Master of Science in Information Assurance (Cybersecurity)

Campus Locations
Application Deadlines
Spring: December 15
Fall: August 15
Credits Required for Graduation


Program Description

Be in Demand
The number of information assurance and cybersecurity jobs is projected to increase 23% into 2020.

Ever-increasing cyber attacks against companies and governments are creating unprecedented risks and a tremendous need for trained information assurance professionals. In fact, according to Burning Glass, a labor market analytics firm, cybersecurity positions rose 73 percent in the five-year period ending in 2012—3.5 times faster than postings for computer jobs as a whole. As a result of mounting risks, knowledge and experience requirements, and demand exceeding available talent, information assurance specialists command premium salaries. For example, the median pay for an information assurance analyst—ranked #17 in CNN/Money’s “Best Jobs in America”—is $95,700.

Program Objectives

Northeastern University has been designated by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense, in IA Research, and in Cyber Operations.

The innovative ALIGN bridge program to the interdisciplinary MS in Information Assurance and Cyber Security combines computer systems and network security training with knowledge from the social sciences, law, criminology and management, giving you skills that are in high demand.

  • Build core knowledge surrounding computer-system security and network practices, as well as relevant knowledge from the social sciences, law, criminology, and management
  • Make strategic decisions about security issues and present recommendations to management
  • Plan and implement security strategies to reduce risk and protect information assets and systems
  • Understand the legal and ethical issues associated with information security, privacy, and digital rights


In the MS in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity through the ALIGN program, you’ll take courses tailored to your background and interests. Those with social science or other non-technology backgrounds will strengthen technical skills. Those with prior technical experience will add to their understanding of the context in which technology is applied. Every student, regardless of background, will learn about the key issues in information security and how technology can help resolve them.


  • Discrete Structures
  • Cyberspace Technology and Applications


  • Applied Cryptography
  • Network Security Practices
  • Information System Forensics
  • Cyber Law: Privacy, Ethics, and Digital Rights


  • White Collar Crime
  • Terrorism and International Crime
  • Database Management Systems & Network Security
  • Software Vulnerabilities and Security

Gaining Real-World Experience

With information accessible everywhere, over multiple devices, systems, and the cloud, few industries can ignore the need for information assurance. As a result, Northeastern students have broad options for co-op opportunities. Recent co-op partners include:

  • Akamai Technologies
  • Fidelity Investments
  • BitSight Technologies
  • DigitasLBi
  • IntraLinks
  • EMC Corporation

Is This Program Right For Me?

The Information Assurance and Cybersecurity through the ALIGN program is designed for all students who have an interest in the field. A previous background in computer science is not required.

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What are the Admissions Requirements

  • Completed application form and transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Undergraduate degree in any discipline – GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resumé

Students are expected to take the GRE test for admission to the program.