Information Assurance

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Fort Hays State University has been designated by the United States Federal Government as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance. This is a very prestigious recognition reserved for a handful of institutions that are able to demonstrate quality of faculty, curriculum, student services, student performance, labs, industry support, and several other important factors. This designation is valuable to students as it signifies that they are part of a unique program. Students studying Information Assurance at both the undergraduate and graduate levels may note on their resumes that their education was obtained from a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance.

Demand for Graduates

information assuranceThe world faces a growing need for secure digital networks and data storage. This has created significant demand for high skilled Information Assurance professionals. Information Assurance is a rapidly growing and well compensated field. Businesses, governmental organizations such as cities, counties, state and federal agencies, law enforcement and public safety agencies, the military, medical providers, bioscience businesses and research organizations, banking and financial organizations are among the critical organizations dependent upon secure digital networks and data storage. Even consumers face critical challenges in protecting and preserving private data. Information Assurance (IA) is the science of managing the risks to information assets.

Undergraduate Study

Undergraduate study in Information Assurance at Fort Hays State University focuses on protecting data and networks. Students earn a concentration in Computer Networking and Telecommunication with an emphasis in Information Assurance. Many Information Assurance programs at other institutions focus on programming or software development. Fort Hays State University has listened to industry and employers who are seeking graduates with skills in protecting networks, servers, and PCs- the key tools for business, medicine, and government in the 21st Century. (Course requirements for undergraduate study in information assurance)

Graduate Study

Fort Hays State University (FHSU) is pleased to offer a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree with concentrations in Information Assurance Management and Cyber Security. It also offers a unique Master's of Business Administration with a specialization in Information Assurance.

Masters of Professional Studies in Information Assurance

The Master of Professional Studies options in Information Assurance offer an in-depth concentration developing a mastery of information practices, network security software and hardware applications, and of operating systems and offers students two options:


The curriculum for the Information Assurance concentrations are offered through the Department of Informatics. Both on-campus and distance learning options are available. All required courses are offered through distance learning and do not require campus visits.

The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree is a multi-disciplinary master's degree designed to meet emerging workforce development needs and is offered on campus and online. The MPS in Information Assurance is a 30-hour graduate program that is offered on-campus and online. It consists of a 9-hour MPS core, a 15-hour Cyber Security core, and a 6-hour area of emphasis. It includes coursework certified by the United States Government's Committee on National Security Systems for CNSS 4011 and 4013E Standards 2013 - 2018.

Master of Professional Studies Program

Master of Business Administration with a Specialization in Information Assurance

The Master of Business Administration is a 34 credit hour graduate program that is offered on campus and online. All required courses are offered through distance learning and do not require campus visits. It consists of a 25 credit hour Business core and a 9 credit hour specialization in Information Assurance. It includes coursework certified by the United States Government's Committee on National Security Systems for CNSS 4011 and 4013E Standards 2008-2013.

MBA with Information Assurance Specialization

FHSU Offers Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) Certified Coursework that meets national certifications:

  • NSTISS 4011 National Training Standard for Information Systems Security (INFOSEC) Professionals; and
  • NSTISS 4013E National Information Assurance Training Standard for System Administrators.

Students will earn and be recognized with a certificate upon successfully completing Informatics 684 Foundations of Information Systems Security. This course is open to students of any major or profession who have completed MIS 101 or have received permission from a course instructor.

Program Focus

The Fort Hays State University program is network and professionally oriented. It covers the domains of the Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP). Its curriculum is mapped to the NSA 4011 and NSA 4013 standards. It also provides curriculum preparing students for the Cisco security certifications and Cisco networking certifications. Students will learn theory and applied strategies for using professional tools to protect, PCs, servers, data and voice networks. Students will learn that information security encompasses more than technology. Physical security, policies, practices, and law are also key components in protecting information.

Program Leadership

Dr. Keyu Jiang Fort Hays State University conducted a national search during the summer of 2007 and recruited Dr. Keyu Jiang to lead the Information Assurance educational and research effort. Dr. Jiang has an impressive background in government and private industry. He has conducted sponsored research for DARPA and NASA. He has multiple patents. One of these was the basis for a successful business of which he was CEO before selling it and returning to academia.

Professors Kevin Shaffer, Jon Tholstrup, Angela Walters, Robert Swindler, Robert Pierce, Hongbiao Zeng, John Sands, and Mark Bannister also instruct Information Assurance oriented classes. Fort Hays State University offers a team of quality Information Assurance faculty who are dedicated to teaching students.

Current Graduate Students & Alumni are working at:

Cisco
Sprint
Net Standard Incorporated
Mesa State College
Berbee Information Networks
Nex-Tech
Fort Hays State University
Clark County, Washington
Cargill

Corporations offering support to the Fort Hays State University Information Assurance program:

Cisco
IBM
Oracle
Nex-Tech
Juniper
Nortel