Master of Science in Information Assurance


The Opportunity

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.


The Program

Northeastern University has been recognized for academic excellence in information assurance education, research, and cyber operations by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The innovative interdisciplinary MS in Information Assurance ALIGN program combines computer systems and network security training with an understanding of the social context of cybersecurity, giving you skills that are in high demand. Students gain the broad knowledge needed to make strategic decisions to combat information security threats, including identity theft, computer malware, electronic fraud, and cyber attacks. Whether you have a background in technology, the social sciences, or another field, Northeastern’s MS in Information Assurance ALIGN program will prepare you for a successful career.

As a student in this program, you have the opportunity to:

  • 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 recent years, Northeastern University’s MS in Information Assurance graduates have a record of 100% employment in their chosen field.

What Courses Will I Take?

In the MS in Information Assurance 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.

ALIGN COURSES INCLUDE:

  • Discrete Structures
  • Cyberspace Technology and Applications

SAMPLE ELECTIVES INCLUDE:

  • Law and Psychology
  • White Collar Crime
  • Terrorism and International Crime
  • Managing Software Development
  • Software Vulnerabilities and Security

TECHNICAL OR CONTEXTUAL TRACK COURSES:

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

To view the program's website, click here.

How Will I Gain Work 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

Who Are the Faculty Members?

Program Director: Themis Papageorge, Ph.D.

Our Faculty Members:

  • Are active, respected industry leaders and professionals
  • Are invested in their profession and in the success of the students they teach

Am I Right for This Program?

Our Information Assurance ALIGN Program is designed for all students who have an interest in the field. A previous background in computer science is not required.

Still not sure? Let us help. Click here.

 

What Are the Admissions Requirements?

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

Students will be expected to take the GRE within one semester – we recommend taking the GRE test for admission to the program with scores in the range of  155Q/150V/3.5A

How Much Will it Cost?

ALIGN is a customized degree program that includes bridge courses embedded into a full academic curriculum, as well as additional support and services related to your transition into Information Assurance.

Tuition and fees are set on an annual basis by Northeastern University’s Board of Trustees and will be updated in April 2015.  Based on rates for the 2013-2014 academic year, the total estimated cost for the MS Information Assurance ALIGN program is $47,696.00.

Financial aid is available. Connect with your enrollment coach or contact us at align@neu.edu for additional details.

Program Locations

To view current program location offerings and key application dates, click here.