Computer Science and Software Engineering

Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Option

CSSE: Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Option

Information Assurance and Cybersecurity (IAC) is a Computer Science & Software Engineering pathway that covers the creation and management of safe and secure systems. All organizations, be they large or small, public or private, rely on secure systems for individual and organizational privacy and security. The IAC option prepares students to create, deploy, and manage systems that ensure the security of any organization.

This tri-campus pathway employs the strengths found at UW Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma, and allows students to select from an approved list of courses offered at all three campuses. Students take the same foundational courses found in the CSSE degree program at their home campus, but may select from any of the classes below to fulfill the requirements for the IAC option. These courses include topics in information assurance policy, secure coding, and networking and systems security. The electives at each campus emphasize the strengths found in the programs offered there.

Students pursuing this option are required to take CSS 310 (or INFO 310, T INFO 310): Information Assurance and Cybersecurity as a core course for the IAC option, and must complete 15 additional credits from the following course list for a total of 20 credits.

Degree Chart

Please view the CSSE-IAC Curriculum Sheet (pdf format) for an overview of the degree requirements.


  1. Foundational course, CSS 310 Information Assurance and Cybersecurity, or equivalent (5 credits)
  2. Minimum of 15 credits from an approved list of courses (see below). This list includes courses at participating departments on all three UW campuses. 
    Note: no more than one of these courses may be a networking course. These include INFO 314, T INFO 250, and CSS 432.
  3. Five additional credits (typically one course) from approved CSS Electives; student’s total elective credits should reach 25.

 UW Seattle IAC electives

  • INFO 312 Enterprise Risk Management
    Examines the risk inherent in use of technology, and how to manage risk to information, data, and technology in organizations. Topics include risk management frameworks, risk tolerance, key risk indicators, the legislative and regulatory environment, compliance, and new avenues of risk such as social media and mobile.
  • INFO 314 (formerly 341) Computer Networks and Distributed Applications*
    Basic concepts of local and wide-area computer networking including an overview of services provided by networks, network topologies and hardware, packet switching, client/server architectures, network protocols, and network servers and applications. Also addresses management, security, authentication, and policy issues associated with distributed systems. Prerequisite: CSE 142 or CSE 143.
  • INFO 415 Emerging Topics in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity (topics vary)
    Explores emerging topics and unique subjects in information assurance and cybersecurity (IAC) not otherwise covered in the IAC curriculum. Prerequisite: INFO 310 or equivalent.

UW Bothell IAC electives

  • CSS 337 Secure Systems
    Prepares students for deploying and operating secure systems on a heterogeneous distributed infrastructure. Covers cybersecurity principles, methods, and tools used to protect against and detect external and internal threats. Addresses ethical and professional issues for cybersecurity personnel. Assumes students have basic computer administration skills. Prerequisite: either CSS 142, CSE 142, or CSS 161; and CSS 310.
  • CSS 411 Computer Technology and Public Policy
    In depth investigation of economical, political, organizational, and societal ramifications of using computing technology. Evaluates current policy approaches, determines trends, and proposes changes. Topics vary by quarter.
  • CSS 415 Emerging Topics in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity (topics vary)
    Explores emerging topics and unique subjects in information assurance and cybersecurity (IAC) not otherwise covered in the IAC curriculum. Prerequisite: either CSS 310, INFO 310, or T INFO 310.
  • CSS 432 Computer Networking*
    Examines computer networking topics such as data link networks, packet switching, routing, TCP/UDP, flow control, congestion control, network security, and application protocols. Oriented toward network programming and performance evaluation experiments. Prerequisite: minimum grade of 2.0 in CSS 343; recommended: CSS 430.

UW Tacoma IAC electives

  • T INFO 250 Foundations of Information Networking*
    Explores computer networking and telecommunications fundamentals including LANs, WANs, Intranets, and the World Wide Web. Studies data communication concepts, models, and protocols. Practices installation, configuration, systems integration, and management of infrastructure technologies
  • T INFO 441 Network Security
    Covers cryptographic methods including public and private key algorithms. Examines protocols that utilize secure email, digital signatures, authorization, e-voting, and electronic cash. Examines the fundamentals of security issues arising from computer networks. Includes lab component for demonstration of security techniques such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and virtual private networks. Prerequisite: T INFO 310 or equivalent.
  • T INFO 442 Computer Security
    Discusses the theoretical and practical issues surrounding computer security and data protection. Explores formal models of encryption and authentication. Examines operating system and program security with vulnerabilities analyses. Includes a lab component for demonstrating computer security techniques such as malware analysis, and access.
  • T INFO 443 Digital Forensics
    Explores the many facets of computer forensics and network security. Examines intrusion detection, evidence collection and presentation, network auditing, and network security policy design and implementation. Examines the issues and facilities available to the intruder and data network administrator and incorporates hands-on exercises. Prerequisite: T INFO 310.

*Only one networking class (has an asterisk) can be applied to the IAC Option requirements