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About the University of Calgary
Graduate Studies Calendar 2023-2024 Program Descriptions Information Security and Privacy ISEC
Information Security and Privacy ISEC
Contact Information Location: Science A Building, Room 229
Web page:
1. Credentials Offered

The University of Calgary offers the following programs in Information Security and Privacy:
  • Master of Information Security and Privacy* (course-based)
  • Graduate Certificate in Network Security
  • Graduate Certificate in Software Security
  • Graduate Certificate in Data Privacy

*The Master of Information Security and Privacy is a continuous program with no scheduled break.

Laddering from Graduate Certificates to Master of Information Security and Privacy:

Students who complete the Graduate Certificate in Data Privacy, Network Security or Software Security may receive laddering credit for the 12 units of coursework completed in the certificate program if they are subsequently accepted into the Master of Information Security and Privacy program within 5 years of completing the certificate.

2. Admission Requirements

In addition to Faculty of Graduate Studies requirements, admission to the Information Security and Privacy programs requires:

a) A four-year Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a recognized institution.

b) Successful completion of an undergraduate course in each of the following areas:

  • Computer programming with understanding of execution environments (e.g., Computer Science 233 or equivalent)
  • Algorithms and data structures (e.g., Computer Science 331 or equivalent)
  • Either Operating systems (e.g., Computer Science 457 or equivalent); or Computer networks (e.g., Computer Science 441 or equivalent).

c) Two letters of reference.

d) Resume or CV.

e) Optional letter of intent.

Alternate Routes to Admission: In exceptional circumstances (see Admissions - Qualifications), individuals who do not meet formal academic requirements but who have significant life achievement and/or work experience may be considered for admission to the Graduate Certificate programs or the Masters of Information Security program. The candidate must provide the Information Security Program Director with evidence demonstrating the potential to successfully undertake these programs. Such candidates may also be required to participate in an in-person interview with the Program Director and, if admitted, be required to take additional courses to meet completion requirements.

Students who successfully complete one of the Graduate Certificate programs, and who then apply to the other Graduate Certificate program and/or to the Master of Information Security degree program within 4 years of completing the first certificate, will not be required to submit reference letters or previous transcripts again. If students complete new coursework elsewhere, they will be required to submit new transcripts.

Students who have successfully completed two of the Graduate Certificate programs with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher will meet the minimum admission requirements for the Master of Information Security and Privacy program. In addition, students who choose to ladder from the certificates into the Master’s degree will not normally be required to submit transcripts or reference letters (unless they have completed other credit courses from a post-secondary institution in the meantime).

3. Application Deadline

The deadline for completed applications is available on the Future Students website:

Master of Information Security and Privacy:

Graduate Certificate in Network security:

Graduate Certificate in Software security:

Graduate Certificate in Data Privacy:

4. Advanced Credit

Advanced credit will not normally be given for any of the Graduate Certificate programs or the Master’s program.

See Section 1 for information on laddering credit.

5. Course Requirements

Master of Information Security and Privacy

Students must complete 30 units, which must include the following courses:

Elective: Students may choose to complete Information Security and Privacy 651.

*Normally, students will be required to complete Information Security and Privacy 691. However, with the permission of the Program Director, students may complete Information Security and Privacy 681 instead.

Graduate Certificate in Network Security

Graduate Certificate in Software Security

Graduate Certificate in Data Privacy

Note 1: No course can be counted for credit towards more than one Graduate Certificate program.

Note 2: Students who plan to combine the certificate in Data Privacy with the certificate in Software Security before they enter the Master's program, are advised to take Information Security and Privacy 601 in the Data Privacy certificate; otherwise they will need to take Information Security and Privacy 601 as an additional course after they enter the Master's program in order to meet the graduation requirements.

Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade)

The Information Security Professional Program will allow students to pursue the Flexible Grade Option (CG Grade).

Students may choose the CG grade for a course taken extra to load.

The use of the CG grade will not affect students' eligibility for internal awards.

6. Credit for Undergraduate Courses

For the Master of Information Security and Privacy and Graduate Certificate programs, credit will not normally be granted for undergraduate courses.

7. Time Limits

Expected completion time for the Graduate Certificates is 4, 8, 10 or 12 months, depending on the schedule set for that cohort. The maximum time allowed is three years.

Expected completion time for full-time students in the Master of Information Security and Privacy for full-time students is 12 months. The maximum completion time is four years. Maximum completion time for students to complete all requirements of the Master of Information Security and Privacy via the laddered certificate pathway is four years from the beginning of the first certificate program.

8. Supervisory Assignments

An Academic Coordinator is assigned to each cohort-based Graduate Certificate and Master’s program.

9. Financial Assistance

The program itself does not provide scholarships, however financial assistance may be available to qualified students through alternative means. For information on awards, see the Awards and Financial Assistance section.