Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations, B.S. (Altoona)

Program Code: CAOAL_BS

Program Description

The Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) is an interdisciplinary program that prepares students for careers as cybersecurity professionals. It educates students on the essential concepts of cyber-defense and the analytical fundamentals of cybersecurity, with a focus on the analytical and risk management underpinnings and associated cyber-defense techniques and strategies for ensuring the safety of online information stored in large and heterogeneous networks that are embedded within and across the complex socio-technical infrastructures that are pervasive in today's business, government and military organizations. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills needed to critically assess and respond to modern information security threats, using approaches that are grounded in a holistic understanding of adversarial strategies and effective responses. More specifically, it will offer an in-depth and domain-independent approach to the development of skills in cyberdefense technologies, tools and processes; cybersecurity analytics and visualization; and cybersecurity risk analysis and management. The major draws from concepts and skills associated with a number of disciplines, including information science, management science, statistics and data science, human behavior, and law/policy. Graduates will be prepared to join the rapidly growing cybersecurity workforce deployed across organizations of diverse sizes and missions.

What is Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations?

Cybersecurity is a field that deals with the protection of computer systems, networks, programs, and data from attacks and unauthorized access. This includes the development of cyber defense tools to protect critical infrastructure as well as the analysis and mitigation of cyber threats.

Cybersecurity is a very broad field. This program focuses students beyond the information technology field and instead focuses on the analysis of cybersecurity data, identification of cyber incidents, understanding the actions of malware, communication of concerns to business  stakeholders and the general public. High performing cyber analysts have a strong mathematical and computational background. They often employ computer programming and scripting to solve problems and integrate existing tools. They analyze the data they are presented with from intrusion detection sensors, firewalls, and anti-malware tools.

Cybersecurity professionals apply their skills for organizations to prevent cyber criminals, hacktivists, and persistent nation-state actors. They protect organizations, companies, healthcare institutions, and government agencies from the loss of confidential data. They keep abreast of new developments technically, as well as those in the work domain of the organization and events that occur in the world at large.


You Might Like This Program If...

  • You enjoy working with and on computers as well as their operating systems and applications.
  • You have an interest in business and organizations and securing
  • You want to protect digital information, data stores, and computer networks from threats.
  • You want to learn the cyber defense strategies used to anticipate, recognize, and defend against computer attacks.
  • You're passionate about how we can keep sensitive information out of the hands of hackers, cybercriminals, and terrorist organizations.
  • You enjoy working on a team to solve technical problems for organizations.
  • You are interested in computer programming and mathematics.


Entrance to Major

To be eligible for the Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations major, students must:

  1. Have completed the following entrance-to-major requirements with a grade of C or better in each: CYBER 100 or CYBER 100S, IST 210, IST 220, IST 242 or CMPSC 122 or CMPSC 132, and STAT 200 or SCM 200.
  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 is requested.

Degree Requirements

For the B.S. degree in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations, a minimum of 123 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 3
Requirements for the Major 87

12 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 6 credits of GQ courses, 3 credits of GS courses, 3 credits of GWS courses.

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
CYBER 262Cyber-Defense Studio3
CYBER 342WCyber Incident Handling and Response3
CYBER 362Cybersecurity Analytics Studio3
CYBER 366Malware Analytics3
CYBER 440Cybersecurity Capstone3
IST 210Organization of Data3
IST 220Networking and Telecommunications3
IST 230Language, Logic, and Discrete Mathematics3
IST 432Legal and Regulatory Environment of Information Science and Technology3
IST 451Network Security3
IST 454Computer and Cyber Forensics3
IST 456Information Security Management3
IST 495Internship1
SRA 111Introduction to Security and Risk Analysis Keystone/General Education Course3
SRA 211Threat of Terrorism and Crime3
SRA 221Overview of Information Security3
SRA 231Decision Theory and Analysis3
SRA 311Risk Analysis in a Security Context3
SRA 365Statistics for Security and Risk Analysis3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
CYBER 100Computer Systems Literacy3
or CYBER 100S Computer Systems Literacy
ENGL 202CEffective Writing: Technical Writing Keystone/General Education Course3
or ENGL 202D Effective Writing: Business Writing Keystone/General Education Course
MATH 110Techniques of Calculus I Keystone/General Education Course4
or MATH 140 Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course
STAT 200Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course4
or SCM 200 Introduction to Statistics for Business Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Programming Techniques
Programming and Computation I: Fundamentals
Introduction to Application Development
Select one of the following:3
Intermediate Programming
Programming and Computation II: Data Structures
Intermediate & Object-Oriented Application Development
Select one of the following:3
Programming for the Web
Application Development Design Studio I
Application Development Design Studio II
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 9 credits from one of the Application Focus course lists. At least 3 credits must be at the 400-level. Students may also complete a custom Application Focus sequence with approval from an academic adviser and a CYBER undergraduate program coordinator.9

