Security and Risk Analysis, B.S. (Capital)

Program Code: SRACA_BS

Entrance to Major

In addition to the minimum grade point average (GPA) requirements described in the University Policies*, all Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) entrance to major course requirements must also be completed with a minimum grade of C: IST 140 (or equivalent CMPSC 101 or CMPSC 121), IST 210, SRA 111, and SRA 211. All of these courses must be completed by the end of the semester during which the admission to major process is carried out.

* In the event that the major is under enrollment control, a higher minimum cumulative grade-point average is likely to be needed at the time of confirming their major choice.

Entrance to the Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) Program

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 February 15 of their sophomore year and no later than February 15 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 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.
  4. Must apply to and be accepted without reservation into the Graduate School and M.S. program in Informatics. Students must complete the Graduate School application.
  5. Must apply to the IUG program by February 15 of their junior year.

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Security and Risk Analysis, a minimum of 120 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 5-13
Requirements for the Major 77-85

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

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.)

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

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 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.

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.

Common Requirements for the Major (All Options)

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
IST 110Information, People and Technology Keystone/General Education Course3
IST 210Organization of Data3
IST 432Legal and Regulatory Environment of Information Science and Technology3
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
STAT 200Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course4
Additional Courses
ENGL 202CEffective Writing: Technical Writing Keystone/General Education Course3
or ENGL 202D Effective Writing: Business Writing Keystone/General Education Course
PSYCH 100Introductory Psychology Keystone/General Education Course3
or SOC 5 Social Problems Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:3
Economic Principles of Agribusiness Decision Making Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:3-5
College Algebra II and Analytic Geometry Keystone/General Education Course
Plane Trigonometry Keystone/General Education Course
Algebra, Trigonometry, and Analytic Geometry Keystone/General Education Course
Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry Keystone/General Education Course
Techniques of Calculus I Keystone/General Education Course
Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:3
Geography of International Affairs Keystone/General Education Course
American Politics: Principles, Processes and Powers Keystone/General Education Course
International Relations Keystone/General Education Course
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
SRA 365Statistics for Security and Risk Analysis3
or STAT 460 Intermediate Applied Statistics
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Application Development
Introduction to Programming Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Programming Techniques Keystone/General Education Course
Requirements for the Option
Select an option30-36

Requirements for the Option

Intelligence Analysis and Modeling Option (36 credits)

Available at the following campuses: University Park

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
IST 452Legal and Regulatory Environment of Privacy and Security3
SRA 268Visual Analytics3
SRA 311WRisk Analysis in a Security Context3
SRA 421The Intelligence Environment3
SRA 433Deception and Counterdeception3
SRA 440WSecurity and Risk Analysis Capstone Course3
SRA 468Spatial Analysis of Risks3
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 15 credits from College-approved list (at least 3 credits must be at the 400-level)15
Information and Cyber Security Option (30 credits)

Available at the following campuses: Altoona, Berks, Harrisburg, University Park, World Campus

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
IST 220Networking and Telecommunications3
IST 451Network Security3
IST 454Computer and Cyber Forensics3
IST 456Information Security Management3
SRA 311Risk Analysis in a Security Context3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
IST 440WInformation Sciences and Technology Integration and Problem Solving3
or SRA 440W Security and Risk Analysis Capstone Course
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 12 credits from College-approved list (at least 3 credits must be at the 400-level)12

Program Learning Objectives


  1. Understand and apply the interdisciplinary, theoretical knowledge of the information sciences or security sciences.
    1. Define and explain the core concepts, principles, processes, and theories within the academic majors of IST and/or SRA.
    2. Apply the core concepts of the academic majors of IST and/or SRA to real-world problems.


  1. Understand, apply and adapt various problem solving strategies, using appropriate technology and methods.
    1. Identify information problems and/or opportunities in terms of the human, informational and technology dimensions.
    2. Analyze issues surrounding the problem and/or opportunity in terms of the human, informational, and technology dimensions; and determine the requirements appropriate to understanding the situation.
    3. Design systems, architectures, processes, components, or programs to meet desired needs of the human context at varying levels of analysis (e.g., individual, group, organization, society, and/or world).
    4. Deploy up-to-date and appropriate techniques, methodologies, and/or tools necessary for understanding opportunities and constraints and/or the optimal design, implementation and continuance of an information based solution.
    5. Evaluate the success of systems, architecture, processes, components, or programs intended to meet desired needs of the human context at varying levels of analysis (e.g., individual, group, organization, society, and/or world).

Communication (Individual and Team):

  1. Communicate and work effectively (both individually and in teams) with a range of perspectives and audiences through a variety of media.
    1. Participate effectively on teams in order to accomplish a common goal.
    2. Communicate effectively with a range of audiences, formally or informally, through writing and the spoken word.
    3. Seek out, analyze, and incorporate diverse ideas and broader perspectives represented in the diversity of people.
    4. Make respectful and inclusive choices in interacting with customers, peers, supervisors, and/or subordinates with a diversity of identity .characteristics (e.g., age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, or veteran status).

Professional Responsibilities:

  1. Understand professional responsibilities in terms of the ethical, legal, security and social aspects of any given problem and its solution.
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the cognitive, social, legal, ethical, diversity, and security perspectives surrounding a given problem.
    2. Assess the impact of information, computing and technology on individuals, groups, organizations, society, and the world for the purpose of making informed decisions from a sociological, governmental, legal, and/or security perspective.

Lifelong Learning:

  1. Commit to the continuous acquisition of relevant knowledge for professional development by self-teaching and/or on-going education and learning.
    1. Employ information-seeking strategies and self-directed learning in pursuit of current knowledge.
    2. Enroll in professional development and tutoring opportunities.

