Professors and technology combine to provide a delivery system that maintains high academic standards while being flexible and considerate of each student's needs. Our program emphasizes personal interaction in small classes with quality students. Students connect to the Internet and access courses, discussion forums, realistic online labs, and virtual classrooms.

Our program is time and space-independent. There is no requirement to come to the JMU campus. All courses are delivered asynchronously online. The program is cohort-based, so all courses are offered in a prescribed sequence. All students in the cohort take the same two courses per semester. Students also are required to participate (few times a week) in weekly classroom discussions; work on group and individual projects; and deliver their assigned work by deadlines. Students may take one course per semester if they don’t have enough time to devote to two courses. However, this is not recommended, as it may take them twice as long to finish.

Each course is 3-credit hours. The program requires 33 credit hours of graduate coursework. Expect to complete the program in 5 semesters plus a summer course. A thesis is not required from students but is encouraged. Non-thesis students take a comprehensive exam in semester 4.

At the end of each semester, students must demonstrate course competency by completing a final exam for each class. 

Please note that due to the Covid19, JMU's spring 2021 class schedule has been modified to start on January 19th and the Spring Break has been canceled. Please see the academic calendar, for more details.

Thesis Option:
Students who are interested in the thesis option should contact the faculty member whom they want to work with, preferably by the end of their second spring semester in the program. So, they can start working on their thesis over the summer. They register for the Thesis in the fall and spring semester of their graduation academic year.

Thesis will replace the two Special Topics courses, scheduled in the last two semesters in the program.  Thesis defense counts as their Comprehensive Exam.

Non-Thesis Option:
Students who don’t use the thesis option will have to take a Comprehensive Exam, including Operating Systems, Network Security, Cryptography, and Forensics. Students are encouraged to take the exam during the fall semester of their last year in the program. Students who fail the exam will have a second chance to take it during the following spring semester. Students who fail the exam for the second time will be dismissed from the program.

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