BACHELOR OF SCIENCE
An in-demand skill set for the digital age.
High-profile domestic and global cyberattacks have made private sector and government decision-makers painfully aware of the need for well-trained cybersecurity professionals. In response to this growing need, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has established the first undergraduate curriculum guidelines for cybersecurity, while the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have developed a cybersecurity certification.
Mercyhurst University’s Cyber Security bachelor’s program is one of the first stand-alone programs in the nation to follow both of these guidelines. Already home to one of the nation’s most respected Intelligence Studies programs, Mercyhurst is now able to leverage our experience, faculty expertise, cutting-edge resources and industry connections to provide an unparalleled cybereducation at the undergraduate level.
- Mercyhurst’s Cyber Security program is the only one in the nation to allow students to pursue a double major with Intelligence Studies, offered through the nation’s largest academic intelligence program.
- The Cyber Security major couples technical computer networking and hacking skills with data analytic skills and cyberlaw and policy.
- Graduates of the Cyber Security Program will be fortified with the necessary skillset and well positioned to meet the fastest growing demand of cybersecurity jobs, which, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is estimated to grow at a 31% rate through 2029, a rate that is over seven times faster than the national average job growth of 4%.
Mercyhurst’s cyberlab and networks operation center, a joint venture with Erie-based firm Federal Resources Corporation, provides experiential learning opportunities for Mercyhurst students to conduct projects on behalf of real-world clients.
- CIS 100: Introduction to Computer Science (3 credits)
- CIS 200: Linear Data Structures (3 credits)
- CIS 210: Non-Linear Data Structures (3 credits)
- Choose at least two other CIS courses (except CIS 201)
- CIS 100: Introduction to Computer Science (3 credits)
- CIS 160: Introduction to Cyber Security (3 credits)
- CIS 261: Information Security (3 credits)
- CIS 360: Computer Systems Security (3 credits)
- CIS 361: Network Security (3 credits)
In The Classroom
Nearly 50 Mercyhurst students from the Cyber Security, Data Science, Intelligence Studies, Business and Competitive Intelligence, Accounting, and Sport Business Management majors recently took and passed the PCEP-02 certification exam. The PCEP-02 credential is the industry "board-exam" equivalent of programming assessment in Python programming. Per the Python Institute, this Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer certification is a professional credential that measures a candidate's ability to accomplish coding tasks related to the essentials of programming in the Python language. While cyber security experts and data scientists particularly benefit from this programming knowledge, it is valuable in many industries and is an excellent resume feature.
Center for Intelligence Research Analysis and Training (CIRAT)Our CIRAT program works to hone and professionalize the skills of students in Intelligence Studies and Computer Information Science programs. As a nonprofit arm of Mercyhurst University, CIRAT develops opportunities with business and government entities through contracts, grants, and academic partnerships. Students of all academic levels can participate in CIRAT to apply their skills in a variety of collaborative intelligence and data-driven projects. By participating in CIRAT, Mercyhurst students gain a competitive edge; upon graduation, they already have applicable, hands-on experience working with national security organizations, U.S. government agencies, private sector businesses, and more.
The Federal Resources Corporation Cyber Education Center is an 8,000-square-foot state-of-the-art cyber training and mitigation facility providing classroom and experiential learning.
The Cyber Security major is one of few undergraduate programs in the nation that can offer the professional training and specialized skill sets required for a cyber career.
For majors interested in advancing their education beyond the bachelor’s level, Mercyhurst’s 4+1 master’s programs are excellent options.
The Mercyhurst Cyber Education Center includes four separate spaces:
- Federal Resources Corporation Cyber Education Center
- A Network Operations Center
- Two Computer Labs
The Cyber Security Lab features 20 individual terminals, each outfitted with high-end computing power and large monitors. The lab operates on an independent network with its own servers and firewalls, completely isolated from the campus network. In addition, the lab features virtual forensic workstations, mobile devices for exploitation tests, threat-analysis software packages, and other relevant platforms.
The Network Operations Center is staffed and operated by Federal Resources Corporation. In this space, this prestigious Erie-based firm will provide experiential learning opportunities for Mercyhurst students to conduct projects on behalf of real-world clients.
The Computer Labs provide hands-on education to undergraduate and graduate students in Mercyhurst’s cyber, data science and intelligence programs.
“America’s daily life, economic vitality, and national security depend on a secure cyberspace. A vast array of interdependent IT networks, systems, services, and resources are critical to communication, travel, powering homes, running the economy, and obtaining government services.” – U.S. Department of Homeland Security
For our majors, these experiences can open a world of opportunities that offer job stability, career mobility and excellent earning potential.
As you consider future career opportunities, keep in mind these points about the cyber industry:
- The cybersecurity market will be worth upwards of $230 billion by 2022 (Markets and Markets Research).
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 31 percent job growth in the IT security sectors through 2029.
- Globally, cyber crime losses are projected to top $10.5 trillion each year by 2025.
Students in the 4+1 programs can save time and money by earning both a bachelor’s and a master’s in five years. As a 4+1 student, you’ll complete grad-level coursework in your junior and/or senior years, earning master’s degree credits as an undergrad (included in your undergraduate flat billing). You’ll still graduate on time with your class before seamlessly transitioning to the graduate program to finish your master’s in one year or less.
The following Mercyhurst master’s programs include 4+1 options:
Chad Redmond, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Computing and Information Science
Office: Library 408A