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Computing Security MS

Sumita Mishra, Graduate Program Director
(585) 475-2700, ComSec@rit.edu

http://rit.edu/gccis/computingsecurity

Program overview

Developers of computing systems and practitioners in all computing disciplines need an understanding of the critical importance of building security and survivability into the hardware and software of computing systems they design, rather than trying to add it on once these systems have been designed, developed, and installed.

The MS in computing security gives students an understanding of the technological and ethical roles of computing security in today's society and its importance across the breadth of computing disciplines. Students can develop a specialization in one of several security-related areas by selecting technical electives under the guidance of a faculty adviser. The program enables students to develop a strong theoretical and practical foundation in secure computing, preparing them for leadership positions in both the private and public sectors of the computing security industry, for academic or research careers in computing security, or to pursue a more advanced degree in a computing discipline.

Curriculum

The program is designed for students who have an undergraduate computing degree in an areas such as computing security, computer science, information technology, networking, or software engineering, as well as those who have a strong background in a field in which computers are applied, such as computer or electrical engineering.

The curriculum consists of three required core courses, up to 6 technical electives (depending on the capstone option chosen), and a capstone thesis, project, or capstone course for a total of 30 semester credit hours. 

Electives

Students are required to choose up to six technical electives from the following courses.

Course
CSEC-730 Advanced Computer Forensics
CSEC-731 Web Server and Application Security Audits
CSEC-732 Mobile Device Forensics
CSEC-733 Information Security Risk Management
CSEC-741 Sensor and SCADA Security
CSEC-742 Computer System Security
CSEC-743 Computer Viruses and Malicious Software
CSEC-744 Network Security
CSEC-750 Covert Communications
CSEC-751 Information Security Policy and Law
CSEC-759 Enterprise Security Solutions

Computing security (thesis option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
CSEC-601 Research Methods and Proposal Development 3
CSEC-603 Enterprise Security 3
CSEC-604 Cryptography and Authentication 3
  Technical Electives 12
CSEC-790 MS Thesis 3
Second Year
  Technical Elective 3
CSEC-790 MS Thesis 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

Computing security (project option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
CSEC-601 Research Methods and Proposal Development 3
CSEC-603 Enterprise Security 3
CSEC-604 Cryptography and Authentication 3
  Technical Electives 15
Second Year
  Technical Elective 3
 CSEC-791 MS Project 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

Computing security (capstone course option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
CSEC-601 Research Methods and Proposal Development 3
CSEC-603 Enterprise Security 3
CSEC-604 Cryptography and Authentication 3
  Technical Electives 15
Second Year
  Technical Elective 3
CSEC-793 Capstone in Computing Security 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS in computing security, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree in computing security, computer science, software engineering, information technology, networking, computer engineering, electrical engineering, applied mathematics, or computer engineering technology (exceptional students from other fields may be admitted on a contingent basis),
  • Have a minimum grade point average equivalent to a 3.0/4.0,
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work,
  • Submit a minimum of two recommendations from individuals who are well-qualified to assess the applicant's potential for success, and
  • Complete a graduate application.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Minimum scores of 570 (paper-based) or 88 (Internet-based) are required. Applicants who have completed undergraduate study at foreign universities must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. GRE scores are also recommended for applicants whose undergraduate GPA is below 3.0.

Prerequisites

Applicants must satisfy prerequisite requirements in mathematics (integral calculus, discrete mathematics), statistics, natural sciences (physics, chemistry, etc.), and computing (programming, computer networking theory and practice, and systems administration theory and practice).

Bridge program

Students whose undergraduate preparation or employment experience does not satisfy the prerequisites required for the program may make up deficiencies through additional study. Bridge course work, designed to close gaps in a student's preparation, can be completed either before or after enrolling in the program as advised by the graduate program director. Generally, formal acceptance into the program is deferred until the applicant has made significant progress through this additional preparation.

If completed through academic study, bridge courses must be completed with a grade of B (3.0) or better. Courses with lower grades must be repeated. Bridge courses are not counted toward the 30 credit hours required for the master's degree. However, grades earned from bridge courses taken at RIT are included in a student's graduate grade point average.

A bridge program can be designed in different ways. Courses may be substituted based upon availability, and courses at other colleges may be applied. All bridge course work must be approved in advance by the graduate program director.

Additional information

Study options

Students may pursue the degree on a full-time basis, on-campus only.

Faculty

The program faculty are actively engaged in consulting and research in various areas of secure computing and information assurance, such as cryptography, databases, networking, secure software development, and critical infrastructure security. There are opportunities for students to participate in research activities towards capstone completion or as independent study work.

Maximum time limit

University policy requires that graduate programs be completed within seven years of the student's initial registration for courses in the program. Bridge courses are excluded.

[arrow] Click to view program requirements in the Quarter Calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

Program overview

Developers and practitioners need to understand the importance of building security and survivability into systems, rather than trying to add it once systems are installed.