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.



Jesse Middaugh, PMP
Program Coordinator
Olmsted Building E335
Middletown, PA 17057


David Barnes
Associate Teaching Professor, Information Sciences and Technology
Penn Building 212C, 3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601


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

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

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Information & Cyber Security Option: Security and Risk Analysis, B.S. at Harrisburg 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
SRA 111*#3SRA 211*#3 
IST 110* 3IST 210*#3 
ENGL 15 or 30H3CAS 1003 
IST 140, CMPSC 101, or CMPSC 121*#3MATH 223 
General Education Course3General Education Course3 
 15 15 
Second Year
SRA 221*3SRA 231*3 
STAT 2004ECON 102 or 1043 
IST 220*3PSYCH 100 or SOC 53 
General Education Course3General Education Course3 
 16 15 
Third Year
SRA 311*3ENGL 202C or 202D3IST 495*1
IST 432*3GEOG 128, PLSC 1, or PLSC 143 
SRA 365 or STAT 460*3IST 451, 454, or 456*3 
Support of Option3Support of Option3 
General Education Course3General Education Course3 
 15 15 1
Fourth Year
IST 451, 454, or 456*3IST 440W*3 
Elective3IST 451 or IST 454 or IST 456*3 
Support of Option3Support of Option (400 - level)3 
General Education Course 3Elective4 
General Education Course3  
 15 13 
Total Credits 120

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University 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.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Advising Notes

  • 1 Credit of IST 495* - Internship is required.
  • 30 Credits of GA, GH, GHW, GN, GS to include 6 Integrative Studies credits. 
  • 15 Credits of GQ, and GWS require a grade of "C" or better.

Program Notes

  • SRA/IST courses are only offered once per year.
  • SRA Internship: (1) Supervised work experience where the student is employed in an information science and technology position in industry, government or academia. SRA students are required to complete one internship, but may complete three. For more information, contact IST Internship Coordinator, Jane Kochanov at
  • Students who plan to apply for the National Security Agency Certifications must complete all required courses. No substitutions or transfer credits are permitted.
  • Students must complete a 3-credit course in "United States Cultures (US)" and a 3-credit course in "International Cultures (IL)."
  • Students in the Security and Risk Analysis (SRACA_BS) major are expected to complete 24 credits of upper level course work in the major and the senior capstone course for the major at Penn State Harrisburg. This is in compliance with Faculty Senate Policy 83-80.5.

Supporting Course List:

Business: ACCTG 211*, IST 301*, IST 302*, MGMT 100

Communications: COMM 180, COMM 479* COMM 484*, COMM 489W*, COMM 490*

Crime/Criminology: PSYCH 100**, PSYCH 221*, PSYCH 270*, PSYCH 445*, CRIM 12/SOC 12, CRIM 100, CRIM 406*, CRIM 412*, CRIM 425*, SOC 1, SOC 405*, SOC 409*, SOC 416*, SOC 419*, SOC 422*, SOC 423*, SOC 424* SOC 440*, SOC 457*, SOC 461*, SOC 467*, SOC 470*

Ethics: PHIL 103*, PHIL 119, PHIL 407*, PHIL 418*

Geography: GEOG 361*, GOEG 362*, GEOG 363*

Global Security: PLSC 7, PLSC 14**, PLSC 410*, PLSC 418*, PLSC 434*, PLSC 440*, PLSC 442*, PLSC 443*, PLSC 454*, PLSC 455*, PLSC 458* PLSC 459, PLSC 464*, PLSC 467*

IST/SRA: IST 230*, IST 240*, IST 242*, IST 402*, IST 442*, IST 452*, IST 453*, SRA 468*, SRA 471*, SRA 472*, IST 301, IST 302, SRA 480

Military Studies: AIR 151, AIR 351, AIR 352, AIR 451, ARMY 101, ARMY 102, ARMY 301, ARMY 402, NAVSC 101, NAVSC 204, NAVSC 311, NAVSC 402

Please be mindful of course prerequisites, as indicated with a single asterisk (*).

Courses taken to satisfy the SRA major requirements for GEOG/PL SC (GEOG 40 OR PLSC 001/014) and PSYCH/SOC (PSYCH 100 or soc 5) cannot be used as a Support of Option course as indicated with a double asterisk (**). 

Career Paths

The Security and Risk Analysis program responds to the expanding need for a highly trained analytic workforce to address a wide range of security and risk domains including national/homeland security, emergency and disaster management, law and crime, as well as enterprise risk management. The SRA degree prepares students to be future leaders to address the current and emerging security and risk challenges that face individuals, organizations and our nation. IST's Office of Career Solutions helps students navigate internship and career development through coaching, workshops, interview preparation, resume reviews, career fairs, job postings, and networking opportunities.


Security and Risk Analysis students may specialize in risk domains ranging from national security to community emergency preparedness and response. Because our courses blend technical knowledge with skills in communication and business, a Security and Risk Analysis degree allows students to pursue opportunities in intelligence, counterterrorism, computer forensics, and a number of other growing careers. SRA graduates work in a variety of fields, including defense, business, and emergency management; and many graduates go on to work for government intelligence agencies like the CIA, FBI, and NSA.


Opportunities for Graduate Studies

With a focus on problem solving, critical thinking and the presentation of analytic findings, the SRA program is a great stepping-stone to graduate education and higher learning. Many SRA graduates will go on to pursue graduate degrees in fields like law, cyber security, and data science. The foundational skills obtained in the SRA degree directly apply to graduate education.



Olmsted Building E355
Middletown, PA 17057


Penn Building 212C, 3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601


Gaige Building
Reading, PA

University Park

E397 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802

World Campus

E397 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802