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Program Overview

The Importance of Identity Management, Security, and Privacy
Identity is currency in an increasingly global, anonymous society. Consumers, businesses and government agencies use Personally Identifiable Information (PII) to establish trust, and to exchange money, goods, and services. The value of this currency is growing rapidly across all market sectors, as more and more organizations share, collect, store, provide, and rely on PII.

Professionals who understand the business practices, policy, law, communications, technology, and social solutions for managing, protecting, and securing PII, as well as the decisions made by governments, private entities, and individuals with respect to PII collection and surveillance, will be leaders in the effort to guarantee trusted transactions, combat identity theft and fraud, and protect privacy.

World Class Curriculum from a Top-Ranked University
The University of Texas at Austin offers you the opportunity to become one of those leaders. The Master of Science in Identity Management and Security (MSIMS) degree program trains new professionals in these fast-growing and critical areas.

The MSIMS degree program, offered by the 6th ranked School of Information in conjunction with the Center for Identity, is designed for working professionals looking for the flexibility to advance their opportunities while remaining in the workforce.

Flexible Design for Working Professionals
Courses will be offered one weekend a month at the University's campus in Austin, one of the fastest-growing cities in the country and a meeting place for business, technology and entrepreneurial leaders. The program will also be offered simultaneously online for students who are not able to attend classes in Austin.


The fields of identity management, security, and privacy are among the fastest-growing in today's marketplace. These industries need experts who are prepared not only to meet technical and business demands, but also to make the legal, social, and policy decisions required by corporate and government teams. The MSIMS will prepare its students to bridge that gap with training from multiple specialties and perspectives, while the Center for Identity's projects and partnerships with business and government will allow for hands-on learning for enriched and generous career
development opportunities.


Introduction to Identity Management, Security, and Privacy

This course aims to provide an introductory overview to identity management and security by presenting working definitions of Personal Identifiable Information (PII); identity management and security challenges and best practices; and the combined people, processes, policies, and technology required to manage and secure PII for a number of different market sectors.


  • Learn how to define identity for people, organizations and devices
  • Quantify identity risks and value
  • Evaluate and understand consumer’s attitudes about their identities
  • Understand the progressive phases of PII management throughout the lifecycle
  • Differentiate between identity management and cybersecurity
  • Understand how to manage and secure PII based on best practices
  • Identify the workforce required to implement identity management and security best practices
  • Impact of laws, regulation, and public policy on identity management and security best practices

Identity in Society and Community

This course aims to discover how differences over time and across contexts inform individual, organizational, and social understandings and practices of identity.


  • Define identity as a socio-cultural construct
  • Understand the role of identity at various levels of scale
  • Understand the culturally-specific dimensions of identity, including ethnic and gender identities
  • Recognize ways in which values and concepts related to identity are changing
  • Understand connections between practical and philosophical dimensions of identity
  • Take values into consideration when designing technologies and services to protect identity

Identity and Public Policy

This course aims to increase students’ knowledge of the U.S. federal information policy system and to critically analyze the implications of federal policy initiatives for identity management and security.


  • Develop a broad understanding of how identity and public policy relate to each other
  • Know important public policy terms and concepts, especially those related to identity
  • Recognize major public policy initiatives and issues related to identity
  • Analyze the implications of public policies for managing and securing identities
  • Develop an analytic, historical, and theoretically-grounded understanding of identity policy conflicts and politics
  • Communicate in written and oral form about fractious policy conflicts in a collegial and scholarly way
  • Prepare to influence and participate in the public policy system

Identity Business Practices and Governance

This course aims to equip students with knowledge, skills, and abilities for establishing ethical business practices and governance mechanisms to minimize risks and maximize returns of organizations’ identity assets.


  • Develop an identity management strategy for an organization
  • Design governance, risk, and control (GRC) mechanisms for minimizing potential risks around strategic identity assets
  • Develop business continuity and disaster recovery plans in preparation for disruptive identity events
  • Apply data security and privacy-related laws and regulations to an organization’s risk management plans and data flow processes
  • Balance legal, regulatory, and contractual requirement costs and risks of the organization with the value of the organization’s retained data assets
  • Identify ethical issues around data privacy and security-related business practices of
  • Identify risk/return tradeoffs and challenges for an organization in creating innovative new products and services with sensitive personally identifiable information (PII)

Identity Communication

This course aims to provide students with a multi-tiered approach to three overarching foci: the basics of identity communication, framing identity, and identity management crisis communication.


