James Madison University is one of the original 7 National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense, designated by NSA and DHS.

The Graduate InfoSec program at James Madison University is one of the best technical Information Security graduate programs in the nation. This rigorous academic program is 100% Internet-based, which makes the program especially suitable for working professionals.  This online education program offers students the flexibility to learn, interact with expert faculty and quality students, complete assignments, and obtain feedback from the faculty; while conveniently in their homes or offices, during the day, evenings, and weekends. Information Security is covered in every class as it relates to the course subject matter.

The program is delivered to students through the Internet without the need to commute to and from on-campus classrooms. JMU InfoSec provides professional development and research opportunities for those currently employed or interested in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense positions in both the government and private industry.

The program is highly technical, highly interactive, and one of the most comprehensive masters programs in Information Security in the nation. Starting in 1997, we have accepted a new cohort of students to the program each year. We currently have over 250 highly successful graduates from our program – many of whom hold very visible InfoSec positions in both government and industry.  There is no residency requirement for this program.

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

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

Depending on their backgrounds, students may be required to take one or more of these preparatory courses. These courses are offered online as preparatory courses by the JMU InfoSec program. Students may decide to take these courses at a local college or university, but prior approval is necessary. Many students take preparatory courses to refresh their basic Computer Science skills and knowledge.


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


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

Program History

JMU InfoSec was established in January 1997. It is one of the first graduate Information Security programs in the nation. 34 students graduated in 1999. Nineteen of those students were Department of Defense employees educated under a contract with the National Security Agency.

In 1999, the program moved to 100% Internet-based, asynchronous interactive classrooms. Students are never required to attend on-campus classes at JMU. Our classes are available worldwide at anytime. Students are required to participate in weekly class discussions, log in to our virtual lab environment and complete hands-on exercises, and submit their homework, tests, and projects on time. We currently have over 250 highly successful graduates.

Back to Top