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 is time and space-independent--there is no requirement to come to the JMU campus, and all courses are delivered asynchronously online. In addition to course materials, students can access discussion forums, realistic online labs, and virtual classrooms. 

The program requires 33 credit hours of graduate coursework. Students can expect to complete the program in five semesters, including one summer course, assuming they follow the cohort-based schedule of two courses per semester.  

While not required, a thesis is encouraged. Students opting not to complete a thesis must take a comprehensive exam at the end of their fourth semester. In addition, all students must demonstrate course competency by completing a final exam for each course at the end of each semester.  

Thesis Option:
Students interested in the thesis program can register in their graduation year's fall or spring semesters. However, they should do so no later than the spring semester of the year before to begin work on the thesis over the summer. The thesis will replace the two special topics courses and the final comprehensive exam. 

Non-Thesis Option:
Students who opt not to complete a thesis must 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; a second failed score results in dismissal from the program. 

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