US flag signifying that this is a United States Federal Government website   Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Homeland Security

U.S. Flag and Keyboard

Computer Society Recognizes DHS Master of Software Assurance Curriculum

By: Joe Jarzombek, Director for SwA, National Cyber Security Division

At a major IT conference earlier this year, Sec. Napolitano challenged the industry to monitor the integrity of their manufacturing processes.  “I am asking you today to redouble your efforts to increase the security, reliability and quality of the products that enter the global supply chain,” she said.  “We must have more secure hardware and software, and using that to create an information technology ecosystem that is fundamentally more resilient.”

Earlier this month, the IEEE Computer Society, the world’s leading organization of computing professionals, took a step in that direction by formally recognizing the Master of Software Assurance (MSwA) Reference Curriculum as a certified master’s degree program in software assurance—the first curriculum of its kind to focus on assuring the functionality, dependability, and security of software and systems. 

Researchers in the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute collaborated with a team of educators from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Monmouth University, and Stevens Institute of Technology to develop this software assurance program, which DHS-sponsored through its Software Assurance (SwA) Curriculum Project.  The MSwA Reference Curriculum materials are available at

This project recognizes the emergence of software assurance as an important multi-discipline body of knowledge, and the IEEE seal of approval is a testament to the significance of the public-private collaboration that DHS, along with our government, industry, and academic partners, have put into the effort.

The SwA Curriculum Project, which produced the MSwA curriculum and undergraduate course outlines, is a recent NCSD effort to co-sponsor public-private collaboration for government, industry, and academia through its SwA Forum.  The forum also sponsors working groups, including one on Workforce Education and Training that has provided foundational, peer-reviewed material, such as the SwA Common Body of Knowledge. 

To facilitate implementation, the MSwA project team is offering assistance, free of charge, to educational institutions looking to launch an MSwA degree program.  For more information on the SwA Curriculum Project and the MSwA, log on to

Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
Back to Top