Masters in Information Security and Assurance
Students entering the MS-ISA, MS-INFS, and MS-SWE programs must have course work or equivalent knowledge in the following areas: a modern, object oriented programming language such as Java, Ada, or C++; data structures and algorithms; machine organization, (e.g., as given in computer system architecture or assembly language courses); and topics in discrete mathematics including sets, relations, functions, trees, graphs, and inductive proofs. The level of knowledge required in these areas is equivalent to that taught in undergraduate courses, and may be achieved by taking the following George Mason University courses.
Prospective students are asked to complete a departmental self-evaluation form, indicating whether previously taken courses may satisfy these foundation requirements. Upon acceptance, students are advised of the necessary foundation courses to be satisfactorily completed to meet this requirement. Foundation courses do not earn credit toward the MS degree; however, they must be successfully completed with a grade of B or better before enrolling in the core curriculum. Students may appeal the requirement to take one or more foundation courses by following the process described at the Foundation Course FAQ page.
In addition, it is desirable, though not required, that entering students have at least one year of work experience in building and/or modifying software systems. Students may test out to prove they have the requisite knowledge for the foundations of INFS 501, 515, 519, and SWE 510. The exams are given before classes begin in January and August and can only be taken once. Detailed information is available on the department's web page for the test-out exams. Students failing any one of the exams must take the equivalent course before enrolling in the core curriculum course.
The following undergraduate courses offered at GMU will serve as equivalents for foundation classes.
Students accepted into the MS-ISA program who need undergraduate preparatory work should take the INFS or SWE courses as listed above. However, if they have previously taken courses at NVCC, the following equivalents will be used: