Information Security - Technical Concentration / Master of Science

The Master of Science in Information Security (MSIS) program provides students with background and insights into the key management and technical issues of information security. It is an interdisciplinary program administered by the Management Information Systems Department in the College of Business and the Computer and Mathematical Sciences Department in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Management concentration focuses on the identification and mitigation of information security risks and threats faced by organizations, as well as strategies for securing the data, processes, and systems of organizations. It discusses identification and prevention of cyber crime, computer forensics, ethical hacking, database security, risk management, and information security governance and compliance. The Technical concentration examines the tools, techniques, and concepts by which information systems can be made secure. It examines the details of how information processing systems of all shapes and sizes perform their various functions, teaching students how operating systems, software applications, database and file systems, and data networks can be made secure through cryptography, security protocols, secure coding practices, vulnerability testing, and forensics.

The Management concentration has hands-on courses that provide skills required for managing the information security infrastructure of organizations. This option is appropriate for information technology (IT) leaders, information security managers, and directors who are responsible for designing, recommending, and maintaining the IT infrastructure and information security controls, and for developing strategic technology plans. The Technical concentration is a hands-on option that is attractive to IT professionals who desire a deep understanding and mastery of how to design and implement defenses against today's and tomorrow's cyber threats, identify and investigate security breaches, and resolve security problems when and where they arise.

To accommodate the needs of working professionals, the Technical program is structured for part-time students with courses offered in the evenings. All courses are offered in an eight-week format. Additionally, the Technical program is fully offered online.

Full Admission
To be accepted for admission into the program, a student must present the following credentials:

1. A baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education.

2. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

3. An application for graduate admission, accompanied by an application fee.

4. Professional résumé.

5. Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education attended.

6. A two-page statement of purpose.

7. Two letters of recommendation.

Please note: International students are required to have a TOEFL test score greater than 550 (computer-based 213; internet-based 79).

Provisional Admission

Under certain circumstances, students who do not meet one or more of the requirements for full admission may be admitted to the program on a provisional basis.  Provisional admission is most commonly offered to applicants who earned an undergraduate GPA less than 3.0 (but greater than 2.5).  Students granted provisional status will be considered for full admission by the Graduate Program Director in consultation with the Graduate Council of the College of Arts and Sciences only after they have attempted 9 credit hours in the program and earned a GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0.  Provisionally-admitted students who have not attained the minimum GPA of 3.0 after attempting 9 credit hours of MSIS coursework will be dismissed from the program.


A student-at-large is not a degree candidate. In order to be admitted as a student-at-large, the applicant must submit official documentation of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education and complete a modified application form. The decision to admit an at-large student to graduate courses belongs to the Graduate Program Director, whose decision is based on an evaluation of the applicant’s undergraduate coursework and possibly an interview. However, should the student decide to apply for full admission status at a later time, but within 5 years of course completion, only a maximum of 9 semester hours of graduate coursework completed as a student-at-large can be applied toward an advanced degree, and only courses with grades of B or better will count toward the degree.


Foundation Coursework

Students who lack prior coursework in computer science or management information systems from an accredited collegiate institution are required to take up to two foundation courses in the major to gain background in computer programming and computer organization. The determination of whether a student is required to take one or both foundation courses will be made during the application review process by the Program Director. The Graduate Program Director will evaluate the applicant's prior academic transcripts, looking for courses in computer programming and computer organization. If the transcripts provide evidence of academic credit in Computer Programming and / or Computer Organization from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education, the student will not be required to take the corresponding foundation ourse. The foundation courses are designed to provide students who lack prior academic coursework in the fundamentals of Computer Science the concepts they need to appreciate fully the technical aspects of information security.

Transfer of Graduate Credit

A student entering the Master of Science in Information Security program with appropriate prior graduate coursework in information security may have a maximum of 9 credit hours beyond the Foundation Courses applied to the MSIS degree.  Course credits eligible for transfer consideration must meet the following criteria:

1. All transfer credit must have been earned prior to matriculation in the MSIS program.

2. The coursework must have been completed at a regionally-accredited graduate school.

3. Only courses with a minimum grade of B are acceptable.

4. The coursework must have an equivalent in the MSIS curriculum.

5. Courses from outside the United States will be considered if they are evaluated as graduate level by the Office of Admission or the Commission on Accreditation of the American Council on Education.

6. Credit for prior learning is not awarded for graduate courses.

[Students designated by the Computer and Mathematical Sciences Department as having been participants in good standing in the undergraduate Fast Track program offered by Lewis University and who have fulfilled all the requirements for Fast Track delineated in the undergraduate catalog may apply up to 9 credits towards the Master of Science in Information Security.]


