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Information Security and Intelligence

Degree Type: Master of Science Info Security and Intelligence
College(s): College of Business

Why Choose the Master of Science in Information Security and Intelligence?

The thirty-three (33) credit hour Information Security and Intelligence program has been developed to prepare students for careers in Business Intelligence, Incident Response (proactive and reactive in areas such as hacking and digital forensics), and Project Management utilizing secure practices. Positions include security officers, analysts, forensics experts, project managers, and technical managers.

MS-ISI courses are offered 100% online for flexible scheduling to serve either full-time or accelerated students and part-time students who are working professionals. 

The MS-ISI consists of eight core courses, including an integrated capstone project, and an Advanced Studies Certificate that focuses on the student’s concentration of choice: Incident Response (computer security), Business Intelligence, or Project Management. The MS-ISI can be completed 100% online.

There are several things that distinguish our Information Security and Intelligence programs in the top 10 of the nation and the premier programs for cyber security:

We have achieved the following much sought after designations:

  • National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education as designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA).
  • National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education as designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA)
  • National Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence as designated by the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3) and the DC3 Academic Cyber Curriculum Alliance (DACCA).
  • Accredited Amazon Web Services (AWS) Academy for Cloud Computing Architecture
  • Cellebrite Forensic Academic Partner
  • EC-Council Accredited Training Center
  • Palo Alto Networks Academy Partner
  • CompTIA  Academy Partner
  • Pearson Vue Testing Center

Other achievements that distinguish the Ferris ISI programs in the nation’s top 10:

  • Michigan’s most advanced digital forensic research lab equipped with Axiom, EnCase, FTK, Forensic Explorer, Cellebrite, XRY, Passware Decryption Suite, Maltego, Shadow Dragon Social Net, i2, Stereo and Digital Laser microscopes, network segmentation, Steel Central, Burp Suite, and Palo Alto.
  • Funded research grants from the National Security Agency, National Science Foundation and various other foundations.
  • Extensive publication record consisting of multiple journals, books and periodicals.  Some of this work has been cited in the United States Supreme Court such as in the landmark case Riley v. California.
  • Students compete in various cyber security competitions and frequently finish in the top 10% nationally
  • Students are eligible for NSA NIETP scholarships
  • Active student organizations including the Information Security & Intelligence Association and Women in Cybersecurity.
  • Multiple faculty have been certified as an expert witness in various courts.
  • Faculty that have the following certifications: CISSP, E|CSA, GIAC GSSP-.NET, GIAC GCIH, C|ND, CPTE, CLFE, CAN, C|SCU, PMP, EnCE, ACE, CEH, CAPM, Scrum Master.
  • Faculty that average over 15 years of work experience ranging from leadership positions in multibillion dollar corporations to law enforcement and licensed professional investigator.
  • Faculty that include a Distinguished Professor, Fulbright Scholar, and International Educator of the year.
  • Faculty that have taught on 4 continents that includes teaching digital forensics to the entire federal cybercrime units in Chile and Perú
  • A student body that includes graduates from over 50 countries.
  • Alumni that have distinguished themselves as leaders at dozens of organizations worldwide.
  • Host site of Michigan’s Cyber Range.
  • Host of cyber competitions and various summer camps and workshops.

Invest in Your Future

An environmental scan of job opportunities and academic programs nationally has confirmed a strong outlook for the field of Information Security and Intelligence and the three concentration areas of the program.

The MS-ISI at Ferris State University not only prepares you for a career in a number of growing fields but also for a career where the analytical and leadership requirements are not easily outsourced or sent offshore. Information Security, Business Intelligence, Project Management, and Cyber Incident Response are some of the areas that you may choose to launch a new career or strengthen the skills needed for advancement in your current career. According to the United States Department of Labor, employment in these areas will grow much faster than average and excellent job prospects are expected.

It is critical to all organizations to be able to ensure their computer systems are safe against vulnerabilities and attacks. Therefore there is a growing demand for Information Security professionals that not only understand how to prevent these vulnerabilities and attacks but also are trained to properly respond to computer security incidents when they occur. Professionals are in high demand that have what it takes to analyze incident data so they can recognize and respond to security risks and threats as well as prevent future incidents.

The ability to analyze and manage data extends far beyond incident data analysis. A recent report from the McKinsey Institute predicts a shortage of 1.5 million business intelligence analysts by 2018. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics also reports growing demand for workers with deep analytical skills. Potential growth industries are medical and financial where heavy regulations and large amounts of data create a strong need for business intelligence solutions.

