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Course content

Program overview

Developers of computing systems and practitioners in all computing disciplines need an understanding of the critical importance of building security and survivability into the hardware and software of computing systems they design, rather than trying to add it on once these systems have been designed, developed, and installed.

The MS in computing security gives students an understanding of the technological and ethical roles of computing security in today's society and its importance across the breadth of computing disciplines. Students can develop a specialization in one of several security-related areas by selecting technical electives under the guidance of a faculty adviser. The program enables students to develop a strong theoretical and practical foundation in secure computing, preparing them for leadership positions in both the private and public sectors of the computing security industry, for academic or research careers in computing security, or to pursue a more advanced degree in a computing discipline.

Plan of study

The program is designed for students who have an undergraduate computing degree in an area such as computing security, computer science, information technology, networking, 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. The curriculum consists of three required core courses, up to 6 technical electives (depending on the capstone option chosen), and a capstone thesis, project, or capstone course for a total of 30 semester credit hours.


Students are required to choose up to six technical electives, from:
-Advanced Computer Forensics
-Web Server and Application Security Audits
-Mobile Device Forensics
-Information Security Risk Management
-Sensor and SCADA Security
-Computer System Security
-Computer Viruses and Malicious Software
-Network Security
-Covert Communications
-Information Security Policy and Law
-Information Assurance Fundamentals
-Secure Data Management
-Secure Coding
-Foundations of Cryptography
-Foundations of Security Measurement and Evaluation
-Foundations of Intelligent Security Systems
-Advanced Cryptography
-Hardware and Software Design for Cryptographic Applications


Thesis/project/capstone course options differ in course sequence, see the website for a particular course's module information.

Other admission requirements

-Have a minimum grade point average equivalent to a 3.0/4.0.
-Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
-Submit a minimum of two recommendations from individuals who are well-qualified to assess the applicant's potential for success, and complete a graduate application.
-International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Minimum scores of 570 (paper-based) or 88 (Internet-based) are required. Applicants who have completed undergraduate study at foreign universities must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. GRE scores are also recommended for applicants whose undergraduate GPA is below 3.0.
-Applicants must satisfy prerequisite requirements in mathematics (integral calculus, discrete mathematics), statistics, natural sciences (physics, chemistry, etc.), and computing (programming, computer networking theory and practice, and systems administration theory and practice).

Bridge program

Students whose undergraduate preparation or employment experience does not satisfy the prerequisites required for the program may make up deficiencies through additional study. Bridge course work, designed to close gaps in a student's preparation, can be completed either before or after enrolling in the program as advised by the graduate program director. Generally, formal acceptance into the program is deferred until the applicant has made significant progress through this additional preparation.

If completed through academic study, bridge courses must be completed with a grade of B (3.0) or better. Courses with lower grades must be repeated. Bridge courses are not counted toward the 30 credit hours required for the master's degree. However, grades earned from bridge courses taken at RIT are included in a student's graduate grade point average. A bridge program can be designed in different ways. Courses may be substituted based upon availability, and courses at other colleges may be applied. All bridge course work must be approved in advance by the graduate program director.

Additional information

Study options:
Students may pursue the degree on a full-time basis, on-campus only.

The program faculty are actively engaged in consulting and research in various areas of secure computing and information assurance, such as cryptography, databases, networking, secure software development, and critical infrastructure security. There are opportunities for students to participate in research activities towards capstone completion or as independent study work.

Maximum time limit:
University policy requires that graduate programs be completed within seven years of the student's initial registration for courses in the program. Bridge courses are excluded.

Visit the Computing Security MS page on the Rochester Institute of Technology USA website for more details!




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