Information Assurance Program College of Computer and Information Science Northeastern University

Information Assurance Program College of Computer and Information Science Northeastern University


Information Assurance Graduate Programs at a Center for Excellence

The College of Computer and Information Science (CCIS) at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, offers online and on-campus graduate courses for the Master of Science in Information Assurance. Northeastern University is uniquely qualified to offer these programs as the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have designated Northeastern as a National Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Education and Information Assurance Research. NSA has also designated Northeastern as National Center of Excellence in Cyber Operations, one of four universities in the country.

Master of Science in Information Assurance

The College of Computer and Information Science offers a Master of Science in Information Assurance (MSIA) to train graduate students and working professionals to combat information security threats, such as computer viruses, identity theft, and electronic fraud. Students learn how to assess and manage security risks and how to present recommendations to management.

This interdisciplinary program explores relevant topics not only in information science, but also in law, criminology, management and the social sciences. Students customize the program to meet their professional needs.

Graduate students in the master's program can complete the degree full-time within 4-semesters or opt for part-time study. In addition, students can complete the program entirely online.

MSIA Coursework

Master's degree students complete 32 semester hours. The program has both technical and contextual track courses and students take at least 2 courses from each of these tracks as well as electives and complete an interdisciplinary Capstone team project. Course selections from the technical track include Applied Cryptography, Network Security Practices, Computer System Security and Software Security Practices. Course selections from the contextual track include Security Risk Management and Assessment, Information System Forensics, Decision Making in Critical Infrastructure and Cyberlaw.

Master's degree students can also take approved electives from Computer Science, Criminology or Program Management. With approval from the program director, students can also take additional elective courses in Business Administration, Engineering, and Social Sciences.

Students with social sciences and technical backgrounds in collaborate in a Capstone team project that deals with current security issues usually in an industrial context.

Graduate Cooperative Education

Northeastern University is acclaimed for its experiential educational approach that revolves around its co-op program. This program is available to CSIS master's degree level students.

Graduate students spend 6 to 8 months working for an industry in software development, project management, network administration, or another field of specialization. Most jobs are located in the Boston area, but some students have traveled to Hong Kong, China, Australia, Ireland, and many other countries to complete their co-op training.

Doctoral Program in Information Assurance

The interdisciplinary doctoral program in information assurance at Northeastern University prepares students to become researchers and policy advisors in information security in industry, academia, and government. The program is a collaborative effort on the part of the College of Computer and Information Science, the College of Engineering, and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. Students study how policy, law, and human behavior impact the design implementation of security systems.

Students complete 48 semester hours of coursework, or 16 semester hours if they enter the program with master's degrees. Doctoral students complete core courses, such as Local Area Networks and Interworking or Hardware and Software Security, as well as electives, research, and a dissertation.

Those who enter the PhD program directly from bachelor's degree programs can obtain master's degrees from one of the collaborating departments.

Institute of Information Assurance

NEU's Institute of Information Assurance (IIA) is an interdisciplinary research collaboration between CCIS and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Research is focused on 3 areas: improving network security within systems that are comprised of multiple communication layers, including wireless devices and sensors; protecting data integrity in the face of viruses, insider attacks, and other threats; and designing information infrastructure with system vulnerabilities in mind.

Scholarship Programs

Two scholarship programs that provide full-tuition and stipend are available to qualified U.S. citizens:

-Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP)

-NSF Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service (NSF/SFS)

The Northeastern University Point of Contact for these scholarships is Dr. Agnes Chan, Associate Dean and Graduate Director, College of Computer and Information Science.

The College of Computer and Information Science also provides the Dean's and Merit scholarships available to all students upon admission.

All PhD students receive full tuition and living expenses stipend support.

Multiple research grants have also been awarded to Northeastern University for Information Assurance research by government agencies and industrial companies.

An Accomplished Faculty

The highly qualified IA faculty includes both advanced researchers and successful practitioners. All faculty in the MSIA program have many years of industry experience in positions of responsibility in Information Assurance and cyber security as well as extensive academic experience. The Director of the Graduate Information Assurance program is Dr. Themis Papageorge, who has more than 20 years of executive experience in the computer and software security industry and received his PhD and MS degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Bios of the IA faculty are available at the MSIA web site:

Admissions to Information Assurance Programs at Northeastern

Admissions requirements to the MS and PhD programs in Information Assurance at Northeastern University include a 3.0 or higher undergraduate GPA. Graduate students who have not completed bachelor's degrees in technical fields may be required to take extra courses to cover fundamentals.

More information is available regarding MSIA at and PhDIA at

Northeastern -- A Top Experiential Research University

Northeastern University, founded in 1898, is located in Boston, Massachusetts, a center of high technology companies, research and development laboratories, financial companies, medical institutions and leading academic institutions. The university offers 165 graduate programs. Many Northeastern graduate programs are ranked among the top in their fields in the country.

Location & Contact

Information Assurance Program
202 West Village H
College of Computer and Information Science
Northeastern University
Boston, MA

Contact Info
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