Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations, B.S. (Information Sciences and Technology)

Program Code: CYAOP_BS and CAOWC_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 cyber defense 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.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CYBERSECURITY ANALYTICS AND OPERATIONS

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.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT WHY STUDENTS CHOOSE TO STUDY CYBERSECURITY ANALYTICS AND OPERATIONS

Entrance to Major

University Park

This program currently has administrative enrollment controls. Administrative Enrollment Controls are initiated when limitations of space, faculty, or other resources in a major prevent accommodating all students who request them. Students must follow the administrative enrollment controls that are in effect for the semester that they enter the university.

First-Year Students Entering Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022

In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, students must satisfy the following requirements:

Students Who Entered Prior to Summer 2021

Students who entered the University from Summer 2018 through Spring 2021 should view the administrative enrollment controls in the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin archive. Students who entered the University prior to the summer 2018 semester should view the administrative enrollment controls for the semester that they entered the university on the Academic Advising Portal.

World Campus

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 100S, IST 140, IST 210, IST 220, IST 242, STAT 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 126 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 3
Requirements for the Major 99

21 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, 9 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.

Prescribed Courses
CAS 100Effective Speech Keystone/General Education Course3
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
CYBER 100SComputer Systems Literacy3
CYBER 262Cyber-Defense Studio3
CYBER 342WCyber Incident Handling and Response3
CYBER 362Cybersecurity Analytics Studio3
CYBER 366Malware Analytics3
CYBER 440Cybersecurity Capstone3
IST 140Introduction to Application Development3
IST 210Organization of Data3
IST 220Networking and Telecommunications3
IST 230Language, Logic, and Discrete Mathematics3
IST 242Intermediate & Object-Oriented Application Development3
IST 261Application Development Design Studio I3
IST 432Legal and Regulatory Environment of Information Science and Technology3
IST 451Network Security3
IST 454Computer and Cyber Forensics3
IST 456Information Security Management3
IST 495Internship1
MATH 110Techniques of Calculus I Keystone/General Education Course4
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
SRA 472Integration of Privacy and Security3
STAT 200Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course4
Additional Courses
ENGL 15Rhetoric and Composition Keystone/General Education Course3
or ENGL 30H Honors Rhetoric and Composition Keystone/General Education Course
ENGL 202CEffective Writing: Technical Writing Keystone/General Education Course3
or ENGL 202D Effective Writing: Business Writing Keystone/General Education Course
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 12 credits from one of the Application Focus course lists in Appendix B; at least 6 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 teaching faculty member.12

Program Learning Objectives

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Undergraduate Academic Advising Center
E103 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-8947
advising@ist.psu.edu

World Campus

Undergraduate Academic Advising
301 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-3283
advising@outreach.psu.edu

Abington

Joseph Oakes
Program Chair
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001
267-633-3316
jxo19@psu.edu

Altoona

David Barnes
Associate Professor of Teaching
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
814-949-5275
drb21@psu.edu

Beaver

Carey McDougall
Director of Academic Affairs
100 University Drive
Monaca, PA 15061
724-773-3939
cem33@psu.edu

Berks

Tricia Clark
Program Coordinator, Instructor
Gaige 211
Reading, PA 19610
610-396-6349
tkc3@psu.edu

Brandywine

Andy Landmesser
Assistant Teaching Professor of IST
25 Yearsley Mill Road
Media, PA 19063
610-892-1410
jal620@psu.edu

Greater Allegheny

Galen Grimes
Associate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology
213E Frable Building
4000 University Drive
McKeesport, PA 15132
412-675-9143
gag5@psu.edu

Harrisburg

Andrew B. Morrow
Program Coordinator
Olmsted Building, E355
Middletown, PA 17057
717-948-6160
abm140@psu.edu

Lehigh Valley

Kermit Burley
Coordinator of Information Sciences and Technology
2809 Saucon Valley Road
Center Valley, PA 18034
610-285-5071
kmb6846@psu.edu

Schuylkill

Brian Gardner
Program Coordinator
200 University Drive
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972
570-385-6076
bkg113@psu.edu

Shenango

Matthew DeMaria
Lecturer
147 Shenango Ave.
315D Sharon Hall
Sharon, PA 16148
724-983-2810
msd5532@psu.edu

York

William Cantor
Assistant Teaching Professor in IST
226 Grumbacher Building (GISTC)
York, PA 17403
717-771-4143
wpc2@psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2021-22 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).

Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations, B.S. at University Park 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
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
CYBER 100/100S*#3IST 210*#3 
IST 140*#3IST 220*#3 
CAS 1003SRA 111*3 
MATH 110*‡4ENGL 15 or 30H3 
General Education Selection3Application Focus Selection 1 (GS/GHW)3 
  
 16 15 
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
CYBER 262*3IST 261*3 
IST 242*#3SRA 211*3 
STAT 200*‡#4SRA 221*3 
General Education Selection3IST 230*3 
Application Focus Selection 23General Education Selection 3 
 16 15 
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
CYBER 362*3CYBER 342W*3IST 495*11
IST 451*3IST 454*3 
SRA 231*3SRA 311*3 
SRA 365*3CYBER 366*3 
ENGL 202C or 202D3Application Focus Selection 33 
General Education Selection1.5  
 16.5 15 1
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits 
IST 456*3CYBER 440*3 
SRA 472*3Application Focus Selection 43 
IST 432*3General Education Selection3 
General Education Selection 3Elective or US Cultures (US) or International Cultures (IL)3 
General Education Selection 3General Education Selection3 
General Education Selection1.5  
 16.5 15 
Total Credits 126

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.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Advising Notes:

Students pick one of the four tracks below or create a custom 4-course application focus. Students should take one course that meets the GS requirements. Students must pick six (6) credits at the 400 level. All 12 credits must be in the same application focus area.

