Master of Science
in Information Assurance
Expect Challenge, Achieve Distinction
Table of Contents
Director’s Message 1
Program Overview 2
Program Structure 3
Seminar Descriptions 4-5
Residency Week 6
Online Learning 8
Six Levels of Support 9
Admission Requirements 10
Frequently Asked Questions 11
Join The Norwich Tradition 12
When I began working in the computer field in the 60’s, technology. The greatest need is for professionals who
information assurance meant nothing more than controlling understand the policies, procedures, and overall structure of an
access to the computer room. Getting data out of the room organization-wide information assurance program.We prepare
required either printing it or copying it to spools of magnetic students to enter upper management positions to implement
tape the size of hubcaps. The center of the information information assurance principles across all parts of an
assurance world was the computer room. organization.
All that has changed since the early 1990’s. The Internet allows An educational principle that has been true for years and is a
a hacker to knock on a company’s front door, back door, or side keystone of Norwich's history as a teaching institution is that
door from anywhere in the world, and a disgruntled employee theory must be melded with practice for real learning to occur.
can download a gigabyte of company data onto a flash drive Our students apply what they learn to their own organization
the size of a salt shaker and walk it out in his or her pocket. while they learn it, providing them with consulting experience
and their organization with valuable reports. Many of our
Not surprisingly, securing an organization’s information assets
students have been promoted as a result of their case study
has become a critical business process. Recent high profile
before even completing the program.
cases of information theft have moved the information
assurance field to center stage. Information assurance Norwich University’s MSIA program will be a significant
professionals are in high demand, and studies indicate that the enhancement to your career in this increasingly visible and
need will double in the new few years. Never has the field important field. Join the ranks of our successful graduates.
seen a brighter future.
The increased need for information assurance has also come
with increased demands in the field. The information
assurance professional has to worry not only about securing
an organization’s proprietary information, but customer and
employee information. The information assurance professional
must understand the new regulatory environment that has Michel E. Kabay, PhD, CISSP-ISSMP
been created by laws such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley.
Even the name of the field has evolved from “information
security” to “information assurance,” a term borrowed from
Master of Science in Information Assurance
government circles in recognition that security is a process,
not a product. It also recognizes that threats are not limited to
malicious attack. Natural disasters, employee error, and Michel E. Kabay, PhD, CISSP-ISSMP is currently employed with Norwich
hardware failure are all equally serious threats. University in the Division of Business and Management as Associate Professor
of Computer Information Systems Information Assurance and Director,
Norwich University created the Master of Science in Information
Master’s Program in Information Assurance. Dr. Kabay’s extensive experience
Assurance program to fill the need for professionals who includes Atomictangerine, Inc. as Security Leader; ICSA Labs as Director of
understand the management of information assurance and Education; Jinbu Corporation, as President & Owner; Mathema,
how information assurance supports and advances business Incorporated, as Director of Technical Services, and Hewlett-Packard
(Canada) Ltd., as Systems Engineering Consultant. He received his PhD from
Dartmouth College and his MSc from McGill University. His publications
This is not technical training in how to configure a firewall. include Cyber-Safety for Everyone: from Kids to Elders and Computer
As they say, information assurance is about people, not Security Handbook as well as myriad articles.
The National Security Agency has designated Norwich a broader knowledge of the IA issues which affect
University as a Center for Academic Excellence in managerial decisions and an organization’s IA policies.
Information Assurance Education. Norwich’s highly The program prepares learners to assume professional
regarded Master of Information Assurance degree, offered management responsibilities such as Chief Security
online, gives you access to a curriculum of unparalleled Officers, Security Administrators, and Chief Information
academic quality. Security Officers. The MSIA degree is built specifically for
working professionals. Its design will accommodate your
The program is designed for those in technology fields demanding work and home life schedule.
who wish to combine their technical competency in
computer science or information systems with The Master of Science in Information Assurance program
will capitalize on your experience and meet your
educational needs by offering an in-depth study of IA-
related management and security issues, and by creating
opportunities for you to propose real, workplace-based
solutions to real and emerging security threats.
Theory and practice are blended into a learning experience
that develops skills applicable to complex real-world
problems. The MSIA coursework focuses on the
integration of information security with business
problems and opportunities within your own workplace.
You’ll bridge the connection between both technological
issues and business concepts, and put those concepts to
work in a real-world context.
Thanks to a rich and dynamic learning environment, you
will study with other IA professionals from around the
country. At the end of the coursework, you will have
developed strong relationships with your fellow students
and the Norwich faculty without ever having the
opportunity of face-to-face interaction with them.
To overcome this distance, and to cement these
relationships into lifelong bonds, all students come
together on the campus of Norwich University for a one-
week residency and graduation.
“ While a Distance Education may not be for everyone, my experience at
Norwich in one word would have to be “Superb.” As a professor myself,
I found the level of caring and responsive experts that this program has
gathered to be the key to the program. ... The education I received at
Norwich was more than just a couple of classes that I managed to finish
- I was provided with ... discipline and improved writing skills that I am
now using as a PhD student at Purdue University.
—Russell D. Rosco, MSIA 2005
Norwich University provides a fresh and You travel through the program
innovative approach to master's education with the same group of students
The MSIA program offers 36 credits of coursework split Unlike other graduate programs having students with
into six, 6-credit seminars. There are two seminars per scattered schedules, you will join a group of approximately
semester. Seminars one and two are taken in Semester 1, 12 students, known as a cohort.You will be able to develop
Seminars three and four in Semester 2, etc. Seminars are very close friendships and business relationships with the
appropriately named Seminars 1-6 and they last about other students in your cohort as you travel though the
eleven weeks; each semester lasts 24 weeks. Every student entire program together. The community created in this
follows the same path through the program, taking system is real.
Seminar 1 through 6 in progression, then on to a one-week
residency. There are four start dates: March, June,
Capstone residency experience
September and December.
The coursework is followed by a one-week residency and
A pace designed specifically for graduation at Norwich. There is no nicer place to be in the
busy professionals summer than the Green Mountains of Vermont. Norwich
University’s School of Graduate Studies provides travel
assistance in the amount of $1,000 to each graduating
Coursework takes between 15-20 hours per week. Our
student participating in the Residency. Travel assistance
extensive experience has demonstrated that you can
checks will be delivered to students upon completion of all
manage this pace. We have students from nearly every
Residency out-processing activities.
walk of life: busy executives, retired professionals, working
mothers, and active military personnel. If they can do it,
so can you.
Course of Study Semester One
The program is 36 credits with six consecutive
seminars of six credits each. You can complete Seminar 1 GI510
your coursework in less than 2 years.
The first seminar provides an introduction to information
systems security assurance. The topics covered include
Seminars: cyberspace law, computer forensics, computer crime,
information warfare, penetrating computer systems
Foundations and networks, malicious code, denial-of-service attacks,
E-commerce vulnerabilities, and physical threats to the
Prevention: Technical Defenses
information infrastructure. (6 credits)
Prevention: Human Factors
Prevention: Technical Defenses
Detection, Response and Hot Topics
Seminar 2 GI520
The second seminar examines the range and effectiveness
of the technical tools used to protect the information
infrastructure. These tools include cryptography systems,
identification and authentication, operating system security,
e-commerce safeguards, firewalls and proxy servers, anti-
malware and anti-spyware technology, software
development and quality assurance, and anti-piracy
techniques. (6 credits)
Prevention: Human Factors Management Tools
Seminar 3 GI530 Seminar 6 GI560
The third seminar looks at the human factors contributing The sixth seminar provides an understanding of the
to information security. These factors include security policy management concepts needed to develop and implement
guidelines, security awareness, ethical decision-making in an enterprise-wide information assurance program. Topics
the context of technology, employment practices and include management principles, vendor relations, quality
policies, operations security and production controls, control, organizational psychology, decision-making and
e-mail and Internet use policies, working with law leadership, project management and problem solving.
enforcement, use of social psychology to implement (6 credits)
security policies, and auditing. (6 credits)
Detection, Response and Hot Topics Unique Consultancy Project
Seminar 4 GI540
Meld theory with practice through our unique case study
The fourth seminar covers the tools and techniques for program. Analyze your organization’s information system
detecting and responding to intrusions. The topics in this and provide invaluable security recommendations.Your
seminar include detection vulnerability assessment and organization will receive consulting recommendations
intrusion detection systems, emergency quick-response normally costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, and you
teams, censorship, privacy and anonymity, standards and will have gained the experience to become an information
laws, and the future of information assurance. (6 credits) security expert
When I started the MSIA program in the fall of 2004, I
never imagined that this step in my pursuit of lifelong
learning would have such an immediate effect in my
career, but thanks to the MSIA program format, every
IA term paper I’ve submitted to management has
In order to provide you with the opportunity to tailor your
produced significant improvements in our information
education to your own professional goals, you are able to
security strategy and captured the attention of our
choose an elective for your fifth seminar.
business unit leadership.
You can customize your degree with one of the following — Octavio Herrera
elective choices: MSIA 2006
• Emergency Management
• Business Continuity Planning
• Computer Emergency Response Teams
• Digital Investigations
These courses will combine students from different cohorts as
well as being open to alumni.(6 credits)
Note: Courses may not be offered every semester. Contact an
Admissions Advisor for details. 1.800.460.5597 ext. 3363
Residency Week — The Culminating Experience
Graduation — The Master's Hood
You will cap your studies with a week-long
residency at Norwich University in the hills of
At the end of the week, a formal graduation ceremony will
Vermont during the month of June. Residency will
be held, complete with master’s hooding and a special
allow you to meet your fellow classmates and dinner celebration.
instructors face-to-face and become involved in
exciting activities such as a professional
conference, lectures, networking, and graduation.
Attaining a master’s degree takes sacrifice on the part of
family members as well as students. Graduation at Norwich
is, therefore, a very special and emotional event, which
Cementing lifelong friendships students often share with family members.We strongly
and networks encourage you to bring your family, to share and participate
in the special events, celebrations, and ceremonies.
You will have time to relax with professors and colleagues
from all the program’s cohorts, cementing lifelong
friendships and business acquaintances.
“ I had an epiphany regarding the value of the education
I received at Norwich during a recent risk assessment
project. While working on this project, I was able to
utilize my enhanced skills and think more “out of the
box” than in similar efforts over the past five years. I
would encourage other IA professionals to look at
Norwich’s MSIA as a capstone to their career
— Kerry Anderson, CFE
Our faculty are leaders in both academic
excellence and professional achievement
Academic achievement and real-world experience
All of Norwich University’s faculty have distinguished academic and
professional backgrounds.You will be learning from some of the best
and brightest professors across the nation, Ph.D’s, consultants and
experts with real-world experience in the field.
Trained to teach online
All instructors have completed online educational training, ensuring
their ability to create a dynamic learning environment for your
Online Learning Gives You Access Anywhere, Anytime
Designed to accommodate your demanding Learning that fits your busy lifestyle
work and home life
All printed materials and textbooks for the program are
The program’s virtual classroom is the center of the delivered to you prior to the beginning of each seminar.
learning experience. Here, you will access course Your course will be laid out in a detailed schedule so you
information, communicate with your instructor and fellow know what to expect and how to prepare, making life just a
students, post assignments, and view grades, all from the bit simpler.
convenience of your home or office. This highly interactive
educational website uses the highest quality multi-media
to make your learning experience as engaging as it is
Live technical support anytime — day or night
Small Groups We have built this degree around your lifestyle and
learning needs. Since many of our students work and learn
Your learning experience is enhanced off-hours, our technical support desk is always ready to
by our cohort model provide computer and software help. Our support team is
available to make your learning experience as easy as
You will be a part of a small group of about 12 other possible. Regardless of your technical skill, you are
students — a group we call a cohort.Your instructor will guaranteed assistance whenever you need it.
help build your cohort into a learning community ready to
engage in discussions of current issues and hypothetical
scenarios.Your instructor is a seasoned professional
who understands both the workplace and the academic
environment and will successfully guide your cohort
through the seminar.
Apply the knowledge you gain from the program
to your future
The program blends professional experience with scholarly
achievement, to give you the knowledge and skills that set
you apart from others in your field.You will have many
opportunities for practical application of your newfound
knowledge and experience.
Ongoing Support to Ensure Your Success
Your support team provides you with
a rich and rewarding learning experience
6 Levels of Support
Helping you succeed in the classroom is the goal of every member of the University's
distance learning team; we are here to help you every step of the way by providing
a team dedicated to you:
• Admissions Advisor — to walk you through the application process
• Assistant Director — to support you through all six seminars and Residency
• Administrative Director— to help you navigate University policies and to manage issues
that affect all the students in your class
• Instructor — to engage and coach you through your studies
• Program Director — to ensure the quality and relevance of your curriculum
• Technical Support Team — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, to make your
learning experience as easy as possible
“ It is about time that a program of this caliber is finally
available. Where else can you get the best-of-the-best
security thinkers and practitioners under one virtual roof?
— Winn Schwartau, President, Interpact, Inc.
Norwich University is committed to your success, and therefore requires that candidates for admission to the Master of
Science in Information Assurance program meet the following criteria and submit the following information. Submit
your completed application package to Norwich University for processing.Your package must be accompanied by a non-
refundable $50 application fee.
