What is a Cybersecurity degree?
Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity degree program was developed with industry guidance to produce highly skilled, well-equipped cybersecurity professionals. As an increasing number of cyberattacks and information security threats hit our nation, expert cybersecurity professionals are in significant demand by government agencies, defense firms, financial services and companies in a wide range of industries that handle private data.
The BS in cybersecurity degree program responds to this strong industry demand by:
- Exposing students to training and curriculum designed to prepare them for real-world situations
- Instructing students to prevent data breaches, protect against various types of cybercrime and address vulnerabilities.
- Revealing the importance of adapting quickly to changing technology and industry standards
- Instilling an attitude of continual learning in a fast-evolving digital field
Students will gain knowledge in defending digital spaces, computer environments, networks and sensitive information from malicious software developers and hackers. This program teaches and assesses competency in all aspects of defensive cybersecurity, cyber law and cyber ethics. Areas of study include: information assurance foundations, digital forensic investigations, malware reverse engineering, wireless security, security architecture design, security frameworks and secure system administration.
The program emphasizes critical thinking, real-world application and practical project management experience. Students further develop valuable workplace skills, such as effective communication, teamwork, initiative, strong work ethic, analytical skills, adaptability and self-confidence. GCU’s Christian worldview is also integrated in the program, so students can learn professional and ethical practices associated with cybersecurity.
This is a technical degree that incorporates real-world, hands-on application of theoretical concepts. Students have opportunities to participate in cybersecurity competitions.
How long does it take to get a bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity?
Students typically complete the program in four years; however, students may speak with their counselor about fast-track options to graduate earlier by taking summer classes on campus or online. GCU strives to support students in accelerating their time to completion, so they can enter their career or graduate school sooner.
What requirements are needed for a Cybersecurity degree?
To begin earning a cybersecurity bachelor’s degree, apply to the College of Science, Engineering and Technology by completing the form located to the right, beneath “APPLY TODAY!” Program applicants will follow the standard application process. Undergraduate Campus and Online Admission Requirements provides more information on degree program requirements and qualifications.
This program’s cybersecurity courses include:
- Platform and Network Technologies
- Cyberlaw and Privacy in a Digital Age
- Cybersecurity and Ethical Hacking
- Cyber Forensic Investigations
- IT Business Case Planning for Global Enterprise
- Security Driven Systems Administration
- Analysis, Design and Management of Secure Corporate Networks
In teams, students will have the opportunity to implement and present a real-world applied research and design project as part of their IT Project course.
What can I do with a bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity?
Working in cyber intelligence is a highly valued, lucrative career with room for advancement. Potential occupations in the field include cybersecurity technicians, security operation center analysts, penetration testers, malware analysts and digital forensic technicians, as well as positions in defensive cybersecurity operations for public and private sectors.
To elevate credentials and deepen experience, graduates can earn a Master of Science in Cybersecurity from GCU, as well as explore vendor training and professional certifications. These additional credentials help professionals stay ahead of emerging threats, as well as stay up-to-date on current attack vectors, incoming trends and new technologies and techniques.
General Education Requirements
General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.
Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.
- UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
- UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.
- MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
- PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
- BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, crosscultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.
- HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
Required General Education Courses
This course covers an analysis of Cyberwarfare in the 21st Century and beyond. Cyberspace is a complex environment that controls every aspect of a country’s Economy, Communication, and Infrastructure. This course will examine cyber warfare from a case-study perspective, applying the battlespace doctrine developed by military cyber operations teams. At the conclusion of this course students will have a fundamental understanding of the cyberspace threatscape, ethical challenges, and be able to strategize and implement cyberwarfare operations. Prerequisite: ITT-340 or SWE-310.
Program Core Courses
This course provides a foundation for programming and problem solving using computer programming, as well as an introduction to the academic discipline of IT. Topics include variables, expressions, functions, control structures, and pervasive IT themes: IT history, organizational issues, and relationship of IT to other computing disciplines. The course prepares students for advanced concepts and techniques in programming and information technology, including object-oriented design, data structures, computer systems, and networks. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture. Hands-on activities focus on writing code that implements concepts discussed in lecture and on gaining initial exposure to common operating systems, enterprise architectures, and tools commonly used by IT professionals. Prerequisite: MAT-154 or MAT-261.
This course exposes students to the fundamentals of networks and networking in IT. It then builds deeper understanding of how networks work, including the topics of LANs, WANs, service providers, packets, hubs, routers, switches, and Internet protocols. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture. Hands-on activities focus on setting up and configuring local and enterprise networks, experimenting with various topologies, and scalability planning with routers and switches. Prerequisite: CST-111 or CST-105 or acceptance into the bootcamp program.
This in an introductory course in algorithm analysis with applications in discrete mathematics. Topics covered include complexity analysis, finite logic, Boolean algebra, sets, functions, counting, finite state machines, automata, regular expressions, and cryptography. Learners will determine how variability affects outcomes and assess the suitability of an algorithm to solve a given problem. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Algorithms and Discrete Mathematics for Cybersecurity. Prerequisites: MAT-154 and CST-111.
In this course students acquire the ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium sized routed and switched networks. Students gain the knowledge and skills to make connections to remote sites via a WAN, and mitigate basic security threats. Prerequisite: ITT-115 or ITT-116.
This course is an introduction to assembly language programming. Assembly language topics may include machine representation of data, fixed and floating point, and decimal arithmetic, address modification, bit manipulation, and subroutine linkage. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Low Level Programming. Prerequisites: MAT-154 and CYB-201.
