Computing Security Master of Science Degree

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

$88.3K

Median 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.


Students are also interested in: Computer Science MS, Information Technology and Analytics MS, Cybersecurity Adv. Cert., Computing and Information Sciences Ph.D., Data Science MS, Computer Engineering MS

This program is also offered online. View Online Option.
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Careers and Cooperative Education

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

Salary and Career Information for Computing Security MS

Cooperative Education

Cooperative education, or co-op for short, is full-time, paid work experience in your field of study. And it sets RIT graduates apart from their competitors. It’s exposure–early and often–to a variety of professional work environments, career paths, and industries. RIT co-op is designed for your success.

Cooperative education is optional but strongly encouraged for graduate students in the computing security MS degree.

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 gain in depth knowledge of cryptography and authentication. Students will explore various cryptographic algorithms and authentication protocols, focusing on their design and implementation. Students will also work on a research or implementation project, based on cryptographic algorithms and/or authentication protocols. The applications of cryptography and authentication in the areas of computer networks and systems will also be investigated. (Prerequisite: MATH-190 or equivalent course.) 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: CSEC-600 or equivalent course. 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 one of the capstone options 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. 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. As part of their original work, students are expected to write and submit an article for publication in a peer reviewed journal or conference. (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 gain in depth knowledge of cryptography and authentication. Students will explore various cryptographic algorithms and authentication protocols, focusing on their design and implementation. Students will also work on a research or implementation project, based on cryptographic algorithms and/or authentication protocols. The applications of cryptography and authentication in the areas of computer networks and systems will also be investigated. (Prerequisite: MATH-190 or equivalent course.) 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: CSEC-600 or equivalent course. 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 one of the capstone options in the MS in Computing Security program. It offers students the opportunity to investigate a selected topic within the computing security domain. A project involves some type of practical development with a deliverable. This may include development with computer equipment, software packages, and programming/scripting languages. Alternately, it may be the development and demonstration of an innovative process that addresses a current computing security issue or problem. Students must submit an acceptable proposal to a project committee (chair, and reader) before they may be registered by the department for the MS in CSEC 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. A well-written professional report is required that details current thinking on the topic in the professional literature, the design and implementation of development that was done, and a critical evaluation of the results. (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 gain in depth knowledge of cryptography and authentication. Students will explore various cryptographic algorithms and authentication protocols, focusing on their design and implementation. Students will also work on a research or implementation project, based on cryptographic algorithms and/or authentication protocols. The applications of cryptography and authentication in the areas of computer networks and systems will also be investigated. (Prerequisite: MATH-190 or equivalent course.) 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: CSEC-600 or equivalent course. 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
This course is one of the capstone options in the MS in Computing Security program. Students will apply their knowledge to solve real world problems in the areas of computing security. Students will work on a semester-long project involving some type of practical development with a deliverable. This may include development with computer equipment, software packages, and programming or scripting languages. Alternately, it may be the development and demonstration of an innovative process that addresses a current computing security issue or problem. A well-written professional report is required that details current thinking on the topic in the professional literature, the design and implementation of development that was done, and a critical evaluation of the results. The students will also present their findings in an open forum. Students are expected to submit a short proposal before they can be enrolled in the class. (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.
  • Not all programs require the submission of scores from entrance exams (GMAT or GRE). Please refer to the Graduate Admission Deadlines and Requirements page for more information.
  • 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

  • December 1, 2021

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    From floppy disks to the cloud

    In 2001, the dot-com bubble was bursting and investors had lost confidence in internet companies. Twenty years later, data has become a new currency, and people can access just about anything from their smartphones. Throughout all these changes, GCCIS has evolved into the largest college at RIT, with more than 4,600 students this year. Since its creation 20 years ago, GCCIS has awarded more than 14,000 degrees—in a growing number of computing disciplines.

  • October 18, 2021

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    Alumnus Austin McChord creates endowed awards for creative RIT students and professors

    RIT alumnus and founder of Datto Austin McChord is creating four endowment awards to support RIT students and professors. In naming the awards, McChord is honoring his grade school teachers from his hometown school district in Newtown, Conn. The endowments are made possible as part of a $50 million donation that McChord made to RIT in 2017.

  • 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.