School of Computing and Information

Certificate of Advanced Study – Security Assured Information Systems

To stay competitive in today’s economy, businesses, government agencies, nonprofits, and schools must manage increasingly vast, diverse, and complex arrays of rapidly growing information. This exponential growth of information into “big data” has presented opportunities for hackers to expose and exploit vulnerabilities in these systems at an equally rapid pace. To address these challenges, the workforce urgently needs information professionals with advanced skills in this critical area of information security.

SCI at Pitt offers post-bachelor’s and post-master’s certificates of advanced study (CAS) online. These certificates provide an immersive experience for students who want to upskill into one of the most in-demand specializations for information professionals today: Security Assured Information Systems.

The immersive Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Security Assured Information Systems (SAIS) is a 15-to-24 credit certificate program designed for professionals looking to expand their skills and qualifications in the security field. The program can be completed as a post-bachelor’s or a post-master’s certificate.

Your Gateway to CNSS Certifications

Pitt is one of only 15 schools in the United States certified to meet five Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) standards for Information Assurance education. Students who complete the CAS in SAIS through Pitt Online will be eligible for the following CNSS Certifications:

  • CNSS 4011 (Information Security Professionals – INFOSEC),
  • CNSS 4012 (Designated Approving Authority – DAA), and
  • CNSS 4013 (System Administrators in Information Security Systems – INFOSEC).

Students who additionally complete TELCOM 2813 Security Management and TELCOM 2825 Network Systems and Network Infrastructure will be eligible to receive the following CNSS certificates:

  • CNSS 4014* (Information Security Officers – Advanced Level) or
  • CNSS 4015* (System Certifiers).

SCI at Pitt’s CAS Programs have been designated jointly by the NSA and DHS with the following honors:

  • National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Research (CAE IA/CD) for academic years 2014-2021
  • National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE-IAE) since 2003
  • National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research (CAE-R) since 2008

Admission

SCI at Pitt seeks students with diverse educational and career backgrounds. You will be joining a community of learners who come from incredibly varied professional and educational backgrounds.

Requirements and Prerequisites

Applicants for the Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) must have earned either a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited college or university and meet these specific requirements:

15-credit post-bachelor’s certificates

  • A BS/BE degree from an accredited college or university in Computer Science, Information Technology, Telecommunications, Computer or Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, or a related field with a scholastic average of a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better;
  • Successful completion of at least one 3-credit college course with a grade of “B” or better in each of the following:
    • Structured programming language: A course on structured programming using Java, C# or C++ is required. Either INFSCI 0017 Object-Oriented Programming 1 for Information Science, CS 0401: Intermediate Programming Using Java is recommended to meet this requirement.
    • Statistics: A course covering data collection, descriptive and inferential statistics is optimal. It should cover measures of central tendency and variability, regression, correlation, non-parametric analysis, probability and sampling, Bayesian analysis, significance tests, and hypothesis testing. Either STATS 0200: Basic Applied Statistics, or STATS 1000: Applied Statistical Methods is recommended to meet this requirement.
    • Mathematics: A college-level mathematics course, in discrete mathematics or calculus, is required. Any of the following Pitt courses are recommended to meet the requirement: MATH 0120: Business Calculus, MATH 0220: Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1, or MATH 0400: Discrete Mathematical Structures.

15-credit and 24-credit post-master’s certificates

  • A MS degree from an accredited college or university in Computer Science, Information Technology, Information Science, Telecommunications, Computer or Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, or a related field with a scholastic average of a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better
    Successful completion of at least one 3-credit college course with a grade of “B” or better in each of the following:

    • Structured programming language: A course on structured programming using Java, C# or C++ is required. Either INFSCI 0017 Object-Oriented Programming 1 for Information Science, CS 0401: Intermediate Programming Using Java is recommended to meet this requirement.
    • Statistics: A course covering data collection, descriptive and inferential statistics is optimal. It should cover measures of central tendency and variability, regression, correlation, non-parametric analysis, probability and sampling, Bayesian analysis, significance tests, and hypothesis testing. Either STATS 0200: Basic Applied Statistics, or STATS 1000: Applied Statistical Methods is recommended to meet this requirement.
    • Mathematics: A college-level mathematics course, in discrete mathematics or calculus, is required. Any of the following Pitt courses are recommended to meet the requirement: MATH 0120: Business Calculus, MATH 0220: Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1, or MATH 0400: Discrete Mathematical Structures.

Application Process

You will submit your application and supporting materials online via our application system, Apply Yourself. You must create an account on Apply Yourself in order to access the most recent version of the admission application.

Letters of Recommendation

Identify and seek the recommendations of two individuals (e.g., professors, employers, information professionals) who are in a position to evaluate your academic performance or your potential to pursue studies at a level beyond the bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Transcripts

Only official transcripts will be accepted. Official transcripts for any undergraduate and graduate work must be sent directly to the Admissions Coordinator by the issuing institution. If your transcript is recorded in a former name, please let us know immediately so that the processing of your application is not delayed.

Required Statements of Intent

Please include the following in your online application:

  • Resume
  • A statement of no more than 500 words outlining your career goals reflecting relevant experience in libraries and/or information centers; other relevant work experience; and relevant experience using information technology. Address how you will succeed as an independent learner in the CAS SAIS program.

Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination Policy

The University of Pittsburgh, as an educational institution and as an employer, values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and racial/ethnic and cultural diversity. Accordingly, the University prohibits and will not engage in discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era. Further, the University will continue to take affirmative steps to support and advance these values consistent with the University’s mission. You can read the Nondiscrimination, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy online.

Need more information? Contact the Student Recruitment Team at sisinq@sis.pitt.edu or complete the SAIS info sheet (you’ll find directions for submission on the sheet).


Curriculum

View the SAIS Curriculum page for a full list of core and elective courses.


Tuition

You can view the latest rates at the Tuition & Fee Rates page.

The School of Computing and Information does not provide financial aid for part-time students, and because they only take two classes per term, online students are considered to be part-time.