Application Development

IST 110Information, People and Technology Keystone/General Education Course3
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

Geopolitics

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.

GEOG 160Mapping Our Changing World Keystone/General Education Course3
GEOG 260Geographic Information in a Changing World: Introduction to GIScience Keystone/General Education Course3
IB 440Globalization and Its Implications3
PLSC 14International Relations Keystone/General Education Course3
PLSC 461Politics of the European Union3
PLSC 467International Relations of the Middle East3
PLSC 481Global Political Economy3
GEOG 333Human Dimensions of Natural Hazards3
GEOG 363Geographic Information Systems3
AFR/PLSC 440Globalization and Its Implications3
SRA 450Cyber-Crime and Cyber-Warfare3
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 180Survey of Electronic Media and Telecommunications Keystone/General Education Course3
COMM 404Telecommunications Law3
CRIM/CRIMJ 100Introduction to Criminal Justice Keystone/General Education Course3
CRIM/CRIMJ 113Introduction to Law3
PLSC 14International Relations Keystone/General Education Course3
PLSC 140Contemporary Controversies in International Relations Keystone/General Education Course3
PLSC 438National Security Policies3
PLSC 442American Foreign Policy3
PLSC/STS 460Science, Technology, and Public Policy3
PLSC 467International Relations of the Middle East3
CRIM/CRIMJ/SOC 467Law and Society3
HLS/PADM 401Introduction to Homeland Security (offered by Harrisburg and World Campus only)3
PLSC/CRIMJ 439The Politics of Terrorism3
PLSC 487International Law and Organizations (not offered at University Park)3

Economics

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.

ECON 102Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course3
BLAW 243Legal Environment of Business3
BA 301Finance3
ECON 302Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis Keystone/General Education Course3
ECON 402Decision Making and Strategy in Economics3
ECON 409Economics of Terrorism3
ECON 445Health Economics3
ECON 470International Trade and Finance3
FIN 301Corporation Finance3
HPA 445Health Economics3
PLSC 412International Political Economy3
PLSC 481Global Political Economy3

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.

HPA 101Introduction to Health Services Organization3
BBH 101Introduction to Biobehavioral Health Keystone/General Education Course3
ECON 445Health Economics3
HPA 332Health Systems Management3
HPA 445Health Economics3
HPA 450Healthcare Policies and Politics3
IST 110Information, People and Technology Keystone/General Education Course3
NURS 357Introduction to Nursing Informatics (offered at Commonwealth and World Campuses; not at University Park)3
HPA/BBH 440Principles of Epidemiology3
HPA 470Health Care Information Management3
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 4-course application focus sequence. It must be a coherent sequence of courses that provides context for the student in terms of cybersecurity content. It should contain three credits of GS coursework and must contain six credits of 400-level coursework. It 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.

Careers

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.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE CYBERSECURITY ANALYTICS AND OPERATIONS PROGRAM

Contact

University Park

COLLEGE OF INFORMATION SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY
E397 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-8947

https://ist.psu.edu/about/contact

World Campus

COLLEGE OF INFORMATION SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY
E397 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-8947

https://ist.psu.edu/about/contact
https://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/penn-state-online-cybersecurity-analytics-and-operations-bachelor-of-science-degree/overview

Abington

DIVISION OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001
267-633-3316
jxo19@psu.edu

Altoona

DIVISION OF BUSINESS, ENGINEERING, AND INFORMATION SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
814-949-5275
drb21@psu.edu

https://altoona.psu.edu/academics/bachelors-degrees/cybersecurity-analytics-operations

Beaver

ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
100 University Drive
Monaca, PA 15061
724-773-3939
cem33@psu.edu

Berks

EBC DIVISION
Gaige Building
Reading, PA 19610
610-396-6349
tkc3@psu.edu

Brandywine

25 Yearsley Mill Road
Media, PA 19063
610-892-1410
jal620@psu.edu

https://www.brandywine.psu.edu/academics/bachelors-degrees/cybersecurity-analytics-operations

Greater Allegheny

213E Frable Building
4000 University Drive
McKeesport, PA 15132
412-675-9143
gag5@psu.edu

https://greaterallegheny.psu.edu/academics/cybersecurity

Harrisburg

SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
Olmsted Building, E355
717-948-6141
ljc43@psu.edu

https://harrisburg.psu.edu/business-administration/bachelor-science-cybersecurity-analytics

Lehigh Valley

2809 Saucon Valley Road
Center Valley, PA 18034
610-285-5071
kmb6846@psu.edu

https://lehighvalley.psu.edu/academics

Schuylkill

ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
200 University Drive
Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972
570-385-6076
bkg113@psu.edu

https://schuylkill.psu.edu/academics/degrees/bacc-degrees/cybersecurity-analytics-and-operations

Shenango

INFORMATION SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY
Sharon Hall 315D
147 Shenango Ave.
Sharon, PA 16148
724-983-2810
msd5532@psu.edu

https://shenango.psu.edu/academics/majors-shenango/cybersecurity-analytics-operations

York

226 Grumbacher Building (GISTC)
York, PA 17403
717-771-4143
wpc2@psu.edu