The Master of Science in Information Assurance & Cybersecurity is a 30 credit-hour degree program at Nova Southeastern University's College of Computing and Engineering. Offered online and on-campus in South Florida, the Master of Science in Information Assurance & Cybersecurity degree program is designed for someone who wants to focus on Network Security Engineering by obtaining the necessary skills and abilities for the design of secure network infrastructures and security analysis of network traffic.
The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has certified that NSU's curriculum in information security meets or exceeds the requirements and standards expected of a leader in cybersecurity research and education. In particular, NSA and DHS recognized that NSU's graduate curriculum met the additional requirements for educational specializations in Network Security Engineering and Security Policy Development and Compliance. As a result of this recognition, federal agencies may sponsor civilian and military personnel to take the school's certified graduate courses. Individuals may apply to take one or more certified information security courses as non-degree students. NSU is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE/CD) education, and NSU’s CCE is hosting the Center for Information Protection, Education, and Research (CIPhER). NSU first received this designation in March 2005 amongst the first in the State of Florida.
Students can select to take online or on-campus classes. Online classes can be taken from anywhere in the world where Internet access is available. NSU utilizes Canvas as the learning management system to deliver online course content. On-campus classes are held on the main campus in Fort Lauderdale. Each on-campus class meets once a week from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. All M.S. programs employ a three-term format: Fall (16-week term starting in August), Winter (17-week term starting in January) and Summer (12-week term starting in May).
A graduate with an M.S. in Information Assurance & Cybersecurity will have the ability to (1) describe the primary types of access control and the potential applications of each type; (2) demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental concepts, technologies, and challenges of telecommunications and network security; (3) demonstrate an understanding of the key concepts of information security governance and risk management, including current best practices in business continuity and disaster recovery planning; (4) describe the components of effective security architecture and the various security models that can be used in the design of secure architectures; (5) possess an understanding of the major cryptographic algorithms used in information security and how each can be effectively integrated into a secure information infrastructure; (6) understand the common techniques to achieve effective physical security of protected information systems.
The Master of Science in Information Assurance & Cybersecurity degree is designed for students with undergraduate majors in computer science, information systems, information technology, engineering, mathematics, or physics. Applicants must have knowledge of data structures and algorithms, assembly language and computer architecture, structured programming in a modern high-level language, and discrete mathematics. Applicants who do not have an adequate background may be required to take one or more of the following 500-level graduate courses during the first two terms of the student's program:
- CISC 500 Java Programming Language
- CISC 501 Computer Organization and Architecture
- CISC 502 Mathematics in Computing
- CISC 503 Data Structures and Algorithms
These are in addition to the required credit hours at the 600 level. Courses at the 500 level, when required, must be completed prior to taking courses at the 600 level. All 500-level courses must be completed with a grade of 'B' or higher to continue in the program. CISC 500/501 is a prerequisite to CISC 503.
The required courses are listed below. Students must take all 10 required courses. Students who wish to take an elective (above the 10 required courses) must request approval from the program office prior to registration. Students who opt to do a thesis must take all required courses aside from ISEC 690, and take 6 thesis credits (total 33 credits). Plans for the thesis option must be made in conjunction with and approved by, the program office.
Core Courses (three credits each)
- CISC 640 Operating Systems
- CISC 650 Computer Networks
- CISC 680 Software Engineering
- ISEC 615 Fundamentals of Cybersecurity
- ISEC 620 Applied Cryptography
- ISEC 640 Database Security
- ISEC 650 Computer and Network Forensics
- ISEC 660 Advanced Network Security
- ISEC 690 Information Security Project
- MSIT 630 Database Systems
- Online application.
- $50 application fee (nonrefundable).
- An earned bachelor’s degree with a GPA of at least 2.5 from a regionally accredited institution and with an appropriate major.
- Sealed official transcripts from all institutions attended.
- A résumé.
- Chief security officer.
- Information systems security officer.
- Network security administrator.
- Security analyst.
About the School
NSU's College of Computing and Engineering supports niche specializations and enjoys a stellar national reputation.