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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Security and Risk Analysis

Penn State Altoona (SRAAL)
Penn State Berks (SRABL)
Penn State Harrisburg (SRACA)
University Park, College of Information Sciences and Technology (SRA)
World Campus

Mary Beth Rosson, Associate Dean for Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, College of IST

Not all options are available at every campus. Contact the campus you are interested in attending to determine which options are offered.

The Bachelor of Science in Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) in the College of Information Sciences and Technology is intended to familiarize students with the general frameworks and multidisciplinary theories that define the area of security and related risk analyses. Courses in the major will engage students in the challenges and problems associated with assuring information confidentiality and integrity (e.g., social, economic, technology-related, and policy issues), as well as the strengths and weaknesses of various methods for assessing and mitigating associated risk.

The major provides a grounding in the analysis and modeling efforts used in information search, visualization, and creative problem solving. This knowledge is supplemented through an examination of the legal, ethical, and regulatory issues related to security that includes analyzing privacy laws, internal control and regulatory policies, as well as basic investigative processes and principles. Such understanding is applied to venues that include transnational terrorism, cyber crimes, financial fraud, risk mitigation, and security and crisis management. It also includes overviews of the information technology that plays a critical role in identifying, preventing and responding to security-related events.

Advisory groups from within and outside the University involved in the design of the major have agreed that graduates who can understand the cognitive, social, economic, and policy issues involved in security and risk management as well as the basics of the information technology and analytics that are included in the security/risk arena will be very successful. These observations drove the design and objectives of the SRA major.

SRA majors will choose one of the following options:

INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS AND MODELING OPTION. This option focuses on developing a more thorough knowledge of the strategic and tactical levels of intelligence collection, analysis, and decision-making. This includes examining the foundations of decision analysis, economic theory, statistics, data mining, and knowledge management, as well as the security-specific contexts in which such knowledge is applied.

INFORMATION AND CYBER SECURITY OPTION. This option includes a set of courses that provides an understanding of the theories, skills, and technologies associated with network security, cyber threat defense, information warfare, and critical infrastructure protection across multiple venues.

SOCIAL FACTORS AND RISK. This option includes the legal, regulatory, ethical, and other theories associated with security and risk. Such an examination is focused on understanding the social factors and causes that are linked to transnational terrorism, investigations and litigation involved in business, and other security-related environments.

Entrance Requirements: To be eligible for entrance to the Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) major, students must:

  1. have completed the following entrance-to-major requirements with grades of C or better in each: IST 110(3); SRA 111(3); and SRA 211(3).
  2. have achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 prior to and through the end of the semester during which the entrance-to-major procedure is carried out.

The Integrated Undergraduate Graduate (IUG) program is available for strong undergraduate students who wish to pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree in a shorter period of time than would be necessary if the degrees were pursued separately. Security and Risk Analysis undergraduates may apply for admission to the SRABS/ISTMS IUG program as early as the end of their sophomore year but no later than the end of their junior year after completing a minimum of 60 credits, if they meet the following admission requirements:

  1. Must be enrolled in the SRABS undergraduate degree program.
  2. Must have completed 60 credits of an SRABS undergraduate degree program.
  3. Must apply to the IUG program by the end of their junior year.
  4. Must apply to and be accepted without reservation into the Graduate School and M.S. program in IST.  Students must complete the Graduate School application.
  5. Must have an overall GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in undergraduate coursework and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in all coursework completed for the major.
  6. Must present an approved plan of study. The plan should cover the entire time period of the integrated program, and it should be reviewed periodically with an adviser.
  7. Must present two letters of recommendation from faculty members. (Note: For Schreyer Honors College students, these can be the same two letters required by the Schreyer Honors College.)
  8. Must meet with both the Director of Undergraduate Academic Affairs and the Graduate Program Coordinator to declare interest and receive information about the IUG program.

For Schreyer Honors College students, students must also follow guidelines and procedures for applying for IUG in the Schreyer Honors College:
http://www.shc.psu.edu/students/iug/program/
Students admitted to the IUG program may double-count a maximum of 12 credits toward their graduate and undergraduate degrees in Information Sciences and Technology. Thesis or scholarly paper credits may not double-count.

For the B.S. degree in Security and Risk Analysis, a minimum of 120 credits is required.

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given like (Sem: 1-2)

GENERAL EDUCATION: 45 credits
(22 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)
(See description of General Education in front of the Bulletin.)

FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR:
(Included in ELECTIVES or GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)

UNITED STATES CULTURES AND INTERNATIONAL CULTURES:
(Included in REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)

WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM:
(Included in REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)

ELECTIVES: 4 credits

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR: 94 credits
(This includes 22 credits of General Education courses: 6 credits of GQ courses; 6 credits of GS courses; 3 credits of GWS courses, 3 credits of GH, and 4 credits of GN courses)

COMMON REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR (ALL OPTIONS): 72 credits

PRESCRIBED COURSES (38 credits)
CMPSC 101 GQ(3)[1], SRA 111 GS(3)[1] (Sem: 1-2)
IST 110 GS(3)[1] (Sem: 1-3)
IST 210(3)[1] (Sem: 1-4)
SRA 211(3)[1], SRA 221(3)[1], SRA 231(3)[1] (Sem: 2-4)
STAT 200 GQ(4) (Sem: 3-6)
IST 495(1)[1] (Sem: 3-8)
IST 432(3)[1], SRA 311(3)[1], STAT 460(3) (Sem: 5-6)
IST 440W(3)[1] (Sem: 7-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (12 credits)
AG BM 101 GS(3) or ECON 102 GS(3) (Sem: 1-4)
PL SC 001 GS(3), PL SC 014 GS;IL(3), or GEOG 040 GS;IL(3) (Sem: 1-4)
PSYCH 100 GS(3) or SOC 005 GS(3) (Sem: 1-6)
ENGL 202C GWS(3) or ENGL 202D GWS(3) (Sem: 5-8)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (22 credits)
Attainment of third-level proficiency in a single foreign language (12 credits). Proficiency must be demonstrated by either examination or course work. See the admission section of the general information in this Bulletin for the placement policy for Penn State foreign language courses. (Sem: 1-4)
Select 4 credits of lab lecture series (GN) in consultation with adviser (Sem: 1-6)
Select 6 credits of international courses from College-approved list or other courses approved by adviser. (Sem: 5-8)

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE OPTION: 21 credits

INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS AND MODELING OPTION: (21 credits)

PRESCRIBED COURSES (12 credits)[1]
ECON 302 GS(3), SRA 321(3) (Sem: 3-6)
SRA 433(3), SRA 468(3) (Sem: 5-8)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (9 credits)
Select 9 credits from College-approved list (at least 3 credits must be at the 400-level) (Sem: 5-8)

INFORMATION AND CYBER SECURITY OPTION: (21 credits)

PRESCRIBED COURSES (12 credits)[1]
IST 220(3) (Sem: 1-6)
IST 451(3), IST 454(3), IST 456(3) (Sem: 5-8)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (9 credits)
Select 9 credits from College-approved list (at least 3 credits must be at the 400-level) (Sem: 5-8)

SOCIAL FACTORS AND RISK OPTION: (21 credits)

PRESCRIBED COURSES (9 credits)[1]
IST 452(3), SRA 471(3), SRA 472(3) (Sem: 5-8)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (12 credits)
Select 12 credits from College-approved list (at least 3 credits at the 400-level and no more than 6 credits below the 200-level) (Sem: 5-8)

Integrated B.S. in Security and Risk Analysis / M.S. in Information Sciences and Technology

The College of Information Sciences and Technology offers an integrated B.S./M.S. (IUG) program designed to allow academically superior students in the Security and Risk Analysis major to obtain both the Bachelor’s in Security and Risk Analysis and the M.S. degree in Information Sciences and Technology in a shorter period of time than would be necessary if the degrees were pursued separately. The first two to three years of undergraduate coursework follow the same undergraduate curriculum that other students follow in the Security and Risk Analysis major. Interested students may apply for admission to the IUG program as early as the end of their sophomore year but no later than the end of their junior year after completing a minimum of 60 credits. If admitted to the IUG, the final years of study include two graduate courses, Foundations of Theories and Methods of Information Sciences and Technology Research (IST 504) in the fall and Foundations of Research Design in Information Sciences and Technology (IST 505) in the spring, plus six credits of research methods courses, twelve credits of graduate specialty courses, and six credits of graduate thesis (IST 600) or scholarly paper (IST 594).  

(Note: For Schreyer Honors College students, those who complete the graduate thesis for the Master’s requirement may use the graduate thesis, itself, to fulfill the undergraduate honors thesis requirement, as well. Honors students who opt for the Master’s scholarly paper must also complete an undergraduate honors thesis.)

The integrated B.S. in Security and Risk Analysis / M.S. in Information Sciences and Technology (IUG) degree meets the needs of the most academically talented students in the Security and Risk Analysis undergraduate major. A proportion of these successful students wish to pursue graduate studies sometime after graduation. Offering the IUG benefits these students by offering an accelerated path to a graduate degree. Additionally, the IUG program can provide these students with a more cohesive program of study with opportunities to engage in more comprehensive research leading to both the bachelor’s and master’s degree.

[1] A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better, as specified in Senate Policy 82-44.

Last Revised by the Department: Spring Semester 2016

Blue Sheet Item #: 44-04-021

Review Date: 1/26/2016

UCA Revision #1: 8/14/06
UCA Revision #2: 7/30/07

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