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required and Inter-Domain courses do not meet this requirement.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Breadth in the Knowledge Domains (Inter-Domain courses do not meet this requirement.)

  • Arts (GA): 3 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 3 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 3 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 3 credits

Integrative Studies

  • Inter-Domain Courses (Inter-Domain): 6 credits


  • GN, may be completed with Inter-Domain courses: 3 credits
  • GA, GH, GN, GS, Inter-Domain courses. This may include 3 credits of World Language course work beyond the 12th credit level or the requirements for the student’s degree program, whichever is higher: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Program Learning Objectives

  • Knowledge/Application: Understand and apply the interdisciplinary knowledge of information sciences in a security context to recognize, analyze, defend against, and manage cyber risks.
    • Understand the components and interoperability of computer hardware, operating systems, networks and databases.
    • Demonstrate proficiency in programming and scripting to perform Cybersecurity automation and analysis.
    • Understand Cyber threats and appropriate defensive designs and tools to mitigate the risk of attack.
    • Understand the procedures for Cybersecurity Incident Handling and Response.
    • Understand the static and dynamic analysis of malware.
  • Problem-Solving: Understand, apply and adapt various problem solving strategies, using appropriate technology and methods.
    • Identify Cybersecurity threats and implement complementary defensive measures to mitigate risk.
    • Apply data analytics in a security context to analyze, predict and prevent cyberattacks.
    • Perform malware analysis and forensics to understand the nature and origin of attacks.
    • Evaluate several Cybersecurity frameworks and provide analysis that culminates in a high level executive briefing exercise.
  • Evaluation and Communication (Individual and Team): Communicate and work effectively (both individually and in teams) with a range of perspectives and audiences through a variety of media.
    • Synthesize data from multiple sources to help make informed decisions.
    • Communicate effectively to a variety of audiences through writing and the spoken word.
  • Professional Responsibilities: Understand professional responsibilities in terms of the ethical, legal and security policy aspects of information assurance and security.
    • Understand the rules, regulations and issues related to compliance with applicable laws and regulations related to Information Security and Privacy.
    • Understand the legal and ethical ramifications of violating the trust that organizations will place in you as a Cybersecurity professional.
  • Lifelong Learning: Commit to the continuous acquisition of relevant knowledge for professional development by self-teaching and/or on-going education and certification.
    • Employ information-seeking strategies and self-directed learning in pursuit of current knowledge.
    • Enroll in professional development and pursue industry certifications to enhance your career and the profession.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.



David Barnes
Teaching Professor
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601


Joseph Oakes
Program Chair
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001


Richard Lomotey
Assistant Professor, Information Sciences and Technology
100 University Dr.
Monaca, PA 15061


Tricia Clark
Program Coordinator, Instructor
Gaige 211
Reading, PA 19610


Nannette D'Imperio
Lecturer, Information Sciences and Technology
25 Yearsley Mill Road
Media, PA 19063

Greater Allegheny

Jennifer L. Breese, D.Sc.
Assistant Professor of Information Sciences and Technology and Program Coordinator of Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations
Frable Building, 201Q
4000 University Drive
McKeesport, PA 15132


Andrew B. Morrow
Program Coordinator
Olmsted Building, E355
Middletown, PA 17057

Lehigh Valley

Kermit Burley
Coordinator of Information Sciences and Technology
2809 Saucon Valley Road
Center Valley, PA 18034


Brian Gardner
Program Coordinator
200 University Drive
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972

University Park

Undergraduate Academic Advising Center
E103 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802

World Campus

Undergraduate Academic Advising
301 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802


Bill Cantor
Assistant Teaching Professor in Information Sciences and Technology
1031 Edgecomb Ave.
York, PA 17403

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2024-25 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition.

Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations, B.S. at Altoona Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
IST 140#13IST 210*#3
CYBER 100 (FYS)*#13IST 220*#13
MATH 110 (GQ)*‡4SRA 111 (GS)*†13
CAS 100 (GWS)3ENGL 15 or 30H (GWS)3
PSU 31Application Focus3
General Education (GN, GA, GH, GS, or GHW)3 
 17 15
Second Year
IST 242*#13IST 261*3
STAT 200 (GQ)*‡#4SRA 211*3
CYBER 262*3IST 230*3
SRA 221*3SRA 231*3
Application Focus3General Education (GN, GA, GH, GS, or GHW)3
 16 15
Third Year
CYBER 362*3CYBER 342W*3
IST 451*3IST 454*3
SRA 365*3SRA 311W*3
ENGL 202C or 202D (GWS)3CYBER 366*3
General Education (GN, GA, GH, GS, or GHW)3Application Focus3
General Education (GHW)1.5 
 16.5 15
Fourth Year
IST 432*3CYBER 440*3
IST 456*3Application Focus 400 Level3
SRA 472*3General Education (GN, GA, GH, GS, or GHW)3
General Education (GN, GA, GH, GS, or GHW)3Elective3
General Education (GN, GA, GH, GS, or GHW)3Elective3
General Education (GHW)1.5 
 16.5 15
Total Credits 126

Course requires a grade of C or better for the major

Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education


Course is an Entrance to Major requirement

Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement


IST/SRA/CYBER course offered both fall and spring semesters at Altoona. Otherwise, IST/SRA/CYBER courses are only offered once per academic year.

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy Cultural Diversity Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ), Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS) and Integrative Studies (Inter-domain) requirements. N or Q (Honors) is the suffix at the end of a course number used to help identify an Inter-domain course, but the inter-domain attribute is used to fill audit requirements. Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of 'C' or better.

Advising Notes:

1 credit of IST 495 Internship is also required.

Students pick one of the five tracks below or create a custom 3-course application focus. Students must pick three (3) credits at the 400 level. All nine (9) credits must be in the same application focus area. It is recommended that students use the application focus area list to select a course that meets a General Education requirement (GS/GHW) and serves as a prerequisite for more advanced coursework within the application focus. This course does not count as part of the 9 credits of application focus sequence.

Application Development

IST 311Object-Oriented Design and Software Applications3
IST 331Foundations of Human-Centered Design3
IST 361Application Development Design Studio II3
IST 402Emerging Issues and Technologies3
IST 411Distributed-Object Computing3
IST 412The Engineering of Complex Software Systems3


Understanding the geopolitical landscape is key to understanding and modeling cyberthreats from nation-states and other threat actors. The Geopolitics focus is for students who have an interest in pursuing cybersecurity careers in government or related consulting sectors.

AFR/PLSC 440Globalization and Its Implications3
CAS 404Conflict Resolution and Negotiation Keystone/General Education Course3
COMM 458Media Law and Ethics3
GEOG 260Geographic Information in a Changing World: Introduction to GIScience Keystone/General Education Course3
GEOG 333Human Dimensions of Natural Hazards3
GEOG 363Geographic Information Systems3
IB 440Globalization and Its Implications3
IST 301Information and Organizations3
PLSC 291Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies Keystone/General Education Course3
PLSC 461Politics of the European Union3
PLSC 467International Relations of the Middle East3
PLSC 481Global Political Economy3
PLSC 491Peace and Conflict Studies Seminar3
SRA 421The Intelligence Environment3
SRA 433Deception and Counterdeception3
SRA 450Cyber-Crime and Cyber-Warfare3
SRA 471Informatics, Risk, and the Post-Modern World3
SRA 480Crisis Informatics3

Law and Policy

Cybersecurity careers in law enforcement require knowledge of laws and policies focused on the handling of evidence related to digital forensics and monitoring. Individuals in the private sector and government agencies must also understand and adhere to these topics as they involve cybersecurity. The Law and Policy focus is for students who want to understand law and policy as they relate to digital data.

