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Is MSISPM Right For Me?

The Master of Science in Information Security Policy & Management (MSISPM) program is the ideal fit for bold, creative students who want to make governments, organizations, and private citizens safer in a connected world.

While other programs emphasize an engineering approach to information security and assurance, Heinz College blends technical skills with a breadth of coursework in policy, strategy, and management. This approach enables the assembly of diverse cohorts of students who can apply their unique strengths to cyber challenges—in fact, while some MSISPM students come from STEM backgrounds, many others come from non-technical fields such as economics, finance, social science, and liberal arts.

Students with professional experience often include specialists in information systems, corporate managers, and military staff. The diversity of thought and perspectives represented in our classes is truly one of the MSISPM program’s greatest assets. Additionally, MSISPM cohorts are small in size, sparking tight connections among classmates.

Through our comprehensive curriculum—which covers the cybersecurity spectrum from privacy to risk and resilience—and our association with the renowned CERT Division of the Software Engineering Institute, we teach students to go a step beyond technical thinking in cybersecurity. Our graduates enter the workforce prepared to lead change and implementation of cyber solutions, to manage cyber technologies and projects, to understand the complex risk landscape of today’s world, and to fortify the cyber posture of organizations and governments against 21st century threats. 

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Curriculum & Courses

For detailed curriculum information, please visit the MSISPM Student Handbook.


Below is one possible schedule for the two-year MSISPM program. Actual schedules will vary depending on electives.

Class titles in bold are core courses. Heinz College offers a mix of full-semester (14 weeks) and half-semester courses (7 weeks) for core and elective courses.

Year 1 - Fall SEMESTER
  • Intro to Programming with Python*
  • Intro to Information Security Management
  • Decision Making Under Uncertainty*
  • Statistical Reasoning with R
  • Organizational Design and Implementation*
  • Economic Analysis*
  • Writing for Information Systems Management*

Year 1 - Spring SEMESTER
  • Ethical Penetration Testing*
  • Software and Security*
  • Network and Internet Security
  • Privacy in the Digital Age*
  • Managing Disruptive Technologies*
  • Financial Statements and Analysis of Companies*
  • Professional Speaking*


Year 2 - Fall SEMESTER
  • Cybersecurity Policy and Governance
  • Cybersecurity for Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning*
  • Introduction to Cyber Intelligence*
  • Cloud Security*
  • Network Defenses*
  • Advanced Relational Database Management*

Year 2 - Spring SEMESTER
  • Information Security Capstone Project OR Thesis
  • Cryptography*
  • Information Security Risk Management*
  • Security Data Analytics*
  • Malicious Code Analysis*
  • IT Project Management*

*Half-semester courses

Who are MSISPM's Students?

The average MSISPM class is diverse, both in terms of demographics and experience/education. Data shown reflects the last three years.

See the Admissions page for detailed admissions requirements for the MSISPM program.

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