Master of Science (MS): Information Security Degree Overview

In a Master of Science in Information Security program, students investigate methods of defending computers from intruders. Explore common courses, get program requirements and see salary information for job opportunities.

View popular schools

Essential Information

Businesses, organizations and government agencies rely heavily on computer networks and the Internet, which makes them vulnerable to attack through spyware, hacker intrusion and malicious code. This 2-year program can prepare students to become experts in security procedures and policies, as well as technical aspects involved in securing digital information. Other training explores damage control methods following a security breach, including proper system shut down and repair. Thesis and non-thesis options are available. Students may be required to complete a research project.

Prospective students must have a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field such as computer programming, computer engineering or computer science in order to be admitted into most master's degree programs in information security. Some schools accept students with a bachelor's from unrelated majors if sufficient computer coursework has been completed. Prospective students are typically required to turn in test scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE).


Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Information Systems Security
  • Networking Management
  • Systems Administration
  • Webmaster and Multimedia Management

Master of Science in Information Security

Coursework focuses on hands-on experience in assessing, monitoring and auditing networks. Courses within the program can include:

  • System development
  • Enterprise application testing
  • Network technology
  • Operating systems
  • Cryptology
  • Network security

Popular Career Options

Upon graduation, students have the skills to work in cryptography, computer security, cyber law and ethics, computer forensics or software assurance. Some possible job titles include:

  • Information security director
  • Administrator of computer security
  • Data systems analyst
  • Information technology senior security officer
  • Cryptography specialist

Salary Information

The website PayScale.com reflected a median annual salary of $128,172 for information technology security directors in January of 2016. During the same time, the site reported that administrators of computer network security made a median income of $61,839 per year, while the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said systems analysts saw a median yearly salary of $85,800 as of May 2015. The BLS also noted that information security analysts made a median wage of $90,120 per year at that time.

Continuing Education

Because technology is constantly changing, graduates can keep up with this dynamic field through certification programs such as those offered by organizations such as the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC). Graduates can also attend professional conferences and workshops to keep abreast of the latest methodologies in information security.

A Master of Science in Information Security trains students to monitor, assess, and develop networks for security purposes. Graduates have multiple employment options, such as information security analysts, cryptography specialists and computer network security administrators, as well as access to certification programs and other continuing education options.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • MS in IT - Information Security and Assurance
    • MS in Cybersecurity Management
    • MS in Management - Information Technology
    • Master of Science in Information Technology
    • MS in IT - Project Management

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master - Information Technology Management
    • Graduate Specialization - Information Technology

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MBA in Cyber Policy
    • MBA in Cybersecurity
    • MBA Economic Crime and Fraud Management
    • MS Cybersecurity - Computer Forensics
    • MS Cybersecurity - Cyber Operations
    • MS Cybersecurity - Intelligence

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Cyber Security, M.S.

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Information Systems - MSIS (Master's)
    • Leadership Studies - MBA (Master's)
    • Cloud Security Risk Management - MBA (Master's)
    • Cloud Security Risk Management - MSIS (Master's)

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Cybersecurity

    What is your highest level of education completed?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?