Cybersecurity Fundamentals


Cybersecurity Fundamentals Certificate


Cybersecurity Fundamentals Certificate information for active-duty Naval personnel click here 

The Cybersecurity Fundamentals graduate certificate is intended to provide a technically rigorous foundation upon which to build knowledge and skills in computer network defense, attack and exploitation. Each course is comprised of both instruction and laboratory exercises involving cyber security aspects of computers and networks. These synergistic activities allow students to internalize key concepts in cyber security. The courses and material covered in the Cyber Security Fundamentals certificate satisfy prerequisite requirements for advanced courses in cyber security offered in the Computer Science Department of the Naval Postgraduate School.

How it Works:

The Cyber Security Fundamentals certificate (Curriculum: 256 DL / 257 Res) is a graduate-level, non-degree program designed to enable DoD, U.S. Government and other personnel to gain an understanding of the basic security concepts and methods associated with cyberspace.

The program is intended to help you obtain a strong foundational understanding of computer network defense, vulnerabilities, and exploitations. The objective of the certificate is intended to enable students to make choices that will result in better defense of their networks.

As distance learning, the program is typically taken over a three-quarter period: one course per quarter. When students take the certificate in residence, the certificate can be completed in a single quarter.

The Cybersecurity Fundamentals certificate can be combined with the Cyber Security Defense certificate to create a resident program that is a minimum of two quarters in duration.

This Cybersecurity Fundamentals certificate program may be applicable toward a Master's degree in Computer Science, Curriculum 368.

This certificate provides participants with the knowledge and skills to:

  • Describe the possible policies that enforce cyber and cyber-physical systems.
  • Understand the synergistic nature of cyber security, ranging from the effective use of hardware and the application of security in system architectures to effective user interfaces and clear documentation.
  • Develop and deploy procedures for securing information assets on IT systems in the face of cyberattacks.
  • Understand network security threats and vulnerabilities and learn how, combined with well-analyzed and vetted protocols, information will be protected in distributed systems.

Download the Cyber Studies: Graduate Certificates for Non-Resident Students document for details regarding the program. For additional questions pertaining to the Cyber Security Fundamentals graduate certificate, please email:

Application Procedures:

This program is for U.S. Government civilians and military personnel.

Employees of certain Federal contractors may be eligible for the program.  Please contact the certificate program for details.

Currently the CSF certificate is offered on a cohort basis and all applicants must be members of funded cohorts. We work with cohort sponsors who determine the members of each cohort. After your sponsor has selected you for the program, you must complete the admissions process.

Apply online here:


The Cybersecurity Fundamentals graduate certificate is obtained by successful completion of the following sequence:
  1. Either CS3600 - Introduction to Cybersecurity -or- CS4600 - Secure Systems Principles
  2. CS3670 - Secure Management of Systems
  3. CS3690 - Network Security 

The total number of NPS graduate credits obtained for the certificate is up to 13.5, where laboratory credits are counted as half.


Program costs are based upon a cohort mode.  

  • The cost for a 20 student cohort tuition is $67,000.
  • The cost for a 25 student cohort tuition is $83,750
  • A three-course cohort of 25 students is $251,250.

Tuition for DL classes is $3,350 per student per class.

If books are required, they will result in additional costs.

*NPS tuition rates are subject to change.

Prerequisites and Expectations:

A baccalaureate degree, or the equivalent, with above average grades in mathematics, (including discrete math, and differential and integral calculus) resulting in an APC of 325 is required for direct entry. Undergraduate degrees in applied science or engineering are highly desirable. Transcripts must show evidence of coursework in computer basics and networking.  While previous academic or practical experience in cyber is certainly helpful and can enhance the applicant's potential for admission, such experience is not a prerequisite.

CS3690, Network Security, assumes that students have a basic knowledge of computer networking

To avoid being over your head in the program, we have created a self-assessment so that you can determine if you are sufficiently prepared for the class.  Download and take the self-assessment. When you are done, download the answers and determine how well you did. You do not have to get all of the answers right. Use your judgement to determine if you are ready for the certificate.

The certificate requires completion of graduate-level courses.  Each course requires the study of some combination of course material, readings, homework exercises, laboratory exercises, quizzes and exams.