James Madison University is one of the original seven National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense, designated by the NSA and DHS.

Our Master's in Computer Science with a concentration in Cybersecurity is ranked one of the best graduate programs in the nation and is available 100% online—making it especially suitable for working professionals. 

We provide professional development and research opportunities for those currently employed or interested in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense positions in government or private industries.  

The program is highly technical, interactive, and one of the nation's most comprehensive master's programs. Since 1997, we have accepted a new cohort of students to the program each year. We currently have over 250 successful graduates from our program, many of whom hold visible government positions.

Typically, candidates have prior degrees in Computer Science or ample work experience in the field. Although programming is not extensively used, students may be required to write programs in some courses. To succeed in the program, candidates must have skills in the following areas: 

  • C++ 
  • Computer Organization 
  • Data Structures 
  • Discrete Mathematics  

Depending on your background, you may be required to take one or more online preparatory courses. Courses may be taken, with prior approval, at a local college or university.


We are committed to providing a premier education that equips graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to design, implement, and maintain secure modern information infrastructures and systems.


Our graduate program is associated with security initiatives both within and outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Many of the initiatives were founded at JMU.

Program History

Our program was established in January 1997 and is one of the nation's first computer science graduate programs with a concentration in cybersecurity.  

In 1999, the program moved to online, asynchronous interactive classrooms. As a result, our classes are available worldwide at any time.

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