Qualifications for Admission
• An undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution OR an equivalent degree from a foreign
institution, as evaluated by WES
• An undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher
• At least 2 years of full-time work experience in informations systems or security
• The TOEFL if the applicant’s first language is not English
• Three letters of recommendation, from current or past supervisors, managers, or workplace colleagues
• Letter of intent
• All official transcripts of prior undergraduate or graduate work
• Case Study agreement signed by your case study sponsor
Graduate testing is waived for students meeting the GPA requirements.
Our Admissions Advisors are here to help you complete the admissions process
Call 1.800.460.5597, ext. 3363 (US and Canada), or +1.647.722.6642 ext. 3363 (International)
and talk to an Admissions Advisor who can help you:
• Explore all your opportunities for financial aid
• Walk step-by-step through the application process
• Determine which start date fits your needs
• Clarify any concerns or questions
Frequently Asked Questions
5. How many credits and courses do I take
You will enroll in two six-credit seminars each semester for
a total of 12 credits. Each seminar lasts approximately 11
weeks. Each semester lasts 24 weeks.
6. How much does the program cost?
See the “Tuition and Fees Supplement”for the most current
information or speak to your Admissions Advisor.
7. Do you accept transfer credits or grant credits based on
1. How challenging is an online degree at Norwich work experience and certifications?
We will, on a case-by-case- basis, assess transfer credit up
Most of our students find that our online programs to six credits. Work experience and certifications cannot be
are more rigorous than any traditional class they have used as a substitute for coursework.
taken.You can be assured that the return on your hard
work will be immediate as you apply your learning to the 8. When do I start the program?
You may enter the program four times per year
2. Will my diploma say “Online” degree? in either March, June, September, or December.
No.You will receive the official, traditional diploma 9. What does an average week look like for a student
of Norwich University. enrolled in an online graduate program at Norwich
3. How is the program accredited?
This program is designed for the working professional who
Norwich University is accredited by the New England must balance the demands of work, home and study. Most
Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc., through its students require about 20 hours of study time per week for
Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. reading course material, researching discussion and essay
topics, posting to discussions, and completing each writing
Inquiries regarding the accreditation status by the New assignment. Some students set aside study time after the
England Association should be directed to the kids are in bed, or early in the morning. Most students
administrative staff of the institution. Individuals may also study during some portion of the weekend. Like every
contact: student, you will need to develop a well-structured study
routine that suits you and accomodates your work and
Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
family responsibilities.Your instructor and your Assistant
New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Director will help keep you on track.You will find that your
209 Burlington Road
cohort is a tremendous source of support in managing
Bedford, MA 01730-1433
your time and studies.
10. Who do I talk to if I have more questions,
or I want to apply?
4. How long is the program?
You may call an Admissions Advisor at 1.800.460.5597,
The coursework can be completed in 18 months. There are
ext. 3363 (US and Canada), or +1.647.722.6642 ext. 3363
three six-month semesters and a one-week on-campus
(International) who will be able to answer all your questions.
residency in June. Depending on the start date you choose,
you will have your degree in 18 to 27 months.Your
Admissions Advisor will assist you with the enrollment
calendar, highlighting the unique benefits of each start date.
Join The Norwich Tradition
Established in 1819, Norwich University is a small, prestigious university with a balance of strong
professional and liberal arts programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Our 1600
undergraduate students choose either a military lifestyle as part of the Corps of Cadets or a
traditional college lifestyle. The campus is located in Northfield, Vermont in the heart of the Green
Mountains, truly one of the most beautiful locations in the world for a college campus. Norwich is
known for its dedicated teaching faculty. The combination of superior professional education, broad
studies in the liberal arts, dedicated faculty, and the leadership laboratory supplied by the Corps of
Cadets has generated a legacy not found in many corners of the educational map. Norwich is a very
proud place and maintains deep bonds with its alumni. The New England Association of Schools
and Colleges accredits Norwich University.
Why You Should Choose Norwich University for your Master’s Degree
Norwich University has always been a leader in higher education:
• Norwich was the first private college in the nation to offer engineering instruction
• Norwich was the first private military academy in the nation
• Norwich was the birthplace of ROTC
• Norwich's Corps of Cadets was one of the first to accept women
• Norwich's founder, Alden Partridge, brought experiential learning to U.S. education
His educational beliefs became the basis for the Morrill Land Grant Act, which
transformed American education into the model for the world
School of Graduate Studies
PO Box 367 Northfield, VT 05663-0367
Phone: 1.800.460.5597, ext. 3363 (US and Canada)
+1.647.722.6642 ext. 3363 (International)