Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science to apply?
Fortunately, no! The MS in Cybersecurity program is open to all "computer savvy" students with a Bachelor's degree, regardless of whether your degree is in math, physics, biology, chemistry, business, engineering/computer science, or any other major.
How long will the program take to complete?
The program director will work with you during the admissions process to customize a course plan based on your academic and professional experience. The program can be completed in 1 year by full-time students entering with a full slate of technical skills, or 1-2 years for students choosing to take the program on a part-time basis or who need to achieve specific technical skills prior to taking core cybersecurity courses.
What technical skills do I need prior to applying?
You need experience -- either from academic courses or from professional work in industry -- in two areas prior to entering the Cybersecurity program:
- Programming / Data Structures in a common language such as C++, Java, Python, etc. (equivalent to Pacific's COMP 53)
- Discrete Math (equivalent to Pacific's COMP 47)
Note that you can take these courses at Pacific prior to starting the Cybersecurity program, or at another university.
What technical skills do I need after being admitted to the program, but prior to taking the core cybersecurity courses?
Four cybersecurity knowledge units are required for the core technical courses. These knowledge units can be satisfied by academic course work at other institutions, professional/industry work (at the discretion of the program director), or by taking the corresponding courses at Pacific while enrolled in the Cybersecurity program. Up to two of the courses listed below can be counted towards your Cybersecurity degree in lieu of technical electives.
- Computer Algorithms (equivalent to Pacific's COMP 157)
- Low-Level (Assembly) Programming (equivalent to Pacific's ECPE 170)
- Operating Systems (equivalent to Pacific's COMP 173)
- Computer Networking (equivalent to Pacific's COMP 177)
When is the deadline to apply?
The MS in Cybersecurity program will accept students on a rolling admission basis. We recommend you start your application immediately rather than wait until you have all of your papers in hand (transcripts, etc.) in order to reserve your space on the priority application list. Application review and admissions decisions will be made once your application is complete.
What are the requirements for international applicants?
The minimum requirements are:
- GPA of 3.0/4.0 or above
- TOEFL minimum scores: Computer-based = 213, Internet-based = 79-80, Paper-based = 550
- TOEFL scores can be no older than 2 years old
- Letters of Recommendation can be no older than 1 year old
- Supporting Bank Documentation can be no older than 6 months
- Transcript evaluated by World Educational Services (WES)
For more information, including evaluation of your transcripts by WES and certification of finances, please see: Information for International Applicants
How many units can students transfer in from other colleges or universities?
Students may transfer in a maximum of 6 units with the approval of the Program Director.
What time of day are the classes scheduled for?
Classes are offered during daytime and early evening.
How much is tuition?
See Tuition and Fees
Is financial aid available?
No financial aid is available for this program. Graduate students who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens may apply for federal student loans. Please contact our Office of Financial Aid for more information about financing options. Graduate students that apply for loans should complete the FAFSA.
Can this program be "blended" with a Pacific undergraduate engineering degree?
No - Due to the technical nature of this program and its foundational knowledge requirements, students need to complete their bachelor's degree first.