Networking and Systems Administration Master of science degree

f8845278-64e5-4a40-97b6-32c42da4d564 | 90595

Overview

Students interested in studying networking and systems administration should refer to one of the following MS programs: information sciences and technologies or computing security, or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for more information.

Trends in network communications—unifying wired and wireless infrastructures, Cloud computing, scalability, collaboration tools, and security—can only be coalesced into reliable communication services if there are highly educated and technically proficient networking and systems administration professionals who understand both traditional and emerging communication technologies as well as how to apply these technologies to organizational needs and opportunities.

The explosion in ubiquitous computing today means an increased need for greater efficiency and for better management oversight in the provision of IT services. Network environments are not only becoming increasingly complex, there is a greater recognition of the power of information technology to be a strategic enabler of corporate growth and adaptation.

The MS degree in networking and systems administration provides both the knowledge and the technical skills needed to successfully compete in this environment. the program is uniquely focused to address current issues in networking and systems administration through investigation of both the theoretical and the practical aspects of this continually evolving field. Course work examines the organizational and technological issues involved in enterprise scale networking, including emerging network technologies, network processing, high performance computing, network programming, and security.

The program prepares graduates to assume leadership positions in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations dealing with evolving networking solutions or to continue their education through advanced degrees. It is available for full- and part-time study both online and on-campus.

Plan of study

The program consists of five required core courses, up to four technical electives (depending upon the capstone option chosen), and a capstone thesis or project.

Industries


  • Computer Networking

  • Internet and Software

  • Telecommunications

  • Defense

Typical Job Titles

System Administrator IT Technician
Network System Administrator Network Technician
Desktop Support Specialist

100%

outcome rate of graduates

$75k

median first-year salary of graduates

Latest News

  • August 20, 2019

    Computer keyboard and mouse.

    New School of Information formed in RIT’s Golisano Computing College

    RIT’s Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences is forming a new School of Information to recognize the changing roles of information professionals. The school aims to bridge the digital divide and make computing solutions available, accessible, usable and suitable to all.

  • May 22, 2017

    A grid map that outlines the path data takes in an emergency situation.

    RIT team creates high-speed internet lane

    Researchers at RIT are developing a faster and more reliable way to send and receive large amounts of data through the internet. By creating a new network protocol, researchers are essentially developing a new high-speed lane of online traffic, specifically for emergency information.

Curriculum

Networking and Systems Administration (thesis option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ISTE-605
Scholarship in Information Sciences And Technologies
IST graduate students are expected to make a scholarly contribution as a requirement for the MS degree. The Scholarship in Information Sciences and Technologies course provides students with the fundamental skills needed to define and conduct a program of scholarly investigation in the form of a capstone or thesis project. The course focuses on skills such as academic writing, searching the literature, identifying and articulating interesting and important topics and problems, scholarship ethics, developing capstone proposals, critical thinking, and effective oral and written communication and presentation of scholarship.
3
NSSA-602
Enterprise Computing
This course explores enterprise systems (clouds, server farms, mainframes, and clusters/grids) from the environment, networking, storage, security, and system administration perspectives. Students in this course gain an understanding of the knowledge and concepts needed to manage, perform research in, and administrate those architectures.
3
NSSA-615
Advanced OOP for Networking and Systems Admins
This is a course in Object Oriented Programming. Students must have completed one year of OO programming prerequisite, as the course will presume that level of knowledge and will build from there. Multiple languages will be studied in this course. The languages chosen will have direct and immediate applicability to the field of Networking and Systems Administration program and will be chosen for their use in the topic areas of that degree program. Students will be quickly led through the primitive types and control structures of each language and immersed in significant projects using advanced language features. Note: Student must have one year of programming in an object oriented programming language.
3
NSSA-620
Emerging Computing and Network Technologies
Computer networking and computer system technologies have dramatically changed the way that businesses operate and how they accomplish their organizational goals. Most of the current technologies used today have their roots in the early days of the internet and computing. The changes that have occurred since then have been largely at the margins, rather than developed in a wholesale fashion. As our discipline moves forward there are a substantial number of emerging technologies in development to address the inadequacies of the currently deployed technologies. If widely adopted, these technologies will change how technologies support organizations and individuals creating a whole new paradigm for computing, networking, and the security of our computing environment. Students will be researching the current state of several of the most significant emerging technologies. The course will consist of a combination of lectures where technologies will be presented and explained; independent labs, modeling and simulation exercises that will reinforce the students’ understanding of the technologies by allowing them to work with them in a hands-on fashion; and independent literature research do serve as a foundation for future work in this degree program.
3
 
Electives
6
Second Year
NSSA-714
Advanced Large-Scale Computing
Large organizations are dependent on the availability and reliability of computing services. The provisioning challenge is to cost-effectively manage the deployment of different kinds of software services in enterprise scale environments. This course explores systems architectures and deployment strategies for large-scale systems. Technologies discussed include public and private clouds, hybrid architectures, service oriented architectures, configuration management, virtualization, service discovery, load balancing, and system elasticity. The course is a combination of hands-on labs and lectures.
3
NSSA-790
MS Thesis
This course is a capstone course in the MS in computing decurity program. It offers students the opportunity to investigate a selected topic and make an original contribution which extends knowledge within the computing security domain. As part of their original work students will write and submit for publication an article to a peer reviewed journal or conference. Students must submit an acceptable proposal to a thesis committee (chair, reader, and observer) before they may be registered by the department for the MS Thesis. Students must defend their work in an open thesis defense and complete a written report of their work before a pass/fail grade is awarded.
6
 
