New online master’s degree in cybersecurity approved

February 28, 2020 - A new master’s program at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls aims to fill major cybersecurity talent gaps.  

The UW System Board of Regents has approved the creation of a 12-course, 34-credit online master’s program in cybersecurity — a collaborative effort by UW-River Falls, UW Extended Campus and seven other universities in the system. 

Courses are planned to begin in September pending approval from the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. 

 “We see this program as another opportunity to expand the number of fully online degree options available to working adults in cutting-edge fields like cybersecurity that we don’t have the resources to offer on our own,” said Randy Zimmermann, director of UW-River Falls Continuing Education. “Our faculty welcome the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from other UW campuses to offer this program and we appreciate the coordinating role and support provided by the UW Extended Campus.”

The new degree features four unique tracks of study allowing students to focus their education in one or more cybersecurity area: Digital Forensics, Cyber Response, Governance & Leadership, and Security Architecture. 

The cybersecurity program is open to all interested graduate students but is geared toward those with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, computer engineering or a similar discipline. Those with professional experience in information technology also are encouraged to apply. 

“The online Master of Science in Cybersecurity through UW Extended Campus is a great opportunity for people currently in an IT field to learn not just about technical details of security but also about the people skills part of technology systems management,” said Tony Varghese, academic program director. “I have met security people in small and large companies who have said that a degree like this would prepare them well for those jobs at the next level and even the CISO (chief information security officer) position.” 

Graduates of the program will be prepared for positions such as cybersecurity engineer, information security analyst, network architect, and cybersecurity manager, among others. Admission to the program requires a bachelor’s degree with prerequisite courses in computer science and calculus or statistics. Aptitude tests such as the GMAT and GRE are not required.

“There is an incredible talent gap in cybersecurity both in Wisconsin and around the globe,” said Aaron Brower, executive director of UW Extended Campus. “We believe this program meets market needs while offering students the skills and education employers want.” 
Prospective students can learn more by visiting, calling 1-877-895-3276 or emailing

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