  • Understand the key role of communication in identity management and identity theft
  • Frame and deliver messages to key stakeholders concerning identity management and privacy behaviors
  • Create High Reliability Organizations that make their groups less susceptible to security crises, and—when they occur—more resilient to manage them
  • Create a crisis communication plan as it pertains to data breaches

Identity Security

This course aims to provide students with a solid understanding of the theories, concepts, and practical applications of information security and its relationship to identity management.


  • Know the general historical development of information security as a discipline, with specific focus on the evolution of information security in the context of computing, networking, and the Internet
  • Learn how information is transmitted and managed over networks, including the Internet, and how the essential components of these networks operate
  • Understand the theoretical components of information security, particularly confidentiality, integrity, and availability, and how these components are incorporated into security technologies and management programs
  • Analyze the structure and functions of an enterprise cybersecurity program, including security program management, security risks and threats, security controls and technologies, and security program monitoring and evaluation
  • Apply the concepts and techniques of information security to a variety of cases, scenarios, and exercises

Identity Risk and Benefit Analysis

This course aims to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of different types of identity assets, the roles of identity assets in the functioning of a digital economy, frictions around identity assets, and the valuation of identity assets from the perspectives of various stakeholders.


  • Quantify the risks and benefits of identity assets for various stakeholders
  • Identify and describe aspects of the digital divide that defy common expectations and stereotypes
  • Put personal information identity actions in the wider contexts of social responsibility and electronic government
  • Assess the risk and return potential of strategic identity assets
  • Establish an accountability framework for evaluating and justifying identity-related investments of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations
  • Understand the differences between traditional risk transfer and alternative risk models and how to apply those models based on the organization’s exposures
  • Use reinsurance and financial models to determine underwriting premiums and rates

Identity Information Management and Repositories

This course aims to equip students with skills and knowledge in the protection of confidentiality, integrity, accessibility, and privacy of identity assets. With a view of both the technical and organizational aspects of identity management, this course equips students with the skills and knowledge to develop both enterprise and IT solutions to protect, access, and rely on identity information.


  • Be prepared to develop an identity management strategy for an organization including incident response and business continuity planning
  • Understand organizational control activities for mitigating risk
  • Know how to plan, organize, acquire, and implement IT solutions for identity management
  • Gain familiarity with algorithms and analytics for PII management
  • Identify PII management applications across all market sectors

Identity and Law

This course aims to give a broad introduction to the various laws and legal issues surrounding identity.


  • Learn the laws surrounding issues of identity, identity assets, and personal information
  • Identify identity-related laws, standards, policy instruments, guidance, and principles
  • Define and discuss different classes of protected personal information
  • Discuss multiple genres of legal information and legal writing
  • Distinguish between different types of identity-theft related crime
  • Understand business responsibilities to protect employee and consumer data in all stages of collection, storage, use disclosure, protection, and destruction
  • Discuss risk/harm standards for the protection of personally identifiable information (PII) and identify best practices for complying with legal requirements
  • Analyze obligations of the Board of Directors and Executive Management to shareholders as well as potential liability
  • Know the steps to take to prevent a breach, how to create a security incident response plan, and the steps to take for breach response
  • Understand procedures relating to law enforcement investigation of security breaches and identity theft
  • Recognize risks and consequences of data breaches and discuss differences in data-breach reporting and notification requirements for different industries and sectors
  • Analyze variation across state laws regulating data breach notification
  • Discuss data privacy as it relates to Big Data and the Internet of Things
  • Analyze employee-related privacy laws

MS Degree Report

As the culmination of the knowledge acquired in the program, students engage in an independent study course, producing a report on a topic selected by student and faculty supervisors.


Faculty Member Photo: Philip Doty

Associate Dean

School of Information

Faculty Member Photo: Suzanne Barber

Program Director

Center for Identity
Cockrell School of Engineering

Faculty Member Photo: Paul Adams

Associate Professor of Geography

College of Liberal Arts

Faculty Member Photo: Diane Bailey

Associate Professor

School of Information

Faculty Member Photo: Dawna Ballard

Associate Professor

Moody College of Communication

Faculty Member Photo: William Bard

Senior Lecturer

Cockrell School of Engineering

Faculty Member Photo: Brenda Berkelaar

Assistant Professor

Moody College of Communication

Faculty Member Photo: Ken Fleischmann

Associate Professor

School of Information

Faculty Member Photo: Ashley Hunter

Chief Underwriter

HM Risk Group

Faculty Member Photo: Bruce Kellison

Associate Director

IC^2 Institute

Faculty Member Photo: Karen Landolt


McCombs School of Business

Faculty Member Photo: Matthew McGlone

Associate Professor

Moody College of Communication

Faculty Member Photo: Hüseyin Tanriverdi

Associate Professor

McCombs School of Business

Faculty Member Photo: Lynn Westbrook

Associate Professor

School of Information

How to Apply

Applications for Fall 2018 are currently open, and the deadline for submitting your application is July 1, 2018.  Application instructions are provided below—if you have questions about the application process for Fall 2018, please contact us at

The MSIMS program recognizes that identity management and security challenges require multi-disciplinary solutions and will accept applicants with a B.S. or B.A. from a wide range of academic disciplines.

