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.

VISIT PROGRAM SITE

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.

Curriculum

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 242Government, National Security, and the Fifth Domain3
CYBER 289Public Interest Cybersecurity: The Citizen Clinic Practicum3
CYBER 290Special Topics3
Capstone Course
CYBER 295Capstone3

Immersion

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.

Admissions

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant has completed a basic degree from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without the need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. Unofficial transcripts must contain specific information including the name of the applicant, name of the school, all courses, grades, units, & degree conferral (if applicable). 
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, by the recommender, not the Graduate Admissions.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants who have completed a basic degree from a country or political entity in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to institutions from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:

    • courses in English as a Second Language,

    • courses conducted in a language other than English,

    • courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and

    • courses of a non-academic nature.

Applicants who have previously applied to Berkeley must also submit new test scores that meet the current minimum requirement from one of the standardized tests. Official TOEFL score reports must be sent directly from Educational Test Services (ETS). The institution code for Berkeley is 4833 for Graduate Organizations. Official IELTS score reports must be sent electronically from the testing center to University of California, Berkeley, Graduate Division, Sproul Hall, Rm 318 MC 5900, Berkeley, CA 94720. TOEFL and IELTS score reports are only valid for two years prior to beginning the graduate program at UC Berkeley. Note: score reports can not expire before the month of June.

 

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

Faculty and Instructors

Faculty

Chris Jay Hoofnagle, Adjunct Professor. Internet law, information privacy, consumer protection, cybersecurity, computer crime, regulation of technology, edtech.

Lecturers

Federico Castillo, Lecturer.

Daniel Aranki, Lecturer.

Fattaneh Bayatbabolghani, Lecturer.

Cristian Bravo-Lillo, Lecturer.

Quincy Brown, Lecturer.

Ebrima N Ceesay, Lecturer.

Clarence Chio, Lecturer.

Dean Christakos, Lecturer.

Kevin Crook, Lecturer.

Aaron Crouch, Lecturer.

Danielle Cummings, Lecturer.

Serge Egelman, Lecturer.

Amit Elazari, Adjunct Professor.

Jordan Fischer, Lecturer.

Matthew Garrett, Lecturer.

Dan Gillick, Lecturer.

Nathaniel Stanley Good, Lecturer.

Sebastian Goodwin, Lecturer.

Davis Hake, Lecturer.

Maximilian Hills, Lecturer.

Jennia Hizver, Lecturer.

Maritza Johnson, Lecturer.

Sajad Khorsandroo, Lecturer.

Jason Kichen, Lecturer.

Saranga Komanduri, Lecturer.

Ryan Liu, Lecturer.

Marie-Helen Maras, Lecturer.

Marius Minea, Lecturer.

Roin Nance, Lecturer.

Marcel Neunhoeffer, Lecturer.

Tiffany Rad, Lecturer.

Philip Reiner, Lecturer.

Sekhar Sarrukai, Lecturer.

Stuart Schechter, Lecturer.

Mark Seiden, Lecturer.

Stephen Trush, Lecturer.

Kemba Walden, Lecturer.

Steve Weber, Lecturer.

Contact Information

School of Information

Phone: 510-642-1464

Fax: 510-642-5814

VISIT PROGRAM SITE

Senior Director of Student Affairs

Siu Yung Wong

104 South Hall

studentaffairs@ischool.berkeley.edu

Admissions

Phone: 855-860-5259

admissions@cybersecurity.berkeley.edu

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