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Woods College of Advancing Studies

Frequently Asked Questions

master of science in cybersecurity policy and governance

What are the defining characteristics of your program?
What careers are typically available to graduates of the MS program?
What is the current job outlook for students with an MS in Cybersecurity?
How many courses are required for this program?
What are the requirements for admission?
What if my GPA is not a 3.0? Am I still eligible to apply for the program?
Do you offer admission to international applicants?
Must both letters of recommendation be from an academic source?
Does this program require the GRE?
How much does the program cost?
Do you offer financial aid?
If I have not taken particular prerequisite courses can I still apply? Would equivalent work experience qualify instead? 
Do you offer graduate course credit transfer?
Can you tell me about your faculty members?
What is the deadline for admission?
How long does it take to complete the degree?
Can students work full-time and pursue this degree?
Can students enter the program in the spring semester?
Do you offer graduate student housing?

 

What are the defining characteristics of your program?
Our Master of Science in Cybersecurity Policy and Governance will prepare students to bridge the communication gap between IT security professionals and key business stakeholders, and to lead, design, and frame a business case for investment to senior executives, Boards of Directors, and government officials.  Taught by industry leaders and practitioners, students will learn, hands-on, to identify, assess, and manage cyber risk, and to develop and implement a proactive cybersecurity strategy to effectively defend, mitigate, and recover from a cyber-attack.  Our program emphasizes skills in leadership, ethics, management, analytic problem solving, and communication to prepare students to meet and respond to the varying issues presented by the rapidly changing cyber ecosystem.
 

What careers are typically available to graduates of the MS program?  Students will be prepared for a career as a cybersecurity professional in private industry and government.  Depending on a student's educational background and career experience, possible positions include, but are not limited to:

  • Chief Information Security Officer
  • Cybersecurity Consultant
  • Compliance Officer
  • Cyber & Network Security Director
  • Cybersecurity & Enterprise Services Director 
  • Cyber Policy Analyst
  • Cyber Intelligence Analyst
  • Privacy and Security In-House Counsel
  • Privacy Analyst
 

What is the current job outlook for students with an MS in Cybersecurity?
"According to the agency charged with tallying statistics on the cyber talent gap, there are over 1 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs right now. It is projected that this number will grow to 1.5 million by 2020." - Forbes

 

How many courses are required for this program?
10 courses (6 core and 4 electives) are required (30 credits total).
 

What are the requirements for admission?

  • Online application form
  • Application fee $45 (to be paid as part of the online application)
  • Bachelor’s degree from accredited college with GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Official transcripts  from undergraduate institution
  • GRE (reporting code 7534) or GMAT (reporting code 44X-HX-15) scores*
  • Personal Statement
  • Two letters of recommendation. (Letters must be sent directly from recommender either through online application portal or directly to Woods College.  We will not accept letters that are not in a sealed envelope mailed directly from recommender or emailed directly from recommender).
  • Résumé
  • Brief interview (in person or via Skype)
  • 3-5 years of professional experience involving information technology, cybersecurity related issues, business management, risk management and compliance, and/or law enforcement and national security concerns. 
  • Those with less than 3 years of professional experience will be considered for admission based on their academic credentials and course work relative to business or operations management, business analytics, computer science or engineering, information technology, or relevant coursework as approved by the Program Director, with a grade of B or higher.**    

    *Waiver may be granted based upon relevant professional work experience and GPA from accredited college.

    **Students who do not meet this requirement may be considered for admission with the following condition: the completion of an approved course(s), with a grade of B or higher. 

    BC Employees and alumni, please note: We highly recommend entering your Social Security Number into the Optional Field on the Application Form as this will guarantee your Eagle ID number is identified.

What if my GPA is not a 3.0? Am I still eligible to apply for the program?
Yes. We will consider your application and weigh a variety of factors (including GRE/GMAT scores and industry experience) to determine whether we are able to offer you admission. For particular applicants, we may be able to grant admission into the program with particular conditions noted (for example, passing the first two courses with a B or better in each during the first semester).
 

Do you offer admission to international applicants?
We are not able to accept international students at this time.
 

Must both letters of recommendation be from an academic source?
No, we prefer that one letter of recommendation be from an academic source, and another from an employer or person in a supervisory capacity who can speak about your interests and experience.
 

Does this program require the GRE?
Yes. We do require the GRE (or the GMAT if that is preferred). However, a waiver may be granted based upon relevant professional work experience and GPA from an accredited college.  The GRE/GMAT scores are only one of several factors that we use to make admissions decisions.
 

How much does the program cost?
The tuition for 2017-2018 is $1,082.00 per credit, and courses are three credits each.
There is also a $25 registration fee for each semester (fall and spring).
 

Do you offer financial aid?
All students are eligible to apply for financial aid. The Woods College also has additional scholarships for students who qualify based upon both merit and need. You are welcome to inquire further with regard to your specific circumstances and needs.
 

If I have not taken particular prerequisite courses can I still apply? 

Yes. Applicants with less than 3 years of professional experience will be considered for admission based on their academic credentials and course work relative to business or operations management, business analytics, computer science or engineering, information technology, or relevant coursework as approved by the Program Director, with a grade of B or higher. Students who do not meet this requirement may be considered for admission with the following condition: the completion of an approved course(s), with a grade of B or higher. 

Would equivalent work experience qualify instead?

Yes. If you have 3-5 years of prior work-related experience, we will ask you to provide us with details of your prior work-related experience in a letter of recommendation from your workplace (from within the last five years of employment).This letter of recommendation would be one of the two required letters of recommendation.

Do you offer graduate course credit transfer?
Students may be able to transfer up to 6 graduate credits (2 courses). Decisions on whether to accept transfer credits will depend on an assessment as to whether such course(s) to be transferred fit within the MS in Cybersecurity Policy & Governance curriculum. 
 

Can you tell me about your faculty members?
All of our faculty members have advanced degrees in their specific fields of expertise and are accomplished practitioners in private industry and government. Their specializations range from cybersecurity IT, to corporate governance, risk, and compliance, to forensics and investigations.  As leaders in cybersecurity, our faculty members are shaping industry standards, while working with or for Fortune 500 Companies, Federal, State, and local governments, large national law and consulting firms in the Greater Boston area, and academic departments. Each faculty member is committed to equipping students with the necessary, real-world cybersecurity knowledge and skills to prepare them to meet and respond to the varying cybersecurity issues faced by private industry and government today.  

What is the deadline for admission?
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for fall and spring enrollments.
 

How long does it take to complete the degree?
This is variable and is largely based on how many courses a student takes at any given time. If you take 2 courses per semester, you can complete the degree in 15 months.
 

Can students work full-time and pursue this degree?
Yes. We have designed the program to be flexible to accomodate a variety of scheduling needs.
 

Can students enter the program in the spring semester?
Yes. Applications are acepted on a rolling basis for fall and spring.

Do you offer graduate student housing?
No. Boston College does not currently offer housing for graduate students but our Office of Residential Life does have a staff member who can help you find off-campus housing.