Credits and costs
Prepare to meet the growing demand for skilled cybersecurity analysts
Cybersecurity is a broad and growing discipline that intersects with almost every industry. As digital information exchange increasingly becomes the norm, it is critically important to protect systems, networks, programs, and data from attacks and unauthorized access. As a graduate of Penn State’s interdisciplinary online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations program, you can enter the workforce prepared to join the rapidly growing cybersecurity industry, which spans organizations of almost every size and mission.
This online program, offered by the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) in partnership with Penn State World Campus, equips students with the tools needed to become skilled cybersecurity professionals who can recognize, analyze, manage, and eliminate risks related to a wide range of threats. As a student in the program, you can learn to anticipate and identify threats, clearly articulate potential impacts to stakeholders, and ensure the safety of digital information.
Why Study Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations at Penn State?
This online cybersecurity program has a strong foundation in programming and mathematics. It teaches the essential concepts of cyber defense and analytics to create a holistic understanding of adversarial strategies and effective countermeasures. The program focuses on helping students develop the knowledge and skills needed to critically assess and respond to security threats including system hacking, data breaches, theft of personal information, and cyberattacks by terrorist groups or other aggressors.
Who Should Apply?
Penn State’s online cybersecurity and analytics program is ideal for people who:
- enjoy working with computers and their operating systems and applications
- have an interest in business and organizational security
- are motivated to protect digital information, data stores, and computer networks from threats
- are driven to learn the best strategies to anticipate, recognize, and defend against cyberattacks
- are passionate about how to keep sensitive information out of the hands of hackers, cybercriminals, and terrorist organizations
- enjoy working on a team to resolve technical problems
- are interested in computer programming and mathematics
Information for Military and Veterans
Are you a member of the military, a veteran, or a military spouse? Please visit our military website for additional information regarding financial aid, transfer credits, or application instructions.
The Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations program teaches students to analyze security issues from the perspective of human and information systems. Courses in the major will explore how to anticipate and identify threats using technology, articulate potential impacts to stakeholders, and ensure the safety of online information.
To earn the B.S. in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations, you are required to successfully complete a minimum of 123 credits.
Build Your Credentials along the Way
Because the IT profession is constantly changing, continued learning remains key to advancing your career. As you consider your education options, you might also be interested in the Associate in Science in IST, Undergraduate Certificate in IST, or the Undergraduate Certificate in SRA, as you work toward your bachelor’s degree. Many of the credits in these programs may be applied to the requirements for your bachelor’s degree, so that means you can benefit from Penn State's highly regarded name on your résumé even sooner. Your adviser can help you plan the best path for you to achieve your goals.
Supporting Courses and Related Areas (select 9 credits)
Students in the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations must take 9 credits within one of these application areas, with all of the courses being at the 400-level. Students will be encouraged to take introductory courses that fill enforced prerequisites in the specialization while also meeting General Education knowledge domain requirements. The student must take all nine credits in a single application focus area. Students may not mix and match.
Application Focus Areas:
- Application Development
- Law & Policy
- Custom Application Focus
Please consult with your academic adviser on a list of courses offered.
Electives (select 3 credits)
Students can choose electives in consultation with their adviser.
General Education Requirements
Some General Education requirements may be satisfied by courses required for the major. Students should work with an adviser to select courses.
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
A student must receive a grade of C or better in GWS courses.
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
A student must receive a grade of C or better in GQ courses.
- Integrative Studies: 6 credits
This requirement only applies to students starting in summer 2018 or later. Learn more about the Integrative Studies options and consult your academic adviser when choosing courses to fulfill these requirements. Integrative Studies credits may be completed within the thirty Knowledge Domain credits and must be completed with either Inter-domain or Linked courses, not a combination of both.
If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.
Costs and Financial Aid
Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.
|How many credits do you plan to take per semester?||If you have 59 or fewer credits||If you have 60 or more credits|
|11 or fewer||$620 per credit||$664 per credit|
|12 or more||$7,527 per semester||$8,125 per semester|
Financial Aid and Military Benefits
Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.
How to Apply
Deadlines and Important Dates
Your degree application, including receipt of all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.
- Fall Deadline: Apply by June 30 to start August 21
- Spring Deadline: Apply by October 31 to start January 8
- Summer Deadline: Apply by March 15, 2024, to start May 13, 2024
New students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by March 1. Please visit the Office of Student Aid website for more information about applying for financial aid and recommended deadlines.
Thank you for your interest in applying to this program. Contact an admissions counselor to discuss your educational goals, financial aid options, and application deadlines.
You must be a high school graduate or have completed a GED and have earned three and a half units of mathematics (selected from any combination of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry or higher math course) to satisfy the initial admission requirements to be admitted to the College of Information Sciences and Technology. Transfer applicants are expected to meet the minimum high school math requirements or equivalent college coursework prior to enrolling at Penn State:
- completing MATH 022 (College Algebra II and Analytic Geometry) or MATH 026 (Plane Trigonometry) OR a higher-level math course offered by Penn State, determined in consultation with your academic adviser
- completing a trigonometry or higher-level course at another accredited institution with a grade of C or better
- receiving sufficient scores on Advanced Placement calculus exams
Important: Penn State's math placement exam results are used to determine the appropriate starting point for math. The results are NOT sufficient for satisfying the entrance into the College of IST requirement. The requirement must be demonstrated by letter grade or transfer credit. For more information about the entrance into the College of IST requirement for this program, contact an adviser.
