Information Assurance

Other Information

Graduate Catalog: Information Assurance

  • Admission requirements
  • Program details
  • Course descriptions

Application Deadlines

Department: Information Systems and Computer Science and Information Technology

Graduate Director:
Dr. Susantha Herath

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Information Assurance program is a joint development between the Herberger Business School and the College of Science and Engineering through the Departments of Information Systems and Computer Networking Applications.  The program is designed to prepare information assurance and security professionals to work in a wide variety of capacities both in management and technical fields, to support and protect the nation’s information infrastructure, and conduct advanced research. Competencies will be developed in both management and technical areas such as policies, risk management, software system security, database security and network security. 

Length of Program - Measured by Semesters

  • Part-time student: five to six semesters taking six credits per semester
  • Full-time student: four semesters taking eight credits per semester 

Graduate Assistantship Overview

  • Two graduate assistantship positions are generally sponsored each year, and are available both fall and spring semesters.
  • Graduate assistants in information assurance mainly provide instructional and research assistance to MSIA faculty. 

Admission Information

  • Admission is competitive.
  • A solid undergraduate academic record is of vital importance. 
  • Recommendations are reviewed with care.
  • A baccalaureate degree in information systems, computer science, computer engineering, computer networking, telecommunication or related programs is preferred.
  • Lack of a information systems 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 taken courses that cover the following topics:
    • Database modeling, network structure/architecture
    • Operating systems, theory
    • Discrete structures and one year of programming
    • Statistics
  • Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year.  An admitted student will be offered the next available term.
  • Students may start the program in fall, spring and summer terms.  
  • International applicants should apply EARLY as a final admission decision may take up to three weeks to receive and then another 4 weeks for I-20's to be issued and received in a home country.


Earn your UG & GRAD degree in Five Years:  4+1 Opportunity for SCSU Undergraduates

The Five-Year Information Systems Track is an accelerated, rigorous program option available to SCSU undergraduates 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 BS in Information Systems and MS 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 discussion with the Information Assurance graduate coordinator early in the sophomore year. 
  • This will allow for correct selection of course work. 
  • Students should apply and are eligible to be granted early conditional 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.
    • Only nine credits from IS 558, IS 559, IS 571, IS 572, IS 574, IS 581, and IS 583 will be double counted towards the BS and MS. Students must obtain approval through a petition form reviewed by the graduate dean to take these courses to ensure double counting.
  • Students may enroll in the thesis, starred paper, or internship courses between their fourth and fifth years.  Students will be encouraged to begin work on their culminating project during the summer between their fourth and fifth years.
  • Students may opt out early with a BS provided that certain course requirements are satisfied.
  • Five-year students are eligible for graduate assistantship funding after completion of the Bachelor of Science degree.
  • Students must maintain at a minimum a 3.0 GPA in all 500- and 600-level courses.

Graduate Admission Requirements Specific to the 5-year Program

  • Must be a SCSU undergraduate with an overall GPA of 3.00 or higher on his/her SCSU transcript.
  • Completed the required undergraduate 21 credits of core Information Systems course work.

To apply:

The 5-year Track Curriculum

In addition to the undergraduate core above, students will complete an 18-credit graduate core, various elective requirements and plan requirements. 
The requirements for each plan are listed below:

Plan A (Thesis)
30 credit minimum of course work

  • 15 credits of core courses
  • IA 699 Thesis, 6 cr.
  • A minimum of 9  credits of elective courses 

Plan B (Starred Paper)
33 credit minimum of course work

  • 15 credits of core courses
  • IA 697 Starred Paper, 3 cr.
  • A minimum of 15 credits of elective courses

Core: Plan A  or  Plan B,  15 credits minimum

  • IA 606 Security and Cryptography Protocols, 3 cr.
  •  IA 612 Intrusion Detection and Prevention, 3 cr.
  •  IA 643 Database Application Security and Auditing, 3 cr.
  • IA 673 Security Policy and IT Risk Management, 3 cr.
  • IA 681 Digital Forensics and Ethics, 3 cr.

Electives: Plan A , 9 credits minimum,   Plan B,  15 credits minimum

  • IS 558 IS Innovation and New Technologies, 3 cr.
  • IS 559 Topic in Information systems, 3 cr.
  • IS 571 IT Audit and Controls, 3 cr.
  • IS 572 IT Security and Risk Management, 3 cr.
  • IS 574 Management and Evaluation of Encryption Techniques, 3 cr.
  • IS 581 Introductions to Computer Forensics, 3 cr.
  • IS 583 Client/Server Security, 3 cr.
  • IA 644  Internship, 3 cr.
  • IA 659  Advanced Topics in Information Assurance, 3 cr.
  • IA 680  Seminar in Information Assurance, 3 cr.
  • IA 683  Application Layer Security, 3 cr.
  • IA 693  Secure Electronic Commerce, 3 cr.
  • MBA 640 Advanced IT Security Management, 3 cr.
  • MBA 634 Information Technology Management, 3 cr.
  • CNA 535 Firewall Security, 3 cr.
  • CNA 540 Applied Public Key Infrastructure, 3 cr.
  • CNA 551 Data Network Design, 3 cr.
  • CNA 573 Operational Software Safeguards, 3 cr.
  • CNA 574 Advanced Network Programming, 3 cr.
  • CNA 585 Contemporary, 3 cr.
  • CNA 601 Special Topics in Computer Networking, 3 cr.
  • CNA 650 Research in Applied Computer Networking, 3 cr.

Note: Either CNA 585 or CNA 601, but not both, may receive credit.