To apply to the Master of Science in Identity Management and Security you must submit the following:

  • A completed online application at
  • Official transcripts
  • An official GRE or GMAT score
  • A personal statement outlining relevant experience and goals
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • A current resume
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for international applications, according to the guidelines set by the Graduate and International Admissions Center

Click here to download an application checklist.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with decisions returned as promptly as possible after the receipt of a completed application package. Enrollment is expected to be capped at 25 students, so apply early!

Start Your Application Today!

Upcoming Admissions Events

January 23

Online Infosession

Join the MSIMS staff for an online presentation and Q&A about the Master of Science in Identity Management and Security program.

Register Now

February 22

Online Infosession

Join the MSIMS staff for an online presentation and Q&A about the Master of Science in Identity Management and Security program.

Register Now

April 19

Online Infosession

Join the MSIMS staff for an online presentation and Q&A about the Master of Science in Identity Management and Security program.

Register Now

Admissions to the Master of Science in Identity Management and Security


There are no course or major requirements for admissions into the MSIMS degree program. The program's interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to engage and educate professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Qualified applicants will demonstrate a substantial interest in understanding and improving the issues surrounding identity management, security, and privacy.

The Online Application

The application for Fall 2018 will be available in late summer 2017. 

All applicants must use the online application found at ApplyTexas. When prompted to choose a semester of entry, please select "Fall (Aug - Dec) 2018." Then choose "Identity Management and Security (Option III)" from the drop-down list on the following page.

Additional instructions can be found on the website of the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC).

To help guide you through the process on ApplyTexas, we created this short tutorial:

Application Fee

The application fee is $65 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and $90 for international applicants. An application cannot be reviewed until the application fee is paid.

Required Application Materials

Please note: you will be unable to submit these materials until after the online application is open. To receive notification when it is available, please sign up for our newsletter.

Official transcripts
Submit electronic copies of your official transcripts to GIAC according to the directions on their website. You must provide one copy of the official academic transcript from every senior college you have attended, even if those courses are reflected on the transcript from another school. Please do not submit paper copies of your documents; this will significantly slow down the processing of your application.

Official GRE or GMAT scores
You must submit test scores for either the GRE or the GMAT. Scores must be sent from the official testing agency to GIAC, using the codes for the University of Texas at Austin. (GRE Code: 6882; GMAT Code: 396-44-45). Please allow sufficient time for your test scores to reach the University upon completion of the exam.

Unless an applicant has a graduate degree from The University of Texas at Austin, GRE and GMAT scores must be no more than 5 years old.

GRE/GMAT waivers are available to qualified applicants.

Personal Statement
Once your application is submitted, electronically upload a personal statement reflecting your career goals and interests, and how the MSIMS will help you reach them. Please limit essays to less than 2 pages.

Letters of recommendation
You will be asked to submit the names and contact information of three recommenders at the time of your online application. After submitting the application, each will receive an email with directions for the electronic submission of a letter on your behalf.

A current resume
Submit an electronic copy of your resume to GIAC according to the directions on their website.

TOEFL or IELTS scores
International students* must submit official test results from either the TOEFL or IELTS exams, according to the guidelines provided by GIAC.

Admissions Decisions

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with decisions returned approximately three weeks after all documentation is received. As demand is expected to be high and the first cohort for the program will be small, it is recommended that interested students apply as early as possible.

*Please note: International students who enroll in the MSIMS program are not eligible for F1 or J1 visas.

Tuition and Fees

Program Tuition is $45,000 for the  two-year program.

Books and other reading materials are not included and are the responsibility of the student. Living expenses, health insurance fees (required for international students), and an international student support service fee are not included and will be billed separately.

Financial Aid Information
Students who are enrolled in the program are eligible for federal loans through The University of Texas at Austin Office of Student Financial Services.

Information for Veterans
Eligible students in the Master's programs can receive Veterans Administration benefits through the Office of the Registrar at The University of Texas at Austin