Cyber Systems and Operations (CSO) - Curriculum 326

Program Officer

Nicholas Ulmer, CDR, USN

Glasgow Hall, Room 259

(831) 656-7626, DSN 756-7626

nicholas.ulmer@nps.edu

Academic Associate

Duane T. Davis

Code CY, Glasgow East, Room 212

831-656-2239, DSN 756-2239

dtdavi1@nps.edu

Brief Overview

The CSO curriculum uniquely prepares Officers with the educational background, problem solving, and critical thinking skills to serve in challenging Cyberspace Operations and Cyber Warfare key leadership, operational planning, systems management, and Cyber capability employment positions within the military. The program couples the factors of decision-making, operational warfare context, and technical specialization based in the disciplines of computer science, electrical engineering, and emerging Cyber academic programs. The CSO curriculum includes emphasis on means to support the Information Dominance pillars of Assured Command and Control, Battlespace Awareness, and Integrated Fires. The program directly supports Navy, USMC, and DOD goals of operating the network as a warfighting platform, delivering warfighting effects through cyberspace, creating shared situational awareness, and aiding in maturing of Cyber Mission Forces. 

The CSO curriculum requires students to choose one of four available tracks following completion of the first instructional quarter. The systems and operations, computational, engineering science, and electrical engineering tracks augment a common CSO core that is administered by the Cyber Academic Group and the Computer Science, Information Sciences, and Electrical and Computer Engineering Departments. Each track is managed independently to meet all sponsor-approved educational skill requirements and culminates in the award of a degree appropriate to the track.  

Requirements for Entry

This curriculum is open to officers of the U.S. Armed Forces and civilian employees of the U.S. Federal Government. A baccalaureate degree, or the equivalent, with grades resulting in an APC of at least 334, basic computer programming capability, and a general understanding of computer architectures and operating systems is required.  A TOP SECRET clearance is required with eligibility for SCI access.

Entry Date

Cyber Systems and Operations is an eight-quarter resident course of study with entry dates in January and July. If further information is needed, contact the Academic Associate or Program Officer for this curriculum.

Degree

Students completing the CSO core matrix and track shall be eligible for one of the following track-specific degrees:

Systems and Operations Track (administered by the Information Sciences Department)

  Master of Science in Cyber Systems and Operations

Computational Track (administered by the Computer Science Department)

  Master of Science in Computer Science

Engineering Science Track (administered by the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department)

  Master of Science in Electrical Engineering Science (with emphasis in Electrical Engineering)

Electrical Engineering Track (administered by the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department)

  Master of Science in Electrical Engineering

Degree Requirements

Degree requirements are available under their host departments' degree descriptions.

Program Length

Eight Quarters with JPME.

Typical Course of Study -- Summer Entry

Quarter 1

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
CS2020Introduction to Programming

3

Current: 4; New: 2

EC2700Introduction to Cyber Systems

3

3

MA2025Bridge to Advanced Mathematics

4

1

MA1113Single Variable Calculus I

4

0

Quarter 2

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
CS3600Introduction to Cybersecurity

4

1

EC3730Cyber Network and Physical Infrastructures

3

2

CS3040Low Level Programming

3

2

CY3000Introduction to Cyber Systems and Operations

3

0

CS4924Seminar Series in Computer Science and Cyber Systems and Operations

1

0

Quarter 3

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
EC3760Information Operations Systems

3

2

ELECTCSO Track Requirement

ELECTCSO Track Requirement

ELECTCSO Track Requirement

CY4900Research Topics in Cyber Systems and Operations

1

0

Quarter 4

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
CS3690Network Security

4

1

ELECTCSO Track Requirement

ELECTCSO Track Requirement

ELECTCSO Track Requirement

CS4903Research Methods in Computer Science

2

0

Quarter 5

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
ELECTCSO Track Requirement

CS3250Introduction to Cyber Physical Systems

3

2

ELECTCSO Track Requirement

ELECTCSO Track Requirement

NW3230Strategy & War

4

2

CS4924Seminar Series in Computer Science and Cyber Systems and Operations

1

0

Quarter 6

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
NW3285Theater Security Decision Making

4

0

ELECTCSO Track Requirement

ELECTCSO Track Requirement

CY0810Thesis Research

0

8

CS4924Seminar Series in Computer Science and Cyber Systems and Operations

1

0

Quarter 7

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
EC3740Reverse Engineering in Electronic Systems

3

2

NW3275Joint Maritime Operations - part 1

4

0

ELECTCSO Track Requirement

CY0810Thesis Research

0

8

CS4924Seminar Series in Computer Science and Cyber Systems and Operations

1

0

Quarter 8

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
CY4400Cyber Mission Planning

3

0

NW3276Joint Maritime Operations - part 2

2

2

ELECTCSO Track Requirement

CY0810Thesis Research

0

8

CS4924Seminar Series in Computer Science and Cyber Systems and Operations

1

0

Curriculum Major Area Sponsor

DCNO for information Dominance (N2/N6).

