Information Security and Assurance, MS

Contact Info

Department of Computer Science

Nguyen Engineering Building, 4300
4400 University Drive, MS 4A5
Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: 703-993-1530


The Department of Computer Science’s MS degree in information security and assurance prepares graduates to fill the current and future need for information security and assurance professionals. Graduates work in a wide variety of capacities, protecting the information systems of different types of organizations and supporting the nation’s information infrastructure. Students are provided with general and technical knowledge and skills to understand the relationship between information security and advancing information systems technology. The program also provides a theoretical understanding of the science and methodologies for ensuring the secrecy and integrity of data, as well as the availability and legitimate use of data and information systems.

Find degree requirements in the university catalog.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must hold a four-year (120-credit) baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and have earned a GPA of 3.00 or better in the last 60 credits. Other requirements are as follows:

  • Submit the appropriate application with two letters of recommendation from people directly knowledgeable of the applicant’s professional and academic competence, a one-page goals statement, and a résumé.
  • Complete the self-evaluation section of the online application. This information is used by the admissions committee to assess an applicant’s academic preparation for the MS program. 
  • The GRE is only required for those who have not earned a Bachelor’s degree from a US Institution.
  • International students must submit their English Proficiency scores.

To ensure that students have an adequate background in mathematical methods and computer science, the program requires the following four foundation courses, or their equivalents:

  • INFS 501 - Discrete and Logical Structures for Information Systems
  • INFS 515 - Computer Organization Course and Operating Systems
  • INFS 519 - Program Design and Data Structures
  • SWE 510 - Object-Oriented Programming in Java

Prospective students are asked to complete a department self-evaluation form, indicating whether previously taken courses may satisfy these foundation requirements. On acceptance, students are advised of the necessary foundation courses to be satisfactorily completed to meet this requirement. Foundation courses do not earn credit toward the MS degree; however, they must be successfully completed with a grade of B or better before enrolling in the core curriculum.

Students may test out to indicate that they have the requisite knowledge for those foundations courses. The exams are given before classes begin in January and August, and can only be taken once. Registration is not required; students need only be present at the date, time, and location specified with some form of photographic identification. Detailed information is available on the department web site. Students failing any one of the exams must take the equivalent course before enrolling in the core curriculum courses.


Graduates from the master’s program in Information Security and Assurance are actively recruited by federal, state and local governments, private sector and academia. Typical employers include Internet-based, software and financial companies.

This program satisfies the dual needs of preparing graduates to (1) fill the need for information security and assurance professionals to work in a wide variety of capacities to protect the information systems of different types of organizations, and to support the nation’s information infrastructure and (2) conducting advanced research and in information security and assurance. All classes are scheduled in the late afternoon and early evening to accommodate employed students.

This information is being provided here for your planning purposes only. For official catalog information, please refer instead to the official George Mason University Catalog Website at