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Re: Masters program for Information Security?
From: Infosec Capital <infosec-capital () rainswept com>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2005 22:50:55 -0700

Jawbox wrote:

Does anyone know of an institution offering M.Sc. for Information
Security/Assurance?  <SNIP>


There are a number of schools offering Master's programs in Information Assurance, and you may find some of the following useful. Perhaps a good place to start is the Scholarship For Service program offered by the Office of Personnel Management, i.e., the federal goverment.

In short, the SFS program pays for up to 2 years of your education (undergrad or grad) in exchange for an equivelant commitment in service. I have heard that the DoD has a similar program where they pay up to 4 years. Each school has its own requirements, and it's important to contact your potential schools early; for example, the Naval Postgraduate School in California wants a lot of math, and I get the impression that some students are sorely underprepared. In SFS, participants receive a stipend, I believe there's a computer allowance, tuition is paid, and you are supposedly guaranteed an internship, which is usually where you plan to serve your required term of employment. One thing to keep in mind is that a background check will be done as a precursor to employment; you must be able to obtain a security clearance to be admitted to the program. If you've had bad debt, been out of the country, downloaded racy pictures, or a whole bunch of other things that might be surprising, you risk refusal. On a positive note, time is a factor, the longer it's been the better off you may be, and if you aren't eligible for your intended clearance you may still be able to work for a branch of government that has lower requirements, e.g., the FDIC.

In any case, I've carried on enough, save some parting comments. I would start with who's funded, as scholarship funding is only provided to "participating institutions". Ask questions. I've discovered that some institutions will lose funding by the time I would want to attend (Iowa State), and others offer the program but have goofy entrance requirements. Idaho state, which has an FBI field office in the same city, is on the list but doesn't have a Master's program. Schools say that administrative overhead is immense; some discovered they just don't want to deal with it once their current grads get through...and you might be interdepartmental, which is a whole different ball game. If you don't need the scholarship you can find plenty of schools offering an IA program, maybe even one with the management and technical mix you're seeking. Good luck.

What is SFS?

Principal Investigators (participating institutions)

DoD DIAP IASP (Information Assurance Scholarship Program) (just a jumping off place for you)

Best regards,


Kirk M. Schafer

Infosec Capital
201 Hawk Ridge Dr #2210
Iowa City, IA 52246

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