Cybersecurity Certificate Program Online

Undergraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Foundations

Offered By: College of Engineering and Technology

Earn a Cybersecurity Certificate for Undergraduates From GCU

Every day, hackers unleash advanced threats, endangering vital data that has required companies to employ response and protection teams.1 The Undergraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Foundations at Grand Canyon University can support a career in information technology or cybersecurity by teaching concepts and practical applications of cybersecurity tools, technologies and procedures. GCU offers the certificate in cybersecurity foundations as an instructor-led virtual program. The online format allows you to participate in a virtual setting with classmates and the instructor interacting remotely.

This cybersecurity certificate program integrates practical, hands-on activities that go beyond theory, as well as focuses on the deployment of advanced techniques in exploitation, vulnerability assessment, penetration testing, policy management, security program design and cyber defense activities. You will also have the opportunity to delve into the realm of professional communications and conduct skills associated with a career in technology.

Program domain areas include:

  • Network Administration
  • Ethical Hacking and Forensic Investigations
  • Information Systems Technical Skills
  • Information Security
  • Cybersecurity
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GCU offers the certificate in cybersecurity foundations as an instructor-led virtual program. This means that you will attend an online webinar twice a week with an instructor, which can last up to four hours each. Outside of class, you can expect 10 to 30 hours of class work.

It is important to note that while this is not a certification program, you have the opportunity to earn a certificate that emphasizes that you earned requisite knowledge to potentially break into a cybersecurity career and have the framework understanding that can help you prepare for cybersecurity certification. This undergraduate cybersecurity certificate serves as a next step for those seeking a credential to strengthen their career path, skills, knowledge and overall understanding of the field.

What You Will Study in GCU’s Cybersecurity Certificate Program

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting entities and people from cyber threats and attacks, which includes safeguarding computers, networks, sensitive data, hardware and software programs.2 As the tech world becomes increasingly innovative and fast-paced, cyberwarfare has become a significantly growing issue for organizations in all types of industries (e.g., business, finance, health care, government, retail, etc.) and people (e.g. identity theft).1 In this cybersecurity certificate program, you will be taught the following:

  • Identifying vulnerabilities
  • Performing risk assessments
  • Implementing security measures and best practices
  • Preparing to respond to unauthorized access and cyberwarfare damages
  • Developing a disaster recovery plan

GCU’s faith-integrated curriculum based on a Christian worldview offers an emphasis on ethical practice and principles. These are critical for decision making and developing offensive and defensive cybersecurity strategies that adhere to a moral code and course of action.

Cybersecurity Certificate Program Admission Requirements

Please read the University Policy Handbook for further details on the admission requirements.

Course Requirements for the Cybersecurity Certificate

Cybersecurity certificate requirements include online classes where you will participate in discussions on relevant cybersecurity topics and complete hands-on exercises to demonstrate knowledge and comprehension. You will need to complete six courses to have the opportunity to gain a strong cybersecurity foundation for this 24-credit undergraduate certificate. Course topics include:

  • Network technologies and platforms
  • System administration
  • The foundations of cybersecurity
  • The relationship between cybersecurity and ethical hacking
  • Using cyber technologies for forensic investigations

These classes are designed to build upon the knowledge learned in the previous courses in sequence and provide a networking and security foundation. This can provide you the opportunity to gain skills needed for a potential future cybersecurity career following completion of the program.

Undergraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Career Possibilities

Like GCU’s Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity, this certificate program may help prepare you for a variety of cybersecurity careers. Some of these career possibilities include:

  • Computer and information systems manager
  • Information security analyst
  • Computer network support specialist
  • Database administrator
  • Computer network architect
  • Database architect
  • Network and computer systems administrator

You may find working in a cybersecurity career to be a rewarding and challenging path for those seeking an occupation in technology. This is also a field with a growing need for qualified professionals; the 2022 (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study found that companies are in need of 3.4 million additional employees in the global cybersecurity workforce.3 To position yourself for possible career advancement, GCU also offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity.

To help you research, apply, interview and demonstrate skills during your career search, GCU can provide career counseling and research assistance via online resources.

Gain Cybersecurity Foundations and Skills During Your Certificate

When you complete the Cybersecurity Certificate program at GCU, you will have had the opportunity to grow fundamental knowledge of how to investigate, fight and prevent cyber threats and attacks across the globe. Any previous knowledge of network technologies and information security will be reinforced, allowing you to gain further insight into the current and future cybersecurity strategies needed to secure global network systems.

Cybersecurity Certificate Program FAQs

GCU offers an undergraduate certificate in cybersecurity online, providing you with an education in a format that is convenient and flexible. Online resources and support are available to help you navigate your online learning journey while you pursue your certificate in cybersecurity foundations.

Some may find working in cybersecurity to be a challenging yet rewarding career. If you are eager to learn and passionate about technology, a career in cybersecurity may be right for you. Because technology and the cybersecurity world are always changing, you must be willing to continuously learn and explore new information to stay up to date and relevant, which can be challenging.

Both cybersecurity and coding careers are comprised of many different elements. While coding focuses more on the creation of software, computer programming and the usage of various coding languages, cybersecurity focuses on data and software protection, network security and user protection. Both careers have a learning curve, and some may be challenged by the specific skills needed in a cybersecurity career, while others may find it more challenging to comprehend and implement the many different languages required for a coding career.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts have a median annual wage of $112,000 as of May 2022.4

1 Griffiths, Charles (2023, Feb. 9). The Latest 2023 Cyber Crime Statistics. AAG. Retrieved on Sept. 20, 2023.

2 Kaspersky (n.d.). What is Cyber Security?

3 Retrieved from ISC2, 2022 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, in December 2022.

4 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Information Security Analysts as of May 2022, retrieved on Sept. 13, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as information security analysts. It does not reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, and accept employment from, determines salary not only based on education, but also individual characteristics and skills and fit to that organization (among other categories) against a pool of candidates.

Total Credits: 24
Online: 7 weeks
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Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Online: $500 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

24 credits
Degree Requirements:
24 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the role of computing technology within business and corporate environments. Introductions to concepts, terminologies, and a wide use of relevant daily software and tools relevant to any career in the information technology field. Topics include: Technology-integrated academics, digital networking concepts, systems administration and maintenance, information security, database and transactional systems, cloud technologies, scripting, and project management.

Course Description

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.

Course Description

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.

Course Description

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.

Course Description

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.

Course Description

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.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.