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Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance




Program Description

Information Assurance (IA) focuses on protecting and securing sensitive information at organizational, governmental, national, and federal levels. The Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and NSA’s Security Directive 42 requires servicing employee and military personnel to achieve the recommended IA guidance levels. This certificate assesses and demonstrates that the student has established credibility in vulnerability and threat analysis, IA security solutions, tiered security assessments, specific solutions for specialized needs, network security solutions that enable assured information sharing across security domains or between communities of interest, continuous monitoring, activity analysis, threat detection, threat warnings, attack alerts, security awareness training and support, cryptography, and infrastructure security engineering.

This certificate prepares an IT professional to seek higher level career positions such as Information Systems Security Engineer, Intelligence Analyst, Information Assurance Manager, Information Systems Manager, Security Policy Analyst, Security Planner, Security Auditor, and Chief Security or Technology Officer. Program graduates will master skills to contribute vital recommendations to the security of any organization through the protection and defense of the organization’s networks, systems, and information.

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Program Objectives

Upon completion of this certificate, students will be able to:

  • Analyze the components of an information assurance and certification plan.
  • Assess security governance objectives and risk management objectives.
  • Examine the phases, processes, standards, the levels, and the process areas of the INFOSEC Assessment Capability Maturity Model (IA-CMM).
  • Appraise and conduct a complete threat, vulnerability, impact, and risk assessment; and synthesize risk mitigation strategies based on the analysis of this data.
  • Evaluate the processes and deliverables of the INFOSEC assessment methodology (IAM).
  • Design relevant information security management metrics by analyzing incident management and response data.

Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance

To enroll, you must provide an official transcript of your previously-completed bachelor's or master's degree and meet one of the following:

  • Associate or bachelor's degree in information technology or a related field (ex: computer science, information systems, database development, etc.)
  • Two years of work experience in the specific sub-field for this certificate
  • Completion of one of our undergraduate IT certificates
  • Completion of 6 upper-level (300-400) undergraduate credits in IT-related courses
  • Completion of an IT-related minor or concentration during your undergraduate program
  • Certification from CompTIA A+ (2010 – Present) or a combination of the following (must have two) CompTIA Network +, CompTIA Project +, CompTIA Security+ (all 2010-Present)
  • A valid and current Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute
  • Completion of CISSP certification (valid up until the expiration date)

If the IT-specific requirements are not noted in the official bachelor's or master's transcript, you must provide official copies of your undergraduate transcripts that show the appropriate coursework. The verification of the 2-years work experience needs to be sent to the university from your current/previous employer on company letterhead.

Send your official transcripts to:

American Public University System
Attn: Document Services
10110 Battleview Parkway, Suite 114
Manassas, VA 20109

An admissions representative will be assigned to work with you and will contact you via email or phone to assist you with the enrollment process. Your admissions representative will also be reviewing documents verifying your previous education or work experience and will notify you when you have been admitted and can register for classes.

*Preadmission courses completed at the undergraduate level must be graded C or better; B or better at the graduate level.

Certificate Requirements
18 Hours
Computer Networks and Data Systems
3 hours

This course is a study of computer networks and the evolution of modern communication systems. It examines the various layers of the basic reference models such as the five-layer IP model or the seven-layer OSI model, by scale, connection method, network architecture, or topology. This course also includes an in-depth analysis of transmission protocols, communications systems, and networks. A prior knowledge of networks and networking is recommended.

Telecommunications and Network Security
3 hours

Telecommunications networks are a critical component of the global economic and social infrastructures. Securing critical infrastructure is an established priority within Information Security Management. This course examines the field of secure telecommunications networks, including emerging threats, system vulnerability, network evolution, and network defense mechanisms.

Information Assurance
3 hours

The course analyzes computer and systems security measures by examining a model for information assurance; it also examines the components of a comprehensive Information Assurance plan. Topics included are: asset identification, human factors, compliance with regulations, personnel security, risk assessment and ethical considerations, IA policy, as well as computer and network security tools.

Information Assurance: Assessment and Evaluation
3 hours

This course is an advanced study of the principles, practices, procedures, and methodologies to assure the protection and availability of vital digital information systems assets. It examines information assurance, incident management and response, and security standards; and it appraises the convergence between information security, information systems security, and information warfare. This course appraises organizational, legal, technical, and ethical issues related to securing vital digital assets. Topics include: the role of the corporate security officer, corporate cybercrime, electronic commerce, cryptography, and international standards, policies, and security acts. Prerequisite: ISSC660

Pre Reqs: Information Assurance(ISSC660)

Information Assurance: Capability Maturity and Appraisals
3 hours

This course examines the phases, processes, standards, the levels, and the process areas of the INFOSEC Assessment Capability Maturity Model (IA-CMM). The IA-CMM minimizes false indications of quality and maturity by relating the IA-CMM process areas to the INFOSEC Assessment Methodology (IAM). This course appraises the principles and methodologies of the IA-CMM; and applies it to develop an organizational ratings profile to provide a measure of maturity. The ratings profile is used to develop strategies to mature the organizational processes Prerequisite: ISSC660

Pre Reqs: Information Assurance(ISSC660)

Information Security Management
3 hours

Information Security includes an evaluation of the techniques, policies and strategies to ensure that data stored in an organization's computers cannot be accessed or processed without the consent of the organization. Also included, is an analysis of Information Security & Risk Management, Access Control, Physical Security, Security Architecture & Design, Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Planning, Telecommunications & Network Security, Application Security, Operations Security, Law, Compliance & Investigations. This course also reviews the building blocks of information systems and cryptography is provided to reinforce the scope of security management.

Program Completion Rates, Median Debt and More

View more details regarding our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information.


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