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A Master's Degree for the Future:
Security and Information Assurance(MSIA)

As the internet continues to evolve, cyber-attacks are becoming a growing threat. Davenport's MSIA degree is certified by the National Security Administration as a Center of Academic Excellence for Information Assurance Education. What a powerful way to introduce yourself to prospective employers, enhancing the value of your MSIA degree. Under our rigorous requirements, you will become prepared to protect any company’s technological security. National annual salary average for master's level network/systems positions (calculated as the top 10% of salaries in all degreed systems positions) for 2010 was reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) at $108,090.

Prerequisite Requirements

You are eligible to enroll in this master's program if you have completed the following:

A bachelor's degree in the technology field, such as: 
Computer science
Information technology
Software or computer engineering
Information security

A strong record of academic achievement, as indicated by official transcripts and proof of proficiency on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), OR one or more of these certifications: Security+, CISSP, GSE, CCSP, SSCP, CIW or RSA as outlined in the Graduate Course Catalog on pages 31-32. 

  • CISP537 Java Programming 1 OR CISP553 PERL/Python Scripting 
  • IAAS581 Information Security and Assurance 
  • IAAS591 Cryptography 
  • NETW520 Data Communications and Networks 

What to Expect in the MSIA Program

This master's degree, designed to the standards* certified by the Committee on National Security Systems, further develops your:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Technical knowledge
  • Leadership and managerial decision-making abilities

 Our curriculum is mapped to key areas of education set forth by the National Security Agency, including:

  • Information Security Planning
  • Legal and Ethical Security Topics
  • Wireless and Mobile Security
  • Banking and Financial Security
  • Securing Resource Transfer
  • Network Security

Your coursework will also include completion of a master’s thesis as a capstone to your degree.

*Meets the requirements of NSTISSI-4011 Training Standard for Information Systems Security (INFOSEC) Professionals and CNSSI-4012, Training Standard for Security System Managers.

In-Demand Careers

The BLS reports the number of Security and Information Assurance jobs is expected to increase by 28% by 2020. With a Master's Degree in Security and Information Assurance, you will plan, coordinate, and maintain the information security for a company or organization. You could be hired to do this in a variety of roles, including:

  • Global Information Security Incident Response Director
  • Information Security Officer
  • IT Security Consultant
  • Regional Information Security Incident Response Manager
  • Security and Policy Awareness Analyst
  • Senior Security Analyst
  • Senior Security Strategist

Why Davenport?

  • The national reputation of Davenport’s curriculum and instructors
  • Davenport prepares students for certification exams within their field of study
  • A broad range of organizations across Michigan and the nation regularly hires DU graduates
  • Many classes are available in a traditional classroom setting or via distance learning
  • DU offers two degree programs within the field of Security and Information Assurance to meet the needs of a range of students

The DU Advantage

  • Courses available online and in classroom 
  • State-of-the-art online technology and support
  • High quality coursework
  • 11 campuses statewide
  • Low student-to-faculty ratio
  • Specializing in careers of the future
  • Practical, in-field experiences

Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE/IAE)


In June 2011, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Secuirty (DHS) recognized Davenport University as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE/IAE). The goal of this program is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in Information Assurance (IA) and produce a growing number of professionals with IA expertise in various disciplines. This formal designation followed a rigorous review and evaluation against stringent criteria, demonstrating Davenport University’s commitment to academic excellence in IA education.

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Full Curriculum


The term Information Assurance has been defined as “conducting those operations that protect and defend information and infor­mation systems by ensuring availability, integrity, authentication, ­confidentiality and non-repudiation.” This includes providing for restoration of information systems by incorporating protection, detection and reaction capabilities. The 37-semester credit hour Master of Science in Information Assurance (MSIA) includes nine core courses, two upper-level electives, and a thesis focused on Information Assurance and Computer Security.

All students admitted into the Davenport University Master of Science Information Assurance are expected to have the necessary undergraduate preparation in computer, networking, statistical analysis, and security foundations prior to entering the 600-level courses. Statement of Purpose will determine if student is required to take MGMT535 Managerial Communications and professional certifications such as Security +, CISSP, GSE, CCSP, SSCP, CIW or RSA may also be used to waive foundational courses. A grade of “B” or better must be earned in each course to show proficiency.

Graduate level Prerequisites:
CSCI531  Introduction to Programming or
CISP553  PERL/Python Scripting
IAAS581  Information Security and Assurance
IAAS591  Cryptography
NETW520 Data Communications and Networks
STAT500  Statistics for Business

The master's degree program in Information Assurance (MSIA) has been certified by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) as meeting the requirements of NSTISSI-4011, Training Standard for Information Systems Security (INFOSEC) Professionals, and CNSSI-4012, Training Standard for Security System Managers.
Topics will include: information security planning, cryptography, project management and risk mitigation, application security, network security, forensics, and legal and ethical roles and topics specific to security. Students will also choose electives within their concentration and complete a thesis under the direct guidance of a faculty member.
These elective courses will provide an introduction to the different technical and administrative aspects of Information Security and Assurance. Topics will include: wireless and mobile security, banking and financial security, securing resource transfer, and health care security. The elective courses will also include methodologies for prioritizing information assets and threats to information assets, including risk analysis, architecture components of an incident response plan, legal and public relations implications of security and privacy issues, and the framework of a disaster recovery plan.

A thesis paper forms the Capstone of this Master of Science Information Assurance program. The Capstone is a comprehensive research paper encompassing the learning from the student's coursework in the program. Prior to enrolling in the CAPS795 capstone course, students must have both an approved Capstone Intent Form and an approved Research Proposal on file with the MSIA program office. A research seminar (or pre-capstone seminar) is available to students to provide guidance on developing the research proposal. The final thesis paper is to be completed under the guidance of your faculty advisor and/or university designated faculty member during the CAPS795 course. More details on the master’s thesis and capstone process may be found in the Capstone Guidebook, available on the ISaAC site or from your faculty advisor.

***Which class should I take? When should I take it? Please click here for the program sequence. (pdf download)

Core Courses27 cr.
IAAS600Information Security Planning3 cr.
IAAS651Applied Cryptography3 cr.
IAAS660Project Management/Risk Mitigation3 cr.
IAAS667Legal and Ethical Security Topics3 cr.
IAAS710Application Security3 cr.
IAAS715Network Security3 cr.
IAAS735Advanced Computer Forensics3 cr.
IAAS786Research Techniques for Information Assurance3 cr.
STAT615Analytical Statistics for Management3 cr.
Elective Courses - Select one of the following:3 cr.
GPMT699Certified Project Management (PMP) Preparation3 cr.
IAAS670Wireless and Mobile Security3 cr.
IAAS672Banking and Financial Security3 cr.
IAAS675Health Care Security3 cr.
IAAS738IT Business Continuity and Best Practices3 cr.
IAAS740Comprehensive Issues3 cr.
IAAS790Information Assurance Internship3 cr.
Capstone4 cr.
CAPS795Information Assurance Thesis4 cr.