Cybersecurity Certificate

Undergraduate Certificate of Completion in Cybersecurity Foundations

Offered By: College of Science, Engineering, & Technology

Earn a Cybersecurity Certificate for Undergraduate Students at GCU

Grand Canyon University’s Undergraduate Certificate of Completion in Cybersecurity Foundations supports a career in information technology or cybersecurity by connecting students to concepts and practical applications of cybersecurity tools, technologies and procedures. Grand Canyon University offers the Certificate of Completion in Cybersecurity Foundations as an instructor-led virtual program. The online format allows students from across the United States to participate in virtual setting with classmates and the instructor logged in remotely at the same time.

This industry-guided program integrates real-world, hands-on practical 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. Students will also adopt skills in professional communications and conduct associated with a career in technology.

Program domain areas include:

  • Network Administration
  • Information Systems Technical Skills
  • Information Security
  • Cybersecurity

GCU’s values-based curriculum based on a Christian worldview offers a unique 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.

Grand Canyon University also offers the certificate in cybersecurity foundations as an instructor-led virtual program. It is important to note that while this is not a certification program, students will earn a certificate that proves they have the requisite knowledge to break into a cybersecurity career and have the framework understanding to help them prepare for an industry certification. This undergraduate cybersecurity certificate serves as an excellent next step for those seeking a credential to strengthen their career path, skills, knowledge and overall understanding of the field.

What is Cybersecurity?

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. 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). Thus, rapidly rising cybercrime results in a high demand for cybersecurity professionals who are skilled in 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

Cybersecurity Certificate Program Admission Requirements

The Cybersecurity Certificate program at GCU is competitive and includes a thorough admissions review process. For acceptance, applicants must complete a 250-500 word essay on an assigned topic and must reach a minimum score based on writing and general knowledge of the topic. Upon passing the essay, applicants must then demonstrate basic networking understanding by passing one of the following:

  • Achieve a passing score on an online, timed assessment of basic IT and networking knowledge
  • Possessing a current certification in Network+ or CCNA
  • Having completed two 100-level college networking classes with a “B” grade or higher and approval from a faculty member

Once one of the above three criteria are met, students will then meet with a staff or faculty member for a final personal interview. Scores from all three components are stack-ranked and acceptance is also based on available space in the program. Read the University Policy Handbook for further details on the admission requirements.

Cybersecurity Certificate Requirements

These instructor-led classes require students to participate in discussions on relevant cybersecurity topics and complete hands-on exercises to demonstrate knowledge and comprehension. Students will complete the following four courses to gain a strong foundation in cybersecurity for this 16-credit undergraduate certificate:

  • Platforms and Network Technologies
  • Cybersecurity Foundations
  • Cybersecurity and Ethical Hacking
  • Cyber Forensic Investigations

The classes are designed to be taught in sequence and provide a networking and security foundation to allow students with no or limited experience to garner the marketable skills needed to be hired directly from the program.

Take the Cybersecurity Certificate Program Online

This certificate is also available in a virtual setting. This means that students attend an online webinar twice a week for the instructor pieces, which last up to four hours each. Outside of class, students can expect 10-30 hours of class work. This format allows students from across the United States to participate in a virtual setting with classmates and the instructor logged in remotely at the same time. It is important to note that while this is not a certification program, students will earn a certificate that proves they have the requisite knowledge to break into a cybersecurity career and have the framework understanding to pass an industry certification.

What Can I Do with an Undergraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity?

Mimicking GCU’s Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity, this certificate program helps prepare students for a career as an information security analyst, cybersecurity technician, security operation center analyst, penetration tester and digital forensic technician. Other cybersecurity occupations include incident analyst, cyber security consultant and cyber security architect.

Joining the cybersecurity workforce is a rewarding and challenging career path for those seeking a dynamic career in technology. This is also a field with unlimited growth and a wide range of occupational opportunities. For career advancement and to gain a greater competitive edge in the workforce, GCU offers a Master of Science in Cybersecurity.

Grand Canyon University, as part of the certificate programs, provides career counseling and instruction to help students research, apply, interview and demonstrate skills during the student’s career search. With a strong reputation within the IT and security landscape, GCU can help open doors to opportunities in the field.

Learning Outcomes for GCU’s Cybersecurity Certificate

When you complete the Cybersecurity Certificate program at GCU, you will walk away with the 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 and students will gain further insight into the current methods and future strategies needed to secure global network systems.

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Total Credits: 16
Campus: 15 weeks [More Info]

This program does not accept transfer credits
Campus: $500 per semester [More Info]

Course List

16 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
16 credits

Core Courses

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. Prerequisite: CST-111 or CST-105. Prerequisite: CST-111 or CST-105 or acceptance into the bootcamp program.

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 or acceptance into the bootcamp program.

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-307N.

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-307N.


GCU Campus Student

Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

* 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.

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