professor pointing at students computer in cyber lab

Department of Computing and Information Science

Education on the cutting edge of technology.

The rapid expansions of technology and the world’s reservoirs of data have yielded unique educational opportunities for students looking to enter these in-demand fields. Mercyhurst’s Department of Computing & Information Science, housed in the nationally respected Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences, offers programs at the undergraduate and graduate level that equip students with the sought-after skills to manipulate and analyze data, protect computer networks and monetize cyber risk. Department faculty include experienced professionals with decades of experience in government, national security and private business.

Fast Facts

  • Mercyhurst’s cyber lab and networks operation center, a joint venture with technology firm Federal Resources Corporation, provides students with real-world experience meeting the cyber and data needs of actual customers
  • Mercyhurst undergrads can take advantage of 4+1 programs in Cyber Security, Cyber Risk Management or Data Science, and earn a master’s in just one additional year.

Undergraduate Programs

Data Science

The Big Data revolution promises to transform the world. Businesses are mining data about their customer's preferences. Organizations are analyzing data about their business processes to design more efficient processes. Data analysis is transforming the fundamental scientific process from a top-down, theory-driven process into a data-driven process. It's little surprise that in 2018, “data scientist” is the top in-demand job in Glassdoor’s annual survey for the third year in a row.

Mercyhurst’s Data Science undergraduate major is designed to equip you with the skills you need to become a data scientist. This multidisciplinary program combines techniques from computer science and statistics to clean, manage, analyze and interpret data. Data Science majors will be well prepared for careers in a number of fields, skilled at determining actionable insights about the meaning of data for decision-makers in businesses, public agencies and nonprofits.

Cyber Security

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.

Graduate Programs

Cyber Security

The global rise in cyber crime has created an unprecedented demand for cyber security professionals. As an international leader in intelligence and cyber education, Mercyhurst University offers a Cyber Security master’s program—available either on campus or online—to prepare you to analyze cyber threats to computer systems, networks and networked devices and protect those systems from cyber attacks. Through engaging coursework, you’ll also learn to evaluate the legal, regulatory and ethical issues related to cyber security and privacy and effectively communicate complex cyber security information.
A master’s in Cyber Security is excellent preparation for career advancement in the rapidly growing cyber professions. Mercyhurst’s program is one of the few in the nation to address cyber threats to business as well as national and international security. Grads of our program are well positioned for careers as cyber analysts and IT security specialists in virtually any industry. A certificate in Cyber Security is also offered, where coursework can then be applied to the Master of Science in Cyber Security.

Data Science

The data science master's degree program educates students to collect, analyze, visualize and communicate actionable insights for data-driven business decisions. A master’s degree in the data science field can be a valuable asset in acquiring employment in many types of companies ranging from insurance to security firms.
The Ridge College data science graduate program educates students as professional data scientists and data analysts who produce, visualize and communicate actionable competitive intelligence for data-driven business decisions in both the public and private sectors.

Federal Resources Corporation Cyber Education Center

The Federal Resources Corporation Cyber Education Center includes four separate spaces:
•    A Cyber Security Lab
•    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.