The Internet Age has introduced myriad legal challenges on a global level. Students will explore the emerging specialty within law that is cyber law. Topics will expose the reality that our legal system has evolved in a physical and visual world, but cyber space is largely invisible and virtual. Students will learn that past legal decisions or legal precedence has been important in our system and reasoning by analogy has been used extensively. In many cases the laws applied in the physical realm do not translate equally well into cyber space. This course will discuss the importance of this area introduce legal issues that need to be addressed. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Cyberlaw and Privacy in a Digital Age. Prerequisite: PSY-102.
This course introduces students to system administration and maintenance as well as platform technologies. The course surveys operating systems, applications, administrative activities and domains, computer architecture and organization, and computing infrastructures. The laboratory reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture. Hands-on activities focus on developing practical skills in configuring computer systems, deploying enterprise applications, managing user permissions, and remote administration. Prerequisite: ITT-116.
This course builds upon knowledge already acquired in the areas of system architecture and operating systems and focuses on the core issues of information security. Students learn fundamental concepts of information security including data encryption, security awareness, legal and ethical issues, operational issues, security policies, and attack types; while expanding on the coverage to include security domains, forensics, security services, threat analysis, and vulnerabilities assessments. Prerequisite: ITT-120, or ITT-121 or CST-125 or CST-126 or CST-220 or CST-221 or acceptance into the bootcamp program.
Students will be introduced to a high level programming language, within a common desktop environment, in the context of IT and Cybersecurity. Students will utilize development tools, programming language syntax, control constructs, loops and decision making, user defined functions, pointers, and basic memory management. Prerequisite: Prerequisite: ITT-210.
This course covers advanced topics in networking with an emphasis on securing wireless and IP networks. Students analyze algorithms and protocols, improve existing solutions, and evaluate existing solutions using theoretical analysis and simulations. Students become familiar with modern networking architectures. Prerequisite: ITT-270.
This course provides an insight into professional communications and conduct associated with careers in science, engineering and technology. Students learn about the changing modes of communication in these disciplines recognizing the advances in digital communications. They gain practical experience in developing and supporting a thesis or position in written, oral and visual presentations. Students will explore concepts and issues in professional ethics and conduct such as privacy, discrimination, workplace etiquette, cyber-ethics, network and data security, identity theft, ownership rights and intellectual property. This is a writing intensive course.
In this course students will explore the world of malware through meticulous analysis and binary reverse engineering techniques. This is a skill-based course with hands on labs that focus on both static and dynamic malicious code analysis. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to apply the tools and methodologies to safely perform analysis on common malware samples in a control environment. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Malware Analysis. Prerequisite: ITT-210 & ITT-307.
This course covers mathematical models for computer security. It analyzes and compares the properties of various models for hardware, software, and database security. The course examines how system designs, network protocols, and software engineering practices can result in vulnerabilities. Students learn to design, evaluate, ethically hack, and implement adequate security measures that can safeguard sensitive information. Prerequisite: ITT-307.
Information Assurance is explored from the perspective of frameworks and technical compliance. Students will be exposed to the idea that proper understanding of, and implementation of frameworks and compliance has recently become a requirement for many security careers. Students will perform in-depth analysis of the needs of the system juxtaposed against the requirement to comply with a mandated framework. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Information Assurance. Prerequisite: ITT-307.
This course explores how end users can pose a threat to the security of an organization by falling victim to even simple traps. Students will learn that human manipulation creates a whole school of cybercrime opportunities such as phishing, “watering hole attacks” and other social engineering tactics. These threats are directed to the human psyche - not sophisticated malware or technical vulnerabilities, but rather the psychology and behavior of people. Students will see that a malicious actor – or “hacker” - need not be involved; an uneducated or careless employee or an unwieldly procedure can result in sensitive information leaking and potentially falling into the hands of an attacker. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Social Aspects of Cybersecurity. Prerequisite: ITT-307.
This course covers the processes and goals of cyber forensics investigations. Hands-on activities include using multiple reporting systems to initiate and provide on-going support for information security investigations relating to data privacy, incident management, data loss prevention, and digital forensics. Prerequisite: ITT-307.
This course covers the design, management, and maintenance of virtual enterprise and datacenter infrastructure. Students learn to use appropriate tools such as request tracking, monitoring, configuration management, virtualization, and scripting to administer and defend systems using documented, repeatable processes. Emphasis will be placed on volume management, directory services, and network-based authentication and file systems. Students develop automatic procedures for installations and file distribution. Prerequisites: MAT-154 and ITT-307.
This course prepares students to plan and implement IT systems that take into account business realities, objectives, and constraints associated with domestic and international business activities. The course exposes the key computational, analytical, and decision-making tools used by businesses. Students also develop an understanding of the social, cultural drivers of successful IT investments, and their effect on business strategy and models. A special emphasis is placed on the symbiotic relationship between information technology and business and on international case studies, as manifested in information pricing, technological lock-in and network effects. Prerequisite: CST-326 or BIT-415 or CYB-220.
This course provides students the opportunity to work in teams to tackle real world applied research and design projects in their chosen area of interest. Students develop a project proposal, conduct a feasibility study, learn to protect intellectual property, develop teamwork skills, budgets, and a schedule for completing the project. Students conduct extensive research, integrate information from multiple sources, and work with a mentor through multiple cycles of feedback and revisions. Students implement and present the applied research project. Students use this course to further develop technical writing and business presentation skills. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisite: ITT-415 or ITT-430.
This course covers strategies and plans for security architecture. Students gain the knowledge and skills to use technologies to detect and prevent network penetration and design cybersecurity countermeasures. Prerequisite: ITT-370 or ITT-375