Fundamentals - Officers - DL

Cyber Security Fundamentals Certificate for Active Duty Naval Personnel

Distance Learning

Program Announcement

The Naval Postgraduate School offers the Cyber Security Fundamentals certificate (Curriculum 256) to non-resident U.S. active duty naval personnel.  Classes are taught asynchronously. Each certificate offering takes approximately 9 months to complete with one course per quarter.


The Cyber Security Fundamentals certificate (Curriculum 256) is a graduate-level, non-degree program designed to enable U.S. Naval officers and others to gain a foundational understanding of the basic concepts and methods of computer network defense, vulnerabilities, and exploitations, with the objective of enabling informed choices that will result in better network defense.  It consists of three courses:

CS3600   Introduction to Computer Security

CS3670   Secure Management of Systems, and

CS3690   Network Security,

all of which may be applicable toward a Master's degree in Computer Science (Curriculum 368).

  • New cohorts start every six months in January and July.  A student application waitlist is maintained through


  • Active duty USN or USMC officer or enlisted member
  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Evidence of coursework in computer basics and networking on a transcript
  • Command endorsement

Prerequisite Requirements and Expectations

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

To avoid being over your head in the program, we offer a short self assessment so that you can determine if you are ready to take this certificate program.  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 three graduate-level courses.  Each course requires the study of a combination of course material, readings, homework exercises, laboratory exercises, quizzes and exams.

Application Instructions

  • To apply to the certificate program, send and email to If you have taken he self-assessment, please state in your email that you have done so and believe you are prepared to begin classes.  Qualified officers are selected to apply on a first-come-first-served basis and will be provided with further application instructions.  DO NOT directly apply to through the admissions office, your application will not be considered.
  • The NPS admissions office will send you an acceptance email if you are selected for the program.  Approximately one month prior to the start of the course the program manager will be in touch with each student with notification of login credentials and further information.

More questions?

For further information contact