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Computer Security and Information Assurance

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Graduate Certificate
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

The certificate program in computer security and information assurance provides a strong technical education in the security of computer systems and networks, as well as training in related policy issues.

The objective of the certificate program in computer security and information assurance is to provide a coordinated four-course sequence that emphasizes concepts in computer security, augmented with current industry standard techniques and challenges. It provides an alternative to the full M.S. program for practicing computer scientists and other information technology personnel who wish to extend their education beyond the B.S. level, and to those who wish to acquire up-to-date knowledge in the burgeoning field of computer and network security.

Students will learn the essentials of computer and network security through two required courses, and will also have the opportunity to explore in further depth topics of specific interest through two electives. Electives are offered in topics such as information policy, wireless security, and cryptography, as well on advanced research topics in the various specialized areas of security.

Four courses (twelve credits) are required to complete the program.  Two of these four courses (six credits) consist of required courses, CSci 283 (Computer Security) and CSci 286 (Network Security). The other two courses may be chosen from a list of several electives. Classes typically meet once a week, in the evenings, at 6:10 or 7:10 pm, and last for two and a half hours. All four courses can be applied towards a graduate degree in computer science.

The George Washington University has been recognized as a Center of Academic Excellence in Education-Research and by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – January 15
Spring – September 1
Summer – March 1

Prior academic records: 

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

If academic records are in a language other than English, a copy in the original language and an English language translation must be uploaded. Transcript evaluations should not be uploaded. Applicants with degrees from Indian universities should upload transcripts and/or detailed marksheets.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250 to 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study at The George Washington University; describe your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans; and discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned.

International applicants only:

International applicants requiring a visa from GW are not eligible to apply for admission to this program, but may apply for the M.S., Ph.D., or a professional degree (App.Sc. or Engr.) in computer science with an area of focus in computer security and information assurance.

For more information on the admission process, please visit the SEAS Frequently Asked Questions page.

Contact for questions:
engineering@gwu.edu - 202.596.7239 - 202.994.1651 (fax)
9:00 – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday
Skype: GWEngineering