George Mason University

Security

Academics

An urgent need exists for a workforce with advanced technical skills in everything related to security and communications. Mason’s security programs prepare individuals to create and maintain crucial telecommunications systems, and to defend our nation from cyber and biological threats with the most innovative knowledge and tools available.

Mason’s Innovative Cyber Security Program Prepares Students for Crucial Careers

While many colleges teach students to solve cybersecurity problems in existing systems, George Mason University became the first in the country to offer a program that focuses on building cyber­-resilience into systems as they’re being designed. 

The university added a Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security Engineering in 2015. At a ceremony announcing the program, Virginia Senator Mark Warner offered these inspiring words to students: “If you’re in this program, you’re very smart. You will have careers for as long as you need them.”

Industry and the federal government are facing mission-­critical skills gaps and looking to universities to find the solution, Warner said. From power grids to banks, cybersecurity needs to be integrated during the design process, he explained, not after.

Mason students Liz Estes, Christian Donose, and Ram Bista

Mason’s Innovative Cyber Security Is One of the First In the Country. Mason students Liz Estes, Christian Donose, and Ram Bista, are founders of Cyber Security Systems, a Volgenau-based group to develop future cyber industry leaders.

  • Advanced International Baccalaureate Studies, Graduate Certificate

    This program offers a graduate certificate for 15 credits for teachers interested in transitioning to an IB world school or current IB teachers looking to advance their careers and deepen their understanding of the curriculum. The course work focuses on the theory, pedagogy, and research for the International Baccalaureate programs.

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  • Advanced Networking Protocols for Telecommunications, Graduate Certificate

    This graduate certificate program is designed for those interested in gaining an in-depth understanding of advanced protocols used in a variety of telecommunications networks. While most students earn the certificate as part of their MS in Telecommunications, it is possible to earn the certificate without pursuing the MS.

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  • Applied Computer Science, BS/Information Security and Assurance, Accelerated MS

    Highly qualified students in the Applied Computer Science, BS have the option of obtaining an accelerated Information Security and Assurance MS. Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master’s degree.

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  • Applied Computer Science, BS/Information Systems, Accelerated MS

    Highly qualified students in the Applied Computer Science, BS have the option of obtaining an accelerated Information Systems MS. Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master’s degree.

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  • Applied Cyber Security, Graduate Certificate

    This certificate offers courses in key elements of cyber security. It is designed for professionals who work for, or in support of, U.S. federal agencies, and provides post-bachelor’s academic preparation for students who may not wish to complete a full master’s degree program, as well as for master’s graduates who wish to take the topic-specific courses that the certificate provides.

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  • Applied Information Technology, MS

    The MS in Applied Information Technology is the very best graduate education in IT for high-potential leaders, especially those working on IT solutions that affect the federal government. Its objective is to graduate men and women of competence and character who can lead multidisciplinary teams in the design, justification, development, management, and sustainment of mega-systems from data to decision in the private and federal sectors. Faculty include professors from the Volgenau School, the School of Business, and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, plus industry leaders with unique reputations in the subject area as adjunct professors and guest lecturers. The faculty expose students to the pragmatic issues of IT, not just the theory.

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  • Aviation Flight Training and Management, Minor

    Students completing the Aviation Flight Training and Management minor take classes for Pilot Ground school and Flight Training leading up to a solo flight.  In addition, students study aspects of aviation including systems engineering of air traffic control, design of airports, human factors and psychology, and financial planning and management.  Students will be trained for required government licensing exams such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Knowledge Test and FAA Flight tests.

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  • Biodefense, Graduate Certificate

    The certificate in biodefense provides an interdisciplinary introduction to manmade and natural biological threats, including providing a background in the science and technology of biodefense and the specialized areas of threat assessment, non-proliferation, and medical and public health preparedness. The graduate certificate in science, technology, and security may be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis.

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  • Biodefense, MS

    For those interested in protecting our nation from natural or man-made biological threats, Mason offers MS and PhD programs in biodefense. Studies in microbiology and biotechnology, combined with a broad security and organizational context, ready students for employment in biodefense and biosecurity fields, the security industry, nongovernmental organizations, and the government, as well as positions in academia.

