Eastern Michigan University adds to already strong cyber security program with new master’s degree

Program to fill strong need for cyber security professionals - students to receive training that’s central to the economic well-being of Michigan and the nation, and that offers wide variety of careers and specialties

Photo-illustration of a cell phone user with colorful locks representing security.

YPSILANTI – A new master’s program at Eastern Michigan University will produce much needed professionals equipped to protect local, regional and national computer systems.

The Master of Science in Cyber Security program seeks to fill an immediate and powerful need in Michigan and the nation by training cyber security professionals who can serve as computer and information assurance research scientists and leaders in the field. The new degree offering will be in addition to Eastern’s undergraduate program in information assurance and cyber security, which achieves nearly 100 percent job placement for graduating students.

Cyber security is a fast-growing field, reporting high demand for skilled individuals. The Enterprise Strategy Group reported that 46 percent of organizations in 2016 stated that they have a “problematic shortage” of cyber security skills. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a position in information assurance requires a master’s degree as an entry-level qualification and provides a median salary of $118,840 as of 2016.

In addition, reports indicate that cyber security will play a central role in the state’s and America's economic prosperity in the 21st century. According to the 2015 Michigan Cyber Initiative Report, “The State of Michigan blocks more than 650,000 cyber-attacks daily. Annually, the state blocks 2.5 million web browser attacks, 179.5 million http-based attacks, 79.5 million network scams, and 5.2 million intrusions.”

The Board of Regents approved the program at its regular meeting Friday, Dec. 14.

“This program is distinct from similar programs offered by other universities in the region because of the variety of course delivery options available,” said Rhonda Longworth, provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs. “Its structure underscores our efforts to serve students in flexible ways they want and need to equip themselves to flourish in today’s job market.”

All required courses in the program will be offered online, in a hybrid mode, or face-to-face during weekdays on the main campus, and will be supported with a live stream for off-campus students to view simultaneously.

The core requirements of the program will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to successfully evaluate information security needs, identify appropriate countermeasures, and implement security technologies.

The focus area courses in the new program will enable the students to concentrate on specific areas of interest, such as Offensive and Defensive Security; Data Analytics for Cyber Security; Risk Management, Assessment and Mitigation; Cyber Law, Privacy, Policy, and Compliance; and Cyber Security Project Management.

The program will strive to seek a balance between the leadership, managerial and technical skills of cyber security. The master’s program, which will begin in the next academic year, will require students to complete 30 credit hours.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 19,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.


December 14, 2018

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Media Contact:
Geoff Larcom