for the digital forensics and information assurance concentrations. Leigh Anne Blackwell is the academic advisor for the cyber intelligence and computer security fundamentals concentrations.
How many total credits are required?
- The cybersecurity master’s degree is an interdisciplinary 30-33 credit hour online program with courses offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, Muma College of Business and College of Engineering. The Cyber Intelligence (33 credit hours), Digital Forensics (30 credit hours) and Information Assurance (30 credit hours) concentrations are fully online. Courses in the Computer Security Fundamentals (30 credit hours) concentration are delivered in a 16-week online format with in-person testing requirements that can be completed at approved national testing centers.
Is this program accelerated?
- Core classes and concentration classes in cyber intelligence, digital forensics and information assurance are offered in an eight-week, alternate calendar format instead of a traditional semester. Computer security fundamentals concentration courses are not accelerated and are offered as full 16-week semester courses.
Will I know what courses to take and when to take them?
- Your advisor will create a program plan to help you complete the degree as efficiently as possible. The plan will consider your intended pace as well as course rotations/capacities.
Where can I find more information on the required courses for each concentration?
- Find course information for each concentration in the USF Graduate Catalog.
I work in the cyber industry. Can I waive courses based on my experience?
- Unfortunately, the program does not offer waivers for work experience as there is no way to accurately assess the extent and depth of that knowledge. The MS in Cybersecurity program consists of four distinct tracks, and all courses within a student’s specified track are required for graduation.
Can I transfer credits from other graduate classes to this program?
- If the graduate classes meet USF transfer course requirements (see catalog) and satisfy content from one of the required USF cybersecurity courses, they can be reviewed by the concentration director for possible course transfer approval. To request a review of transfer courses, submit the following to your academic advisor: Official completed transcripts from the transferring institution, course syllabi for faculty evaluation and a Graduate Course Transfer Form. You must be admitted to the program before course transfers can be considered.
- For a course from another institution to be eligible for course transfer, the student must have earned a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better.
How much study time should I realistically budget for each class?
- You should expect to commit approximately 20 hours a week for each eight-week course.
I earned a “C” in one of my classes. Does that count?
- Only courses with grades of “C” (2.0) or better will be counted towards graduation requirements. If you earn a grade of C- or below, you will have to retake that course before graduating. However, to be eligible to graduate, a student must have an overall 3.0 in the cybersecurity major.
I need to take time off or change the number of classes I am scheduled to take. What should I do?
- Please email your academic advisor. They can help you adjust your schedule.
I finished my session one course(s), but still don’t see a grade in OASIS.
- Grades for all sessions post to OASIS at the end of the semester.
Is there a graduate certificate in cybersecurity?
- Yes, there are three graduate certifications in cybersecurity: Cyber Intelligence (18 credit hours), Digital Forensics (15 credit hours) and Information Assurance (12 credit hours).
How do I apply for a graduate certificate? Do those classes count toward a master’s degree?
- Complete the online application for admission and submit the required supporting documentation. Graduate certificate courses may count toward a master’s degree if they meet USF application of credit guidelines (see catalog) and are required courses for the degree.
How do I register for courses?
- You may register through MyUSF/OASIS using the Schedule Planner. Every student receives a personal program plan which outlines the specific required courses and when to take them. Registration permits are issued by the academic advisors each semester. These permits correspond with your program plan.
I have an IM/MR Immunization Hold on my account. How can I get this removed?
- If you are registering for online classes, the system will automatically override this hold and allow registration.
I got an error when trying to register. What should I do?
- Email your academic advisor with a screen shot of the error you are seeing. They can help fix the issue or direct you to the correct department.
Practicum and Graduation
Does the MS in Cybersecurity require a thesis?
- The primary aim of the MS in Cybersecurity is to train highly skilled practitioners for the workforce. The program requires the satisfactory completion of a three (3) credit hour applied learning experience (practicum) instead of a thesis. Your academic advisor will direct you to the graduate faculty member that will approve your practicum plan and monitor its completion. Also, during the semester in which you are scheduled to graduate, you will be required to submit an electronic portfolio demonstrating completion of core competencies in cybersecurity and in your selected concentration. This competency-based portfolio will substitute for the written comprehensive exam because the portfolio permits the capstone assessment to align exactly with the degree program’s objectives. Each objective in the portfolio is reviewed and rated by graduate faculty for content (demonstrating knowledge of accepted practices, procedures and trends in the field) and critical thinking (your ability to analyze a problem, organize a response, synthesize perspectives and draw practical, testable conclusions).
Are there alternatives to completing an internship for the practicum?
- You can work with your concentration director or practicum coordinator (your academic advisor can provide contact information) to consider alternatives. The practicum must address either an organizational issue that you work on or a research topic that you write an essay about. Another option is developing a deliverable, like an algorithm or app, related to cybersecurity. You also may complete certifications if a significant undertaking is shown. At the end of the practicum, you must produce and submit a tangible product such as an internship report, an essay, an assessment report, an app or any other concrete outcome. The concentration advisor or practicum coordinator will approve your initial plan and final product.
Can I use my current employment to complete the practicum?
- Your practicum must show a culmination of knowledge for the program. The practicum must be outside of your day-to-day job functions, but it is possible that the concentration director or practicum coordinator would approve a special project that you can complete for your current employer. You would need to show approximately 120 hours of practicum work outside of your normal job.
Are there student internships available?
- Yes. You should work with your concentration director or practicum coordinator to identify possible internships. In addition, there are some general student internships available through the Internship and Career Readiness Team at the Career Center.
Will I get assistance with job placement?
- USF’s Career Services has many resources available for job seekers. In addition, the cybersecurity advisors and faculty regularly receive information about open positions in the field which are passed on to students.
I am trying to apply for graduation but can’t find my college.
- The MS in Cybersecurity program is under the College of Graduate Studies.
I am graduating soon. What steps do I need to take? Do I have to “walk” in the commencement ceremony?
- Please contact your academic advisor to make sure you are on track for graduation. They will provide instructions for the process. All students must apply to graduate through OASIS, but commencement is optional. Filling out the commencement RSVP does not qualify you to graduate and is not the same as applying to graduate through OASIS.
Is there a certain GPA required to graduate?
- To be considered a “student in good standing,” graduate students must maintain an overall minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale).
Will my concentration be shown on my diploma?
- Your concentration will not be listed on your diploma, however it will be listed on your transcript.