Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting hardware, software, and data from digital attacks. Due to a high degree of global connectivity, cyber attacks are increasingly more frequent and more severe. Across the world, cybersecurity professionals are in high demand; the field consistently deals with a 0% unemployment rate and a serious talent shortage. With the advantage of SFU's co-op program, the hands-on lab courses, and a well-rounded curriculum, students who specialize in this discipline are well-positioned to not only launch, but also progress in, rewarding careers with roles like cybersecurity engineer, cybersecurity analyst, cybersecurity consultant, vulnerability analyst, network architect, and more.


The current curriculum for the cybersecurity concentration covers (but is not limited to) the following topics 

  • Fundamentals and advanced knowledge of information security, risk management, situation analysis, data analytics, applied cryptography, cyber ethics and cyber forensics
  • Penetration testing and ethical hacking with hands-on experience to assess risks associated with potential security breaches
  • Studying attacks on computer systems, network and cloud infrastructure, and learning how to prevent and detect them
  • Understanding protocol-specific attacks and generic attacks, new technologies related to containers, IoT and 5G
  • Machine learning and predictive analytics for cybersecurity risk assessment, intrusion detection and prevention, and critical infrastructure protection
  • Secure software design, rigorous development and use of software that reliably preserves the security properties of the information and systems it protects
  • Applied cryptography, cryptographic and cryptoanalytics techniques such as cryptographic primitives, public key encryption, digital signature, message authentication codes and cryptographic protocols
  • Cybersecurity of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies
  • Information privacy and fundamental privacy concepts in a broad sense with emphasis on challenging and emerging topics in privacy
  • Cyber risk assessment and mitigation strategies to identify, estimate, and prioritize cyber risks, threats and vulnerabilities


The layout below shows the recommended course options. For the full list of course options, please see the official calendar entry for the Professional Master of Science in Computer Science.


All students complete the required core courses as laid out below:

  • CMPT 726 Machine Learning
  • CMPT 756 Distributed and Cloud Systems

At least two of:

  • CMPT 780 Computer Security and Ethics (Recommended)
  • CMPT 784 - Cyber Risk Assessment and Management
  • CMPT 785 - Secure Software Design
  • CMPT 786 - Cloud and Network Security
  • CMPT 787 - Ethical Hacking
  • CMPT 788 - Information Privacy
  • CMPT 789 - Applied Cryptography (Recommended)


The mandatory lab courses provide hands-on learning of various models, algorithms, and software related to cybersecurity. Students will take the following two lab courses for 6 credits each. Only students enrolled in the cybersecurity concentration are permitted to register in these courses:

  • CMPT 782 - Cybersecurity Lab 1
  • CMPT 783 - Cybersecurity Lab 2


Students must complete one elective (typically 3 credits) from the following list of courses:

  • CMPT 727 Statistical Machine Learning
  • CMPT 728 Deep Learning
  • CMPT 729 Reinforcement learning
  • CMPT 763 Biomedical Computer Vision
  • CMNS 815 Communication Theories in Technology and Society
  • A special topics course in Computing Science:  CMPT 829, 886, 889, 980, 981, 982, 983, 984, 985
  • Other courses with permission of the School

Course outlines for SFU's Computing Science courses can be found here. For all other outlines, please go here.


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