COMM 404Telecommunications Law3
CRIM/CRIMJ 113Introduction to Law3
CRIM/CRIMJ/SOC 406Sociology of Deviance3
CRIM 430American Correctional System3
CRIM/CRIMJ 451Race, Crime, and Justice3
CRIM/CRIMJ/SOC 467Law and Society3
CRIM 469Seminar in the Law3-4
CRIMJ 304Security Administration3
CRIMJ 430Alternatives to Incarceration3
CRIMJ 435Border Security3
FRNSC 100Introduction to Forensic Science Keystone/General Education Course3
HLS/PADM 401Introduction to Homeland Security (offered by Harrisburg and World Campus only)3
IST 452Legal and Regulatory Environment of Privacy and Security3
PLSC 438National Security Policies3
PLSC 439The Politics of Terrorism3
PLSC 440Globalization and Its Implications3
PLSC 442American Foreign Policy3
PLSC/STS 460Science, Technology, and Public Policy3
PLSC 467International Relations of the Middle East3
PLSC 471American Constitutional Law3
PLSC/CRIMJ 439The Politics of Terrorism3
PLSC 487International Law and Organizations (not offered at University Park)3


The Economics focus is for students who have an interest in pursuing cybersecurity careers in the financial services sector or government. Designed to help students understand today’s financial and economic environments, this focus highlights the importance of translating the financial and economic impact of cybersecurity activities to effectively manage any program.

BLAW 243Legal Environment of Business3
BA 301Finance3
ECON 302Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis Keystone/General Education Course3
ECON 399Foreign Studies1-12
ECON 402Decision Making and Strategy in Economics3
ECON 4093
ECON 438Winners and Losers from Globalization3
ECON 445Health Economics3
ECON 447Economics of Sports3
ECON 470International Trade and Finance3
ECON 479Economics of Matching3
FIN 301Corporation Finance3
HPA 445Health Economics3
PLSC 412International Political Economy3
PLSC 481Global Political Economy3


IST 301Information and Organizations3
IST 302IT Project Management3
IST 420Fundamentals of Systems and Enterprise Integration3
IST 421Advanced Enterprise Integration: Technologies and Applications3
IST 423Enterprise Information Management and Storage Architecture3
ETI 300WDevelopment and Documentation of Enterprise Web3
ETI 435Enterprise Analytics3
ETI 461Database Management and Administration3
ETI 463Distributed Database Management Systems3

Health Care

Hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and government agencies are just a few of the sectors that have strict requirements around protecting health care data. The Health Care focus is for students who have an interest in pursuing cybersecurity careers in a health care environment. Understanding how information is managed in these environments will help students thrive in a health care-related career.

BBH 101Introduction to Biobehavioral Health Keystone/General Education Course3
ECON 445Health Economics3
HPA 101Introduction to Health Services Organization3
HPA 332Health Systems Management3
HPA/BBH 440Principles of Epidemiology3
HPA 445Health Economics3
HPA 450Healthcare Policies and Politics3
HPA 470Health Care Information Management3
IST 402Emerging Issues and Technologies3
NURS 357Introduction to Nursing Informatics (offered at Commonwealth and World Campuses; not at University Park)3
NURS 458Ethical Challenges in Healthcare Informatics (offered at Commonwealth and World Campuses; not at University Park)3

Custom Application Focus

There is an option for a student to create a custom 3-course application focus sequence. It must be a coherent sequence of courses that provides context for the student in terms of cybersecurity content. It must contain three (3) credits of 400-level coursework. The focus area courses must be selected in consultation with a teaching CYBER faculty member and an academic adviser.

Career Paths

Cybersecurity blends the technical expertise needed to analyze security issues and create cyberdefense strategies with the interpersonal skills needed to communicate threats to a variety of audiences. The program prepares students to meet the growing need for professionals who can defend against threats to digital information and assets. IST's Office of Career Solutions helps students navigate their internship and career development in the field through coaching, workshops, interview preparation, resume reviews, career fairs, job postings, and networking opportunities.


Because our courses blend technical knowledge with skills in communication and business, a Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations degree allows students to pursue opportunities as cybersecurity analysts, cyberthreat advisers, penetration testers, and a number of other unique careers in fields such as defense, government, and business.




3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601


1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001


100 University Dr.
Monaca, PA 15061


Gaige Building
Reading, PA 19610


25 Yearsley Mill Road
Media, PA 19063

Greater Allegheny

Frable Building, 201Q
4000 University Drive
McKeesport, PA 15132


Olmsted Building, E355

Lehigh Valley

2809 Saucon Valley Road
Center Valley, PA 18034


200 University Drive
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972

University Park

411 Eric J. Barron Innovation Hub Building
State College, PA 16801

World Campus

411 Eric J. Barron Innovation Hub Building
State College, PA 16801


1031 Edgecomb Ave.
York, PA 17403