This certificate is no longer taking new applicants. This information is for current students completing their TCP program.

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Technology, Cybersecurity & Policy Plan of Study Form

Table of Contents

Curriculum Overview

The Master's in Technology, Cybersecurity & Policy requires a total of 30 credits for completion.

Core Courses (9 Credits)

One course in each TCP core area:

  • Technology, Thought Leadership, and Policy (3 credits)
  • Networking and Secure Communications (3 credits)
  • Cybersecurity (3 credits)

5 Depth Area Courses (15 credits): 5 elective courses within a depth area: Cybersecurity Engineering, Secure Communications, or Custom Plan.

Interdisciplinary Capstone, Thesis, or Portfolio (6 credits): Two semesters of substantial graduate project work solving problems for industry, defense, government, etc. or two additional courses for a coursework-only degree.

TCP Core Courses

The TCP program has three core areas: (i) Cybersecurity, (ii) Technology, Thought Leadership and Policy, and (iii) Networking and Secure Communications. These three areas form the cornerstones of the TCP degree, and students are required to complete the three courses listed below to explore each area. These areas cover the skills needed to become a leader in Technology, Cybersecurity and Policy and ensures graduates have the technical, policy, and strategy skills to work in industry and advance to senior leadership levels. The three Core courses contribute 9 credit hours to the overall degree program.

  1. CYBR 5300: Cybersecurity
    Introduces students to the key concepts in the design and use of cybersecurity techniques to protect individuals, corporations, and nations.

  2. CYBR 5000: Seminar in Technology, Cybersecurity and Policy
    The TCP seminar is a three-credit course that runs in the fall semester intended to introduce students to a variety of topics in technology, cybersecurity and policy. This weekly seminar brings in experts from around the world, helping students gain a better understanding of the field and hearing directly from experts in technology, cybersecurity, and policy. Students are required to enroll in the seminar during their first semester. The goals of the seminar include: facilitating understanding of emerging areas in technology, cybersecurity, and policy; developing critiques and narratives of these areas; and enhancing their communication skills.

  3. CYBR 5010: Fundamentals of Data Communication
    Introduces students to the underlying technologies involved in networked systems and secure data communications between computers and other hosts.

TCP Depth Areas

TCP’s advanced courses allow students to gain deeper knowledge and focus in the area of their choosing. Students must select a depth area and complete the 15 credit (5 course) requirement associated with that depth area. Three depth areas are currently available.

  • Cybersecurity Engineering
    Students pursuing this depth area must fulfill the following course requirements:
    • 4 Required Courses
      • CYBR 5320: Cybersecurity Network Analytics
      • CYBR 5330: Digital Forensics
      • CYBR 5350: Security Auditing and Penetration Testing
      • CYBR 5830: Special Topics: Software Reverse Engineering
    • 1 Advanced Elective Option
      • CYBR 5240: Introduction to Blockchain
      • CSCI 5413: Computer Security and Ethical Hacking
  • Secure Communications
    Students pursuing this depth area must fulfill the following course requirements:
    • 4 Required Courses
      • CYBR 5200: Introduction to Wireless Systems
      • CYBR 5220: Wireless Local Area Networks
      • CYBR 6200: Advanced Wireless Lab
      • CYBR 6215: Wireless and Cellular Systems
    • 1 Advanced Elective Option
      • CYBR 5230: Wireless Systems Lab
      • CYBR 5420: Spectrum Management and Policy
      • CYBR 5240: Introduction to Blockchain
  • Custom
    • Students electing to take the Custom Depth Area option must first obtain approval from the TCP Program. Under the Custom Option, students must identify a sequence of 5 graduate courses that form a coherent whole that aligns with a student’s academic goals and their current, and possibly longer-term, career objectives. Approval of the Custom option is not automatic and requires the student to submit a two-page proposal showing how the selected courses function as a depth area for the student.

Interdisciplinary Capstone

To complete their interdisciplinary capstone, students will work in teams across two semesters to complete an advanced project that builds on their Core and Depth Area courses. Projects are often done in conjunction with industry partners. Topics are selected based on the combined interests of the students, the faculty, and external partners such as industry and government. The two courses that are required to meet the Interdisciplinary Capstone requirement are:

  • CYBR 5700: Graduate Projects I
  • CYBR 6700: Graduate Projects II

Research Thesis

With faculty approval, students may elect to take 6 credits of thesis work (CYBR 6950) in place of the Interdisciplinary Capstone requirement. To complete a thesis, the student must get approval from a faculty member who will serve as their thesis advisor and find two additional faculty members who are able to serve on their thesis committee. Students will work with a faculty advisor to complete a thesis on a topic of mutual interest that includes aspects of the three Core areas. The three-member committee must be approved by the TCP Program and by the Graduate School. The student works primarily with the thesis advisor and provides both a written document and arranges a presentation (thesis defense/thesis exam) before the thesis examining committee. Examination Report Forms must be filed with the TCP Program at least two weeks prior to the date of your defense (exam). Students must be registered during the semester in which they defend their thesis. Additional information, rules, dates and deadlines, and thesis submission requirements can be found on the Graduate School website. If a student is unable to find a faculty advisor, the student should pursue a capstone project, as outlined above.