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  • Biodefense, PhD

    The United States and the rest of the world face serious threats, including biological warfare, bioterrorism, and infectious diseases. That’s why Mason developed the Biodefense program. The doctoral program in Biodefense prepares students to work as professionals and scholars in the fields of biodefense and biosecurity. The PhD program provides a background in the science and technology of biodefense and specialized areas of threat assessment, non-proliferation, and medical and public health preparedness.

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  • CIO Graduate Certificate

    The CIO Graduate Certificate program helps information technology professionals gain core competencies to help them advance into executive level roles that manage IT resources and strategy within organizations. The program specifically focuses on: enterprise architecture and IT governance; management of information security; IT project management; managing IT investments; managing IT operations; and emerging technologies. Students must complete 15 credits. Those enrolled in the MS in Technology Management program will complete 14 of the required credits as part of the degree program.

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  • Climate Dynamics, PhD

    Our students learn about how the atmosphere, ocean, and land surface work together to determine the climate. In collaboration with internationally known scientists, students conduct independent work to further our understanding of climate, how it varies, and how much of it we can predict. Tools in the program include cutting-edge climate models, sophisticated statistical techniques, and comprehensive data sets. Our graduates have gone on to work at top laboratories and universities.

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  • Command, Control, Communications, Computing, and Intelligence, Graduate Certificate

    This certificate program focuses on the analysis, design, development, and management of Command, Control, Communications, Computing, and Intelligence (C4I) systems. Topics addressed include C4I architectures and software, communications, decision support, modeling and simulation, and sensor data fusion. The program is available to students who hold bachelor’s degrees in engineering and scientific disciplines or are in graduate status in such programs.

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  • Communications and Networking, Graduate Certificate

    This 15-credit certificate program combines six foundation and nine specialization credits to give professionals increased competency in this complex and growing field. You’ll gain greater understanding of random processes in electrical and computer engineering and computer networks and protocols. Beyond these foundations, you’ll choose three elective subjects to build specialized knowledge. Course work is at the graduate level, and is creditable to and a great starting point for a master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering. Anyone with a bachelor’s degree in science, technology, or engineering from an accredited university is eligible to take this certificate program.

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  • Computational Science, MS

    The master’s program in computational science addresses the growing demand for trained computational scientists and engineers, and data scientists. It combines a solid foundation in information technology skills with computational courses in a variety of scientific and engineering areas, where large-scale simulation, data analysis, and high performance computing play a central role.

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  • Computational Sciences and Informatics, PhD

    Computational science is defined as the systematic development and application of computing systems and computational solution techniques for modeling and simulation of scientific and engineering phenomena. Informatics is defined as the systematic development and application of computing systems and computational solution techniques for analyzing data obtained through experiments, modeling, database searches, and instrumentation. The interdisciplinary PhD in Computational Sciences and Informatics addresses the role of computation in science, mathematics, and engineering, and is designed around a core of advanced computer technology courses. The program's research and development activities in federal laboratories, scientific institutions, and high-technology firms afford students opportunities for employment.

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  • Computational Social Science, PhD

    The computational social science PhD program prepares graduate students to be professional computational social scientists in academia, government, or business. The program offers an innovative interdisciplinary academic environment for systematically exploring, discovering, and developing skills to successfully follow careers in one of the areas of computational social science.

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  • Computer Engineering, BS

    The field of computer engineering can be described as a blend of electrical engineering and computer science. It is an amalgam of the computer hardware orientation of an electrical engineering program and the operating systems and languages of a computer science program. Computer engineers are involved in research, development, design, production, and operation of a wide variety of digital systems, from integrated circuits to computer systems and large-scale computer networks.

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  • Computer Engineering, MS

    Computer engineering involves knowledge of hardware and software development. The students learn how to design new generations of computers, as well as embedded computing systems, such as those found in smartphones, cars, appliances, computer networks, and smart factories. The computer engineering program offers the following specialization areas: digital systems design, microprocessor and embedded systems, digital signal processing, computer networks, and network and system security.

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  • Computer Science, BS, Accelerated MS

    Computer Science is the discipline concerned with the design, implementation, and maintenance of the computer software systems used in almost all other professions. Computer scientists must be well-grounded in the technologies needed for the acquisition, representation, storage, transmission, transformation, and use of information in digital form and must be capable of working closely with members of other professions associated with computing. Highly qualified students in the BS in Computer Science program have the option of obtaining an accelerated MS in Computer Science.  