Elective
3
Total Semester Credit Hours
30

Networking and Systems Administration (project option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ISTE-605
Scholarship in Information Sciences And Technologies
IST graduate students are expected to make a scholarly contribution as a requirement for the MS degree. The Scholarship in Information Sciences and Technologies course provides students with the fundamental skills needed to define and conduct a program of scholarly investigation in the form of a capstone or thesis project. The course focuses on skills such as academic writing, searching the literature, identifying and articulating interesting and important topics and problems, scholarship ethics, developing capstone proposals, critical thinking, and effective oral and written communication and presentation of scholarship.
3
NSSA-602
Enterprise Computing
This course explores enterprise systems (clouds, server farms, mainframes, and clusters/grids) from the environment, networking, storage, security, and system administration perspectives. Students in this course gain an understanding of the knowledge and concepts needed to manage, perform research in, and administrate those architectures.
3
NSSA-615
Advanced OOP for Networking and Systems Admins
This is a course in Object Oriented Programming. Students must have completed one year of OO programming prerequisite, as the course will presume that level of knowledge and will build from there. Multiple languages will be studied in this course. The languages chosen will have direct and immediate applicability to the field of Networking and Systems Administration program and will be chosen for their use in the topic areas of that degree program. Students will be quickly led through the primitive types and control structures of each language and immersed in significant projects using advanced language features. Note: Student must have one year of programming in an object oriented programming language.
3
NSSA-620
Emerging Computing and Networking Technologies
Computer networking and computer system technologies have dramatically changed the way that businesses operate and how they accomplish their organizational goals. Most of the current technologies used today have their roots in the early days of the internet and computing. The changes that have occurred since then have been largely at the margins, rather than developed in a wholesale fashion. As our discipline moves forward there are a substantial number of emerging technologies in development to address the inadequacies of the currently deployed technologies. If widely adopted, these technologies will change how technologies support organizations and individuals creating a whole new paradigm for computing, networking, and the security of our computing environment. Students will be researching the current state of several of the most significant emerging technologies. The course will consist of a combination of lectures where technologies will be presented and explained; independent labs, modeling and simulation exercises that will reinforce the students’ understanding of the technologies by allowing them to work with them in a hands-on fashion; and independent literature research do serve as a foundation for future work in this degree program.
3
 
Electives
6
Second Year
NSSA-714
Advanced Large Scale Computing
Large organizations are dependent on the availability and reliability of computing services. The provisioning challenge is to cost-effectively manage the deployment of different kinds of software services in enterprise scale environments. This course explores systems architectures and deployment strategies for large-scale systems. Technologies discussed include public and private clouds, hybrid architectures, service oriented architectures, configuration management, virtualization, service discovery, load balancing, and system elasticity. The course is a combination of hands-on labs and lectures.
3
NSSA-791
MS NSSA Project
This course is a capstone course in the MS NSA and MS IAF (Information Assurance and Forensics) programs. It offers students the opportunity to investigate a selected topic within the NSSA domain. The student will do this using and an applied laboratory approach. Students must submit an acceptable proposal to a project committee (chair, and reader) before they may be registered by the department for the MS NSSA Project. Students must defend their work in an open project defense and complete a written report of their work before a letter grade is awarded.
3
 
