The UMass Amherst Graduate-level Certificate in Information Security Certificate is offered by the College of Information & Computer Science. The program is open to the public and aims to help students build the sought-after skills and knowledge needed to distinguish themselves in a highly competitive field by offering comprehensive training in information technology security and policy. It is an academic sequence of five courses that altogether comprise an official certificate from UMass Amherst.

The graduate certificate is open to matriculated graduate students and post-graduate non-degree students, as long as they have the prerequisites for the courses and submit the required pre-application. Students do not need to matriculate (or be enrolled at) UMass Amherst to participate. Graduates of the Information Security Certificate program can transfer their credits to UMass Amherst (or other institutions) should they enroll in a campus program that accepts the transfer credits.   An official undergraduate transcript and employment/educational history (CV) is required. 

The program's instruction varies per class.  Most classes are taught in-person and sychronously online.

The graduate certificate consists of 15 credits across five classes: 

Certificate Core Courses.  Satisfy three core courses (nine credits) from the Certificate Core courses list.  

COMPSCI 560        Introduction to Computer and Network Security(previously COMPSCI 597N)(3 credits)
COMPSCI 563        Internet Law & Policy (previously INFOSEC 690L) (3 credits)
COMPSCI 561        System Defense and Test (previously COMPSCI 590A) (3 credits)
COMPSCI 660       Advanced Information Assurance (3 credits)

Certificate Elective Courses.  Satisfy two elective courses (six credits) from the Certificate Core courses list, Certificate Security electives courses list, or CS electives courses list.

Certificate Security Electives Courses

COMPSCI 590K     Advanced Digital Forensic Systems  (3 credits)
COMPSCI 661        Secure Distributed Systems (3 credits)

CS Electives Courses

COMPSCI 503       Embedded Computing Systems (3 credits)
COMPSCI 590CC  Cloud Computing (3 credits)
COMPSCI 590S     Systems for Data Science (3 credits)
COMPSCI 630       Systems (3 credits)
COMPSCI 631       Programming languages (3 credits)
COMPSCI 535/635 Modern computer architecture** Not both classes (3 credits)
COMPSCI 645       Database Design and Implementation (3 credits)
COMPSCI 655       Performance Evaluation (3 credits)
COMPSCI 677       Distributed and Operating Systems (3 credits) 
COMPSCI 585       Introduction to Natural Language Processing (3 credits)
COMPSCI 589/689Machine Learning** Not both classes (3 credits)

Also, any three-credit courses accepted as a core course offered by College of Information and Computer Sciences that have an appropriate focus may be accepted with approval as an elective.  

Alternatively, one of these Isenberg courses can be accepted as an elective with prior approval:
SCH MGMT 650          Business Data Analysis  (3 credits)
SCH MGMT 602          Business Intelligence & Analytics  (3 credits)
SCH MGMT 632          IT Strategy  (3 credits) 

A minimum GPA of 3.0 and no grade below C are required for certificate completion.

Once a student successfully completes all courses, the certificate is awarded. There are no additional requirements or qualifying examinations for it.  

We do our best to schedule classes so that all 15 credits can be taken within 12 months.  Classes may either run for eight weeks at an accelerated pace or for a full semester.  We offer classes all year, including summer.  

Registration is through the University Without Walls, formerly the College of Continuing and Professional Education (CPE). The cost is $825 USD per credit. Fifteen credits are required for the certificate.  The total cost for the program is $12,375 USD. Additionally, the courses require purchase of certain textbooks. CPE charges a small fee per semester as well. 

The undergraduate certificate program is open to students with Associate's degrees or professionals with significant work experience.   Students may choose to take any classes individually as a part of UMass Amherst's Continuing & Professional Education. The Certificate -- accredited by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Faculty Senate -- is awarded by the College of Information and Computer Sciences upon successful completion of all courses in the curriculum. 

Students who qualify for admission to the University of Massachusetts Amherst may matriculate and apply these courses to a degree program; we do not currently offer an MS in Information Technology. A limited number of our Infosec classes may be applied to the Computer Science MS degree (separate admission required first) and possibly to other degrees on campus. Classes at the 500-level and above can be taken by undergraduates and graduate students alike; however, the graduate-level Information Security Certificate can be awarded to only persons with a bachelor's degree recognized by UMass Amherst. Students without an undergraduate degree may take the graduate-level classes, but can, with prior approval from us, apply them to only the undergraduate-level certificate.

For more information, please inquire here.

Click here for testimonials about our graduate certificate.

Out of State Online Students

UMASS AMHERST ACCEPTS STUDENTS FROM ALL 50 STATES INTO ONLINE PROGRAMS AND CLASSES. Some restrictions may apply to programs related to professional licensures (e.g., nursing, education). For details, check the program's website.  Learn More.