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  • Computer Science, BS, Minor

    Computer Science is the discipline concerned with the design, implementation, and maintenance of the computer software systems used in almost all other professions. Computer scientists must be well-grounded in the technologies needed for the acquisition, representation, storage, transmission, transformation, and use of information in digital form and must be capable of working closely with members of other professions associated with computing. The minor is intended for those pursuing other undergraduate degree programs who feel the need to pursue computer science to complement their other studies.

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  • Computer Science, MS

    The Master of Science in Computer Science offers students the opportunity to combine a sound foundation in computer science with concentrated knowledge in the latest developments in particular areas. The graduate program leading to an MS in Computer Science prepares students for research and professional practice in computer science and related technologies. The program includes both fundamentals and advanced work in the areas of artificial intelligence and databases, programming languages and software engineering, systems and networks, theoretical computer science, and visual computing.

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  • Computer Science, PhD

    Doctoral study in Computer Science offers students the opportunity to combine a sound foundation in computer science with concentrated knowledge in the latest developments in particular areas. The program includes both fundamentals and advanced work in the areas of artificial intelligence and databases, programming languages and software engineering, systems and networks, theoretical computer science, and visual computing.

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  • Computer Science, Undergraduate Certificate

    This certificate is available to students who are working on or possess an undergraduate degree in a science or engineering field but lack a formal credential in the computer science field. The certificate also is geared toward students who have shown an aptitude for graduate study but do not have the academic prerequisites required for admittance into a graduate MS computer science program.

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  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution, BA, BS, Accelerated MS

    The Accelerated Master’s is designed for highly qualified and motivated undergraduate students majoring in Conflict Analysis and Resolution.  Students admitted to this program have the opportunity to complete both their bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in a condensed time frame. Areas of concentration include: Building Peace in Divided Societies; Global Engagement; Political and Social Action; Justice and Reconciliation; Interpersonal Dynamics; and 
    Collaborative Leadership.

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  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution, BA, BS

    From disputes between two individuals to warring clashes among ethnic groups, students pursuing either a BA or BS in conflict analysis and resolution learn to affect change through peaceful solutions. The program provides a rigorous academic curriculum along with opportunities for internships, service learning, research projects, co-curricular programs, and study abroad. Graduates find fulfilling careers in mediation and negotiation, law and criminal justice, community advocacy, human resources, and international aid, development, and diplomacy. Mason also offers a minor and an accelerated master’s degree in conflict analysis and resolution. Areas of concentration include: Building Peace in Divided Societies; Global Engagement; Political and Social Action; Justice and Reconciliation; Interpersonal Dynamics; and Collaborative Leadership.

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  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Minor

    This interdisciplinary 18-credit minor equips students with the knowledge and skills they need for many careers. Students develop critical thinking skills, cross-cultural understanding, creative problem solving, research and writing skills, interpersonal skills, and the ability to work in teams.  They learn to identify and analyze sources of conflict, and apply conflict resolution theories to practical, real-world situations in their community, workplace, and personal life.

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  • Conflict Analysis and Resolution, PhD

    The doctoral program, the first of its kind in the United States, provides advanced study for students in the field of conflict analysis and conflict resolution. Students are prepared for careers as researchers, theoreticians, and teachers in higher education, and as policy administrators, analysts, and consultants in the public and private sectors.

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  • Conflict Resolution and Mediterranean Security, MS, MA, dual degree

    This dual degree program combines the faculties of two renowned educational institutions: Mason and the University of Malta’s Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies. The program provides students with the theoretical and practical tools that will enable them to deal effectively with conflicts at the micro and macro levels, placing a specific emphasis on the Mediterranean context.

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  • Cyber Security Engineering, BS

    This BS program is focused on the cyber security engineering of integrated cyber-physical systems. This degree provides a foundation in cyber security engineering, and is most appropriate for students with a strong mathematics and science background. The program prepares graduates either for direct entry into a career in engineering or for graduate study.

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  • Data Analysis, Minor

    The minor gives students a background in data analysis and statistical methodology. It is intended to complement undergraduate degree programs such as computer science, economics, environmental engineering, geography, mathematics, nursing, psychology, public administration, sociology, and systems engineering.

