Master of Science Network Engineering & Security

Our daily interactions with the Internet are ever-increasing in scale and complexity. What was once a packet delivery system mimicking a postal system is now an intricate multi-tiered structure of protocols and services. The ongoing development and survival of these services depends on our ability to adaptively address challenges such as securing our interactions, scaling with users and devices, and meeting the ever-changing expectations in Quality of Experience and Service Availability.

Today, researchers at DePaul are addressing the aforementioned challenges with an eye towards providing higher service levels and reducing the energy footprint of Internet operations. They are studying how to optimize operations in machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet-of-Things (IoT) networks. New network infrastructures are being developed to operate in ad hoc situations, without relying on the Internet, to mitigate connectivity during power outages and in infrastructure-poor regions. The Internet is profoundly changing on multiple fronts. Video content is now dominating web traffic, and Internet service providers must now accommodate nearly 30 billion networked devices. Thus, we must re-examine every design choice and hold both current and future protocols to highly rigorous standards in development and performance evaluation.

The unique MS Network Engineering and Security (NES) program at DePaul University delivers both the theory and practice behind the design and maintenance of these diverse network infrastructures. Students have access to extensive lab facilities using equipment from Cisco, Juniper, and other manufacturers. Our students get hands-on practice in configuring routers, switches, and firewalls, as well as securing networks, evaluating and managing their performance, and ensuring the they meet business requirements.

We are no longer accepting applications for this program. Interested students are encouraged to apply to our MS in Cybersecurity program with a concentration in Networking and Infrastructure.

Degree Requirements

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Describe the operations and metrics of Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing, including the BGP path selection process.
  • Contrast IPv6 and IPv4 routing, including protocol headers, routing protocols, subnetting, tunneling and translation mechanisms.
  • Describe and compare Quality of Service (QoS) techniques for providing differentiated treatment of Voice over IP (VoIP) and data packet flows.
  • Design a fault-tolerant network and identity protocols to implement and manage these networks.
  • Explain methods used for authentication and integrity in public-key encryptions systems, including digital signatures and PKI.
  • Explain and demonstrate the operations of an Intrusion Detection System (IDS), including writing IDS rules.

Career Outcomes

92% of reporting program graduates were employed, continuing education, or not seeking employment within six months of graduation

82,000 median salary reported by program graduates six months after degree completion

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Network and Security Lab

Coursework emphasizes hands-on learning with Cisco equipment. The CDM Security Lab contains more than 100 routers, 60+ switches, 90 firewalls, and a wide variety of servers and specialized network appliances, all of which are available to students to practice and perfect their networking and security skills.

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Innovative Research

School of Computing faculty perform research in a wide variety of areas, with many projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other agencies. Currently, Dr. Sharief Oteafy is investigating how Internet of Things (IoT) systems could be developed to allow for interoperation, despite their heterogeneity. His research spans resource management and functional scalability in future IoT systems.

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Experienced Faculty

Our faculty bring to the classroom a unique blend of industry expertise and academic excellence. Before joining DePaul, most have worked for major companies, including Bell Laboratories, Tellabs, Alcatel-Lucent and Motorola. Faculty conduct advanced research in topics such as security for wireless communication, protocol development and testing (NETCONF), network configuration and reliability, and performance management.

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In the Network Capstone course, NET 594, students bring all they have learned in the program, through completing the requirements analysis; logical, physical, security, and management designs; and pricing and implementation planning for a highly realistic corporate case study. Students leave the program fully ready to contribute in the corporate world and with a great work product to show to prospective employers.


Alumni Network

You’ll have access to CDM’s extensive alumni network that includes professionals at Fortune 500 companies in Chicago such as PwC, KPMG, Apple and Motorola Solutions. Make connections at networking events and study in a city teeming with industry opportunities.

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DePaul’s CyberCenter, founded in June 2003, is chartered to advance the science, teaching, and practice of computer security, information assurance, network security, and related disciplines. Through affiliated labs, including the Secure Design Lab, Adversarial Cybersecurity Automation Lab (ACAL), Network and Security Lab, and more, the Center aims to increase the awareness of security and produce program graduates who are better able to meet the increasing needs of the nation in the area of information assurance. The Center also works in cooperation with Chicagoland area corporations to assist them in applying information assurance practices into their businesses operations and coordinates with community service organizations to help increase their awareness and implementation of information assurance.