In this program, you'll learn the essential aspects of cyber operations and related areas such as risk analysis, cyber defense, and cryptography. You'll also learn how to build defense as an integral part of a computing system and how to detect and defend against vulnerabilities and intrusions on a variety of platforms.

UMGC was named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.

These requirements are for students who enroll in the 2020–2021 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit our catalog archive.

About the Cyber Operations Graduate Certificate

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Refine your communication, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and leadership skills
  • Design systems that are based on security design principles and employ multiple layers of protection to meet mission security goals
  • Perform risk assessment to identify risk to an organization and facilitate appropriate responses
  • Develop appropriate cryptographic solutions for a given enterprise architecture scenario

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Develop cryptographically sound solutions to support highly secure inter-enterprise communication and eCommerce
  • Select and analyze security controls in an enterprise setting using defense-in-depth approaches to minimize risk
  • Investigate digital artifacts for the presence of malware and malicious code
  • Apply static and dynamic analysis tools and techniques to detect and debug software defects that could lead to security vulnerabilities
  • Conduct and supervise cyber offense campaigns and practice skills associated with the cyber threat kill chain in a safe laboratory environment

Cyber Operations Graduate Certificate Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Required Courses

Total Credits Required: 18

  • DCL 600
  • COP 610
  • COP 620

Course Rules and Program Progression

  • All courses must be taken in the order listed. 
  • You must complete each course with a grade of B or better to advance to the next course. The grade of C is not available for these courses. 
  • The courses in this program will have seven-day and 60-day options for the grade of Incomplete.

Vertical Pathway

If you completed your undergraduate degree at UMGC with a major in computer networks and cybersecurity, a vertical pathway between UMGC's graduate and undergraduate degree programs in that field allows you to reduce your total coursework for this program by up to 6 credits.

Overall Certificate Requirements

Review the overall graduate certificate requirements on the certificates overview webpage.

Career Preparation

This program is designed to help you prepare for a career as a cyber defense analyst, forensics analyst, or incident responder; cyber operator; or secure software assessor.

Experience Recommended for Success in the Program

Ideally, you should have recently completed an undergraduate degree in computer science or a related discipline. You are expected to be familiar with cybersecurity and computer science concepts and be comfortable developing code in at least one programming language. Experience performing cybersecurity tasks in a work environment would enhance the learning experience.

If you do not have work experience in information technology, computer networks, or cybersecurity, you are advised to take ASC 605 first. If you have not taken programming courses previously, you are strongly encouraged to take ASC 609. Taking ASC 601 is recommended to improve your graduate writing skills.

Student Clubs and Organizations

    Type: Honor society
    Available To: Undergraduate and Graduate

    Upsilon Pi Epsilon is the international honor society for the computing and information disciplines. Formed in 1967, the purpose of Upsilon Pi Epsilon is to promote the computing and information sciences and to encourage the enhancement of knowledge in the field. Upsilon Pi Epsilon is open to both undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing a degree in the computing and information disciplines.

Additional Information

Technology Requirements

This program's curriculum requires that you use a computer with the following:

  • Microphone and speakers or headset with microphone or equivalent device
  • 5 GB of free hard drive space
  • 4 GB RAM or higher
  • A high-speed internet connection
  • Computer processor (Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 64) running at speeds of at least 1 GHz
  • Windows 8.1 or Mac OS X 10.6 or higher for an operating system (Linux operating systems can also be used but require more technical knowledge from the user)

Note: The higher the processor speed of your computer (e.g., 2.4–3.4 GHz), the larger the amount of available memory (e.g., 4–12 GB), and the larger the amount of available hard drive space (e.g., 5–20 GB), the better your computer will perform and the smoother your experience will be.