Brown University Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Why Brown University?

The online Master of Science in Cybersecurity offered by Brown University provides the distinctive opportunity to study higher-level cybersecurity skills at an Ivy League university.  Brown University, a private research university in Providence, Rhode Island has different prerequisite requirements for applicants depending on their desired concentration within the degree.

Students applying to the computer science concentration must have an undergraduate degree in STEM or social science with undergraduate-level coursework in calculus, discrete mathematics, and probability or statistics. Applicants must also demonstrate completion of a course in introductory computer science that covers computer programming and data structures and algorithms.

Students applying to the policy track should have an undergraduate degree in any subject, and should be able to demonstrate excellent writing and analytical skills. Competitive applicants will also show relevant academic, professional or volunteer experience in policy and cybersecurity.

Standardized test scores are not required, and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is expected. 

Program Snapshot

University Name Brown University
Location Providence
State Rhode Island Grade A+
Name of Degree Master of Science in Cybersecurity
School or Department Administering Program School of Computer Science
Credits 36
Cost per credit $3,056.00
Tuition for Entire Program $110,016.00
Test Requirements None
Minimum GPA 3.0
Campus Visit Required? No
Typical Time to Complete 2 years
When Can Students Start the Program? Fall, Spring
Program Concentrations Computer Science Track; Policy Track
Synchronous Classes Optional
Required Courses · Human Factors in Cybersecurity

· Cybersecurity Law and Policy

· Introduction to Computer Security or Computer Systems Security

· 3 Track Courses

· 2 Electives

Does the Program Include a Capstone? Optional independent study
Does the Program Include a Practicum or Internship? No
Other Features that Make the Program Unique Optional independent study; emphasis on human factors, policy and history; 2 tracks share some classes and work on projects together; Classes taught by core Brown faculty with help from teaching assistants; Strong industry partnerships; Limited class sizes; Involvement of Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs in the cybersecurity program
Program Objectives (quoted directly from the program) Comprehensively explore cybersecurity technology and policy at the local, national, and global levels; Assess security and privacy implications of emerging technologies to identify vulnerabilities and create solutions; Develop methods for understanding and describing threat intelligence through demonstrations of vulnerabilities, attacks, and defenses; Explore the technological, economic, human, legal, organizational, socio-political, and policy challenges in this field
Program Description Consisting of 36 credits, this program emphasizes computer science topics Students choose between two concentrations. A capstone experience is optional. independent study Following a traditional course schedule, the program is designed for students wishing to work and study at the same time.

 What will I Learn?

The Brown University cybersecurity program offers two separate tracks for students with different interests.  students can choose to follow the cybersecurity pass, which is more technical, or they may follow the policy path, which looks more at human factors and governance.  Within both tracks, students can expect to explore cybersecurity and technology and policy  from local, national, and global perspectives. 

Graduates will be equipped to evaluate 6 security and privacy issues working with a range of technologies to identify and mitigate threats.  They will become familiar with a range of different types of attacks and defenses. Working within an interdisciplinary and collaborative framework, graduates of this program will be well-versed in the technological, economic, cumin, legal, ethical, social, political, organizational, and policy issues within cybersecurity. 

The following courses are required: Human Factors in Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Law and Policy, and Introduction to Computer Security or Computer Systems Security.  students take three courses within their chosen track, and also choose two electives.  students may choose to complete an optional independent study as a capstone experience.

The distinctive feature of the Brown University program is collaborative nature.  students within both tracks can expect to take courses with peers from the other track, and students from each track are often assigned to work on projects together in order to bring together their perspective and technical skills. 

Classes in the brown program are taught by core Brown faculty with help from teaching assistants.  students can expect small class sizes.  The curriculum was developed with the involvement of the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs,  and is enriched by ongoing partnerships with industry and government. 

How much will the program cost?

Students finish their degree within 2 years and pay $3,056.00 per credit for a total of 36 credits, or $110,016.00 in total. Many students receive financial aid from this well-endowed private university.

How does the program fit into my life?

This program offers optional synchronous classes, meaning that students can choose to attend classes “live” or can choose to complete work on their own schedule. The typical time for completion of the degree is 2 years of study. Students can enter the program in Fall or Spring semester.


While many applicants will first notice this program is extremely high cost, it should be noted that the program offers high value and distinctive features. These include small class sizes, courses taught by esteemed faculty at this ivy league university, and the opportunity to participate in collaborative projects focusing on both technical skills and human factors.  

Applicants should explore financial aid and other funding options, particularly if they have a special interest in international or global affairs attracting them to this prestigious program.