What sets Mason’s Cyber Security Program Apart from Others? (Part 2)

According to George Mason cyber security professor, Angelos Stavrou, Mason’s cyber security programs are at the forefront of cyber security education through our engagement with the thriving Washington, D.C., IT security community and our world-class cyber research. Within the MS in cyber security program, Mason provides the perfect combination of business, technical, and policy education under a single well-conceptualized approach.

How are masters in cyber security degree students at Mason more prepared than students in other cyber security graduate programs? Our faculty live, work, and consult in the Washington, D.C., area and draw on their real-world experience to enrich classroom instruction—partnering with business leaders and bringing relevant research and new insights into the classroom. Our academic instruction has a research to practice mindset.

Our partnerships with government and industry have helped our students and faculty take products from the academic research setting to the marketplace. Several small businesses have been launched, such as Kryptowire, which produces mobile security applications.

For our cyber security degree students, some of the best learning takes place miles from the Mason campus—in another part of the world as a global residency is an integral part of the program. In addition, students complete a team-based capstone project that enables them to take on the role of a CISO to address a major cyber security challenge. We have extensive labs that expose the students to real-world equipment, threats, and defenses.

How does the George Mason create opportunities for its cyber security degree students? The university engages in continuous extensive networking with cyber industry employers. In addition, Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C., area already provide a wealth of cyber security job opportunities both in the private and public sectors. Many of our alumni continue to reside in the area and are actively engaged with current students, including serving as capstone project judges, giving guest lectures, and speaking and assisting at our organized conferences and events.

How does the George Mason create a community among its cyber security students? Our students move through the program as a cohort that uses a team-based approach for class assignments and a final capstone project. In many cases, we organize trips to the local industry and government labs, as well as a 10-day global residency that offers a unique bonding opportunity as students travel to visit cutting edge cybersecurity enterprises. Because many of MS in cyber security students are mid-career executives, they learn much from each other and rank the peer-to-peer networking as one of the greatest benefits of the program.

How would you describe the cyber security program’s faculty? Our faculty members are renowned researchers and publish extensively in their areas of expertise. Most of our instructors have achieved international renown because of their ground-breaking work. Because of our location in the Washington metropolitan area, we also are able to hire faculty who are CIOs, CISOs, premier security consultants and security business owners. Our programs draw on the expertise of faculty within the School of Business, the School of Engineering and the School of Public Policy.

* Portions of this document have been previously published by

George Mason’s MS in Management of Secure Information Systems program provides students with the leadership and management expertise needed while addressing the specific technology and policy challenges of modern information systems and networks. George Mason University was ranked #6 on’s list of 10 Best Cyber Security Graduate Programs.

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