IT Cybersecurity Degree
What is Cybersecurity?
The Bachelor of Science in Information Technology: Cybersecurity degree program from GCU prepares students for careers working with computer-based information systems. Graduates work with software application and computer hardware to study, design, develop and support how information is shared, saved and used in an organization. Students interested in user and data security can earn an emphasis in cybersecurity. The combination of learning about IT and cybersecurity ensures that GCU grads from this program are able to support and design systems that are safe from cyber-attacks.
Course topics include:
- Cloud computing
- Planning and implementation of IT systems
- Information technology project management
- Object-related databases
- Virtual enterprise and datacenter infrastructure
- Computer security, ethical hacking and cyber forensics investigations
Students entering this IT with an emphasis in cybersecurity degree program should be comfortable with basic algebra skills. They should also know how to proficiently use common desktop computer applications. The BS in IT: cybersecurity degree at GCU is offered both on-campus and online.
Benefits of an Information Technology Bachelor of Science Degree with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity
Grand Canyon University's BS in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity prepares graduates to confidently work in the growing information technology field. The benefits of this degree program include learning in-depth practices in both IT and cybersecurity, meaning many more jobs may be unlocked for you. The IT portion of the degree program emphasizes not only the technology, but the business aspects of IT work. The IT bachelor’s with an emphasis in cybersecurity program focuses on some of the core competencies of IT-driven business, software technology and tools, enterprise information systems and cybersecurity. Graduates learn:
- Ways IT can improve business performance
- Steps to take to boost organizational efficiency
- Practices that reduce costs of enterprise systems
- Skills to apply technology solutions
- Usage of local and cloud-based programs to enhance the deployment, configuration and management of technologies
Those pursuing receive a well-rounded experience in both cybersecurity and IT. The coursework is made up of both lectures and labs to ensure that theoretical knowledge guides practice application. Some areas of study include:
- Platform technologies
- Information assurance
- IT security and management
- Programming fundamentals
- Cloud computing
- Web systems and technologies
- Professional and ethical practices in IT
Students may also take part in the Cyber Center of Excellence, a learning environment led by industry-expert faculty that develops skills and knowledge in cybersecurity through research, exercises and hands-on training.
Learn to Defend and Protect Network Systems
This Bachelor of Science in IT program with a cybersecurity emphasis from GCU ensures that graduates understand how cyber defense, cyber operations and cyber law are interrelated. They learn processes and goals in cyber forensics and acquire practical application in developing plans for security architectures. Cybersecurity graduates learn to problem solve using technology and computer programming. Applied, hands-on activities ensure students have the proper training to excel in the cybersecurity workforce.
The cybersecurity emphasis in the BS program offers courses focused on:
- Cyber operations planning and execution
- Cyber law
- Digital forensic investigations
- Security architecture
- Information assurance
- Secure system administration
The cybersecurity program coursework ends with a security capstone IT project. Students demonstrate practical knowledge as well as develop technical writing and business presentation skills. The capstone is completed as a team and includes:
- Developing of a project proposal
- Conducting a feasibility study
- Protecting intellectual property
- Creating a project budget and schedule
Future in IT with a Specialty in Cybersecurity
Graduates from the GCU Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cybersecurity degree program are well-equipped to pursue a career in information systems. Students who complete this BS may find work as:
- IT manager
- Information security specialist
- IT project manager
- Network support specialist
- IT instructor
- System integrator
- Database Administrator
- Information Security Analysts
- Computer Network Architects
With the emphasis in cybersecurity, you can also seek a career as a security analyst. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these jobs are expected to grow by 28 percent over the next 10 years.
If you are passionate about technology and want to make a difference in how data is stored and shared in an organization, a degree in IT and cybersecurity could be the perfect match for you.
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
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 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.
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 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.
This course examines the design, development, implementation, and maintenance of relational database structures. Emphasis is on appropriate application and implementation. Prerequisite: BIT-200 or BIT-205 or CST-110, or CST-111 or CST-105.
This course examines information technology project management. Topics include the reasons why IT projects fail, the business cost of IT failure, managing IT teams, outsourcing, virtual teams, scope definition, project scheduling, risk mitigation, and leading successful projects. Additional topics focus on using project management to build an analytics organization. Prerequisite: BIT-200, BIT-205, CST-110, or CST-111.
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 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.
This course covers the characteristics of object-relational databases and their application in business. The course also focuses on the main principles of object-oriented and object-relational databases, and their relative advantages. Students gain working knowledge of object-relational features as implemented in standard SQL database management systems. Students also learn to manage unstructured and semi-structured data with XML. Prerequisite: SYM-400.
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 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 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 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.
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