Advanced Certificate in Information Assurance

Center of Excellence in Information Systems Assurance Research and Education (CEISARE) Director Shambhu Upadhyaya addresses the Buffalo Niagara Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) Panel Session. Photo credit: Ken Smith

The Advanced Certificate in Information Assurance is designed to equip students at UB with a comprehensive understanding of the many facets of  Information Assurance and Security.  With the rapid growth of the Internet and, in turn, the creation of numerous new information  channels, the task of securing these channels and their underlying systems has become an industry-wide and national level top priority.

Certificate Programs

The department offers non-degree-granting certificate programs that enhance our degree programs by conveying deep experience in specific research areas.

On this page:


However, the lack of professionals with the skill set to tackle such complex security issues is clearly evident. Several  universities in the country have established research and education centers in IA to address the challenges and to reduce vulnerabilities  in the National Information Infrastructure. The University at Buffalo aims to fill this void by offering this certificate. The  program provides coursework giving a broad overview of the  interdisciplinary aspects of Information Assurance as well as  specialized training with respect to a chosen discipline.  Within the Advanced Certificate program, students may elect to  follow one of two paths: Technical versus Managerial. The program of study follows from the option chosen. The Advanced Certificate Program requires that students must complete a total of 14-15 credits of coursework - 3 credits of which are common to all  students, 6 credits of which are defined by the track chosen,  and 5-6 credits of possibly interdisciplinary electives.  This program structure ensures that students receiving this certificate  possess the necessary foundation in Information Assurance as well as allows them a certain degree of freedom to tailor the Certificate to their interests.

At present, there are four disciplines participating in the  program in terms of the applicable courses they offer: Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), School of Management (SOM), Mathematics (MTH), and School of Law (LAW).  The certificate will provide recognition of this training earned by students in Information Assurance. These graduates will then enter the federal work force and industries with an expertise in IA,  better prepared to meet the needs of our increasingly  technological society.

The State Education Department has approved and registered (HEGIS Code: 5199) the proposal for an Advanced (Graduate) Certificate program at the University at Buffalo.  This program is currently  being offered under the aegis of the National Center of  Excellence in Information Systems Assurance Research and Education (CEISARE) at UB.


The Advanced Certificate will be awarded upon completion of the  following requirements: 

Completion of 14-15 credit hours of coursework, consisting of 

1)  6 credit hours of required coursework defined by the track chosen.
2) 3 credit hours of the required integrative course,  Information Assurance.
3) 5-6 credit hours of elective coursework limited to  departmentally approved courses. 

Students must maintain a B average over all Certificate courses and must be in good academic standing in their department.  As mentioned, the Program consists of two possible tracks: Technical  vs. Managerial.  The Technical track is defined by the CSE  department; whereas the Managerial track is defined by the  MSS department.

Based on the track chosen, the 6 credits of  coursework in (1) fall into two options: 

Technical Track

In addition to the integrative course MGS 650* Information Assurance,  students must take two courses from a set of three core courses:

  • MTH 535 Introduction to Cryptography or CSE 664: Applied Cryptography and Computer Security
  • CSE 565 Computer Security
  • CSE 566 Wireless Networks Security or CSE 7XX: Seminar on Wireless Networks Security

The remaining two or more courses could be taken from a list of approved electives including the third core course above to make  up the total of 14-15 credit hours. 

Managerial Track

In addition to the integrative course MGS 650* Information Assurance,  students must take:

  • MGS 651 Network Management
  • MGS 659 Seminar in E-Commerce

The remaining two or more courses could be taken from the list of  approved electives to make up the total of 14-15 credit hours. 

Approved Electives

  • CSE 505 Fundamentals of Programming Languages
  • CSE 512 Operating Systems Internals
  • CSE 530 Computer Communications
  • CSE 562 Database Systems
  • CSE 589 Modern Networking Concepts
  • CSE 605 Advanced Concepts in Programming Languages
  • CSE 626 Data Mining
  • CSE 671 Secure Wireless Sensor Networks
  • LAW 696 Intellectual Property
  • LAW 891 Copyright
  • MGA 643 Fraud Prevention and Detection
  • MGS 610 Digital Forensics
  • MGS 613 Database Management Systems
  • MGT 681 Intellectual Property
  • MTH 529/530 Introduction to the Theory of Numbers I/II

For course description, refer to the respective departmental  webpages.  This Certificate program is open to currently enrolled MS and MBA students who like to specialize in Information Assurance.  Such students can obtain a Certificate by properly choosing courses  to meet the Certificate requirements as well as their own program  core requirements in a way that doesn't unduly extend their stay  beyond the normal four semesters of study. Candidates who already  have an M.S. or MBA or applicants from industries who may just  want to obtain this certificate could subscribe to this program  through University's normal admission process. The admission  mechanism is currently being put in place and will be advertised  soon. The basic admission requirement is a Bachelors degree in  Computer Science and Engineering, or Mathematics, or Business  Administration or a related field with a minimum GPA of 3.0.  The Certificate will also satisfy the IA concentration for  DoDs Information Assurance Scholarship Program participants. 

* Should have MGS 602 (Information Technology/ Data Communications) or equivalent as a prerequisite (or co-requisite)

Additional Information

Program Director

  • Shambhu Upadhyaya

    Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education; Director, Center of Excellence in Information Systems Assurance Research and Education (CEISARE); Professor

    Computer Science and Engineering

    329 Davis Hall

    Phone: (716) 645-3183