Cybersecurity and Information Assurance

The Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance (CIA) is a 30-credit hour graduate degree offered by the Department of Computer and Information Science (CIS). This initiative reflects the University’s eagerness to address rising needs of cybersecurity professionals in both the private and public sectors. The CIA program educates and trains an elite, diverse group of students who want to pursue a career in cybersecurity, such as cybersecurity analysts/specialists, cybersecurity engineers, network engineers/architects, software developers, etc. The program will also benefit anyone on this campus who is interested in advancing their knowledge of computer security and privacy, and it will offer a great opportunity for interdisciplinary inquiry and teaching.

This program can be completed fully online, in person, or a combination of both.


To satisfy the requirements for the MS degree in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance, all students admitted to the program are expected to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate coursework, with a cumulative grade point average of B or better. The program of study consists of core courses, concentration courses and electives with coursework/project/thesis options. Students are required to choose one of the following three concentration areas for the program: (1) Network & System Security, (2) Data & Application Security, and (3) Software Security.

1Please contact the Computer and Information Science Department about the policy on the minimum grade for a course to satisfy graduation requirements

Option 1: MS Coursework. This option requires a minimum of 30 credits be earned through coursework. The minimum requirements are as follows:

  • Core courses - 9 credit hours
  • Concentration courses -12 credit hours
  • Elective courses - 9 credit hours

Option 2: MS Project. This option requires a project report describing the results of an independent study project under the supervision of the advisor. The minimum requirements are as follows:

  • Core courses - 9 credit hours
  • Concentration courses -12 credit hours
  • Elective courses - 6 credit hours
  • Master’s Project - 3 credit hours

Option 3: MS Thesis. This option requires a research thesis prepared under the supervision of the advisor. The minimum requirements are as follows:

  • Core courses - 9 credit hours
  • One concentration area - 12 credit hours
  • Elective courses - 3 credit hours
  • Master’s Thesis - 6 credit hours


Core Courses

Foundation of Information Security
Enterprise Information Systems
Select one of the following:3
Information Technology Auditing
Security and Privacy in Wireless Networks
Security and Privacy in Cloud Computing
Total credit hours9
Elective Courses
The following specializations are provided for guidance only. Students are allowed to select elective courses from the same or different specializations. An elective course should not be the same as any course taken to satisfy concentration course requirements.
  • Option 1: MS Coursework. Choose 9 credit hours (or 3 courses) from the following list below
  •  Option 2: MS Project. Choose 6 credit hours (or 2 courses) from the following list below and CIS 695 Master's Project for 3 credits.
  •  Option 3: MS Thesis. Choose 3 credit hours (or 1 course) from the following list below and CIS 699 Master’s Thesis for 6 credits.
Specialization 1: Security, Privacy, Forensics, and Auditing
ACC 505Devel & Interp Financial Info3
CIS 544Computer and Network Security3
CIS 545Data Security and Privacy3
CIS 546Security and Privacy in Wireless Networks3
CIS 548Security and Privacy in Cloud Computing3
CIS 549Software Security3
CIS 584Advanced Computer and Network Security3
ECE 527Multimedia Secur & Forensics3
HHS 570Information Science and Ethics3
ISM 642Information Assurance3
Specialization 2: Systems, Networks and Communications
CIS 527Computer Networks3
CIS 537Advanced Networking and Distributed Systems3
CIS 574Compiler Design3
CIS 578Advanced Operating Systems3
CIS 589Edge Computing3
CIS 647Research Advances in Networking and Distributed Systems3
ECE 526Multimedia Comm Sys3
ECE 535Mob Dev & Ubiqys Comp Sys3
ECE 550Communication Theory3
ECE 5541Embedded Networks3
ECE 570Computer Networks3
ECE 5701Intro to Wireless Comm3
ECE 5702High-Speed and Adv Networks3
ECE 531Intelligent Vehicle Systems3
ISM 525Computer and Info Systems3
Specialization 3: Data Management, Analytics, and Intelligent Systems
CIS 536Text Mining and Information Retrieval3
CIS 556Database Systems3
CIS 5570Introduction to Big Data3
CIS 562Web Information Management3
CIS 568Data Mining3
CIS 5700Advanced Data Mining3
CIS 579Artificial Intelligence3
CIS 581Computational Learning3
CIS 583Deep Learning3
CIS 585Advanced Artificial Intelligence3
CIS 586Advanced Data Management3
CIS 658Research Advances in Data Management3
ECE 531Intelligent Vehicle Systems3
ECE 537Data Mining3
ECE 552Fuzzy Systems3
ECE 579Intelligent Systems3
ECE 5831Pat Rec & Neural Netwks3
Specialization 4: Software Engineering
CIS 505Algorithm Analysis and Design3
CIS 525Web Technology3
CIS 535Wireless Technologies and Pervasive Computing3
CIS 550Object-Oriented Programming and Its Applications3
CIS 553Software Engineering3
CIS 565Software Quality Assurance3
CIS 566Software Architecture and Design Patterns3
CIS 571Web Services3
CIS 575Software Engineering Mgmt3
CIS 577S/W User Interface Dsgn&Analys3
CIS 580Data Analytics in Software Engineering3
CIS 678Research Advances in Software Engineering3
CIS 577S/W User Interface Dsgn&Analys3
Specialization 5: Human Computer Interface Design
IMSE 514Multivariate Statistics3
IMSE 559System Simulation3
IMSE 577Human-Computer Interaction3
IMSE 586Big Data Aanal & Visuliztn3
HCDE 530Information Visualization3
HCDE 540Integrated Design Thinking and Implementation in Business 3
HCDE 510Foundation of HCDE3
HCDE 501Human Factors and Ergonomics3


12 credit hours from one of the three concentrations listed below:

Data and Application Security

Data Security and Privacy
Select three from the following:9
Security and Privacy in Cloud Computing
Database Systems
Introduction to Big Data
Data Mining
Computational Learning
Multimedia Secur & Forensics
Information Science and Ethics
Information Assurance
Total credit hours12

Network and System Security

Computer and Network Security
Select three from the following:9
Computer Networks
Wireless Technologies and Pervasive Computing
Advanced Networking and Distributed Systems
Security and Privacy in Wireless Networks
Advanced Operating Systems
Advanced Computer and Network Security
Research Advances in Computer and Network Security
Embedded Networks
Total credit hours12

Software Security

Software Security
Select three from the following:9
Web Technology
Software Engineering
Software Quality Assurance
Software Architecture and Design Patterns
Compiler Design
Advanced Operating Systems
Artificial Intelligence
Data Analytics in Software Engineering
Total credit hours12

Learning Goals

  1. Students will be able to understand fundamentals and the state of the art of cyber technology, their security and privacy risks, and defenses.
  2. Students will be able to analyze and evaluate potential security risks of computer and information systems.
  3. Students will be able to design, coordinate, and deliver cybersecurity solutions in a timely and cost-effective manner.
  4. Students will be able to interpret security risks and solutions and communicate the implications to stakeholder