Mercyhurst University

Department of Computing & Information Science


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.



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.


High-profile domestic and global cyber attacks have made private sector and government decision-makers painfully aware of the need for well-trained cyber security professionals. In response to this growing need, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) has established the first undergraduate curriculum guidelines for cyber security, while the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have developed a cyber security 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 cyber education at the undergraduate level.



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’s new online Cyber Security master’s program will prepare you to analyze cyber threats to computer systems, networks and networked devices and protect those systems from cyber attacks. Through engaging online 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.


The rapid growth of online environments and global networks of interconnected devices (Internet of Things) leaves governments, businesses and organizations exposed to new types of cyber security risks. As costs of global cyber crimes continue to skyrocket, demand for professionals skilled at assessing and managing cyber risk is growing rapidly as well.

Mercyhurst’s online Cyber Risk Management integrates traditional elements of risk management with cutting-edge science in big data and cyber security, providing you with the skills to assess and mitigate cyber risks and protect intellectual property. Coursework highlights the technical, legal and business aspects of cyber risk management, with special emphasis on monetizing cyber risk through insurance.


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.

Fast Facts

The Ridge College is named after Erie native Tom Ridge, 43rd governor of Pennsylvania and first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. 

Mercyhurst’s cyber lab and networks operation center, a joint venture with Cleveland-based national technology company MCPc, provides students with real-world experience meeting the cyber and data needs of actual customers.

Mercyhurst undergrads can take advantage of 4+1programs in Cyber Security, Cyber Risk Management or Data Science, and earn a master’s in just one additional year.

Additional Links

4+1 information


Afzal Upal, Ph.D.
Chair of the Department of Computing & Information Science

501 East 38th St.
Erie, PA 16546
Phone: 814-824-2117

Meet the Faculty

M. Afzal Upal, Ph.D.
Chair of the Department of Computing & Information Science
Angela Berardinelli, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Charles Redmond, Ph.D.
Professor of Computing and Information Science
Mahesh Maddumala, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor of Computing & Information Science.
Stephen Ousley, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Computing and Information Science
Christopher Mansour, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Computing and Information Science