International Students

International students are required to meet all the admission requirements for full or provisional admission and also the admission requirement specific in the General Information section of this Catalog entitles "Entering International Students."


Grade Point Requirement

A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation. Only grades earned in Lewis University graduate courses will be used to determine the GPA. A grade of will not count toward degree requirements. A student admitted to the MSIS program whose GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. 

Academic Probation

A student in the Master of Science in Information Security program whose GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. While on academic probation, the student must achieve a GPA of 3.0 or better in the courses taken during each 8-week session. If a student does not meet this minimum GPA requirement in the courses taken during any session on academic probation, he or she will be dismissed from the program.  After a one-semester hiatus, the student may petition the Graduate Program Director in writing to resume studies. The Graduate Program Director, in consultation with Graduate Council, will make the final decision on whether to allow the student to resume studies. If consent is granted to resume studies in the MSIS program, the student will resume studies on academic probation. Once a student's GPA meets or exceeds 3.0, the student will be released from academic probation. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required to graduate.

Enrollment of Undergraduates in Graduate Courses

Registration by undergraduates in graduate courses is limited to a maximum of 2 courses. The student must be within 30 credits of completing the bachelor’s degree requirements, have at least a 3.0 GPA, and have the approval of the Graduate Program Director. Registration for graduate courses will be included in the student’s undergraduate registration form.

Credit earned in a graduate course may be considered either as graduate credit (and not to be counted toward the undergraduate degree) or as undergraduate credit (to be counted in the number of credits required for the baccalaureate degree).  Credit earned in a graduate course may not be counted toward more than one degree.  [However, Lewis University undergraduates accepted into the Computer and Mathematical Sciences Department's Fast Track program may apply up to 9 graduate credit hours to both graduate and undergraduate degrees. These students must follow the guidelines published in the undergraduate catalog.]

Policy on Incomplete Grades

Credit for the Capstone experience (CPSC 59000) will be deferred until the project has been completed to the satisfaction of both the student and the mentor. Until the project has been completed, a grade of I (Incomplete) will appear on the student's record for that course. For all other courses in which the student receives a grade of I, he or she has until the sixth week of the following semester to complete the requirements for the course. If the student fails to complete the requirements of the course before the six-week cutoff, the incomplete grade will be converted to a grade of "IF", which is equivalent to a failing grade.


Time Limitation for Completing the Program

A student must complete all requirements within 7 years from the completion of his or her first graduate course at Lewis University. Students remain under the requirement of the catalog in effect at the time of matriculation unless they discontinue attendance for two consecutive years or more, in which case they will follow the catalog in effect upon their return.

Graduation Requirements

To complete the MSIS degree, a student must earn between 35 and 41 credit hours, depending on whether the student was required to take the Foundation Courses. Students must complete at least 35 graduate credits in the program beyond the two Foundation Courses. These 35 credit hours consist of 18 credit hours of Core coursework, 12 hours of Concentration coursework, 2 hours of Seminar coursework, and a 3-credit hour Capstone course. The student will take at least 9 hours of coursework from the Technical concentration. The remaining 3 hours may be taken from either the Management or the Technical concentration.

Degree Offered:  Master of Science
Total Credit Hours:  35-41

Curriculum for the MSIS Technical Concentration

Program: MS-INFO-A

I. Foundation Courses (6)

CPSC-50000Computer Organization


INSY-50100Principles of Programming


II. Core Courses (18)

INSY-50500Introduction to Information Security


INSY-51000Data Networking


CPSC-51500Operating Systems and Distributed Systems


CPSC-52000Intrusion Detection, Response and Recovery


CPSC-52500Encryption and Authentication


INSY-53000Legal & Ethical Issues in Information Security


III. Technical Concentration (9-12)

A minimum of three courses from the following:

INSY-52300Computer Forensics


CPSC-56000Securing Windows


CPSC-56100Securing Linux


INSY-59400Database Management


CPSC-66400Wireless Security


CPSC-66500Software Vulnerabilities and Defenses


CPSC-67000Cloud and Virtualization Security


CPSC-67300Advanced Digital Forensics


CPSC-68000Industrial and Critical Infrastructure Network Security


IV. Elective (0-3)

Choose an additional elective from either Management or Technical Concentration to fulfill a total of 12 credit hours of elective coursework.

V. Seminar Courses (2)

Two credit hours of seminar coursework:

INSY-59700Information Security Certification Prep 1


INSY-59710Information Security Certification Prep 2


VI. Capstone (3)

CPSC-59100Information Security Capstone: Technical Concentration