M.S. in Cybersecurity and Public Policy

Tufts hosted its inaugural student symposium in cybersecurity policy in 2019, and continues to foster collaboration and innovation in the field of cybersecurity and public policy.

Demand for master’s-level cybersecurity professionals increased seven times over between 2013 and 2017, and a recent study projected a further increase of 28% over the next decade. Prepare for a long and successful career with an M.S. in Cybersecurity and Public Policy from Tufts University. Graduates will be able to help organizations protect their data, identify and manage cyber risk, and recover from cyber-attacks. Potential positions for graduates of the program include policy advocate for a civil society organization; a staffer in agencies and legislative bodies concerned with privacy or cybersecurity policy; a threat detection analyst in the private sector; a policy analyst at a think tank; or a policy officer in global private industry.

Earn your degree in an innovative on-campus master’s program offered jointly by The Fletcher School and the Department of Computer Science in the School of Engineering. This program marries technology and policy with a focus on international issues and responses, including a wide range of in-depth cybersecurity policy focus areas that range from development to national security.

Course of Study

Cybersecurity and cybersecurity policy mean different things to different disciplines, and Tufts’ M.S. in Cybersecurity and Public Policy program and faculty embrace an interdisciplinary approach, teaching and producing research through a variety of lenses across departments and schools. Students will have many avenues to become cybersecurity policy experts. This program will not offer nor recommend a single track to graduation – instead, students will be encouraged to pursue their own interests and meet their professional goals.

To name just a few potential focus areas, students could:

  • explore algorithms and technologies to secure systems
  • study how users interact with computers in order to provide stronger methods of privacy protection
  • examine digital approaches to development
  • ask how to control—through laws and technology—the growing surveillance society
  • analyze the impact that the “borderless” world of the Internet has on sovereignty
  • research how changing communications technologies impact law.

Students benefit from select courses offered by the following Tufts schools and departments:

Program Highlights

Many faculty across the Tufts campus have expert interests in cybersecurity and public policy. They study how cyber changes the nature of intelligence and collection, work on understanding its impact on consumer privacy, and build more secure systems. As cybersecurity continues to increase its impact on our daily lives, the faculty’s focus on cybersecurity and policy will continue to increase.

The Cybersecurity and Public Policy program is led by faculty who have expertise in cybersecurity policy, programming infrastructure, and telecommunications policy, currently working on projects within the realms of communications surveillance and securing cyberspace. Students of the program also benefit from the programming at The Edward R. Murrow Center for a Digital World and The Hitachi Center for Technology and International Affairs, both housed within The Fletcher School at Tufts University.

At Tufts, students have the opportunity to experience:

  • small class sizes,
  • developing a personalized path of study,
  • mentorship from professors at the top of their fields, and
  • collaborative research that crosses disciplines,
  • all just five miles from the high-tech hub of Boston.

Curriculum and Requirements

Students will fulfill a minimum of 10 courses or 30 credits over the course of 12-16 months, divided between computer science and policy studies. The following courses are required:

  • Computer Science for Future Presidents (4 credit hours): This course is recommended for students with a computer science background, though it may be possible to take a different advanced course.
  • How Systems Work (4 credit hours): It is anticipated that students with a computer science background will substitute a more advanced computer science course instead.
  • How Systems Fail (4 credit hours)
  • Privacy in the Digital Age (3 credit hours)
  • One of the following courses: Cyber in the Civil Sector: Threats and Upheavals OR Cyberlaw and Cyberpolicy (3 credit hours)
  • International Cyber Conflict: An Introduction to Power and Conflict in Cyberspace (3 credit hours)

Students will also complete 3-4 electives from the following lists. At least three electives must be from:

  • COMP 111: Operating Systems
  • COMP 112: Networks and Protocols
  • COMP 115: Database Systems
  • COMP 116: Introduction to Security
  • COMP 117: Internet-Scale Distributed Systems
  • COMP 129: Computing in Developing Countries
  • COMP 150-AVS: Program Analysis, Verification and Synthesis
  • COMP 155: Cyberlaw and Cyberpolicy
  • COMP 165: Cryptography
  • COMP 180: Software Engineering,
  • and one of:
  • COMP 205: Principles of Data Science in Python or COMP 119: Big data  (Prerequisite: COMP 205 or equivalent practical experience)
  • PS 187: Intelligence and US National Security
  • DHP 231: International Communication
  • DHP P232: Communications Policy Analysis and Modeling  
  • DHP P233 Digital Approaches to Development
  • DHP P236: Cyber in the Civilian Sector
  • DHP P238: Technology, Development, and Regulation
  • DHP P240: Role of Force in International Politics
  • DHP P245: Crisis Management and Complex Emergencies
  • DHP D290: Cyber Risk Management
  • EIB B242: Innovation Models for Building Inclusive Businesses.

The fourth elective may be chosen from the above list or from the one of the following courses:

  • COMP 122: Parallel Computing
  • COMP 131: Artificial Intelligence
  • COMP 135: Machine Learning
  • COMP 181: Compilers
  • ILO L200: The International Legal Order
  • ILO L201: Public International Law
  • ILO L220: International Organizations
  • ILO L221: Actors in Global Governance
  • ILO L230: International Business Transactions
  • ILO L240: Legal and Institutional Aspects of International Trade
  • DHP D286: From Authoritarian Regimes to Illiberal Democracies
  • DHP H204: Classics of International Relations
  • DHP H241: Grand Strategies in History
  • DHP P200: International Relations: Theory and Practice
  • DHP P205: National Security Decision Making: Theory and Practice
  • DHP P217: Global Political Economy
  • DHP P244: Modern Terrorism and Counterterrorism
  • DHP P295: Introduction to Human Security
  • EIB B231: International Business Strategy and Operations
  • EIB B232: Work and Employment Relations in the 21st Century
  • EIB B252: Corporate Social Responsibility in the Age of Globalization

How to Apply

Apply at: https://gradase.admissions.tufts.edu/apply/

Request more information: https://gradase.admissions.tufts.edu/register/inquiryform

Plan a campus visit: https://asegrad.tufts.edu/admissions/plan-visit

Students with an interest in cybersecurity policy and a background in either policy or technology are encouraged to apply. Prospective students should have a solid background in computer science (major, strong minor, or the equivalent) or an undergraduate or advanced degree in economics, international relations, law, political science, or a related field.

Students must have taken an introductory course in computer programming before enrolling in the program. This is not an admissions requirement to be accepted into the program but is an entrance requirement – if a student is accepted into the program before they have taken an introductory course in computer programming, they must take the course before they start the program. The course can include programming in C++, Python, or Java, but should not be Javascript based. The course needs to teach not only programming, but also introduce algorithmic thinking and data structures.

Deadlines:

Fall 2020: January 15, 2020

Spring 2021: September 15, 2020

Starting in August 2019, the Cybersecurity and Public Policy M.S. program began accepting applications for students who will matriculate in the fall of 2020.

Application Requirements:

  • Application Fee
  • Resume/CV
  • Personal Statement
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS, if applicable
  • Transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores not required

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