Graduate Certificate Program in Cybersecurity

Offered Jointly by the Departments of Computer Science & Electrical and Computer Engineering

This online/on-campus program is primarily intended for individuals residing in the U.S. who wish to increase their knowledge and skills in cybersecurity. Whether for future career opportunities or in preparation for graduate studies, one can expect to gain in-depth knowledge in cybersecurity concepts, methods and tools. Applicants admitted to the certificate program can enroll part-time, completing one class per semester, or enroll full-time at 9 or 12 credit hours.


The graduate certificate in cybersecurity requires a total of 12 credit hours of graduate-level computer science and or electrical and computer engineering courses taken for a grade. There is no prescribed list of courses for the certificate; students may take a combination of courses tailored to their interests and needs, subject to course prerequisites.

Students may take a combination of courses tailored to their interests from among the available Core and Elective courses list below, subject to course prerequisites.

The following two core security courses must be taken:

  • CSC574: Computer and Network Security
  • CSC595: Cybersecurity Practicum

Any two of the following elective courses must be taken:

  • CSC514: Foundations of Cryptography
  • CSC515: Software Security
  • CSC533: Privacy
  • CSC537: System Attacks and Defenses
  • CSC705: Operating Systems Security
  • CSC774: Advanced Network Security
  • ECE592: Cryptographic Engineering and Hardware Security

Academic Performance Requirements

  1. The cybersecurity graduate certificate requires a total of 12 credit hours.
  2. To receive a graduate certificate, a student must maintain a minimum 3.00 grade point average (GPA) on graduate certificate coursework taken at NC State. Graduate certificate grades on courses taken towards the Graduate certificate in courses numbered 500 and above are included in the GPA. Any courses taken at the 400 level and below are not eligible for certificate credit.
  3. All courses taken for certificate credit must be completed with a grade of "B-" or better.
  4. All courses at the 500- or 700-level taken for certificate credit must be letter-graded. Credit-only courses cannot be used for certificate credit.
  5. Transfer credit from other institutions is not allowed for the Graduate certificate. All coursework must be registered through NC State University.
  6. Up to three (3) hours of PBS coursework, if not already used in another graduate program, may be transferred into the Graduate certificate. All transfer credit must carry a grade of B or better.
Who Is Eligible To Apply?

This online or on-campus certificate is available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents (Green card holders), United States military personnel serving overseas, and foreign nationals residing in the U.S. on qualifying non-student visas. (Foreign nationals must first contact before submitting an application.)

Although there is no fixed deadline to apply for the certificate, applicants are admitted for their desired term only if sufficient time remains for full clearance and enrollment when an admission decision is made.

Applicants must meet ONE of the following requirements for admission into the Cybersecurity Graduate Certificate Program:

  1. Have a BS degree in computer science or electrical and computer engineering from an accredited four-year college or university, and have an overall (or major) GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale.
  2. Have a BS degree in the sciences or engineering from an accredited four-year college or university with an overall (or major) GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale.
  3. Have a BS degree in a field other than sciences or engineering at NC State University with an overall (or major) GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale AND have completed either the CS minor or the Computer Programming Certificate.

International applicants (foreign nationals residing in the U.S. on qualifying non-student visa) must meet the Graduate School’s English Proficiency Requirements and provide valid TOEFL or IELTS scores.

How To Apply

Applicants interested in the graduate certificate must complete the Graduate School application, found here.

Applications are considered on a rolling basis for admission to spring, summer 1, and fall terms. Applicants can indicate their desired admit term on the application.

Students currently enrolled in an NC State graduate degree program are not eligible for this graduate certificate, but may apply for admission upon completion of their current degree.


The cybersecurity graduate certificate program incurs a tuition premium on all coursework, including non-CSC courses.

For graduate tuition rates, look for the drop down link labeled "Graduate". For online tuition rates, look for the drop down link labeled "Graduate - Engineering Online."


An academic advisor assists all certificate students with Graduate School procedures. For questions about courses and requirements contact


Certificate students should apply for graduation and complete a graduate degree audit in MyPack before the University deadline, in the semester in which they meet the certificate requirements.


There are no comprehensive examinations required for the graduate certificate.

Continuous Enrollment And Time Limits

All graduate certificate requirements must be completed within five (5) semesters (fall/spring), beginning with the date the student commences courses applicable to the graduate certificate. A one-semester leave of absence may be granted if the student is unable to enroll in a course due to extenuating circumstances. The leave of absence must be approved in writing by the program director before the start of that semester.

Pursuing Masters Degree

Students who complete the graduate certificate may apply for admission to the Computer Science department’s master’s program.

Academic success in the cybersecurity graduate certificate might have a strong bearing on admission to a graduate degree program. However, completion of a certificate program in no way guarantees entry into a graduate degree program, which requires a separate application process.

The transfer of certificate courses taken prior to enrollment in a master’s degree program is limited to 12 credit hours, and transfer totals from all sources shall not exceed 12 hours. Only graduate courses of grade B or better will be considered for transfer.

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