Information and Cybersecurity: MICS

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The Master of Information and Cybersecurity (MICS) is an online, part-time professional degree program that provides the technical skills and contextual knowledge students need to assume leadership positions in private sector technology companies as well as government and military organizations. The interdisciplinary program offers students mastery of core technical skills and fluency in the business, political, and legal context for cybersecurity, as well as managing cyber risk in the service of strategic decision making.

Students attend weekly live ("synchronous") sessions with classmates and instructors via an online platform as well as engaging with online ("asynchronous") videos and assignments on their own time. 

The core MICS curriculum includes cryptography, secure programming, systems security, and the ethical, legal, and economic framework of cybersecurity. In addition, students may select from a wide variety of electives covering topics such as privacy engineering, managing cyber risk, and usable security. MICS features a project-based approach to learning and encourages the pragmatic application of a variety of different tools and methods to solve complex problems.

Graduates of the program will be able to:

  • Understand the ethical and legal requirements associated with cybersecurity and data privacy;
  • Know how to build secure systems and applications;
  • Prepare to lead, manage, and contribute to building cybersecurity solutions; and
  • Gain hands-on, practical cybersecurity experience.

The I School also offers a master's in Information and Data Science (MIDS), a master's in Information Management and Systems (MIMS), and a doctoral degree (PhD) program in Information Science.


Masters Degree Requirements (MICS)

Unit Requirements

The Master of Information and Cybersecurity is designed to be completed in 20 months. Students will complete 27 units of course work over five terms, taking two courses (6 units) per term for four terms and a one 3-unit capstone course in their final term. MICS classes are divided into foundation courses (9 units), a systems security requirement (3 units), advanced courses (12 units), and a synthetic capstone (3 units). Students will also complete an immersion at the UC Berkeley campus.


Foundation Courses
CYBER 200Beyond the Code: Cybersecurity in Context3
CYBER 202Cryptography for Cyber and Network Security3
CYBER 206Programming Fundamentals for Cybersecurity3
CYBER 204Software Security3
Systems Security Courses
CYBER 210Network Security3
CYBER 211Operating System Security3
Advanced Courses
CYBER 207Applied Machine Learning for Cybersecurity3
CYBER 215Usable Privacy and Security3
CYBER 220Managing Cyber Risk3
CYBER 233Privacy Engineering3
CYBER 242New Domains of Competition: Cybersecurity and Public Policy3
CYBER 289Public Interest Cybersecurity: The Citizen Clinic Practicum3
CYBER 290Special Topics3
Capstone Course
CYBER 295Capstone3


As a Master of Information and Cybersecurity (MICS) student, the immersion is your opportunity to meet faculty and peers in person on the UC Berkeley campus. You will have the opportunity to gain on-the-ground perspectives from faculty and industry leaders, meet with cybersecurity professionals, and soak up more of the School of Information (I School) culture. Offered twice a year, each four- to five-day immersion will be custom-crafted to deliver additional learning, networking, and community-building opportunities.

Please refer to the cybersecurity@berkeley website for more information.


Applying for Graduate Admission

Thank you for considering UC Berkeley for graduate study! UC Berkeley offers more than 120 graduate programs representing the breadth and depth of interdisciplinary scholarship. A complete list of graduate academic departments, degrees offered, and application deadlines can be found on the Graduate Division website.

Prospective students must submit an online application to be considered for admission, in addition to any supplemental materials specific to the program for which they are applying. The online application can be found on the Graduate Division website.

Admission Requirements

The minimum graduate admission requirements are:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;

  2. A satisfactory scholastic average, usually a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale; and

  3. Enough undergraduate training to do graduate work in your chosen field.

For a list of requirements to complete your graduate application, please see the Graduate Division’s Admissions Requirements page. It is also important to check with the program or department of interest, as they may have additional requirements specific to their program of study and degree. Department contact information can be found here.

Where to apply?

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page.

Admission to the Program

Applications are evaluated holistically on a combination of prior academic performance, work experience, essays, letters of recommendation, and goals that are a good fit for the program.

The UC Berkeley School of Information seeks students with the academic abilities to meet the demands of a rigorous graduate program.

To be eligible to apply to the Master of Information and Cybersecurity program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree or its recognized equivalent from an accredited institution.
  • Superior scholastic record, normally well above a 3.0 GPA.
  • A high level of quantitative ability as conveyed by significant work experience that demonstrates your quantitative abilities and/or academic coursework that demonstrates quantitative aptitude
  • A high level of analytical reasoning ability and a problem-solving mindset as demonstrated in academic and/or professional performance.
  • An understanding of – or, a proven aptitude for and commitment to learning – data structures and discrete mathematics which can be demonstrated by at least one of the following qualifications: ​Completed coursework in data structures and discrete mathematics; work experience that demonstrates understanding of data structures and discrete mathematics; proven technical aptitude, demonstrated by high level technical work experience or academic coursework; and/or proven commitment to learning concepts, demonstrated by review of MICS self-assessment and preparatory resources, and clear indication in application of progress made towards gaining this foundational knowledge.
  • The ability to communicate effectively, as demonstrated by academic performance, professional experience, and/or strong essays that demonstrate effective communication skills.
  • Knowledge of at least one, and ideally two, programming languages, such as C, C++, Python, Java, Javascript, or machine/assembly language as demonstrated by work experience or coursework. Applicants who lack this experience in their academic or work background but meet all other admission requirements will be required to take the Programming Fundamentals for Cybersecurity course in their first term.
  • Not RequiredOfficial Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores. As of Fall 2020, we have eliminated the GRE/GMAT requirement. We recommend you put your time and effort towards the required application materials.
  • Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores for applicants whose academic work has been in a country other than the US, UK, Australia, or English-speaking Canada.

For more information and application instructions, prospective MICS students should visit the cybersecurity@berkeley Admissions Overview.

Related Courses

Contact Information

School of Information

Phone: 510-642-1464

Fax: 510-642-5814


Senior Director of Student Affairs

Siu Yung Wong


Phone: 855-860-5259

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