If you have an interest or desire to lead and manage then Project Management is a career you should consider. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also expects job growth in this field to be faster than average through 2018. In addition, a study published by the Anderson Economic Group stated that an average of 1.2 million project management positions will need to be filled each year through 2016. You'll need excellent communication, leadership, organizational, and decision making skills to be successful in a Project Management career. A solid educational foundation in Project Management that is aligned with industry best practices can be found within the ISM program at Ferris State University.

The disciplines of Information Security, Business Intelligence, Project Management, and Cyber Incident Response are not isolated to a particular industry or sector. Job opportunities exist in large corporations, small business, government, and education to name a few. There is clearly no shortage of demand expected in any of these careers if you have the right education and skills.

Some job opportunities are, but not limited to:

  • Digital Forensics
  • Secure Software Developer
  • Network Security
  • Penetration Tester (Ethical Hacking)
  • Information Security Crime Investigator
  • Security Architect
  • Security Auditor
  • Malware & Intrusion Analyst
  • Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity
  • Vulnerability Researcher
  • Chief Security Officer

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the MS-ISI program must have earned a bachelor degree from a regionally accredited university with an overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or better on a 4-point scale, and a 3.0 GPA or better in the Junior and Senior level courses, and submit the following documents for consideration:

  • Completed application (Free on-line application can be completed at
  • Official course transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate colleges and universities previously attended, which include confirmation of a Bachelor degree from a regionally accredited university with an overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale, and a 3.0 GPA or better is required in the Junior and Senior level courses. (Original documents become property of Ferris State University and cannot be returned.)
  • Current resume.
  • Statement of Purpose, approximately one typed page, explaining your reasons for seeking admission into the MS-ISI program. Your Statement of Purpose should show that you have taken steps to learn about our programs and are familiar with and prepared for on-line or mixed-delivery, accelerated courses. You should also explain what factors have influenced your decision to apply, and how this degree will help you achieve your short-term and long-term career goals.
  • Three academic or professional recommendation letters attesting to your ability to succeed in graduate level studies.
  • International students must have earned a TOEFL score of 70 or above with no sub-score in the Low, Weak, or Limited range.

Graduation Requirements

  • No grade below a C will be counted toward completion of a College of Business graduate degree or certificate.
  • No more than two C grades will be counted toward completion of a College of Business graduate degree or certificate.
  • An overall GPA of 3.0 or better is required to earn a College of Business graduate degree or certificate.
  • An overall GPA of 3.0 or better must be maintained to avoid dismissal from a College of Business graduate degree or certificate.
  • Degree must be completed within five years from the first semester of enrollment.
  • No more than 30% of the credits in a College of Business graduate degree may be transferred from another institution.
  • Students must “Apply to Graduate” to be awarded a degree. Application can be accessed in MyFSU under Student Records.
  • Requirements for Graduate Honors are:  3.75 to 3.89 overall GPA for Distinction, 3.90 to 4.0 overall GPA for Highest Distinction.

More Information

College of Business - Graduate Programs
119 South Street, BUS 212B
Big Rapids, MI 49307
Phone: 231-591-2168

Required Courses
Credit Hours
Communication Strategies
Intelligence Vulnerabilities
Database Mgt and Security
Legal, Ethical and Fraud Iss
Information Security/Assurance
Secure Information Systems
Integrated Capstone Project
Project Management

One Advanced Study Certificate Required

Business Intelligence (ASBN) 12 credits (9 additional credits—MISI 610 is earned in the core courses)
Database Mgt and Security
Business Intelligence
Geographic Information Systems
Choose One:
Project in Bus Intelligence
ISI Internship
1 TO 6
Incident Response (ASIR) 12 credits (9 additional credits - MISI 660 is earned in the core courses)
Information Security/Assurance
Pen Test/Vulnerability Assess
Digital Forensics/Incident Res
Choose One:
Project In Incident Responses
ISI Internship
1 TO 6
Project Management (ASPM) 12 credits (9 additional credits—  PROJ 640 is earned in the core courses)
Project Management
Project Leadership
Project Risk and Quality Mgt
Choose One:
Project in Pgm and Project Mgt
ISI Internship
1 TO 6
Minimum credits required: