Advance skills in protection of web services and data systems
The Master's of Cybersecurity & Leadership (MCL) program at the University of Washington Tacoma develops leaders who can effectively identify and promote solutions that protect an organization's cyber systems. For professionals and military personnel with a technical background and work experience, this Master's degree will enhance technical and leadership skills for career advancement in the field of cybersecurity.
The MCL program leverages the resources of both the School of Engineering & Technology and the Milgard School of Business to create one of the most innovative graduate programs at UW Tacoma. By identifying, addressing, and promoting solutions for issues of information assurance and cybersecurity, MCL serves as an educational foundation for invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the state of Washington, giving graduates the path to success in in the cybersecurity field.
Pathway to Ph.D.
The College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) offer a Security specialty in the Ph.D. in Engineering degree program. Through this partnership between UCCS and UW Tacoma, you can obtain the most advanced degree in cybersecurity. Program policies:
Complete your UW Tacoma Master's of Cybersecurity & Leadership degree with at least a 3.3 GPA
Accept Direct admission into the UCCS Ph.D. in Engineering with a concentration in Security
Apply as many as 21 semester credits from UW Tacoma to the Ph.D.
Students with CISSP and Research credits can take advantage of additional program waivers
For more details about the Ph.D. pathway, please contact: Ali Langfels at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alumna Profile: Thnwa Ahmed
Through Planning and Passion, Hard Work Pays Off
Thnwa Ahmed (M.S. Cybersecurity & Leadership, '20) says the MCL program helped her stretch beyond a technical understanding of cybersecurity, analytics and reporting. “When I went to the master's program, I learned that it's not only about being technical, it's about your leadership skills and your communication." While in the MCL program, Ahmed participated in a year-long internship program that included six months training to be a database analyst, then a six-month internship at Expedia, where she gained valuable real-world experience in order to hit the ground running after college.
Through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant designed to strengthen the cadre of information assurance professionals who protect the government’s critical information infrastructure, SET is able to offer scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students interested in studying information assurance and cybersecurity.
CyberCorps®: Scholarship for Service (SFS) scholars receive support for one or three years, depending on their academic pathway.
To learn more about scholarships:
Contact MCL Program Director, Dr. Yan Bai at email@example.com.
MCL Applicants must provide evidence of the successful completion of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with at least a 3.0 GPA.
A degree in computer science or information technology is NOT required; however, applicants who can demonstrate knowledge of computer network technologies and computer programming language(s) are preferred.
Technical proficiency in Networking can be demonstrated by providing documentation in at least one of the following areas.
Education: An Introduction to Computer Networking course
Professional Experience (at least a year, preferably four years) and/or certification in an applicable field such as network certification
Technical proficiency in Programming, demonstrated by providing documentation one of the following areas:
Education: Intro to programming course in Java, C#, C++, or C
Upon presentation of the needed documents, the GRE requirement for admission is waived for applicants who meet any of the following criteria:
Possess a terminal degree from an accredited institution. Examples of terminal degrees include the Ph.D., Ed. D, and other degrees deemed equivalent to these by the MCL Council.
Completed a Master's degree from a regionally accredited university with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
Graduated from an AACSB-accredited business school or ABET-accredited engineering school and earned a 3.25 or higher on a 4.0 scale in their final 90 graded quarter/60 graded semester credits.
Possess active CISSP certification.
Graduated with a major outside of business or engineering with a GPA of 3.4 or higher on a 4.0 scale in their final 90 graded quarter/60 graded semester credits from a regionally accredited U.S. university with either:
a business program accredited by the AACSB
an engineering program accredited by ABET
Are a non-commissioned officer who:
Attained a rank of E-5 or higher and completed 5 or more years of active duty military service and graduated from a regionally accredited U.S. university with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Have three or more years of active duty military service and graduated from a regionally accredited U.S. university with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Can demonstrate at least five years of full-time post-baccalaureate professional experience in position(s) requiring supervisory decision-making and leadership. Experience based waivers are not automatic and are subject to a review by the MCL Admission Committee.
How to request a waiver
Prepare a written request asking that any of the above criteria evidenced in their application file be considered as a substitute for GRE scores. The committee’s decision on waiver of GRE is final and the committee reserves the right to request applicants to submit a GRE score. Waiver requests should include the following:
Copies of unofficial transcripts.
Proof of CISSP certification when applicable.
Copy of relevant diplomas.
Current resume or CV that includes specific job duties and functions of each position highlighting your career progression.
Proof of military experience and rank where applicable.
Written GRE waiver request that outlines:
All quantitative coursework taken at the college level
Current job responsibilities that indicate quantitative preparedness and analytical skills
Professional growth and career progression
Submit the waiver request electronically to the SET Graduate Advisor. The advisor will review and make sure your materials are complete and will forward to the admission committee for review. Waiver requests are competitive and reviewed holistically. The committee’s decision on waiver of GRE is final. A GRE waiver approval is valid for one year and those granted a waiver are expected to apply within one year of such waiver being granted.
The Master's of Cybersecurity and Leadership is a non-thesis, 40 credit-hour cohort based program that balances a technically-oriented curriculum. Focus is on understanding the basic operations and functionality of cybersecurity systems and information assurance with a more behaviorally-oriented curriculum focused on the management of technical professionals and organizational leadership.
Each quarter, students take two 5-credit courses. One course is be taught by the Milgard School of Business faculty and the other course is be taught through the School of Engineering and Technology. These courses set the foundation for students to complete a team-based capstone project with a local organization in the final quarter of the program.
Instruction is held once a week on Saturdays; 40 Saturdays over eleven months.
TCSL 550 Networking and Internet Security
TCSL 520 Business Essentials
TCSL 510 Principles of Cybersecurity
TCSL 580 Project Management
TCSL 530 Information Assurance, Risk Management and Security Strategies
TCSL 540 Leadership and Team Dynamics
Substitute a course with independent study or research
You may submit a petition to be allowed to use TCSL 600 Independent Study or Research at UWT as a substitute for one of the 8 required courses in the Master's of Cybersecurity and Leadership (MCL) program. TCSL 600 requires you to work independently exploring specific cybersecurity and leadership topics in greater depth. You must develop a research proposal and make arrangements with a faculty member to supervise the project prior to course registration.
MCL graduates are effective interdisciplinary communicators who can integrate the technical aspects of cybersecurity with the strategic and managerial concerns of their organization.
Are fluent in concepts and terminology appropriate for a leader in cybersecurity
Able to communicate effectively orally and in writing in professional settings
Risk Management Skills
Graduates are diagnostic problem-solvers who can evaluate the information security needs and design strong cybersecurity capabilities for their organizations.
Use risk assessment concepts and methodologies to determine proactive measures in protecting organizations from critical data exposure
Able to evaluate a major cybersecurity event, evaluate the business impact, determine risk posture and develop effective responses
Leadership and Interpersonal Skills
Graduates are change-savvy managers who can effectively coordinate activities and lead individuals and teams.
Understand how to launch and assess organizational change initiatives
Understand how to effectively lead and manage teams
Work effectively within an interdependent group to achieve common goals
MCL graduates leave with a practical understanding of operational cybersecurity, including the principles of data protection, network security, and information assurance, as well as the skills to manage technical professionals and lead strategic change in their organization.