In this program, you'll learn the essential aspects of cyber operations and related areas such as risk analysis, cyber defense, and cryptography. You'll also learn how to build defense as an integral part of a computing system and how to detect and defend against vulnerabilities and intrusions on a variety of platforms.

UMGC was named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.

About the Cyber Operations Graduate Certificate

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Refine your communication, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and leadership skills
  • Design systems that are based on security design principles and employ multiple layers of protection to meet mission security goals
  • Perform risk assessment to identify risk to an organization and facilitate appropriate responses
  • Develop appropriate cryptographic solutions for a given enterprise architecture scenario

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Develop cryptographically sound solutions to support highly secure inter-enterprise communication and eCommerce
  • Select and analyze security controls in an enterprise setting using defense-in-depth approaches to minimize risk
  • Investigate digital artifacts for the presence of malware and malicious code
  • Apply static and dynamic analysis tools and techniques to detect and debug software defects that could lead to security vulnerabilities
  • Conduct and supervise cyber offense campaigns and practice skills associated with the cyber threat kill chain in a safe laboratory environment

Cyber Operations Graduate Certificate Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Required Courses

  • DCL 600
  • COP 610
  • COP 620

Course Rules and Program Progression

  • All courses must be taken in the order listed. 
  • You must complete each course with a grade of B or better to advance to the next course. The grade of C is not available for these courses. 
  • The courses in this program will have seven-day and 60-day options for the grade of Incomplete.

Vertical Pathway

If you completed your undergraduate degree at UMGC with a major in computer networks and cybersecurity, a vertical pathway between UMGC's graduate and undergraduate degree programs in that field allows you to reduce your total coursework for this program by up to 6 credits.

Overall Certificate Requirements

Initial Requirements

  • DCL 600
  • DCL 600 must be taken as the first course for the certificate.
  • The required initial course is listed as part of the certificate required classes.

Overall Graduate Certificate Requirements

  • You must be admitted as a UMGC student.
  • You may pursue a degree and certificate simultaneously or pursue a degree after completing the certificate.
  • No more than 6 credits may be earned through transfer from other schools.
  • You must satisfy all required prerequisites for certificate courses. You may need to fulfill some prerequisites before beginning certificate coursework.
  • You must complete all required coursework with a minimum grade of B (3.0) in all courses.
  • Certificate courses may not be taken pass/fail.
  • Graduate students may only complete certificates at the graduate level.

Time Limits for Graduate Certificates

You must complete the requirements for a graduate certificate within five consecutive years. The time limit is calculated from the term in which you successfully complete the first credit course that applies to the program. It does not include the introductory courses DCL 600 and CBR 600 but does include courses transferred from other institutions.

Experience Recommended for Success in the Program

Ideally, you should have recently completed an undergraduate degree in computer science or a related discipline. You are expected to be familiar with cybersecurity and computer science concepts and be comfortable developing code in at least one programming language. Experience performing cybersecurity tasks in a work environment would enhance the learning experience.

If you do not have work experience in information technology, computer networks, or cybersecurity, you are advised to take ASC 605 first. If you have not taken programming courses previously, you are strongly encouraged to take ASC 609. Taking ASC 601 is recommended to improve your graduate writing skills.

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Additional Information

Technology Requirements

This program's curriculum requires that you use a computer with the following:

  • Microphone and speakers or headset with microphone or equivalent device
  • 5 GB of free hard drive space
  • 4 GB RAM or higher
  • A high-speed internet connection
  • Computer processor (Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 64) running at speeds of at least 1 GHz
  • Windows 8.1 or Mac OS X 10.6 or higher for an operating system (Linux operating systems can also be used but require more technical knowledge from the user)

Note: The higher the processor speed of your computer (e.g., 2.4–3.4 GHz), the larger the amount of available memory (e.g., 4–12 GB), and the larger the amount of available hard drive space (e.g., 5–20 GB), the better your computer will perform and the smoother your experience will be.