Nova Southeastern University Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

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The Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences, commonly known as GSCIS, at Nova Southeastern University provides educational programs to prepare students for leadership roles in information technology. The school is located on the main campus in Fort Lauderdale, Florida within the Carl DeSantis building. In addition to its regional accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools,[1] NSU has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education[2] by the U.S. National Security Agency and the United States Department of Homeland Security.

Programs Offered[edit]

Graduate Certificate Programs[edit]

Master of Science Degree Programs[edit]

The M.S. requires 36 credit hours. It may be completed in 12–16 months. Several of the M.S. programs offer concentrations or graduate certificate options which may require additional courses. All M.S. programs employ a three-term format: Fall (16-week term starting in August), Winter (16-week term starting in January) and Summer (14-week term starting in May). Some online courses are also offered in an 8-week accelerated format. The school's M.S. students may apply for early admission into the Ph.D. program, which provides the opportunity to earn the doctorate in a shorter time.

  • M.S. in Software Engineering
  • M.S. in Computer Science (optional concentration in theory, software engineering, computer systems, database, security, and real-world computing)
  • M.S. in Information Security
  • M.S. in Information Technology (concentrations in software development, information system security, educational technology, information security management, and information technology management)
  • M.S. in Management Information Systems (optional concentration in information security and business intelligence/analytics)

Doctoral Degree Programs[edit]

All Ph.D. programs employ a semester format, which includes two 16-week terms a year. The fall term starts in August and the winter term starts in January. While taking courses, students attend four cluster sessions per year (two per term), held over an extended 3- day weekend on the university’s main campus. These cluster weekends bring together students and faculty for participation in courses, seminars, and dissertation counseling, and provide ample opportunity for student-faculty and student-student interaction. Between sessions, students work on course assignments and research, and participate in online activities that facilitate frequent interaction with the faculty and with other students.

  • Ph.D. in Information Assurance
  • Ph.D. in Computer Science
  • Ph.D. in Information Systems (optional concentration in information science or information security)

National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education[edit]

On April 17, 2008, NSU was re-designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education for the academic years 2008-2014 by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).[3] NSU first received this designation in March 2005 covering the period through March 2008. GSCIS’s information security curriculum meets the NSA Committee on National Security Systems standards 4011, 4012, and 4013.

NSU's Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences offers an undergraduate minor in information assurance/security intended for students in any major who wish to acquire more knowledge about computer and network security infrastructures and software.[4] Topics covered include general surveys of computer and information security technologies, legal and ethical aspects of computer security, and related data structures and operating systems.

NSA’s goal in establishing centers of academic excellence is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education in information assurance and producing more professionals with IA expertise in various disciplines. This designation applies to the entire university, although the degrees under this program are graduate degrees that are primarily issued through the Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences.

In order to apply, institutions must first obtain certification by NSA of their curriculum in information security – for NSU this was accomplished in April 2004. The benefits of such certification:

  1. NSU was added to NSA's list of referrals for students who seek training in the information security.
  2. Federal civilian and military personnel are able to take NSU’s security courses under government sponsorship and obtain special recognition under the certification.
  3. NSU is authorized to issue certificates using NSA’s logo to students who complete its certified courses.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Regionally accredited by SACS
  2. ^ Designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education
  3. ^ Designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education
  4. ^ Undergraduate minor in information assurance/security