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  • Master of Science
  • Erie, Pennsylvania
  • Online

Information Assurance and Cybersecurity

  • Overview

    Information assurance is one of the most dynamic fields in recent decades. With growing demand for computing professionals, Gannon's Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Master's Degree places emphasis on the development of students' skills and continued professional growth to stay abreast of the rapidly changing technological world

    Keeping our critical cyber infrastructure secure while maintaining privacy is a priority. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions globally by 2021. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has also predicted that the current number of cybersecurity job openings is on the rise. This program is aimed to fill that void. Every cybersecurity worker needs to be equipped with cybersecurity concepts and knowledge to protect and defend apps, data, networks, devices, critical systems, infrastructure and people. It provides post bachelor's academic credentials that lead to targeted industry-recognized certifications. There is no previous cyber education needed to complete the sequence of two certificates that lead to the master's degree. This program is designed for the full-time working professional who holds a nontechnical degree who is looking to improve their knowledge in cybersecurity, increase their job prospects and earning potential, or take the first step toward a graduate degree in the cybersecurity field.

    Through this program, students will gain competencies needed for their career, including:

    • Determine compliance requirements and understand legal issues pertaining to information security.
    • Apply cyber forensic and investigation techniques using current computer forensic tools.
    • Effectively secure businesses using current trends in network management.
    • Analyze business continuity requirements, enforce personnel security procedures and apply risk management concepts. 

    Understand threat modeling methodologies and apply risk-based management concepts to the supply chain.

    100% Online

    The program is offered entirely online, and typically includes completion of both the Cybersecurity Essentials Certificate and the Information Systems Security Certificate as part of completing the program. Each academic semester typically consists of fourteen weeks with two courses offered in sequence. Most courses follow a 7-week on-line schedule, and are designed to meet or exceed Gannon’s online-course standards. It is anticipated that the courses in the program would be offered in online sessions, no special requirements for either the students or instructors will be made. The courses are scheduled as regular online, 7-week courses. Courses requiring the use of lab equipment as part of their instructional model are taught in with distributable software/licenses and/or simulations. Courses requiring these additional materials may include a modest course fee.

    Curriculum

    The MS-IAC is a 30-credit professional degree program. Students may begin studies with a wide variety of academic and work backgrounds.

    Courses are presented in three general categories:

    • Cyber Essentials Courses: 12 credits of required coursework.
    • Information Assurance Courses: 12 credits of required coursework.
    • Cyber Electives: 3 credits required of upper-division coursework.

    Admission Requirements

    • An applicant must present a baccalaureate degree in computer science, information systems, information science, software engineering, or a related field from a regionally accredited institution with a GPA of at least 2.5/4.0.
    • Completed graduate application (apply.gannon.edu)
    • Complete resume
    • Transcripts from all prior institutions
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • TOEFL scores if English is not a first language

    Factors for consideration include work experience in related areas of CIS and letters of recommendation. A committee appointed by the department chairperson will review applications for admission.

    Curriculum Requirements

    Cybersecurity Essentials (12 credits):

    • GCYSEC 501 Networking Fundamentals
    • GCYSEC 502 Cybersecurity Foundations
    • GCYSEC 503 Security Leadership
    • GCYSEC 504 Cybersecurity Management

    Information Assurance (12 credits):

    • GCYSEC 605 Asset Security and Risk Management
    • GCYSEC 606 Information Security Architectures
    • GCYSEC 607 Security Assessment and Access Control
    • GCYSEC 608 Operations & Software Development Security

    Cybersecurity Elective (3 credits):

    • Choose GCYSEC 609 Digital Forensics or GCYSEC 610 Network Management and Security Implementation

    Directed Project or Directed Research (3 credits):

    • Choose GCYSEC 698 Directed Project or GCYSEC 699 Directed Research

    Project Requirement

    Each graduate student is expected to conduct a directed research / development project or thesis for completion of the degree.

    Plan A (Directed Research): GCYSEC 699

    The student is required to complete a 3-credit independent/team IAC research project and to pass a final oral examination covering the student's project area and related subject areas. The content of the independent/ team research should be in-depth scholarship culminating in a publishable-quality manuscript. The content should represent a researched and creative expression of the student's advanced capability as a result of the graduate program. The directed research must be proposed and approved prior to the commencement of the independent/team project work. Proposals must be approved prior to registering for research credits. Per department guidelines, directed research students register for GCYSEC 699 Directed Research when completing the research effort and after having received agreement from a faculty member to be the chair of the student's research effort.

    Plan B (Directed Project): GCYSEC 698

    The student is required to complete a 3-credit independent/team IAC project and to pass a final oral examination covering the student's project area and related subject areas. The content of the independent/ team project can be either (1) study and development of a prototype-level application culminating in a publishable-quality technical report. The content should represent a researched and creative expression of the student's advanced capability as a result of the graduate program. The directed development project must be proposed and approved prior to the commencement of the independent/team project work. Proposals must be approved prior to registering for project credits. Per department guidelines, directed project students register for GCYSEC 698 Directed Project when completing the development effort and after having received agreement from a faculty member to be the chair of the student's development effort.

    While enrolled in GCYSEC 698 and GCYSEC 699 Directed Research, the student is required to satisfy other department-stipulated activities such as attendance at research seminars, participation in research presentations, and writing- or research-improvement seminars.