Electives
6
Total Semester Credit Hours
30

Electives

Course
ISTE-721
Information Assurance Fundamentals
This course provides an introduction to the topic of information assurance as it pertains to an awareness of the risks inherent in protecting digital content in today’s networked computing environments. Topics in secure data and information access will be explored from the perspectives of software development, software implementation, data storage, and system administration and network communications. The application of computing technologies, procedures and policies and the activities necessary to detect, document, and counter unauthorized data and system access will be explored. Effective implementation will be discussed and include topics from other fields such as management science, security engineering and criminology. A broad understanding of this subject is important for computing students who are involved in the architecting and creation of information and will include current software exploitation issues and techniques for information assurance.
ISTE-764
Project Management
Information technology projects require the application of sound project management principles in order to be developed on time, on budget, and on specification. This course takes students through the nine knowledge areas of modern project management and the utilization of project management principles in both traditional and agile environments.
NSSA-610
Advanced Wired Networking Concepts*
This course covers advanced networking technologies available to enterprises. Protocol options and their evolutions over the years, the growth in complexity and its impacts are explored in depth. Topics include: VLANs and VLAN Hierarchies, Loop- Avoidance in customer, provider and provider backbone networks such as RSTP and Shortest Path Bridging, IPv4 and IPv6 coexistence issues, Routing protocols with IPv4 and IPv6 for inter and intra-AS routing, MobileIP, queuing and Quality of service routing and congestion control in the Internet, MultiProtocol Label Switching, Routing and Switching in wireless networks
NSSA-611
Advanced Topics in Wireless Networks and Technologies*
The course is designed to provide comprehensive exposition to the challenges faced in wireless networks and technologies in the different protocol layers. Leading work conducted to address the challenges faced in the new techniques such as cross layered and integrated approaches will be covered. From the challenges perspective, case studies based on several upcoming wireless technologies and networks will be presented. In most cases, the standards efforts follow the deployment, which lags the research effort. Some of the standardization efforts and their impacts in industry deployment and the effect of research on standardization will be covered. This study will be based on case studies. Students will need one statistics course to be successful in this class.
NSSA-612
Network Modeling and Analysis*
The course provides comprehensive exposition of the core concepts in network modeling and simulation. It will cover both graph theoretical and statistical models of complex networks such as the Internet and social networks. It also introduces different types of modeling techniques and simulation tools. The course also systematically addresses some practical and theoretical considerations for developing complex modeling. It offers real world examples to illustrate the process of modeling to address specific problems.
NSSA-621
Design and Deployment of Wireless Networks
This course will take students through large scale wireless systems. It will also cover the significant access wireless networks. Important areas of concern will be contemporary and emerging Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) standards, cellular communication and other forms of wireless access such as wireless INTERNET service provision. Focal points for these areas will be protocol operation, network architecture, and security issues and solutions.
NSSA-710
Network Management
This course provides an introduction to network management concepts with hands-on laboratory sessions in developing network management applications and using it to study and analyze the performance of networks, data communications hardware and software, and use of these components in computer networks. Topics include but are not limited to introduction to network management concepts, the five basic network management functions namely fault management, configuration management, performance management, accounting management and security management, introduction to Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and its versions, Remote monitoring and different network management architectures.
NSSA-712
Advanced Storage Technologies
Data storage is an integral and essential component of every computer system and controlling access to storage resources is the basis for many security efforts. This course explores the spectrum of storage technologies and file and record management systems ranging from Direct Access Storage to Storage Area Networks (SAN) and cloud based object and record storage. We will also explore the impact of software defined storage on organization’s storage plans and implementation strategies. All storage systems present an abstracted version of the data blocks that reside on spinning disks and SSD cards. In this course we will look at the ways that abstraction can be used to create storage systems that meet the needs of modern organizations for resilient large scale storage systems.
NSSA-713
Enterprise Service Provisioning*
The distributed architectures used to support the highly variable workloads typical of web scale applications can only be maintained by converting configuration of those architectures to software. This course will explore some of the architectures, technologies and theories of service provision used to support software defined infrastructure and modern web scale applications. Some of the technologies discussed include containers, content versioning systems, and software testing as applied to configuration management and security as reflected in more reliable availability. The course will also include a discussion of promise theory and its application to large scale architectures. The course is a combination of hands-on labs and lectures.
NSSA-715
Network Design and Performance
This course will examine the design and performance of networks based on the top down approach. Students will learn to design networks based on identified business needs through a phased approach starting with requrements gathering and analysis, technical goals study, logical design, physical design followed by simulating the network and assessing the performance and optimizing the design. The designs include site, campus, and enterprise networks. Wide Area Network (WAN) technologies will be combined with Local Area Network (LAN) technologies in the design of enterprise networks. Students will learn to assess the business goals and their application to the network goals. Given the serious security threst faced in networks today, this course will provide a modular approach to designing security strategies for the network ground up in the design. The significance of network management to a design of a secure and manageable network will be discussed.
NSSA-716
Enterprise Mobile Computing
This course will cover technologies for web-based mobile cloud computing especially for business solutions. The course covers enterprise mobile computing architecture, emerging mobile computing technologies, operating system, and security. Also, the course discusses different applications of mobile computing in mobile ad hoc and sensor networks.

* Students are required to complete at least one theoretical course. These electives fulfill this requirement.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in networking and systems administration, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent). The GRE is recommended for those applicant’s whose undergraduate grade point average is less than 3.0.
  • Applicants from foreign universities must submit GRE scores.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 88 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.
  • Applicants with a lower TOEFL score may be admitted conditionally, but will be required to complete a prescribed program in English preparation along with a reduced program course load.

Bridge courses

Students must have solid backgrounds in computer programming, networking and systems administration theory and practice, and statistics. Students whose undergraduate preparation does not satisfy these prerequisites can make up deficiencies through additional study. The graduate program director will make recommendations on prerequisite course work. Formal acceptance into the program may be possible even though the applicant must complete bridge courses.

Bridge courses are not part of the required curriculum for the master’s degree. Grades for these courses are only included in the student's GPA if courses are completed after matriculation. Bridge course work can be designed in a variety of ways. Other courses can be substituted, or courses at other colleges can be applied. Contact the graduate program director for more information.

Learn about admissions and financial aid 

Additional Info

Study options

This program may be completed on a full- or part-time basis, through on-campus or online learning. Full-time students may be able to complete the program in two years; part-time students may take approximately four years.

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.