Cyber security master's starts in Northern Virginia | ECE | Virginia Tech


Cyber security master's starts in Northern Virginia

As the Conficker worms its way into national cyberfears and lawmakers craft proposals to empower the government to enforce security standards for private industry, Virginia Tech is laying out plans for a master’s degree in information security.

The proposed eMISA (executive Master of Information Security Assurance) program will integrate information assurance engineering, management, technology, and policy studies and is aimed at working information assurance professionals. It will be offered at Tech’s Arlington (Ballston) facility starting in spring 2009.

The eMISA program was conceived acknowledging that information assurance is a multi-disciplinary field shaping security measures in the design, implementation, deployment, management, and operation of the ICT-integrated infrastructure systems. The degree will require foundational expertise in areas including computer science, software engineering, telecommunications, information technology, management, policy, and infrastructure studies. Students will also study forensics, cryptography, and information security and trust technologies while developing student management skills.

The entire eMISA program is designed for completion within 18 months. Face-to-face weekend classes and seminars will be supplemented by online information. The program includes extensive hands-on laboratory experience, case studies, and a final project. Field study will be coordinated with international industrial and academic partners in Europe and Asia where students will be exposed to information assurance standards at the global scale.

The eMISA program targets the working professional with an undergraduate background in science and/or engineering. A minimum of five years of job experience in an information-assurance-related field is required.

The program conception is guided by an international advisory committee from institutions such as the U.S. National Security Agency, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Commerces, SAIC, Booz Allen, Boeing, Fraunhofer Institute of Secure Information Technology in Germany, as well as other US and European institutions.

The eMISA program will be supported by faculty members from ECE and computer science. For more information, visit

by Su Clauson-Wicker

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