The MS in computing security and information assurance gives students an understanding of the technological and ethical roles of computer security in society. Students develop a specialization in one of several areas by selecting four related elective courses under the guidance of a faculty adviser. Students conclude their program of study with a thesis, completed under the guidance of program faculty. The program enables students to develop a strong foundation, preparing them for leadership positions in both the private and public sectors of the computer security industry, for academic or research careers in computer security and information assurance, or for an advanced degree.

The program is designed for students who have an undergraduate degree in computer science, information technology, or software engineering, as well as those who have a strong background in a field in which computers are applied, such as computer or electrical engineering.

Curriculum

The program consists of core courses, electives, and a thesis for a total of 48 quarter credit hours.

Electives

Electives provide breadth of experience in security-related areas within computer science, information technology, and software engineering. Students who wish to include courses from departments outside of approved program electives need permission from the graduate program director. Students also may choose elective courses from departments in other RIT colleges; however, these courses may require additional prerequisites.

Master's thesis

The capstone for this program is a thesis. In order to register, a student must complete Research Methods (4055-726) and submit an acceptable proposal to the program faculty.

Semester conversion
Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. Each program and its associated courses have been sent to the New York State Department of Education for approval of the semester plan. For reference, the following charts illustrate the typical course sequence for this program in both quarters and semesters. Students should consult their graduate program adviser with questions regarding planning and course selection.

Program title change
Effective fall 2013, the program in computing security and information assurance will be renamed information assurance and forensics. This change will not affect currently matriculated students.

Computing security and information assurance, MS degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
4055-726 Research Methods 4
4055-755 Secure Wireless and Wired Data Networks 4
4055-780 Computer System Security 4
4005-705 Cryptography I 4
4005-774 Secure Database Systems 4
4010-748 Secure Software Engineering: Requirements and Design 4
0110-745 Ethics in Technology 4
  Technical Elective 1, 2, 3, 4 16
4055-897 Thesis 4
Total Quarter Credit Hours 48

Information assurance and forensics (thesis option), MS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
NSSA-601 Research Methods and Proposal Development 3
NSSA-603 Enterprise Security and Forensics 3
NSSA-604 Cryptography and Authentication 3
  Technical Elective 1, 2, 3, 4 12
NSSA-790 MS Thesis 3
Second Year
  Technical Elective 5 3
NSSA-790 MS Thesis 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

Information assurance and forensics (project option), MS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
NSSA-601 Research Methods and Proposal Development 3
NSSA-603 Enterprise Security and Forensics 3
NSSA-604 Cryptography and Authentication 3
  Technical Elective 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 15
Second Year
  Technical Elective 6 3
  NSSA Project 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

Information assurance and forensics (capstone option), MS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
NSSA-601 Research Methods and Proposal Development 3
NSSA-603 Enterprise Security and Forensics 3
NSSA-604 Cryptography and Authentication 3
  Technical Elective 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 12
Second Year
  Technical Elective 6 3
NSSA-793 Capstone in Information Assurance and Forensics 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS in computing security and information assurance, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree in computer science, software engineering, information technology, computer engineering, electrical engineering, applied mathematics, or computer engineering technology (exceptional students from other fields may be admitted on a contingent basis),
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 3.0,
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work,
  • Submit a minimum of two recommendations from well-qualified individuals who are able to assess the applicant's potential for success, and
  • Complete a graduate application.
  • International applicants, whose native language is not English, must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Minimum scores of 570 (paper-based) or 88 (Internet-based) are required. Applicants who have completed course work at foreign universities must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. GRE scores are also recommended for applicants whose undergraduate GPA is below 3.0.

Prerequisites

Applicants must satisfy prerequisite requirements in mathematics (integral calculus, discrete mathematics) and computing (computer programming [e.g. C++], operating systems, OS scripting, software engineering, and computer networking).

Bridge program

Students whose undergraduate preparation or employment experience does not satisfy the prerequisites required for the program may make up these deficiencies through up to one year of additional study. Bridge courses, designed to close any gaps in a student's preparation, could cover curriculum in mathematics, computing, or programming languages. Generally, formal acceptance into the program is deferred until the applicant has made significant progress through this additional course work.

Students may be admitted to the program on the condition that bridge courses are completed with a grade of B or better. Courses with lower grades must be repeated. Bridge courses are not counted toward the 48 credit hours required for the master's degree. Grades earned from bridge courses are not included in a student's graduate grade point average.

A bridge program can be designed in different ways. Other courses may be substituted, and courses at other colleges may be applied. All bridge course work must be approved in advance by the graduate program director.

Additional information

Study options

Students may pursue the degree on a full- or part-time basis. Some of the courses are available online. A full-time student, who takes three courses per quarter, may be able to complete the course work in five quarters; part-time students may finish in two to four years. The time required to complete a master's thesis varies according to the student and the scope of the thesis; however, two quarters is typical.

Faculty

Faculty members are actively engaged in consulting and research in the information assurance areas, including cryptography, databases, networking, and software engineering. There are many opportunities for students to participate in research activities toward thesis or independent study work.

Maximum time limit

University policy requires that gradaute programs be completed within seven years of the student's initial registration for courses in the program. Bridge courses are excluded.