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2012.05.24 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

IS&T Establishes Masters Degree in Information Assurance

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) will offer a Masters in Science degree in Information Assurance starting with the Fall 2012 academic semester after being approved by Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education (CCPE) today.

The degree adds to the current information assurance offerings in UNO’s College of Information Science and Technology (IS&T), which began in 2007 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Information Assurance and also include graduate-level information assurance concentrations for the Masters in Computer Science and Masters in Management of Information Systems degrees as well as a Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance.

“Information security is considered by many to be one of the main challenges of our generation,” IS&T Dean Hesham Ali said. “Properly addressing Information security concerns is critical not only to economic prosperity but also to national security, and UNO’s information assurance program is regarded as one of the best in the country.”

The program will be housed within the School of Interdisciplinary Informatics (Si2). It will provide master’s-level education in the management and rigorous technical assessment of information-related risks by ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data. Potential job prospects for graduates with this degree range from federal government departments to healthcare providers.

“Employers in the public and private sectors alike simply cannot hire enough trained professionals in information assurance,” said Deborah Smith-Howell, dean of Graduate Studies. “In creating this master’s degree in information assurance, UNO is experiencing the perfect combination of factors including national need, employer demand, student interest, geographical circumstances and expertise in teaching.”

As part of the approval process, an outside committee of scholars and administrators from around the country reviewed UNO’s program. The review team met with faculty, students and administrators about the proposed program.

The need for such a program was deemed significant by the college of IS&T because of the growth in career opportunities expected and current demand for the program at the undergraduate level. According to current enrollment numbers, UNO has had a steady increase of students in its Information Assurance programs over the last three academic years.

“There is a tremendous demand for IT professionals with significant knowledge and training in cyber security and our new master’s degree will allow UNO graduate students to gain highly sought after information assurance skills, from both the technical as well as the management standpoints,” Ali said.

With today’s approval of the program, prospective students are open to apply for admittance into UNO for the Fall 2012 semester. For questions about the program or the approval process, contact Bill Mahoney at 402.554.3975 or by email at wmahoney@unomaha.edu.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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