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  • Digital Forensics, MS

    Digital forensics is a discipline addressing the collection, processing, and analysis of digital information so that this information can be admitted as evidence in a court of law. It is interdisciplinary in its nature with the inclusion of computer engineering, computer science, information technology, law, and ethics. Digital forensics is a key component in criminal, civil, intelligence, and counter-terrorism matters. The MS in Digital Forensics will prepare graduates for careers in law enforcement, various other branches of government, and in the corporate sector such as banking and finance by combining academic education with real-world practical techniques and by offering advanced training in analyzing digital evidence, in intrusion forensics, and in legal and ethical issues.

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  • Earth Systems Science, MS

    This program addresses the growing demand for trained professionals in the Earth sciences. The program emphasizes a research-oriented, global systems approach to studying the Earth and its systems--atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere, including their interrelationships and interactions with the biosphere. Emphasis is on the observation, measurement, and analysis of Earth’s systems. Most student research projects and theses will relate to geologic and geographic topics, however studies of related topics in earth science are welcome. Students completing the program are qualified to pursue careers that require knowledge of the basics of Earth systems science and the requisite tools, specifically pertaining to the area of Earth science that they choose to investigate.

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  • Earth Systems and GeoInformation Sciences, PhD

    The Earth Systems and Geoinformation Sciences, PhD (ESGS) is based on the integration of the scientific disciplines in geosystems, geography, geosciences, and geoinformatics. Students receive broad-based training in systematic geosciences and geography, as well as technical courses in computation and geoinformation sciences. The ESGS doctoral program represents a gateway to an academic career for some students; for others, it facilitates career advancement in the public sector or private industry.Graduates of the program will be qualified as lead scientists in a wide range of activities involving geoinformatics, geosciences, geography, geographic information systems,geospatial intelligence and remote sensing. The continual expansion of the NASA Earth observation satellite constellation, development of the geospatial data infrastructure at USGS, USGIF and other federal agencies, and the need to analyze Earth-oriented data to achieve environmental and economic objectives will ensure an on-going need for qualified scientists in these fields.

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  • Electrical Engineering, BS

    Electrical engineers design and build the equipment that most of us take for granted—computers, cell phones, televisions, rockets, satellites, communications and computer networks, mobile radios, environmental control systems, robots, weapons, and cars, to name a few. Electrical engineering is the foundation on which computer engineering and computer science rest. Students in this program learn the fundamentals of electrical engineering and then choose a focus in one of the major fields of electronics—communications, networks and signal processing, computer engineering, or controls and robots.

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  • Electrical Engineering, MS

    The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers an MS in Electrical Engineering with specializations in: bioengineering, communications and networking, signal processing, control and robotics, microelectronics/nanoelectronics, and system architectures. The program is committed to high standards of teaching and research excellence in communications, digital systems design, computer networks, microprocessor and embedded systems, distributed computing, signal and image processing, control systems, robotics, intelligent systems, systems integration and microelectronics. Graduate students are offered a progressive environment with ample opportunities for the type of advanced research needed to confront the complex realities of the 21st century.

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  • Environmental Science and Policy, Accelerated MS

    This degree option allows highly qualified George Mason University students to earn an Environmental Science and Policy, MS in less time than if they had first graduated with an environmentally-focused Green Leaf -designated BA or BS degree, then applied to the MS program sequentially. This program of study is offered by the Department of Environmental Science and Policy in the College of Science.

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  • Environmental Science and Policy, MS

    The master's program in Environmental Science and Policy meets the increasing need for trained environmental professionals who can address the problems of land and water management, land use and urbanization, wetland loss, microbial ecology, bioremediation, conservation biology, and ecosystem preservation. These professionals will also contribute to the analysis and resolution of global problems, such as deforestation, insufficient world food supplies, acid deposition, population growth and public health, global climate change/warming, and depletion of the stratospheric ozone. Areas of specific departmental focus include ecosystems, conservation, environmental biocomplexity, molecular ecology, sustainability science, environmental policy and management and human/environmental interactions. The program has been designated a Green Leaf program.

