Network and Computer Security (MS)

Offered On-Campus Only

The Master of Science program in Network and Computer Security offers students a cutting-edge curriculum in the field of cyber security. The program has been developed in conjunction with local experts in both industry and government, and provides students with a rigorous foundation of coursework that prepares them for management and technical positions in the fields of cyber security research and IT security management.

The program is designed for students who have the equivalent of an undergraduate degree in network and computer security, computer science or systems, electrical engineering or a related field; however, students without a background in one of these areas may enter the program by completing appropriate pre-requisite coursework under the guidance of a faculty adviser.  Students with appropriate professional experience in information technology may also be eligible for program admission.

The program accommodates both a full-time and part-time students. Full-time students can complete the program within an 18-month period. Part-time completion will vary based on total number of credits taken each term. A program of study will be developed with the program coordinator that responds to student needs and the department’s plan for course scheduling.

Lab Facilities
The Computer Science Department maintains its own academic computing network tailored to support our programs and provide an open environment for student experimentation and exploration. Departmental servers support the Computer Science Department  and  student  web  sites  (,  central  file  storage,  remote access, databases, software repositories, streaming video, and student project virtual machines. Our computing environment is managed by professional staff and student administrators. Students interested in the fields of network or systems administration and desiring an opportunity to hone their skills prior to graduation should stop by our workroom.

The Newman Cybersecurity Lab (Donovan 1240) provides NCS students with access to networking and computer resources used for both in-class lab sessions and for individual projects. Eight “pods” provide students with their own “branch office” that can be configured and secured within the closed lab environment. Each pod contains a switch (Cisco Catalyst 2960), router (Cisco ISR 1921), firewall (Cisco 5505 ASA), wireless access point (Cisco Aironet model AIR-AP1142N), IP phone (Digium D40), and Linux host PC.

Pre-Requisite Courses and Background

  • Computing Fundamentals
  • Unix Programming
  • Computer Organization
  • Networking of Information Systems
  • Discrete Math/Finite Math
  • Calculus
  • Probability/Statistics

The need for completion of pre-requisite coursework is determined in consultation with the Graduate Admissions Office and the program coordinator.

Program Requirements

The M.S. in Network and Computer Security consists of 33 credit hours distributed as follows:
Core Courses: 18 credit hours
Technical Electives:
9 – 12 credit hours
Thesis/Project: 3 – 6 credit hours

Core Courses (18 credit hours)

  • NCS 511 Information Assurance Fundamentals
  • NCS 521 Data Communications
  • NCS 531 Computer Security
  • NCS 541 Network Security
  • NCS 543 Secure Protocols
  • NCS 598 Research Methods

Technical Electives (9-12 credit hours)

  • NCS 522 Network Administration
  • NCS 532 Network Intrusion Prevention and Detection
  • NCS 542 Advanced Network Protocols and Standards
  • NCS 552 VoIP and Multimedia Security
  • NCS 562 Wireless and Mobile Networks
  • NCS 563 Wireless Security
  • NCS 590 Special Topics in Network and Computer Security

Thesis/Project (3 – 6 credit hours)

  • NCS 597 Research Project (3 credits)
  • NCS 599 Thesis Research (6 credits)

Students may choose either the project or thesis option for the culminating experience.  The project option is for students who want to complete a practical programming or simulation project, or produce a Technology Case Study (TCS) that describes in detail the state-of-the-art technology, market, and future prospects for some cutting-edge topic in the field.  The thesis option is for students wishing to pursue original research and requires students to demonstrate appropriate independent research and written communication skills.

Degree Requirements Overview & Program Notes

  • Unless otherwise noted, all graduate courses are 3 credit hours.
  • All students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher to graduate.
  • Over the course of their studies, students can apply at most two “C” grades in courses taken toward the degree.
  • Students may repeat at most two courses in which a “C” grade or less was received.
  • Students may transfer up to six credit hours, if applicable, from another graduate program.
  • Students must maintain continuous registration, equal to or greater than one credit while working on their final thesis or project. MS NCS students can do this by registering for either NCS 597 or NCS 599, as appropriate, with their advisor for one credit. This may be taken for up to six semesters at which time it is expected that all program requirements will have been met. Students must be registered at SUNY Polytechnic Institute during the term they intend to graduate.