School and Ranking Information
Many schools near Alexandria, at least fifteen, have programs related to computer security. Seven of the schools are for-profit schools. Many of the other schools are private institutions. The top school in the area is a nationally recognized public school. Based on rankings and affordability, the following school is the top school in the area for computer security:
- Winner : George Mason University is a 4-year public school and one of the top 10 up and coming universities. The university offers master's degree programs, a graduate certificate and a doctoral degree in information security and assurance program for people considering a career in computer security.
School Info Chart
|Category||George Mason University|
|Rankings||#10 in Up-and-Coming Schools (2015); #67 Graduate Computer Science (2014)*|
|School Type||4-year, public|
|Graduate Tuition (2014-2015)||$9,794 (in-state), $26,978 (out-of-state)*|
|Computer Security Programs Offered||Certificate, Master's, Doctorate**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2007 Entering Class||67%**|
|Noteworthy||Department's graduates have a history of employment by the federal government and the private sector***|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator, ***George Mason University
George Mason University
- Master's program in information security is flexible, with classes at nontraditional times for working students
- Computer science faculty focuses their research on areas such as databases and security
- Fourteen laboratories aligned with different research areas
GMU offers a Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance, as well as a Master of Science in Information Systems and a Doctor of Philosophy in Information Technology with a concentration in information security and assurance. The School of Management at GMU also offers a Master of Science in Management of Secure Information Systems.
In the Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance program, students learn about database security, cryptography, security protocols and security policies. The program has two available concentration areas, which are network and system security and advanced cyber security. Students participate in a hands-on security lab that gives them experience in networked systems and security software. The 12-credit Information Security and Assurance Graduate Certificate includes some of the same foundational coursework as this master's program.
The Master of Science in Information Systems program teaches the fundamentals of information systems and requires students to complete four core courses. Students who select the information security and assurance specialization complete 18 credits of elective coursework.
The 14-month Master of Science in Management of Secure Information Systems program is designed for working professionals that wish to expand their knowledge of information systems and cyber security. Classes are held on weekends, and the program culminates in a capstone project. Students complete a 1-week international residency halfway through the program.
The Doctor of Philosophy in Information Technology with Concentration in Information Security requires qualifying exams. Students must complete 24 credit hours beyond the qualifying exam preparation that include security policy, network security, secure software design, security experimentation and security protocol analysis. A dissertation, including pre-defense and defense components, is required.