Earn your master’s degree in information technology with a specialization in information assurance while building skills to stand out in the fast-growing fields of information assurance and cybersecurity.
The graduate specialization in information assurance will provide you with a practical understanding of the principles of data protection, cybersecurity, and computer forensics. Perfect for midcareer professionals or career changers, the information assurance specialization offers sought-after skills in network and Internet security, intrusion detection and prevention, and cryptology while also strengthening your core IT knowledge and project management abilities.
About the Information Assurance Specialization
The information assurance curriculum can help you gain real-world experience through interactions with actual organizations. You’ll learn job-relevant skills from case studies of real information assurance crises.
What You’ll Learn
Through your coursework, you will learn how to
- Secure information using knowledge of symmetric and asymmetric keys, protocols for exchanging secure data (including the Data Encryption Standard and the Advanced Encryption Standard), and other cryptographic methods and cryptanalysis tools
- Protect networks using risk analysis, defense models, security policy development, authentication and authorization controls, firewalls, packet filtering, virtual private networks (VPNs), and wireless network security
- Respond to attacks with damage assessments, data forensics, attack tracing, and system recovery processes for continuity of operation
- Identify system vulnerabilities and attack patterns and solve problems with intrusion detection tactics
- Navigate ethics, relevant laws, regulations, policies, and standards
- Lead successful teams with advanced project management skills
In past projects, students have had the opportunity to study and experiment with real-world tools and techniques to perform
- Information risk analysis
- Network packet analysis
- Forensic evidence collection and preservation
- Access control techniques
- Protocol analysis
- Intrusion detection and prevention
- Encryption/decryption of files and messages
- Vulnerability assessments
This program can help prepare you for the following certification exams:
Information Assurance Requirements
- Foundations of Information Security and Assurance (3 Credits, INFA 610)
- Network and Internet Security (3 Credits, INFA 620)
- Intrusion Detection and Intrusion Prevention (3 Credits, INFA 630)
- Cryptology and Data Protection (3 Credits, INFA 640)
- Computer Forensics (3 Credits, INFA 650)
- The Law, Regulation and Ethics of Information Assurance (3 Credits, INFA 660)
- Information Assurance Capstone (3 Credits, INFA 670)
- INFA 610 must be taken as the first specialization course.
- You must complete all other specialization coursework before taking INFA 670.
- Orientation to Graduate Studies at UMGC (0 Credits, UCSP 615)
- Information Technology Foundations (3 Credits, ITEC 610)
- Computer Systems Architecture (3 Credits, ITEC 625)
- Information Systems Infrastructure (3 Credits, ITEC 626)
- Information Systems Analysis, Modeling, and Design (3 Credits, ITEC 630)
- Information Technology Project Management (3 Credits, ITEC 640)
- UCSP 615 must be taken within the first 6 credits of study.
- ITEC 610 must be taken in the first term of coursework.
This program is designed to help prepare you for a career in the cybersecurity and information assurance field in the areas of network and internet security, intrusion detection and prevention, cryptology, cyber law, and software assurance.
Preparation Recommended for Success
You are expected to have some background in information technology. This background may be acquired through noncredit preparatory coursework, listed below.
If you do not have previous coursework or experience in programming, you are strongly advised to first enroll in UCSP 635 and UCSP 636 to gain the appropriate foundation. Taking UCSP 605 is recommended to improve writing skills.
UMGC’s MS in Information Technology with a specialization in information assurance has been designated a Professional Science Master’s degree program through the Council of Graduate Schools.
Cybersecurity Program Recognition
UMGC has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security and as a National Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence by the Defense Cyber Crime Center Academic Cyber Curriculum Alliance.
You could qualify for benefits that help you afford your education, including tuition assistance, an annual stipend, payments to cover loans, and more.