Regents Approve M.S. in Cybersecurity, B.A. in Writing, Academic Program Deletions


The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents today approved a new Master of Science in cybersecurity with a focus on security of critical societal and business infrastructure.

The 30-credit hour graduate program is expected to begin in fall 2018, pending approval by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

Dr. Karl Kunkel, Southeast provost, said a significant demand exists among local and regional high-tech companies for students with an advanced degree in cybersecurity. He said the U.S. Department of Labor expects a 22 percent growth in job demand over the next decade in this area as security against hackers and disruption is a continual, ongoing and growing concern. Business and agency leaders regularly express the need for highly trained employees in cyber protection, he said.

The most impactful cyber threat in this region would be towards critical infrastructure, Kunkel said. Currently, only two Missouri public universities offer a master’s degree in cybersecurity, but neither has the specific focus on security of critical societal and business infrastructure.

“The focus on water, power, communications, military, healthcare and transportation will make our graduates unique,” Kunkel said.

The program also will be offered as an accelerated program for high achieving undergraduates.

In addition, the Board today approved a Bachelor of Arts with a major in writing and options in creative writing and professional writing. The program is designed to meet the demand for individuals with specifically developed skills in creative or technical writing by businesses, industries and agencies.

“The need for effective communication is growing,” he said. “These graduates will be attractive to employers seeking to enhance communications strategies through individuals with a strong writing background.”

With the approval of the new Bachelor of Arts in writing, the Regents also deleted the writing option in the Bachelor of Arts in English. The Regents also deleted the following academic programs due to low completion rates:

  • Bachelor of Science in Education: French Language and Literature (Secondary Education-French)
  • Bachelor of Science in Education Technology and Engineering Education
  • Master of Natural Science: Science Teacher Education
  • Two-year Certificate: Healthcare Facilities Operations
  • Two-year Certificate: Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language
  • Two-year Certification: Teaching Assistant/Substitute Teacher (Middle and Secondary Education)
  • Graduate Certificate: Facilities Management
  • Graduation Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Graduate Certificate: Heritage Education
  • Graduate Certificate: Historic Preservation