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  • Environmental Science and Public Policy, PhD

    The doctoral program in Environmental Science and Public Policy is inter-disciplinary. It draws on faculty and expertise from the Environmental Science and Policy departmental core faculty, as well as faculty from across the university. Both the master’s and doctoral programs meet the increasing need for trained environmental professionals who can address the problems of land and water management, land use and urbanization, wetland loss, microbial ecology, bioremediation, conservation biology, and ecosystem preservation. Graduates will have developed knowledge and skills in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of scientific data, as well as in the integration of scientific understanding into the public policy process. Areas of specific departmental focus include ecosystems, conservation, environmental biocomplexity, molecular ecology, sustainability science, environmental policy and management, and human/environmental interactions. The program has been designated a Green Leaf program.

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  • Executive MBA

    You've put in several years in the trenches and made significant gains in your professional career. Now you’re ready for something more. The Executive MBA program is designed with the flexibility you need and the challenges you want from an advanced degree. Offering specialized global, national security, and critical infrastructure protection and management tracks, our top-ranked EMBA program is designed to help you master a range of executive-level competencies while cultivating expert business-related knowledge of the global economy or the national defense and security industries. Delivered in-class on Saturdays or online, students participate in intensive global and domestic residencies based on their chosen track.

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  • Forensic Science, BS, Minor

    Mason’s Forensic Science Program provides an exciting curriculum as well as hands-on training in crime scene investigation techniques and crime lab methodologies. Course work exposes students to forensic laboratory tests, criminal procedures and expert testimony, trace analysis, and physical evidence analysis. Graduates will be able to use their knowledge to help lawyers, juries, and judges understand the results of scientific tests. The minor in forensic sciences provides an attractive option for students with majors in the natural sciences, engineering, or computer science, and the curriculum structure makes it particularly suitable for students with majors in biology and chemistry.

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  • Forensic Science, Graduate Certificate

    This interdisciplinary graduate certificate program is designed for students seeking training in forensic science, as well as for current professionals employed by the federal government, local law enforcement, and private security corporations. Forensics refers to the application of scientific methodologies to the analysis of crime scenes, the collection of evidence, and the laboratory analysis of that evidence in support of criminal investigations. Related legal aspects are also considered as part of a comprehensive approach to forensics.

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  • Forensic Science, MS

    The Forensic Science Master’s Program is designed to give students a broad theoretical and practical background in the scientific, legal, and investigative principles of the field. Students will get the advanced training needed for a forensics career in state and local government, private industry and academia. Graduates will be qualified to conduct laboratory analysis of forensic data in a secure environment while maintaining the integrity of evidence to ensure applicability in court. Courses offer a broad exposure to forensic laboratory tests, as well as to criminal procedures and expert testimony, forensic biology, forensic chemistry, trace analysis, physical evidence, professional ethics, quality assurance, and current topics in research and development within the forensic sciences.

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  • Geographic Information System Science, Graduate Certificate

    The certification is designed to help students pursue careers in the rapidly expanding field of geographic and mapping sciences. Graduates are qualified to fill federal, state, and local government positions, as well as those in business and industry, especially companies that provide government contractors.

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  • Geographic and Cartographic Sciences, MS

    The Master of Science Program in Geographic and Cartographic Sciences is one of the top programs in the nation. The program focuses on techniques of compilation, display, and analysis of spatial data. The objective is to produce geographers with a solid understanding of the techniques of spatial data analysis and the ability to apply those techniques to a variety of issues. Program graduates are qualified to pursue careers in government and industry, or to proceed with doctoral-level studies.

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  • Geography, BA, BS, Minor

    Geography can be found in careers as various as economics, engineering, environmental science, transportation, business, marketing, and public health. The program is designed to offer students the opportunity to study the integrated social and environmental processes that continuously shape and reshape the world we live in. It provides students with broad training across the core subdisciplines of geography (human, physical, and GI Science), emphasizing application and technique-driven coursework, in addition to a rigorous science and mathematics curriculum. Students will find numerous opportunities for employment in both the private and public sectors, as well as in academia.

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  • Geoinformatics and Geospatial Intelligence, MS

    This new MS program addresses the emerging demand for scientists trained in the collection, organization, analysis, and dissemination of information about physical features, man-made structures, moving objects, people, and events that are geo-referenced or geo-located. Focusing primarily on the computational approaches that support the synthesis and analysis of diverse types of data, we can identify and monitor complex events and phenomena that manifest themselves over space and time. While geospatial intelligence has a strong Department of Defense connotation, it also addresses the needs of a broader audience, ranging from intelligent navigation in urban spaces to emergency response systems for natural and man-made disasters.

