Computing Security Master of science degree

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In this cyber security master's degree, you'll develop a solid foundation in the knowledge and skills you need to protect and defend information systems from cyber attacks. 


95%

Outcome Rate of RIT Graduates

$86.3K

Average First-Year Salary of RIT Graduates


Overview

There is critical importance to building security and survivability into the hardware and software of computing systems as they are designed and developed, 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. This cybersecurity masters enables students to develop a strong theoretical and practical foundation in secure computing, preparing them for leadership positions in the computing security industry, academia, or research careers, or to pursue a more advanced degree in a computing discipline.

The cyber security master's program is designed for students who have an undergraduate computing degree in an area 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 program is offered online and on campus.

The curriculum consists of three required core courses, up to six technical electives (depending on the capstone option chosen), and a thesis, project, or capstone course.

Electives

Students can develop a specialization in one of several security-related areas by selecting technical electives under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Students are required to choose up to six technical electives.

This program is also offered online. View Online Option.

Typical Job Titles

Associate Detection and Response Engineer, Backend Developer, Cyber Defense Solutions Engineer, Cyber Security Analyst, Cyber Security Consultant, GRC Consultant, Incident Response Analyst, Information Technology Analyst, Security Engineer, Systems Engineer

Featured Profiles

Curriculum for Computing Security MS

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

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
CSEC-604
Cryptography and Authentication
In this course, students will learn in depth knowledge of cryptography and authentication. Students will explore various cryptography algorithms, authentication protocols, and their design and implementation. Students will work on a project to implement a cryptographic algorithm and/or an authentication protocol. The applications of cryptography and authentications in the areas of computer networks and systems and information assurance will also be investigated. (This course is restricted to students in the COMPSEC-MS program.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
CSEC-742
Computer System Security
The importance of effective security policies and procedures coupled with experience and practice is emphasized and reinforced through research and practical assignments. Organization and management of security discipline and response to threats is studied. Case studies of effective and failed security planning and implementation will be examined and analyzed. The issues influencing proper and appropriate planning for security and response to attacks will be studied. To be successful in this course students should be knowledgeable in networking, systems, and security technologies. (Prerequisites: This course is restricted to BS/MS students in Computing Security and students in the COMPSEC-MS program.) Lab 2, Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
 
Research Electives
6
 
Advanced Electives
6
Second Year
CSEC-790
MS Thesis
This course is a capstone course in the MS in computing security 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. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Thesis (Fall, Spring, Summer).
6
 
Advanced Electives
6
Total Semester Credit Hours
30

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

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
CSEC-604
Cryptography and Authentication
In this course, students will learn in depth knowledge of cryptography and authentication. Students will explore various cryptography algorithms, authentication protocols, and their design and implementation. Students will work on a project to implement a cryptographic algorithm and/or an authentication protocol. The applications of cryptography and authentications in the areas of computer networks and systems and information assurance will also be investigated. (This course is restricted to students in the COMPSEC-MS program.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
CSEC-742
Computer System Security
The importance of effective security policies and procedures coupled with experience and practice is emphasized and reinforced through research and practical assignments. Organization and management of security discipline and response to threats is studied. Case studies of effective and failed security planning and implementation will be examined and analyzed. The issues influencing proper and appropriate planning for security and response to attacks will be studied. To be successful in this course students should be knowledgeable in networking, systems, and security technologies. (Prerequisites: This course is restricted to BS/MS students in Computing Security and students in the COMPSEC-MS program.) Lab 2, Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
 
Research Electives
6
 
Advanced Electives
6
Second Year
CSEC-791
MS Project
This course is a capstone course in the MS in computing security program. It offers students the opportunity to investigate a selected topic within the computing security domain. The student may complete a project for real world application or in a laboratory environment. Students must submit an acceptable proposal to a project committee (chair, and reader) before they may be registered by the department for the MS 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. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Project (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
 
Advanced Electives
9
Total Semester Credit Hours
30

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

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
CSEC-604
Cryptography and Authentication
In this course, students will learn in depth knowledge of cryptography and authentication. Students will explore various cryptography algorithms, authentication protocols, and their design and implementation. Students will work on a project to implement a cryptographic algorithm and/or an authentication protocol. The applications of cryptography and authentications in the areas of computer networks and systems and information assurance will also be investigated. (This course is restricted to students in the COMPSEC-MS program.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
CSEC-742
Computer System Security
The importance of effective security policies and procedures coupled with experience and practice is emphasized and reinforced through research and practical assignments. Organization and management of security discipline and response to threats is studied. Case studies of effective and failed security planning and implementation will be examined and analyzed. The issues influencing proper and appropriate planning for security and response to attacks will be studied. To be successful in this course students should be knowledgeable in networking, systems, and security technologies. (Prerequisites: This course is restricted to BS/MS students in Computing Security and students in the COMPSEC-MS program.) Lab 2, Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
 
Research Electives
6
 
Advanced Electives
6
Second Year
CSEC-793
Capstone for Computing Security
Students will apply their knowledge learned through the program to solve real world problems various areas of computing security. Large size projects will be defined for students to work on throughout the semester. At the end of semester students will present their results and demonstrate their knowledge and skills in problem solving and critical thinking in a setting open to the public. (Enrollment in this course requires permission from the department offering the course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
 
Advanced Electives
9
Total Semester Credit Hours
30

Admission Requirements

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

  • Complete an online graduate application. Refer to Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements for information on application deadlines, entry terms, and more.
  • Submit copies of official transcript(s) (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work, including any transfer credit earned.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or US equivalent) from an accredited university or college 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).
  • Recommended minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent).
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • One letter of recommendation is required. Refer to Application Instructions and Requirements for additional information. 
  • For entrance exam requirements (GMAT or GRE), refer to Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements.
  • Submit a personal statement of educational objectives. Refer to Application Instructions and Requirements for additional information.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit official test scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. Students below the minimum requirement may be considered for conditional admission. Refer to Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements for additional information on English requirements. International applicants may be considered for an English test requirement waiver. Refer to Additional Requirements for International Applicants to review waiver eligibility.

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. For more information on the bridge program, please consult the Computer Security MS Handbook.

Learn about admissions, cost, and financial aid 

Research

Computing security 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.

In addition, the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences is home to some of the world’s leading researchers in cybersecurity. Researchers explore attacking and defending, and developing next generation solutions for industry and individuals. Learn more about ongoing research at the college’s Global Cybersecurity Institute.

Latest News

  • May 10, 2021

    students sitting at desks working on computers in a large conference room.

    CloudCover donates $500,000 to name Global Cybersecurity Institute conference center

    CloudCover, an automated intelligence-driven cybersecurity platform, has made a $500,000 gift to name the conference center in RIT’s new Global Cybersecurity Institute (GCI). The CloudCover Conference Center serves as a central space for cybersecurity-related events and meetings with industry, students, government, and organizations.

  • April 28, 2021

    exterior view of three-story building with glass front.

    Cybersecurity complex open for business

    The cyber pandemic is just one of many cybersecurity issues that RIT experts are working to address in the new Global Cybersecurity Institute (GCI). Late last fall, the GCI opened the doors to its 52,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility on campus. With the institute, RIT is on its way to becoming one of the best places in the world for cybersecurity education, training, and research.

  • April 7, 2021

    professor speaking into microphone.

    What We Watched and Facebook Data Breached  

    The Earl David Reed, Megan and Pat radio show, on WAIO-FM (95.1), features Jonathan Weissman, senior lecturer in the Department of Computing Security, discussing the recent Facebook data breach. The segment begins at the 14-minute mark.