MS Computing Security Overview

The number of computer-based crimes reported against the information and economic infrastructure of our society continues to increase.  In addition, a number of troubling trends have emerged: the time from the discovery of a vulnerability to the creation of its exploit has shortened dramatically; attackers are increasingly focusing on attacks that cause the most harm to public and private networks; confidential data is increasingly becoming the focus of attacks in support of criminal activity; and attackers are developing large, highly sophisticated networks of “compromised” computers for denial-of-service and other cyber-attacks.  Despite these risks, organizations of all shapes and sizes are establishing “web identities” and looking to computing technologies and interconnectivity to enhance their employee productivity and improve their competive position.  These trends have resulted in the emergence of a new computing specialization, that of the computer security specialist or professional.

This Computing Security Master of Science program is designed for individuals whose undergraduate major or minor was in a computing specific discipline which included a solid theoretical foundation as well as those who have a strong background in a field to which computers are applied, such as Engineering, Science, or Mathematics.  Students applying without this background will need to complete bridge study to ensure that they have the prerequisite knowledge necessary for success. This program builds knowledge in many aspects of computing security concepts and practices from the perspective of software engineering, computer science, mobile computing, computer networking, policy and risk management, and systems administration. This innovative program is designed to enable students to understand the theoretical foundations of computing security, to join a team of professionals solving the challenges of ensuring secure computing environments, and to become leaders within their organizations in the implementation of computing security and information assurance policies and practices.  Alternately, this program can prepare students for further academic study and careers in either academia or research.

This MS degree is comprised of 30 semester-credits of graduate study which include:

  • 3 core courses (9 credits); focusing on foundation security theory, forensics concepts, research practices and cryptography
  • 5 or 6 elective courses (15 - 18 credits), depending upon the capstone option chosen, to develop breadth and depth in security topics of individual interest
  • the MS capstone experience: a thesis (6 credits), a project (3 credits), or a capstone course (3 credits)