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Network Defense Specialization Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity

School of Business and Technology

Protect business assets with network defense

Be the first line of defense for organizational networks. Capella’s master’s in information assurance and cybersecurity, network defense degree prepares you as an information cybersecurity professional to assess, develop, and implement solutions to safeguard information assets. You’ll have hands-on experience with our virtual lab managing real-time responses to security breaches and performing vulnerability assessments using Nessus®. Plus, you’ll gain the knowledge to prepare for certifications like the CEH, CNDA, and CISSP®.  

At a Glance

  • Online 
  • 6 core courses
  • 5 specialization courses
  • Capstone

Classes Start October 7th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 application fee (waived w/promo SUMMER)

What you’ll learn

Build your foundational knowledge

Explain foundational information assurance and cybersecurity concepts. 

Find the cybersecurity solutions

Develop solutions for current issues in the information cybersecurity industry. 

Know & use cybersecurity tools

Demonstrate use of tools appropriate for the information cybersecurity professional.

Understand network defense tools

Analyze the existing categories of network defense tools to meet identified network defense needs.  

Evaluate defense challenges

Assess network defense challenges from legal and ethical perspectives.

Protect info for any business

Integrate general information cybersecurity and specialized security functions in a variety of organizations.

MS in Information Assurance & Cybersecurity, Network Defense program features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

Get exam-ready

Our program teaches you the foundational information to prepare you for the CEH and CHFI exams. 

Stay Ahead in IT: Upskill with Skillsoft

Students will have unlimited access to Skillsoft, a comprehensive eLearning resource to help develop IT and business knowledge and skills.

Earn badges as you earn your degree

Teaming with Acclaim, we offer NSA Focus Area Badges. These digital badges let others see your cybersecurity knowledge. 

Capella University has been designated by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense (CAE IA/CD) for academic years 2014–2021.

Cost & learning format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

Our original learning format offers extra structure for those who want it. We'll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$25,020$33,360* MAX TRANSFER CREDITS–TYPICAL TRANSFER CREDITS
$695 per credit, 48 total quarter credits, 12 max transfer credits

*This is only an estimate, using general program pricing, and it does not include fees (including application and resource kit fees).  Your price may be higher or lower depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. If transfer credits are allowed in this offering, the prices above show what you would pay if you brought in the average number of transfer credits and the price if you brought in the maximum allowed transfer credits.  

Get the details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Ways to save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

10% military discount

If you're an active-duty military service member, spouse, or veteran, discounts may be available.

Prior learning assessment

Earn credits by demonstrating your knowledge and/or industry certifications through our Prior Learning Assessment process.

Reduce your tuition with $3K

Enroll in your master's degree, apply for the $3K scholarship, and meet eligibility requirements.

Accredited & recognized

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Master's in Network Defense sample courses

Our master’s in information assurance and cybersecurity, network defense degree helps you examine technical and managerial controls critical to network defense, including security controls and testing, cryptography, visualization, and more.

Show course with description
IAS5030 *
Identifying and Managing Risk

Learners identify common information security risk analysis methodologies, their characteristics, pros and cons, and applications. Learners examine the sources of risk, including external malicious attackers, intentional and accidental attacks by internal users, and threats from environmental and structural sources. Learners also identify vulnerabilities in hardware, software, locations, and procedures that provide an opening to attackers and create risk to organizations. Learners demonstrate risk assessment techniques through hands-on application of software vulnerability testing tools.  Prerequisite(s): IAS5025.

4 quarter credits
IAS5210
Data Communications

Learners examine architecture and issues associated with analog communication systems, as well as the protocols and methodologies used in modern digital communication systems. Learners also develop a working knowledge of the hardware, communications, management, and programming environments associated with mobile technologies, as well as a basic understanding of radio frequency communications.

4 quarter credits
IAS5220
Network Security Controls and Testing

Learners study cryptographic algorithms, protocols, and how they protect information in various states. Learners apply methodology to detect, analyze, and mitigate vulnerabilities and threats within a network environment, and examine the latest network technologies and security issues involved in network communications. Finally, learners identify and demonstrate ways of exploiting vulnerabilities to gain access to a system through penetration testing and network forensics techniques.

4 quarter credits
IAS5230
Secure Network Design and Engineering

Learners investigate abstract data types and how to address them in solving cyber security problems related to network design and engineering. Learners also analyze security requirements while designing network operational systems in order to gain approvals in recognition and compliance with organizational governance and processes. Finally, learners articulate how virtualization and network architecture is implemented, deployed, and used, and describe the implications that interfaces between major components of virtualized systems have for security.

4 quarter credits
IAS5200
Network Architecture and Cyberoperations

Learners in this course study common security architectures to help identify potential vulnerabilities in architectures, and learn to design secure architectures. Learners identify issues related to the design and implementation of operating system concepts, components and interfaces, and design and implement significant architectural changes to an existing operating system. Learners also examine the authorities, roles, and steps associated with cyber operations, and develop a working knowledge regarding the security issues associated with building complex systems out of third-party components of unknown origin.

4 quarter credits

Faculty & support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment counselors

These experts will set you up for success. They’ll help you find the right degree and program, and answer all your questions about Capella.

Financial aid counselors

Our team knows how to run the numbers and help find ways to save on costs.

Advisors

Advisors know the details of your program. Got questions about courses? Instructors? Resources? Advisors have answers.

Career center

For this team, it's more than resumes and interview tips. It's about thoughtful and strategic career planning—beyond graduation.

Network Defense career insights

Information Security Career Central

A Capella-powered blog dedicated to information security trends, news, career information, and more.

Why It’s Important to Learn Ethical Hacking

Proactively finding holes in corporate IT programs and apps is done to prevent malicious hacker attacks.

7 Must-Read Blogs for Information Security Professionals

Keep on top of the latest infosec news with these seven blogs.

Network Defense professional paths

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our online MS in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity, Network Defense degree.

Related job titles to explore*

  • Chief information security officer
  • Chief security officer
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Consultant (cyber security)
  • Intelligence analyst
  • Internet security analyst
  • Network and computer systems administrator
  • Network intelligence analyst
  • Network security analyst
  • Information security analyst
  • Security management specialist
  • Security manager
  • Adjunct or part-time faculty

Related employment settings to explore

  • Government agencies (such as National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command)
  • Government system integrators
  • Defense contractors
  • Military
  • Local law enforcement
  • Consulting firms
  • Land-based or online college or university

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other programs to explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the Next Step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.