For full-time students, the decision whether to pursue the Interdisciplinary Capstone or Thesis must be made prior to the start of the second year. In their third semester, a student will either be enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Capstone sequence or enrolled in the Thesis course sequence. Since both the Interdisciplinary Capstone and Thesis options are two-course sequences, switching from Interdisciplinary Capstone to Thesis (or vice versa) is rare and may require one or two additional semesters to complete the degree.


The portfolio option allows a student to petition the graduate committee to identify two courses that will help them customize their TCP degree in a way that will help them meet their academic and career goals. Students increase the chances of their portfolio petition being approved if the courses they select involve interdisciplinary and/or project-based work as defined by the syllabi from those courses. If a student’s portfolio petition is not approved, they must then select either the capstone or thesis option. As a result, students must be submitting their petition for the portfolio option early in their second semester to have time to switch to one of the other two options if denied.

Taking Courses Outside of TCP

Students may take up to six credits (two courses) of courses from areas outside of TCP to substitute courses within their depth area (both required courses or advanced elective courses). Students must gain approval for these two substitutions prior to completing them by submitting a petition to their graduate program advisor for review/approval by the CS graduate committee.

  • Any CSCI, CYBR or EMEN 5000 level course does not need to be approved by petition. Please note that you are not guarenteed to get into any courses (EMEN) and you should always have a backup plan. 
  • All graduate courses OUTSIDE OF CSCI/CYBR need to be approved by petition

MS in TCP Timeline

All students must complete the degree requirements within four years from the date of commencing coursework. The option to petition for an additional fifth year is available. TCP offers Fall, Spring, and Summer courses online or in-person on varying days and meeting times to allow flexibility for full- or part-time students.

Full-time students typically complete the degree in two years. To graduate in two years:

  • Students are required to complete the Seminar in their first two semesters.
  • Students are encouraged to complete the Core Courses in the first Fall and Spring semesters and must complete the Core Courses by the end of the third semester (excluding Summer sessions).
  • Full-time students take either the Interdisciplinary Capstone Sequence or the Thesis Course Sequence in their third and fourth semesters.

Part-time students can pursue the degree at their own pace. Students with graduation paths longer than 2 years must take the seminar in the first two semesters and are encouraged to complete the Core Courses before enrolling in Depth Area courses.

Academic Standards

Minimum Grades & GPA Requirements

Students must complete a total of 30 credit hours of approved graduate level course work with a grade of C or better and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.

Any student, who fails to maintain a 3.00 grade point average or to make adequate progress toward completing a degree, as assessed by the student’s academic/research advisor, will be subject to suspension or dismissal from the Graduate School upon consultation with the major department. The final decision on suspension or dismissal will be made by the Dean of the Graduate School. See the Graduate School Rules for additional information.

Incomplete (I) Grades

An incomplete (I) grade is given only when students, for documented reasons beyond their control, have been unable to complete course requirements in the semester enrolled. A substantial amount of work must have been satisfactorily completed before approval of such a grade is given. The final grade (earned by completing the course requirements or by retaking the course) does not result in the deletion of the (I) from the transcript. A second entry is posted on the transcript to show the final grade for the course. At the end of one year, (I) grades for courses that are not completed or repeated are regarded as (F) and are shown as such on the student’s transcript. Courses with grades of (I) are not included in the computation of grade point averages until a final letter grade has been awarded in that course.

Graduation Checklist

The following Graduate School forms must be submitted to the TCP Program for approval.

IMPORTANT: Check the Graduate School deadlines prior to the start of the semester.

MS Interdisciplinary Capstone Option

  • Apply to Graduate. Students must apply through the CU Buff Portal to graduate. This notifies the Graduate School and your department that you intend to graduate. If you do not complete the requirements for graduation, you must log back in and re-apply to graduate for the new graduation date. You must apply to graduate online whether or not you plan to attend the ceremony.
  • Candidacy Application for Advanced Degree

MS Thesis Option

  • Apply to Graduate. Students must apply through the CU Buff Portal to graduate. This notifies the Graduate School and your department that you intend to graduate. If you do not complete the requirements for graduation, you must log back in and re-apply to graduate for the new graduation date. You must apply to graduate online whether or not you plan to attend the ceremony.
  • Candidacy Application for Advanced Degree 
  • Master's Examination Report 
  • Final Grade Card - this is an online form initiated by the Grad Advisor
  • Thesis Approval FORM (TAF), initiated by the student.

Transfer Credit

Master's students may request a maximum of nine semester hours taken at another University or within CU (either taken as a non-degree student OR taken as a non-CS student) to be transferred. All transfer requests must have departmental approval, please reach out to your graduate advisor for steps on how to request review of credits. You will need your syllabi, unofficial copy of your transcript, and a confirmation that the classes have not been used towards any other degree (Bachelor’s or higher).