Graduate Certificate Computing Systems Security and Privacy

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Looking for a graduate education to fit your unique career aspirations and goals? Drexel CCI’s stackable certificate format allows you to tailor your academic journey to your specific interests – and busy schedule. Under this flexible, modular format, students who complete three graduate certificates can apply their certificate credits to earn a full master’s degree. Students without prior technical knowledge may be required to complete pre-requisite certificates for computing-related master’s degrees. Visit our Graduate Programs Tool to explore different certificate combinations.

Housed in our Department of Computer Science, CCI’s Graduate Certificate in Computing Systems Security and Privacy provides broad technical expertise in software security, network security, and computer privacy. 

Security and privacy are essential features of the software systems our society and economy relies on; the professionals skilled in these areas are crucial to ensuring the successful operation of industry’s software infrastructure. As such, the demand for well-trained computer systems security professionals is growing as there was an estimated 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally in 2021, up from one million positions in 2014. This program is designed to prepare working professionals to meet this demand by providing deep technical expertise in systems security and privacy.

The program may be stacked with other graduate certificates to customize your master's degree and/or serve as an entry point to Master of Science degrees in Computer Science or Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Computing Systems Security and Privacy Program Requirements

  • Five-course program (15 credits)
  • Curriculum includes introductory courses in security engineering and computer privacy that cover the technical fundamentals of computing systems security
  • Electives provide additional in-depth expertise in operating systems, computer networks, and cryptography, which are essential bodies of knowledge to be able to do technical work in modern computer systems security
  • Offered online or on-campus; part-time or full-time
  • Can be stacked with other certificate programs to customize a master’s degree, such as the Graduate Certificate in AI/ML
  • Graduates of the program may immediately transfer into the following programs (if completed with predetermined grade requirements): MS Computer Science or MS in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Computing Systems Security and Privacy Program Certificate Coursework

Three required core courses (9 credits):

  • SE 578 Security Engineering: This course introduces students to foundational concepts pertaining to the broad area of security engineering. It starts with the central concept of a security protocol, and proceeds to human-computer interface issues, access control, crypto, and distributed system security. The course considers security from the viewpoint of different interest groups such as companies, consumers, criminals, police, and spies. Students also partake in a study of at least one of a number of important application areas, such as, for example, military communications, medical record systems, cash machines, and mobile phones.
  • CS 590 Privacy: This course will motivate the need for privacy protection and introduce basic privacy properties such as anonymity, unlinkability or unobservability. Students will discuss how these properties can be formalized, modeled and measured. The course will provide a broad overview of the state-of-the-art in privacy technologies, explain the main issues that these technologies address, what the current solutions are able to achieve, and the remaining open problems.
  • CS 645 Network Security: The purpose of this course is to cover the principles and practice of cryptography and network security. The first half of the course covers cryptography and network security techniques. The second part deals with the practice of network security, i.e., with the processes and application that have to be in place to provide security.

Two electives courses (6 credits); choose two: 

  • CS 523 Cryptography (new course): Covers the underlying algorithms behind symmetric key and public key cryptography. Students will learn the underlying mathematics behind the algorithms and the necessary issues involved when implementing these algorithms. A variety of cryptosystems and methods of attack will be implemented and analyzed. Assumes knowledge of linear algebra and discrete math.
  • CS 543 Operating Systems: In-depth examination of operating systems issues expanding on topics covered in CS 543 (Operating Systems) including: Kernal services, memory management, input/output, file systems, interprocess communication, networking, device drivers, system initialization. Included discussion of production systems such as BSD Unix and Microsoft Windows.
  • CS 544 Computer Networks: To examine computer networks using networking models (TCP/IP, OSI and ATM) and break down computer networking, examine each layer and its duties and responsibilities. To analyze networking protocols and understand the design. To use the Internet and other example protocols to illustrate the theory and operation of each layer.
  • CS 613 Machine Learning: This course studies modern statistical machine learning with emphasis on Bayesian modeling and inference. Covered topics include fundamentals of probabilities and decision theory, regression, classification, graphical models, mixture models, clustering, expectation maximization, hidden Markov models, Kalman filtering, and linear dynamical systems.
  • Consult your academic advisor for additional electives.

View Course Requirements and Plan of Study

Computing Systems Security and Privacy Certificate Admissions Requirements

  • A completed application.
  • A four-year bachelor's degree or Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in Computer Science, Software Engineering or related STEM degree plus work experience equal to Drexel's Graduate Certificate in Computer Science.
  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher, in a completed degree program, bachelor’s degree or above.
  • Official final transcripts from ALL Colleges/Universities attended.
  • For international students and domestic students below a 3.0 GPA: Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores (scores must be five years old or less) are recommended.
  • One (1) letter of recommendation are required. Two (2) are suggested.
  • Essay/Statement of Purpose (approximately 500 words).
  • Current Resume.
  • Pre-requisites for all graduate level programs: computer requirements and skills
  • Additional requirements for International Students.

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