New Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity Offered

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Tapping into one of the University’s known specialties, the School of Professional and Continuing Studies (PCS) has been awarded New York State approval for its first master’s program: a Master of Science in Cybersecurity.

PCS Dean Isabelle Frank, Ph.D., made the announcement at a March 11 White House sponsored event focused on President Obama’s Critical Infrastructure Framework, the presidential initiative addressing the nation’s cyberrisk.

Inspired by Fordham’s high-profile International Conference on Cyber Security, Frank oversaw the development of a review seminar at PCS of security best practices for information systems. The certificate course, Information Systems Security, was prepared by (ISC)², a nonprofit certification consortium, and its popularity has led to the development of the master’s program.

“Cybersecurity effects all types of organizations,” said Frank. “And as we begin to understand the risks we’ll need to think about the human side, because behind every attack there is a person.”

PCS will collaborate with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and its Computer and Information Science Department in particular. Frank said that the goal is to further develop the programming to be industry specific, eventually folding in law, business, and public policy.

“The intent is to build on other tracks geared to other types of employees or staff, so that graduates are able to translate cyberrisks they relate to particular fields,” she said.

The program will be run primarily through the Lincoln Center campus; however, students will be able to attend other campuses as well. Online classes and intensive weekend sessions will also be part of the coursework.

The degree program was created with member support from the computer and information sciences department: especially Bob Moniot, Ph.D., associate professor and chair and Frank Hsu, Ph.D., the Clavius Distinguished Professor of Science. Associate Professor Xiao Xu Han, Ph.D., will coordinate the program. Anthony J. Ferrante, FCRH ’01, GSAS ’04, an adjunct known for his extreme hacking courses, will teach in the program.

Frank said that, though other universities offer similar programing, Fordham’s blended learning approach of online and classroom courses, coupled with the convenience offered for career professionals, makes the new master’s unique.

“We’re taking the best of both worlds,” she said, adding, “This is one incredibly fast- growing sector—meaning that there will be jobs at the end of this degree.”

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