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Master of Science in Information Security (MSIS)

  • Program Overview
  • Program Format
  • Learning Outcomes
  • Admissions

The Master of Science in Information Security (MSIS) is a 36 credit-hour degree program at Nova Southeastern University’s Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences (GSCIS). Offered online and on-campus in South Florida, the MSIS degree program is designed for someone who wants to design, program, enhance and develop cyber security technologies that secure information and systems. If you want to select and maintain those technologies and develop policies and processes to ensure the security of an organization then you should look at the M.S. in Management Information Systems with Concentration in Information Security Management.

This security program is recognized by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As a result of this recognition federal agencies may sponsor civilian and military personnel to take the school’s certified graduate courses, and the school is authorized to issue certificates to students who complete such courses. Individuals may apply to take one or more certified information security courses as non-degree students.

Program Sheet (pdf)


Students can select to take online or on-campus classes. Online classes can be taken from anywhere in the world where Internet access is available. NSU utilizes Blackboard as the learning management system to deliver online course content. On-campus classes are held on the main campus in Fort Lauderdale. Each on-campus class meets once a week from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for 16 weeks in the fall and winter terms and 14 weeks in the summer term.


A graduate with a M.S. in Information Security will have the ability to (1) identify the physical and logical threats and vulnerabilities present in an existing information system infrastructure; (2) identify relevant security technologies and techniques, and identify administrative support services, necessary to secure an information infrastructure based upon the requirements specified in a security policy; (3) implement specific technical control measures necessary to satisfy the stated requirements for a secure information systems infrastructure; and (4) conduct an analysis of an existing information systems infrastructure to evaluate the validity and reliability of the security systems.


The MSIS degree is designed for students with undergraduate majors in computer science, information systems, information technology, engineering, mathematics, or physics. Applicants must have knowledge of data structures and algorithms, assembly language and computer architecture, structured programming in a modern high-level language, and discrete mathematics. Applicants who do not have an adequate background may be required to take one or more of the following 500-level graduate courses during the first two terms of the student’s program:

MCIS 500 Assembly Language and Architecture
MCIS 501 Java Programming Language
MCIS 502 Mathematics in Computing
MCIS 503 Data Structures and Algorithms

These are in addition to the required credit hours at the 600 level. Courses at the 500 level, when required, must be completed prior to taking courses at the 600 level; however some exceptions may be permitted by the program director. All 500-level courses must be completed with a grade of ‘B’ or higher to continue in the program. MCIS 501 is prerequisite to MCIS 503.

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Core courses and electives are listed below. Students must take all ten core courses and two electives. Students who wish to take an additional elective must request approval from the program office prior to registration. If the thesis option is elected, students must take all ten core courses and six thesis credits. Plans for the thesis option must be made with and approved by the program office.

Core Courses  (three credits each)


Electives  (three credits each)


Option for Early Admission into the Ph.D. Program

This option provides the opportunity for master’s students in information security to earn the Ph.D. in information assurance or information systems in a shorter time. In addition to the requirements specified in the section Early Admission into the Ph.D. Program, the student must complete all five security-related courses (MCIS 683, 684, 685, 686, and 687) and their prerequisites (CISC 640 and 650, and MCIS 630).

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Current MSIS Students




School Overview


Since the introduction of the graduate computer science program in 1975, the school has been a pioneer in computing research and education. The school began offering online programs in 1983 and created the first electronic classroom in 1985. In 1989 the Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences (GSCIS) was formed.

Today, NSU is a not-for-profit, independent university that is classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and is one of only 37 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification.