Computer Security

The Master of Science in Computer Science (Computer Security) is a program created in response to a direct need specified by both industry and government. This unique degree highlights courses relevant to the practice of computer security research, development and deployment, and the secure operation of computer systems. Topics include development of systems that enforce security; cryptography and statistical analysis of attacks; and implementation and management of systems that depend on security technologies for correct operation.

Total Units: 32

Required courses (20 units):

  • CSCI 530 – Security Systems (4)
  • CSCI 531 – Applied Cryptography (4)
  • CSCI 551 – Computer Communications (4)
  • CSCI 555 – Advanced Operating Systems (4)
  • CSCI 570 – Analysis of Algorithms (4)

Choose 2 of the following courses (8 units):

  • CSCI 561 -Foundations of Artificial Intelligence (4)
  • CSCI 585 – Database Systems (4)
  • CSCI 571 – Web Technologies (4)

Complete 4 units from one or more of the following options:

  • CSCI 556 – Introduction to Cryptography (4)
  • CSCI 577a – Software Engineering (4)
  • CSCI 578 – Software Architectures (4)
  • CSCI 599 – Special Topics (4)*
  • CSCI 590 – Directed Research (1-2, max 2)
  • CSCI 591 – Computer Science Research Colloquium (1, max 2)
*Special Topics must be pre-approved by an advisor.
A maximum of 2 units of CSCI 590 and a maximum of 2 units of CSCI 591 may be applied.
Thesis courses (CSCI 594a, CSCI 594b, CSCI 594z) and Internship courses (ENGR 595a, ENGR 595b, ENGR 595z) are not eligible for elective credit.
  • There is no examination required for the degree.
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.00 must be earned on all course work applied toward the M.S. degree and all graduate course work taken at USC.
  • A maximum of 4 units may be taken from approved 400-level courses in either Electrical Engineering or Computer Science.
  • Prerequisites must be taken prior to an advanced course. Even if a prerequisite is waived, you may not take the prerequisite course AFTER taking the advanced course.
  • Internship and Thesis credits cannot count as elective units toward the degree.
  • CSCI 590 Directed Research is a variable unit course, and can be taken for one or two units. A maximum of two units can apply toward the degree.
  • CSCI 591 Research Colloquium can be taken a maximum of two times for one unit each.
  • Other requirements for the M.S. degree are the same as set forth in the general requirements for graduate degrees.