Carnegie Mellon University

Fall 2020 MSIS Curriculum

For Students Starting the Master of Science in Information Security in Fall 2020 (MS32)

The 122-unit MSIS curriculum consists of five main components:

Core Courses Establish the necessary background and a common competency level  74 units
Program Electives Build upon the core, providing flexibility and breadth in coursework 24 units
Curriculum Option Customize curriculum according to career goals and interests 24 units
Internship All INI students are required to complete a summer internship  0 units
Total  122 units


MS32 MSIS Curriculum Framework

Total: 122 Units

74 Units Core Courses

SYSTEMS CORE (12 Units):

  • Choose One:
    14-642: Introduction to Embedded Systems
    14-736: Distributed Systems: Techniques, Infrastructure, and Services
    15-605: Operating System Design and Implementation
    18-746: Storage Systems

Networking Core (12 Units): 

  • Choose One:
    14-740: Fundamentals of Telecommunications and Computer Networks 
    14-760: Advanced Real-World Data Networks
    18-756: Packet Switching and Computer Networks 

Security Core (24 Units): 

  • 12 Units:
    14-741: Introduction to Information Security
  • 12 Units: Choose One Course From Below:
    18-731: Network Security
    18-732: Secure Software Systems
    18-733: Applied Cryptography
    18-734: Foundation of Privacy

Business & Management COre (12 Units):

14-782: Information Security Risk Management I

14-788: Information Security Policy and Management

MSIS Degree-Specific Core (12 units):

One additional graduate-level security course.
Please review the MSIS Core Courses list on the Course List page for pre-approved graduate security courses.


  • 14-601: INI Academic and Professional Development 1 
  • 14-602: INI Academic and Professional Development 2

24 Units Program Electives

Students have the opportunity to pursue a wide range of electives in which they have a special interest. Electives may not be taken as pass/no pass/audit. 

24 units

Fulfilled by courses in INI, Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Computer Science, Engineering & Public Policy (EPP), Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) or Integrated Innovation Institute (III), and/or approved courses in the Heinz College or Tepper School.
Some exceptions apply

24 Units Curriculum Option 

choose one of the following*: 

Course Option: Set of courses that will equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in industry. 

Development-Based Project: Students increase their knowledge and skills in delivering successful solutions for industry. 

Thesis Research Paper: Allows students to delve deeply into a problem and create a solution for a research-based project, providing the opportunity to gain significant knowledge and skills in a particular area. 

*Students must choose either a Professional Track (Course Option or Development-Based Project) or a Research Track (Thesis Research Paper).

0 Units Internship

All students must complete an INI-approved internship.


The INI cannot guarantee that courses will be offered each semester or in a specific semester as advertised on this page. Students must refer to the 'Schedule of Classes' to determine course availability. The INI cannot guarantee that a student will be offered a seat in a specific course. These apply to courses at the INI as well as other departments at Carnegie Mellon. In addition, it is the sole responsibility of the student to read and understand the following information regarding this program and its requirements. Should an individual have any further questions, they are encouraged to contact INI Academic Affairs Office (AAO) at for assistance.