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  • Geospatial Intelligence, Graduate Certificate

    Be the eyes of intelligence and analyse human activiity from satilites, remotely piloted vehicles and other methods. Learn to discern what is simply mundane activity on earth or potentially dangerous. Your certificate will make you extremely valuable to the military, national policy makers and civil users.

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  • Homeland Security and Justice, Concentration in the Criminology, Law and Society BS

    The Homeland Security and Justice degree is a concentration in the Criminology, Law and Society program, which provides students with the opportunity to acquire a broader liberal arts education while studying criminology, law and society. In addition to the core courses, students will gain specialized knowledge in homeland security, the intelligence community, intelligence analysis techniques, global law enforcement, surveillance, and the theory and politices of terrorism. The BA degree also provides a strong background for law school or graduate study in criminal justice or criminology.

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  • Information Security and Assurance, Graduate Certificate

    This graduate certificate program is for students interested in science and methods for ensuring secrecy, integrity, availability, and legitimate use of information systems. The certificate may be pursued concurrently with any of the graduate programs in the Volgenau School.

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  • Information Security and Assurance, MS

    The Department of Computer Science’s MS degree in Information Security and Assurance prepares graduates to fill the current and future need for information security and assurance professionals. Graduates work in a wide variety of capacities, protecting the information systems of different types of organizations and supporting the nation’s information infrastructure. Students are provided with the general and technical knowledge and skills to understand the relationship between information security and advancing information systems technology. The program also provides a theoretical understanding of the science and methodologies for ensuring the secrecy and integrity of data, as well as the availability and legitimate use of data and information systems.

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  • Information Systems, MS

    This professional degree program focuses on the technical, managerial and policy issues associated with designing, building and maintaining information systems in organizations. Data, information and knowledge are crucial to the modern enterprise, and this program addresses both the theoretical and engineering aspects of specifying, designing, implementing and managing large-scale information systems.

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  • Information Technology, BS, Minor

    Students learn to apply IT to support business processes. The degree produces graduates with strong problem-solving, writing, and communication skills. There is virtually no business or organization that doesn't rely on IT, whether it's analysis, programming, software testing or consultancy, to name just a few of the options open to you.

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  • Information Technology, BS/Information Security and Assurance, Accelerated MS

    Highly qualified students in the Information Technology BS have the option of obtaining an accelerated Information Security and Assurance, MS. Students in an accelerated degree program must fulfill all university requirements for the master’s degree.

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  • Information Technology, PhD

    The program encompasses all aspects of information technology and the branches of engineering most closely associated with information and engineering.  Our focus on the science, engineering, and technology of information processing complements and enhances traditional approaches to engineering that are more strongly based on the physical and material sciences. The Information Technology PhD program is broad, and includes several specific concentrations.

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  • Information Technology, Undergraduate Certificate

    This certificate is designed primarily for those students who have earned a nontechnical bachelor’s degree or current undergraduate students who desire deeper knowledge than that which can be accomplished through the IT minor.  It allows students to supplement the knowledge gained through their major-related courses with a foundation of information technology (IT).

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  • Intelligence Analysis, Minor

    The minor in intelligence analysis is designed for students who are interested in careers in homeland security or other intelligence-related fields. This minor focuses on developing the skills of intelligence analysis, including research, writing, briefing, and analytical tradecraft. Students explore ethical issues in the field and new developments in the analysis of intelligence information.

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  • Intelligence Technologies, Graduate Certificate

    This graduate certificate offers courses in key elements of intelligence analysis. Designed for professionals who work for, or in support of, intelligence community agencies, it provides additional academic preparation for post-bachelor’s students who may not wish to complete a full master’s program, as well as for master’s graduates who wish to take the area-specific courses a certificate provides.

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  • International Security, MA

    The program trains early to mid-career professionals who seek the analytical and substantive capabilities to address the security challenges of the 21st century. In addition to understanding traditional military and diplomatic approaches, the program’s core courses will provide a grounding in public-private and international collaborative responses to threats, ranging from transnational crime, terrorism, illicit trade, proliferation of emerging technologies and weapons of mass destruction, and corruption to state fragility and ethnic and sectarian conflict. Students will supplement their core courses by taking elective courses from each of three focus areas: Managing Global Risks, National Security Policies and Processes, and Regional and Transnational Security Challenges. There will be a strong emphasis on public service and ethics, focusing on how to make wise strategic decisions regarding the use of force and when to respond, when to intervene and not intervene.

