M.S. in Information Assurance


Program Description

This comprehensive, interdisciplinary program will prepare you as an expert in information assurance. You will be equipped with information security technologies and knowledge to support and protect the nation's information infrastructure and conduct advanced research. You will develop skills in both management and technical areas.

Program Highlights

  • Students are eligible to apply for the ​​Scholarship for Service ​scholarship from the National Science Foundation that includes a $34,000 stipend per year for up to two years, up to 24 credits of tuition per year, up to $2,000 for books and supplies per year, and up to $4,000 for professional development and travel to a cybersecurity job fair.
  • Offered as a five-year undergraduate/graduate combined program through the Information Systems Track.
  • Can be completed in 2-3 semesters
  • Graduate assistantships available.
  • Pre-requisite courses are available for those without a strong computing background.
  • Offered through the Department of Information Systems together with the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology.
  • Five-year track students are eligible to apply for one of 45 National Science Foundation STEM scholarships, a two-year grant that includes a $12,000 stipend.

Program Distinctions

  • All faculty hold a Ph.D. in their field.
  • Designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cybersecurity by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Designed using the Association for Computing and Machinery Model Curriculum and Guidelines and the National Security Agency Guidelines and Requirements.

Application Deadlines

  International Outside U.S. International Inside U.S.
Fall June 15 July 15
Spring September 15 November 15
Summer February 15 May 1

Popular Careers

  • Risk management
  • Software system security
  • Database security
  • Network security

University Facts & Stats

  • 60 graduate programs leading to graduate certificates, master’s and doctoral degrees
  • More than 200 graduate assistantships awarded per year
  • Graduate assistants receive up to a $9,250 stipend per year and tuition reimbursement for up to eight graduate credits per semester.

Requirements and Details

A baccalaureate degree in information systems, computer science, computer engineering, computer networking, telecommunication or related programs is preferred. A baccalaureate degree or higher in any field with two years of work experience in the information systems field is also considered.

Lack of an information system or computer science background is usually not a major concern since prerequisite courses are available if needed.

A background in the sciences and mathematics is essential.

Strong communication skills, verbal and written are needed for coursework demands.

Fully-qualified applicants will have one year of programming experience and have taken courses that cover the following topics:

  • Database modeling
  • Network structure/architecture
  • Operating systems theory
  • Discrete structures
  • Statistics

Five-Year B.A./M.S. Track

The Five-Year Information Systems Track is an accelerated, rigorous program option available to St. Cloud State undergraduates who maintain a 3.0 GPA and who show the ability and discipline necessary to successfully complete an accelerated combination undergraduate program in Information Systems and graduate program in Information Assurance.

  • Students may complete the Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and Master of Science in Information Assurance with nine fewer required semester credits than if they chose to take the BS and MS through the traditional tracks.
  • Students interested in the five-year track are encouraged to begin a discussion with the Information Assurance graduate directory early in the sophomore year. This will allow for the correct selection of course work.
  • Students should apply and are eligible to be granted early provisional admission to graduate school upon successful completion of the undergraduate requirements detailed below:
    • After completing or registering for the 21 required core credits of IS 250, IS 356, IS 363, IS 443, IS 450, IS 451, and IS 460, and before taking 500-level classes, students should apply formally to the School of Graduate Studies.
    • Following provisional graduate admission, students may select nine credits from any 500 level IS elective courses during the fourth year of the program.
  • Provisionally admitted students will be coded as five-year students and a degree audit (DARS) created to reflect the requirements of the accelerated track.
  • Students remain in undergraduate student status through the fourth year of the program which may affect financial aid eligibility. In addition, students will need to request permission and override to enroll in graduate-level courses through submission of the Undergraduate Permission to Enroll form.
  • Credits completed at the graduate level are used to fulfill requirements at the undergraduate level.
  • All credits required for the graduate degree will be completed at the graduate level.
  • Students may opt-out early with a bachelor’s degree provided certain course requirements are satisfied. Graduate-level courses used to complete the undergraduate degree may not be applicable to a graduate degree program in the future.
  • Students may enroll in culminating project credits, such as thesis, starred paper, or internship courses between their fourth and fifth years. Students are encouraged to begin work on their culminating project during the summer between their fourth and fifth years.
  • Five-year students are eligible for graduate assistantship funding after completion of the Bachelor’s degree.
  • Students must maintain at a minimum a 3.0 GPA in all 500- and 600-level courses

Program students are eligible to apply for one of 45 National Science Foundation STEM scholarships, a two-year grant that includes a $12,000 stipend.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

At St. Cloud State, an education is about far more than an education. It will be an opportunity to explore ideas, seek out unique perspectives and embrace new challenges – all of which will help you u ... Read More

At St. Cloud State, an education is about far more than an education. It will be an opportunity to explore ideas, seek out unique perspectives and embrace new challenges – all of which will help you unleash your true potential. You will make life-long memories on our 100-acre campus along the scenic Mississippi River. Futures that begin here might seem unassuming at first, but like the mighty Mississippi River, they quickly gather strength. Growing. Surging. Until they're seemingly unstoppable. If you're looking for choice, we've got that covered. We have more than 200 undergraduate programs of study and more than 60 graduate programs, holding nearly every available national accreditation. Founded in 1869, St. Cloud State has evolved into a comprehensive university. We're on a mission to unleash ideas, unleash imagination, purpose, and promise. Read less
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