Once you are admitted to the pre-major in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, you will work closely with your academic adviser to gain entrance to the security and risk analysis major.
In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, students must satisfy the following requirements:
- Have completed the following entrance-to-major requirements with a grade of C or better in each: CYBER 100S, IST 210, IST 220, IST 242, and STAT 200.
- 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.
What You Need
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need the following items to complete your application:
High school transcripts or GED transcript - First-year applicants are required to submit Self-Reported Academic Records (SRAR). Official high school transcripts will only be required at the time a student accepts an offer of admission to Penn State.
Official college or university transcripts, if you attended another institution, and/or official military transcripts (if applicable). (All college or university transcripts are required regardless of the length of time that has passed, the grades earned, or the accreditation of the institutions attended. Acceptance of transfer credit toward your degree is subject to final approval by the academic department. For detailed information, see the Transfer Students page.)
Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Please send your transcripts by mail or electronically through Parchment, eScrip-Safe, or the National Student Clearinghouse directly to Penn State from the college/university where coursework was attempted.
Submit official documents by mail to:
Undergraduate Admissions Office
The Pennsylvania State University
201 Shields Building
University Park PA 16802
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Language Proficiency section on the Undergraduate Admissions International Requirements page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.
Start Your Application
Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions.
If this is your first time applying to Penn State, you'll need to complete the following steps:
- Review the application instructions before beginning.
- Complete the online application and submit all official documents.
- Pay the application fee.
Checking Your Status
You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form and choosing "MyPennState — Check Application Status." Your decision letter (confirming your acceptance or denial) will be mailed four to six weeks after receipt of all application materials. An admissions counselor will contact you if additional information is required.
Review the technical requirements for this degree program.
Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.
Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State bachelor's degree?
Start or Advance Your Career
Start or Advance Your Career
As the demand for educated cybersecurity professionals continues to grow, so does the gap in knowledge and skills required to fill these positions in business and industry, government and intelligence, and military and defense. You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.
To learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations, offered in partnership with the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology, please contact:
World Campus Admissions Counselors
Email: [email protected]
Michael R. Bartolacci
DegreePh.D., Industrial Engineering, Lehigh University
DegreeMBA, Lehigh University
DegreeB.A., Engineering, Lafayette College
Dr. Michael R. Bartolacci is an associate professor of information sciences and technology at Penn State Berks. He conducts research in telecommunications modeling, electronic commerce modeling, customer relationship management, manufacturing modeling, and international aspects of telecommunications.
DegreeJ.D., University of New Hampshire
DegreeB.S., Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State
Megan Costello is an assistant teaching professor of information sciences and technology. Her areas of interest are copyright and trademark registration, business law matters, contract disputes, and privacy law. Prior to her appointment in the College of IST, she was the founder and solo practitioner for a boutique law practice that focused on cyberlaw issues and intellectual property.
DegreeJ.D., Columbia Law School
DegreeM.S., Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State
DegreeB.S., Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State
Marc Friedenberg joined the College of Information Sciences and Technology as an assistant teaching professor of information sciences and technology after practicing intellectual property and securities litigation for large law firms in New York. His legal practice experience also involved clerkships with federal judges in New York and Los Angeles.
David M. Hozza
DegreeMPS, Information Sciences (Cybersecurity), Penn State
DegreeB.S., Computer Science and Management, East Stroudsburg University
David M. Hozza is a lecturer in information sciences and technology. Prior to his appointment, he had a 30-year career in the IT industry, with responsibilities in storage architecture, systems administration, data analysis, and leadership management. His areas of interest include cloud computing, cybersecurity, data protection and storage, and enterprise integration.
Alison R. Murphy
DegreePh.D., Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State
DegreeB.S., Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State
Dr. Alison R. Murphy is an assistant teaching professor of information sciences and technology. She enjoys teaching students to think critically about the socio-technical impacts of technology on individuals, organizations, and society. She is also dedicated to researching how to improve the usability of health information technology for both individuals and organizations through the use of qualitative methods and UX design principles.
DegreePh.D., Industrial Engineering, University of Central Florida
DegreeM.S., Industrial Engineering, University of Central Florida
DegreeB.S., Industrial Engineering, University of Central Florida
Dr. Mahdi Nasereddin is an associate professor of information sciences and technology at Penn State Berks. His current research interest is in the application of artificial intelligence, simulation metamodeling, simulation optimization, and experimental design.
DegreeJ.D., Georgetown University
DegreeB.A., With High Distinction, German, Penn State
Don Shemanski joined Penn State as a professor of practice of information sciences and technology after a 23-year career as a diplomat with the U.S. Foreign Service. Immediately prior to his appointment at Penn State, he served as counselor for global affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, responsible for high-priority policy issues such as counterterrorism and nuclear nonproliferation.