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  • Management of Secure Information Systems, MS

    Highly ranked by IT security practitioners, the MS in Management of Secure Information Systems is an interdisciplinary cyber-security management program offered by the School of Business, Volgenau School of Engineering, and the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs. Designed for mid-career professionals actively engaged in the cyber security field, you will complete the program in 16 months of Saturday classes and participate in a weeklong global residency. Gain the leadership and management expertise you need while addressing the specific technology and policy challenges of modern information systems and networks.

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  • Middle East and Islamic Studies, Accelerated MA

    Highly qualified undergraduates pursuing a BA in select majors may apply to the accelerated master’s degree in Middle East and Islamic studies. If accepted, and depending on their undergraduate major, students will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in their chosen major and a master’s degree in Middle East and Islamic studies after satisfactory completion of 144 credits, sometimes within five years. The interdisciplinary, Accelerated MA in Middle East and Islamic Studies offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences introduces students to the major issues and debates in the study of the Middle East, Islam and Muslim societies. Students study historical and contemporary topics—as well as theory and methodology—from both regional and global perspectives.

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  • Middle East and Islamic Studies, MA

    The interdisciplinary MA in Middle East and Islamic Studies offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences introduces students to the major issues and debates in the study of the Middle East, Islam and Muslim societies. Students study historical and contemporary topics—as well as theory and methodology—from both regional and global perspectives.

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  • Military Operations Research, Graduate Certificate

    This program provides knowledge, tools, and techniques to those who work or plan to work in the field of military operations research. It is appropriate for students who cannot complete requirements for a master’s degree in operations research, but who want a concentrated study of military modeling. Admissions requirements are identical to those for the master’s degree in operations research.

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  • Operations Research, MS

    The program prepares students for research and professional practice associated with the formulation, analysis, and computer implementation of mathematical models of operational systems. Features of the program include mathematical programming, queueing and network theories, computer simulation and modeling, applied and computational probability, and the application of these to realistic problems. Students are expected to become proficient in these areas, as well as in supporting areas of information technology necessary to implement OR analysis approaches.

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  • Peace Operations, MS

    Mason offers the country’s only master’s degree in Peace Operations. The program focuses on the study of international interventions that aim to restore or maintain peace and stability in areas affected by conflict or natural disaster. Students study post-conflict reconstruction, recovery and development, as well as diplomacy and security. Graduates work abroad in places such as Afghanistan, Egypt, and France. 

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  • Remote Sensing and Earth Image Processing, Graduate Certificate

    The Remote Sensing and Earth Image Processing graduate certificate (RSEIP) emphasizes advanced remote sensing and Earth-observing, building in students the skills needed to take advantage of the enormous increase in the availability and use of remotely sensed data related to the Earth. Ideal candidates for this certificate are students with a background in Earth and environmental sciences and are working in or planning to enter into the field of remote sensing, Earth observing, or image processing. Core coursework consists of remote sensing, earth images processing, and hyperspectral imaging systems, while electives include photogrammetry, earth science data analysis, and physical principles of remote sensing. Completion of the certificate will enhance graduates’ remote sensing careers and/or additional graduate work.

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  • Software Engineering, MS

    The MS in Software Engineering’s mission is to teach students to become leaders in engineering high quality, large scale, computing solutions to real life problems. The program provides specialized knowledge and experience in developing and modifying large, complex software systems, emphasizing technical and management aspects of software engineering development. Software engineers are concerned with the theoretical and practical aspects of technology, cost, and social impact of software systems that are effective and efficient, and the skills developed while earning this graduate degree contribute to student success in a wide variety of professional careers as well as graduate education.

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  • Software Engineering, Minor

    The minor in Software Engineering teaches students to design and build high quality software, a valuable asset for engineers, mathematicians, and scientists interested in working in a variety of fields that increasingly demand strong software writing skills. Coursework focuses on modeling physical processes, programs to solve complex numerical problems, visualization of complex phenomena, and solving mathematical systems. The strong communication and analytical skills developed while earning this minor contribute to student success in a wide variety of professional careers as well as graduate education.

