MSc in Information Security

IMPORTANT: Detailed and updated information about the Master can be found in the new website:

The Masters program in this initiative confers a dual degree to the successful candidates: MSc in Information Technology - Information Security (MSIT-IS) from the Carnegie Mellon University and Mestre em Segurança Informática from the University of Lisboa Faculty of Sciences.

The program is hosted at the Department of Informatics of FCUL in Lisboa-Portugal. It confers the corresponding dual degree to the successful candidates, respectively: MSc in Information Technology - Information Security (MSIT-IS) from the Carnegie Mellon University and Mestre em Segurança Informática from the University of Lisboa Faculty of Sciences. The program takes advantage of the excellent distance learning capacities of CMU's Information Network Institute (INI), combined with the participation of the Portuguese adjunct faculty, and eventual short-length stays in Portugal of CMU faculty involved in the MSc and/or research programs. A number of scholarships are available to cover the tuition and expenses of students in either program, regardless of their nationality. The number of openings is defined on a yearly basis.


The program has a set of core courses defining its main body, which is supplemented with electives aimed at addressing the specific field of information and infrastructure security and dependability. The project or thesis, comprising 36 units worth of work, is to be performed locally. It may be defined by CMU and/or by Portuguese faculty, and may be part of research projects.


A target number of 15 admissions per year, internationally advertised. Enrollment is performed at FCUL in cooperation with CMU INI's academic management system. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree as well as professional knowledge of information technology (IT). Applicants must also have the level of English proficiency required to understand courses offered in English at graduate level. Applicants are required to take and present the results of the GRE and TOEFL/TSE tests. Selection of candidate students is performed in coordination between CMU and FCUL. Start date: August/September each year.

What you get

One program, two MSc degrees (Carnegie Mellon U. and U. Lisboa), physically from Lisboa, but interacting with both towns (Pittsburgh by video-conference). State-of-the-art installations: hi-fi video-conferencing and sophisticated laboratories.

Learn the principles and techniques that will give you and/or your company a competitive edge. Solid theoretical basis combined with intensive laboratory work: learning how to think and how to do security.

Set in an extremely lively research environment, the program offers core courses in security and dependability and a range of electives that provide the opportunity to study some areas in greater depth.

Top international level instructors on both sides, heavily engaged in high-level research and teaching, and in numerous international research projects in security and dependability.

A number of partial and of total grants are available to cover the  tuition and living expenses of students in the program, regardless of their nationality. See Financial support.

Why you should take this program 

Already important per se, security will constitute a nuclear asset in a near future as companies operating their business areas shift to the virtual world (intranet, Internet). This includes practically all segments, ranging from public administration, to telecommunications operators and critical infrastructures operators (e.g., power distribution), for which this Masters program holds specific valences in the critical infrastructures security domain. A recent expert panel sheds some light on how this evolution may take place: check Information Assurance Technology Forecast 2008.

This new era will require a breadth and depth of security thinking and skills from the computer and information systems engineers and officers. This program addresses them in a way unparalleled in other offers: learning how to think and how to do security; a solid theoretical background combined with sophisticated laboratory work.

See the MSIT-IS website: