Cybersecurity Online Graduate Certificate, Professional Science Master's Degree (PSM)

About Cybersecurity

Learn to plan for and recognize cybersecurity attacks and viruses.

PennWest California offers an innovative online Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity. This is part of the Professional Science Master's (PSM) degree program, launched in 2015 and designed for professionals in business, government or nonprofit organizations.

The 12-credit graduate certificate program can be completed in just one year of full-time study.  

Succeed in today's high-tech world.   

Professionals with demanding careers benefit from the flexibility of the 100% online program to complete coursework at their convenience. Cybersecurity certificate students complete three core courses and one elective course. 

PennWest California's PSM degree program in cybersecurity received affiliation approval from the PSM National Office, which oversees 356 affiliated PSM programs nationwide.


Specialized: Professionals who complete the 100% online graduate certificate in cybersecurity gain specialized knowledge in the field, focusing on network security, biometrics, cryptography and related areas such as risk management and database management. You'll learn about the latest cybersecurity practices and be ready to address complex security challenges in today's high-tech marketplace.

Meeting demand: The Professional Science Master's degree program and the graduate certificate in cybersecurity were developed by PennWest California in consultation with industry advisers to ensure that courses align with employer needs. PSM and certificate students develop skills to solve problems that are typical in this high-demand field.

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Colleges and universities nationwide currently offer 356 PSM programs, according to the national PSM clearinghouse.
New jobs in the cybersecurity field are expected by 2018.
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Certificate Benefits

Cybersecurity certificate students learn with expert faculty to gain advanced knowledge about computer networking, and wireless networks and security; applied cryptography for industry; how to integrate principles of risk management and assessment in the development of cybersecurity strategies; and how to address professional and ethical responsibilities.

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Graduate Outcomes

Cybersecurity graduates face a favorable occupational outlook. Demand is growing for skilled cybersecurity professionals, with more than 135,000 new jobs estimated by 2018. PennWest California cybersecurity students in the PSM and certificate programs also get the opportunity to connect with various top security companies such as NCFTA and Magnet while conducting research and completing internships.


Cybersecurity Graduate Certificate Courses

Cybersecurity courses focus on specialized topics such as wireless networks and security, applied cryptography, biometrics, and cybersecurity risk management and assessment.

Course Examples


  • Computer And Networking
  • Applied Cryptography
  • Wireless Networks And Security
  • Biometrics
  • Cybersecurity Risk Mangement And Assessment 

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Admission Requirements


Regular Admission Requirements

  • Regionally Accredited Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher from relevant computing disciplines such as computer science, computer information systems, information technology, computer engineering, electrical engineering or mathematics  
    • Applicants without a related discipline may be considered for conditional admission and/or offered conditional admission into the Cybersecurity certificate program with pre-requisite requirements.  Upon successful completion, students will be moved to the PSM master’s in Cybersecurity and can earn both the certificate and PSM master’s credentials upon graduation
  • Official transcripts from a regionally accredited undergraduate institution

Conditional Admission Requirements

  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements:
    • Regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.9 and below will be reviewed for a decision
      • If admitted, students will be required to earn a 3.0 in their first term in order to stay enrolled in the program
  • May be required to take Pre-requisite Course/s after a transcript review; students must earn a C or better in all pre-requisites.

Provisional Admission:
Applicants who have provided unofficial documentation of test scores, prerequisite courses, transcripts or lack of letter(s) of recommendation may be admitted provisionally.

This policy also applies to undergraduate students who apply for graduate admission pending bachelor degree completion. Upon receipt of all official documents, a student will be changed from Provisional Admission to either Regular Admission or Conditional Admission. Provisional Admission students may take classes for one term but will not be eligible for Federal Financial Aid.

How to Apply:

  • Complete the Graduate School Application
  • Submit the nonrefundable $35 Application Fee
  • Submit required documentation by mail or email:
    • Mail:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
PennWest California
Box 91
250 University Ave. 
California, PA 15419

For additional information:
Phone: 1.866.595.6348

A PennWest California professor teaches a class.

About Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity involves the technologies, processes and practices designed to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access. The global cybersecurity market is growing rapidly: Having reached $75 billion in 2015, it's expected to hit $170 billion by 2020, according to Forbes.

A cybersecurity employee.

PSM in Cybersecurity

To earn the Professional Science Master's (PSM) in Cybersecurity, students complete the 30-credit program in four semesters studying full-time. PSM cybersecurity students benefit from a capstone project to apply knowledge and solve problems working with real-world businesses or other entities. Students have worked with such firms as MUFG Union Bank, PTC, Cloudcast Computing, Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corp., Allegheny County Property Assessments, University of Pennsylvania and Penn State University.

PSM Cybersecurity Faculty

Dr. Gina Boff

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Dr. Weifeng Chen

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Dr. Leandro Junes
Associate Professor

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Dr. Brian Kolowitz
Adjunct Professor
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Dr. Lisa Kovalchick

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Dr. Nader Mohamed
Associate Professor

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