Plan of Study-MSIT-Privacy Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

Plan of study

The MSIT Privacy Engineering program is a full-time masters program for students at Carnegie Mellon's Pittsburgh campus. It requires 162 units to complete.  Students will typically begin in the fall semester and complete the program at the end of the following summer. In some cases, students who need additional technical coursework will enroll in those courses in the preceding spring or summer semester.

Program requirements

  1. 66 units of core courses
  2. Current Topics in Privacy Seminar  - 3 units each in spring and fall semester
  3. 12 units of approved technical electives
  4. 30 units of approved general electives
  5. 48 unit privacy-by-design project course: Includes 6-unit Privacy-by-design Workshop course and 42 unit Privacy-by-design Practicum project
  6. GPA requirement: Student must maintain a 3.0 GPA in courses used for the requirements above.

Students may take additional electives or substitute electives when they have previously taken equivalent courses, if approved by the program director.

Electives. All electives that count towards unit requirements must be approved by the program directors. The program directors will prepare a list of recommended electives each semester that includes a variety of courses that complement the required courses and expose students to material in other relevant disciplines (e.g. biometrics, decision sciences, economics, public policy, statistics, security). Students may propose additional courses for approval. Students may also work on research projects for independent study credits that can be counted towards the elective requirement with the approval of the student’s advisor. A subset of approved electives will be designated as “technical electives.” These electives provide in depth instruction related to a computer science area such as networking, machine learning, or databases.

Extra courses.  Some students may need to take extra non-qualifying classes to address weaknesses in their background, to fulfill prerequisites, or take extra classes simply because they are interested. Such courses will not count toward the unit requirement, except possibly the free elective.

Place-out Opportunities.  Courses taken while students are enrolled as a CMU undergraduate or in another CMU graduate program can be used to satisfy a requirement. Students may replace these courses with additional electives based on consultation with the Program Directors. Students who have taken equivalent courses at other universities may petition the program directors to use these courses in place of required courses and take additional electives instead.

Grade requirement.  Students must earn a "B-" or better in a course for it to satisfy any requirement.

Sample schedule

Fall (57 units)
Current Topics in Privacy Seminar (3 units)
Law of Computer Technology (6 units, Mini 1)
08-731 Information Security and Privacy (12 units)
08-733 Privacy Policy, Law and Technology (12 units)  
Foundations of Privacy (12 units)
General elective (12 units)

Spring (57 units)
Current Topics in Privacy Seminar (3 units)
08-734 Usable Privacy and Security (12 units)
Engineering Privacy in Software (12 units)
General electives (18 units)
Technical elective (12 units)

Summer (48 units)
Privacy-by-design Workshop (6 units)
Privacy-by-design Capstone Project (42 units)
(Optional, one additional elective)