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  • Systems Engineering and Operations Research, Minor

    This minor gives students the fundamentals of systems engineering and operations research. Participants learn how to deal with the system life cycle and to use scientific methods for analyzing operations of a system or organization. The courses help students in technical fields prepare for the information technology work now common in public and private industry.

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  • Systems Engineering, BS, Accelerated MS

    Students in the BS in Systems Engineering program may elect to enter an accelerated MS in Telecommunications Program while they are undergraduate students. The program is designed for qualified undergraduate students in the systems engineering program to proceed directly into the MS program, completing the two degrees with 144 credits. Students benefit from an accelerated program, and are well prepared to work in various fields to define, develop, and integrate such systems as computer networks, cars, intelligent robots, stereos, subways, and universities.

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  • Systems Engineering, BS

    The BS in Systems Engineering considers all aspects of a system throughout its lifetime. The program is interdisciplinary, drawing from engineering, computer science, operations research, psychology, and economics. The core systems engineering courses tie these diverse threads to provide a global understanding of how individual engineering disciplines fit into the development of complex, large-scale systems. Students gain depth in a technical area by selecting a sequence of technical electives that constitute an emphasis. A year-long senior design project provides hands-on experience in applying various systems engineering methods and tools. Systems engineers work in various fields to define, develop, and integrate such systems as computer networks, cars, intelligent robots, stereos, subways, and universities.

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  • Systems Engineering, MS

    The MS in Systems Engineering emphasizes both analytical and practical aspects of engineering complex systems. Students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in several quantitative modeling disciplines, and to master practical aspects of systems design, engineering and management. The program prepares students for a professional career in systems design, development, and management, associated with problem formulation, issue analysis, and the evaluation of alternative courses of action, as well as advanced graduate study. 

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  • Technology Management, MS

    The MS in Technology Management is designed to provide students with the expertise needed to further their leadership careers in technology and technology-oriented businesses and organizations. The program addresses how to succeed in this increasingly fast-moving marketplace and emphasizes leadership and management; special considerations of technology innovation, commercialization, introduction, and integration; and methods and approaches of systems thinking. Designed for mid-career IT professionals, you will complete the program in 16 months of Saturday classes and participate in a global residency that explores the challenges of managing IT in the global economy.

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  • Telecommunications Forensics and Security, Certificate

    To further the skills of recent graduates and experienced technical professionals in the field of telecommunications, Mason offers a certificate in telecommunications forensics and security. This certificate provides an in-depth understanding of security and forensics as they apply to networks and digital storage media.

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  • Urban and Suburban Studies, Minor

    The minor in Urban and Suburban Studies is an interdisciplinary minor in which students have opportunities to conduct independent research, engage in globally-related activities through coursework and language study, participate in public service, and prepare for a future career through internships, career-focused minors and other college-to-career activities. The strong communication and analytical skills developed while earning this minor contribute to student success in a wide variety of professional careers as well as graduate education. For policies governing all minors, see the Undergraduate Policies section of this catalog.

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  • War and the Military in Society, Concentration in the Interdisciplinary Studies MAIS

    The concentration in War and the Military in Society examines issues of international security and conflict in the past, present, and future. Our program helps students understand the ways in which armies are raised and funded, the reasons troops serve, the conditions military personnel and civilians endure during wartime, and the multifaceted and evolving ways in which nations conceive of the military apparatus. It equips students with the skills to understand the interconnected nature of those elements and to examine critically the ways in which they change over time. Our courses prepare students for research and pedagogical work in colleges and universities, as well as government and nonprofit programs. The industry and government sectors need professionals who can make broad connections across time, and apply the methods of several disciplines to solve complex problems, analyzing and making policy. The degree allows students to customize their program by taking courses in several disciplines, including Anthropology, Biodefense, English, History, Government, Religion, and Public Administration, among others. In addition to coursework, each student will complete a capstone project tailored to their interests under the direction of a Mason faculty member.

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  • World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution Graduate Certificate

    This program designed for midcareer professionals considers strategies to reduce global violence and terrorism by incorporating the best moral practices of religious communities into policy planning, diplomacy, civil society building and democratization. Courses cover strategies to elicit moderate moral religious expression in conflict regions to strengthen civil society and democracy.

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