The Computer Security Track

The Computer Security track is intended for students who wish to develop state-of-the-art knowledge of computer and network security technologies. Security considerations pervade personal, corporate, military, governmental, and national infrastructure systems and networks. This track will help you develop leading-edge knowledge in security.

Summary of Requirements

Students must complete at least a total of 30 graduate points and must maintain at least 2.7 overall GPA in order to be eligible for the MS degree in Computer Science.

  1. Security Track requires:

    - Breadth courses
    - Required Track courses (15pts)
    - Track Electives (6pts)
    - General Electives (6pts)

  2. 5 required courses (15 pts): COMS W4118 (OS), COMS W4156 (Adv. Software Engineering), COMS W4180 (Network Security), COMS W4187 (Security Architecture and Engineering), and either COMS W4261 (Introduction to Cryptography) or COMS E6185 (Intrusion Detection).

  3. 2 elective courses (6 pts) selected from the list of Elective Track Courses; at least 1 of these courses must be a 6000-level CS course.

  4. 1 general elective graduate CS course (3 pts), at 4000-level or above.

  5. Must have 6 points at the 6000-level, at least 3 of these 6000-level points must be selected from the list of Elective Track Courses.

Please use the Degree Progress Check to keep track of your requirements.

1. Breadth Requirement

Visit the breadth requirement page for more information.

2. Required Track Courses

Students are required to complete the following 5 courses. Students who have taken equivalent courses in the past and received grades of at least a B may apply for waivers and take other CS courses instead.

Course ID


COMS W4118

Operating Systems

COMS W4156

Adv. Software Engineering

COMS W4180

Network Security

COMS W4187

Security Architecture and Engineering

Either COMS W4261
or COMS E6185

Introduction to Cryptography or Intrusion Detection


3. Elective Track Courses

Students are required to complete 2 courses out of the following list; at least one course must be 6000-level. Please note that courses with * are offered alternate years.

Course ID


COMS W4115

Programming Languages and Translators

COMS W4119

Computer Networks

COMS W4261

Introduction to Cryptography

COMS W4995

Visit the topics courses page to see which COMS 4995 courses apply to this track.

COMS E6118

Operating Systems, II

COMS E6181

Advanced Internet Services

COMS E6183


COMS E6184*

Privacy & Anonymity

COMS E6185

Intrusion and Anomaly Detection Systems

COMS E6261*

Advanced Cryptography

COMS E6901

Projects in Computer Science

COMS E6998

Visit the topics courses page to see which COMS 6998 courses apply to this track.

CSEE W4824

Computer Architecture

ELEN E4703

Wireless Communications

ELEN E6761

Computer Communication Networks

ELEN E6886 

Topics in Multimedia Security 

ELEN E6950

Wireless & Mobile Nets, I

ELEN E6951 

Wireless & Mobile Nets, II


4. General Electives

Candidates are required to complete at least 1 Computer Science graduate-level course. Students may take up to 3 points of non-CS/non-tech course approved by the advisor. Please complete a non-tech approval form, get your advisor's approval, and forward it to the CS Student Services.

**Due to a significant overlap in course material, MS students not in the Machine Learning track can only take 1 of the following courses - COMS 4771, COMS 4721, ELEN 4903, IEOR 4525, STAT 4240, STAT 4400/4241/5241 - as part of their degree requirements. 

5. Track Planning

Please visit the Directory of Classes to get the updated course listings. Please also note that not all courses are offered every semester, or even every year. A few courses are offered only once every two or three years or even less frequently. For more information, please see the SEAS Bulletin CS course-offering schedule (This schedule can change due to unforeseeable circumstances; thus, it should only be used as a reference).

6. Track Advisor

Please direct all questions concerning the Computer Security Track to Prof. .

7. Graduation

Candidates preparing for graduation should submit a completed application for degree to the Registrar's Office and submit a track graduation form to CS Student Services.

Last Updated: 4/21/16