Educational Skill Requirements

  1. Cyberspace Operations (CO) Foundations. Graduates of the CSO program will: have acquired knowledge of Cyber Warfare and Cyberspace Operations concepts and methodologies; demonstrate a proficient application of the technical dimensions of Cyberspace Operations; and be able to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate management, engineering, and operational approaches to solve complex problems within cyber warfare. This foundation must provide graduates who possess the educational skills to:
    • Develop and execute well-formed strategies and plans to effectively operate and maintain ready information and control networks supporting military operations.
    • Develop and execute best practices and methodologies for effective Defensive Cyberspace Operations (DCO) to include assessment of threat vectors and vulnerability assessment, means to mitigate cyber-attacks and exploitation through active defense, and network maneuver methodologies.
    • Build and assess disparate behaviors and indicators within cyberspace to ascertain Cyber Intelligence supporting military operations.
    • Define, identify, and assess Cyber Key Terrain from with supporting System of Systems and associated functional processes.
    • Be able to generate operational risk factors in support of mission assurance and cyber operations.
  2. Technical Foundations. Graduates will be able to apply critical thinking, fundamental mathematical, computer science, and engineering concepts underpinning Cyberspace Operations in an operational context. In particular, graduates will be able to employ Cyberspace Operations concepts to solve operationally relevant problems. This education will be founded in the following technical areas: computer architecture; operating systems; virtualization; networking, mobile, and wireless technologies; cyber physical systems and industrial control systems; computer and network security; computer programming; reverse engineering and digital forensics; data analytics; probability; statistics; and signals operations.
  3. Military Application. Officers will be able to analyze cyber requirements within military operations and synthesize and evaluate courses of action that include the use of Cyber capabilities within the full range of military capabilities (kinetic to non-kinetic). These skills will be reinforced through the use of the Joint Operational Planning Process, Joint Targeting Cycle, Joint Doctrine on Cyberspace Operations, and related operational concepts. The officer is to build skills for the effective application of cyber capabilities, effects, and be able to integrate Cyberspace Operations within operational planning and execution processes. In particular, the Officer will be able to develop, compare, and evaluate courses of action incorporating Cyberspace Operations and identify targets and processes against which cyber capabilities can be employed to achieve operational effects in support of operational objectives.
  4. Organizational Construct and Policy Context. The officer will be able to describe the administrative and operational structures and command relationships of the organizations and commands that operate within the cyberspace domain. The officer must have foundational understanding of the application of DOD / DON policies, related strategies, authorities, and the Law of Armed Conflict in the execution of Cyberspace Operations, Cyber Warfare, and associated capabilities. The officer will be able to illustrate the employment of these organizational relationships and policy, strategy, authorities, and legal context in an operational environment (i.e., Cyberspace Operations implications from U.S. law, National Security Strategy, DOD Cyber strategies, DOD and related policies, Rules of Engagement, etc.)
  5. Comprehension of the Cyberspace Environment. The officer will understand the characteristics of friendly, neutral, and adversary Cyber environments and likely methodologies for adversary employment of cyber capabilities (e.g., infrastructure, prevalent technologies, policy limitations or deterrence, etc.). The officer will understand the parameters of Cyberspace Situational Awareness methodologies for attribution, collateral damage effects, and operational risk of Cyberspace Operations. Further, the officer will understand architecture and design principles that underpin cyberspace as well as demonstrate the ability to analyze specific cyber system implementations to identify vulnerabilities and potential attack vectors. The officer must also understand operational implications when the environment shifts from a permissive to a contested environment.
  6. Relationship to other Warfare Areas. The officer will understand and illustrate the relationships, overlaps, and interdependencies between cyberspace and traditional warfare areas to include air, surface, undersea, amphibious, strike, and expeditionary warfare. Further, the officer will also demonstrate understanding of the relationships and interdependencies between cyberspace and space and Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare. In particular, the officer will be able to describe alternative approaches to conducting Cyberspace Operations within an Anti-Access/Area Denial scenario.
  7. Independent Research. The officer will demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research and investigation through the completion of a thesis or capstone project which meets the requirements of the conferred degree. Thesis or capstone work will be conducted in a framework that exercises the practice of innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, and real-world applicability. Where possible, the topic of the thesis or capstone project will support operational focus areas defined by the mission area sponsor. Further, the officer will be able to present research goals and results in both written and oral form.
  8. Joint Professional Military Education (JPME). Per community requirements, the officer will have an understanding of warfighting within the context of operational art to include: strategy and war, theater security decision making, and joint maritime operations. Completing the Naval War College four-course series leading to Intermediate Level Professional Military Education and JPME phase I certification fulfills this requirement.

Curriculum Sponsor and ESR Approval Authority

DCNO for Information Dominance (N2/N6).