MSc in Computing Security and Information Assurance
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. This curriculum addresses these concerns by drawing on the expertise of the faculty from the departments that make up the Golisano College.
The MS in computing security and information assurance includes a foundation of seven core courses designed to give students a better understanding of the technological and ethical roles of computer security in society. Students then 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 the faculty. This cross-disciplinary program enables graduates to develop a strong foundation, preparing them for leadership positions in both the private and public sectors in the computer security industry or for an advanced degree. Students also can prepare for academic or research careers in computer security and information assurance, as well as further academic study.
Faculty members in the contributing departments are actively engaged in consulting and research in the information assurance areas, including cryptography, databases, networking, and software engineering. There are many opportunities for graduate students to participate in these research activities toward a thesis or independent study work.
The MS in computing security and information assurance 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.
Graduate courses in computing security and information assurance are generally offered in the afternoon and evening. Some of our graduate students are employed and are pursuing the degree on a part-time basis. A full-time student, one who takes three courses per quarter, may be able to complete the course work in five quarters; part-time students can 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.
Because the program encompasses a wide variety of technical disciplines, students with diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Undergraduate preparation leading to a bachelor of science degree in computer science, software engineering, information technology, computer engineering, electrical engineering, applied mathematics, or computer engineering technology usually is required. However, exceptional students from other fields may be admitted on a contingent basis. Applicants should have a minimum grade point average of 3.0.
Applicants must have a strong record of academic achievement from their undergraduate institution, as indicated by official transcripts, proficiency on the Graduate Record Examination, and strong recommendations from at least two well-qualified individuals who are able to assess the student’s potential for success in the program. It is expected that applicants will achieve minimum scores of 650 (quantitative), 500 (verbal), and 4.5 (analytical reasoning) on the GRE.
Applicants from foreign universities will be required to submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language. A minimum score of at least 570 (paper-based), 230 (computer-based), or 88 (Internet-based) is required.
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Last updated April 25, 2018