The College of Engineering and Computing holds one of the longest track records of information security advances in the U.S.,
but we aren't resting on our laurels. In 2020 we formed a new cyber security engineering department that will support BS and MS students working towards degrees in cyber security engineering.

Jim Jones
Kai Zeng and Jim Jones work at the Cyber Physical Lab, which brings together tools that simulate and analyze cyberattacks.

Become a Digital Warrior

We're preparing for the next battlefront of sophisticated cyber crime, and the demand for our graduates has never been higher.

No matter where we are, we're connected. As digital systems are deployed to control services we depend on, such as utilities, transportation, economic mechanisms, and defense, the risk of a malicious attack is growing.

Cyber criminals identify weaknesses in communications and data networks to steal or sabotage valuable information. Cybersecurity engineers are the guardians of the digital galaxy, designing fortifications to repel the bad guys, and sneaky traps to ensnare them in a quagmire of false data.

See the university catalog for information about courses that provide both theoretical and practical knowledge of all aspects of the field

Because Mason proactively pursues research within government and industry organizations that depend on strong and reliable information security, our students are recruited long before graduation.

Most seniors have a clear picture of where they'll be because they've already landed a job.


Educational Programs Related to Cybersecurity

An urgent need exists for a workforce with advanced technical skills in everything related to security and communications. the college's computing, IT, and engineering programs, with their emphasis on cybersecurity, prepare students to create and maintain crucial information systems that will protect our nation from cyber threats with innovative knowledge and effective tools.

Bachelor's Degrees

Bachelor of Applied Science: Concentration in Cybersecurity

When combined with specialized Applied Associate Science (AAS) degree programs, the BAS streamlines your path to completion of traditional academic requirements and leads to a non-traditional bachelor’s degree. 

Computer Science, BS

Computer Science is concerned with the design, implementation, and maintenance of the computer software systems used in almost all professions. Computer scientists must be well grounded in the technologies needed for acquisition, representation, storage, transmission, transformation, and use of information in digital form.

Cyber Security Engineering, BS

This BS program is focused on the cyber security engineering of integrated cyber-physical systems. This degree provides a foundation in cyber security engineering, and is most appropriate for students with a strong mathematics and science background. The program prepares graduates either for direct entry into a career in engineering or for graduate study.

Information Technology: Concentration in Information Security, BS

This program prepares students to apply IT to support business processes. The degree produces graduates with strong problem-solving, writing, and communication skills who successfully compete for technical employment and are prepared for advanced study. Highly qualified students in the Information Technology BS may earn an accelerated Information Security and Assurance Certificate.

Master's Degrees

Applied Information Technology: Concentration in Cyber Security, MS 

The MS in Applied Information Technology is designed for high-potential leaders, especially those working on IT solutions that affect the federal government. It aims to graduate men and women of competence and character who can lead multidisciplinary teams in the design, justification, development, management, and sustainment of mega-systems from data to decision in the private and federal sectors.

Computer Science, MS

This program offers students the opportunity to combine a sound foundation in computer science with concentrated knowledge in the latest developments in particular areas. The program prepares students for research and professional practice in computer science and related technologies. The program includes both fundamentals and advanced work in the areas of artificial intelligence and databases, programming languages and software engineering, systems and networks, theoretical computer science, and visual computing.

Cyber Security Engineering, MS

Graduates with this master’s degree will be prepared to design and implement secure complex and cyber-physical systems consisting of software, hardware, and networking components; respond to incidents involving these systems, and develop offensive and defensive tools and techniques to attack and secure these systems.

Data Analytics Engineering: Concentration in Digital Forensics, MS

Students in the DFRS concentration of the master's program in Data Analytics Engineering will be able to apply data analytics to such areas as digital media, intercepted (network) data, mobile media, and unknown code, and leverage that analysis in order to determine intent, attribution, cause, effect, and context.

Digital Forensics and Cyber Analysis, MS

Computer forensics addresses the collection, processing, and analysis of digital information so that this information can be admitted as evidence in a court of law. It is interdisciplinary in its nature and includes computer engineering, computer science, information technology, law, and ethics. Computer forensics is a key component in criminal, civil, intelligence, and counter-terrorism matters. The degree prepares graduates for careers in law enforcement, various other branches of government, and in the corporate sector such as banking and finance.

Information Security and Assurance, MS

Highly qualified students in the Applied Computer Science, BS program have the option of obtaining an accelerated Information Security and Assurance, MS degree.

Management of Secure Information Systems, MS

This program is administered by Mason's School of Business, College of Engineering and Computing, and School of Public Policy. The program prepares professionals for the challenges of modern computerized information systems that have become increasingly complex and vulnerable to cyber-attacks, resulting in a significant number of government regulations.

Doctoral Degrees

Computer Science, PhD

Doctoral study in Computer Science offers students the opportunity to combine a sound foundation in computer science with concentrated knowledge in the latest developments in particular areas.

Information Technology: Concentration in Information Security and Assurance, PhD

The program encompasses all aspects of information technology and the branches of engineering most closely associated with information and engineering. It focuses on the science, engineering, and technology of information processing and enhances traditional approaches to engineering that are more strongly based on the physical and material sciences.

Information Technology: Concentration in Digitial Forensics, PhD

Graduate Certificates

Applied Cyber Security

This certificate offers courses in key elements of cybersecurity. It is designed for professionals who work for, or in support of, U.S. federal agencies, and provides post-bachelor’s academic preparation for students who may not wish to complete a full master’s degree program. It also for master’s graduates who wish to take the topic-specific courses that the certificate provides.

Information Security and Assurance

This certificate program is for students interested in science and methods for ensuring secrecy, integrity, availability, and legitimate use of information systems.

Tactical Computer Operations

Tactical Computer Operations (TCO) is a discipline involving the offensive side of computer and forensics operations. Expertise in this field includes the ability to understand and work at the operating system kernel level, understand and work with shared libraries and application program interfaces, and more.

Telecommunications Forensics and Security

This certificate provides an in-depth understanding of security and forensics as they apply to networks and digital storage media.

A Firm Foundation in Cyber

Mason Engineering has deep roots in the field, and continues to set trends:

  • Mason's Center for Secure Information Systems, established in 1990, was the first academic center in security at a U.S. university. It has alliances with major government and corporate sponsors.

  • In fall 2015, the college become the first in the nation to offer a cyber security engineering degree that focuses on cyber-resilience engineering design. 

  • Our summer camps for children and outreach to high school students boost interest in the STEM fields.

  • The school can claim the first student-run cybersecurity organization in the country.

The innovation lab at the Arlington Campus with Liza Durant and Professor Duminda Wijesekera.
CCI Innovation Lab

Liza Wilson Durant, Associate Dean, Strategic Initiatives and Community Engagement and Duminda Wijesekera, Professor of Computer Science, in the Commonwealth Cybersecurity Initiative Living (CCI) Innovation Lab at the Arlington campus. This lab houses both the CCI and Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CyMannII). A five-year, $4.8 million grant by the C4I & Cyber Center brought CyMannII to Mason, making it the leading cyber security institute in the NOVA region.