cyber security system

Graduate Certificate inInformation Systems Cybersecurity

Program summary

Build your understanding of information systems security, risk management, digital forensics, knowledge management, cybersecurity, crisis and disaster management, and web security and privacy in this online graduate certificate.

100% Online

Complete your Penn State course work at your own pace and 100% online.

Application deadline

Apply by July 1 to start August 26

Credits and costs

15 Credits$1,017 per credit


GRE and GMAT test scores are NOT required.

Gain Skills to Build Secure Information Systems with a Cybersecurity Certificate

  • Understand network security and keep information, systems, and networks safe from cyber attacks.

  • Apply core technologies to make a networked information system secure and assured.

  • Analyze the security and assurance of modern information systems using an interdisciplinary approach.

  • Conduct penetration testing to identify and explore security vulnerabilities.

  • Build secure information systems.

Online Information Systems Cybersecurity Courses

Designed to provide students with a foundation for the cybersecurity industry, this program provides a solid graduate-level education for mid- to high-level professionals in all industry sectors who desire to strengthen their knowledge and skills in information security and information security management.

All candidates must complete 15 credits to earn the certificate.

Required Courses (12 credits)

  • 3

    Studies foundations of cybersecurity and the threats it aims to prevent.

  • 3

    This graduate course improves understanding in an organizational setting of the principles and practices of cyber forensics as well as the management of information security.

  • 3

    This course provides theoretical and applied foundations of information security and assurance.

  • 3

    Essential skills and knowledge for effectively utilizing networks and internet technologies to facilitate, manage, and secure data communications and applications.

Electives (select 3 credits)

Select 3 credits from the following courses or other courses as approved by the college.

  • 3

    Fundamental issues and concepts of network security, network security technologies and protocols, and emerging technologies in network security.

  • 3

    This course examines the fundamental elements of crisis, disaster, risk, and emergency management.

Course Availability

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.

Start or Advance Your Cybersecurity Specialist Career

Two business professionals reviewing work on a tablet in an office setting

The cybersecurity field is forecasted to generate many new jobs for the next generation, and the industry will need more individuals with the skill set to meet this growing demand. Now is the time to consider expanding your expertise. 

Job Titles Related to This Degree

This certificate can prepare you for a number of information security careers, including:

  • computer systems
  • security analyst
  • intel analyst
  • information assurance engineer
  • catastrophe risk analyst
  • information security/digital forensics and cyber threat advisor
  • penetration tester
  • information security director

Career Services to Set You Up for Success

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From the day you're accepted as a student, you can access resources and tools provided by Penn State World Campus Career Services to further your career. These resources are beneficial whether you're searching for a job or advancing in an established career.

  • Opportunities to connect with employers
  • Career counselor/coach support
  • Occupation and salary information
  • Internships
  • Graduate school resources 

Ready to Learn More?

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.

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Learn more about this program

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Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State graduate certificate?

Apply by July 1 to start August 26. How to Apply 

Costs and Financial Aid

Learn about this program's tuition, fees, scholarship opportunities, grants, payment options, and military benefits.

Costs and Financial Aid

Graduate Tuition

Graduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?Cost
11 or fewer$1,017 per credit
12 or more$12,203 per semester

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?Cost
11 or fewer$1,027 per credit
12 or more$12,325 per semester

Paying for Your Certificate

Students pursuing a certificate are considered "nondegree," a status that is not eligible for federal student aid, including the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program. A private alternative loan may be an option to consider.

Additionally, Penn State offers many ways to pay for your education, including an installment plan and third-party payments. Penn State World Campus also offers an Employer Reimbursement and Tuition Deferment Plan. Learn more about the options for paying for your education.

Students pursuing a degree and meeting all other eligibility requirements may qualify for financial aid.

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.

To view the detailed list of cost of attendance elements, select “World Campus” as the location on the tuition site.

A Head Start toward a Master’s Degree

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Not only can this program help create opportunities in your career, it can also give you a solid head start toward a full master’s degree.

Degree Programs Related to This Certificate

In addition to the information systems cybersecurity graduate certificate being an excellent stand-alone credential, the credits earned in the program may be applied toward the following master's degrees.

This online degree program in cybersecurity analytics and operations is taught by experienced practitioners and researchers and blends education relating to technology, incident response, strategic planning, and crisis management to prepare you to better protect digital information from attacks.

Learn more about the Master of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations

Who Should Apply?

This certificate program is an attractive option to those who hold a bachelor’s degree in a non-technical or -scientific discipline and are seeking a career change or those who are already working in the industry with some background in networking, web services, or database development.

The certificate could also be a good fit for individuals who do not wish to complete a full master’s degree program or who are trying to decide if they are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in cybersecurity analytics and operations.

Nationally Recognized

The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security have designated Penn State as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. The designation demonstrates Penn State’s commitment to academic excellence in information cybersecurity and assurance education.

Set Your Own Pace

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Whether you are looking to finish your program as quickly as possible or balance your studies with your busy life, Penn State World Campus can help you achieve your education goals. Many students take one or two courses per semester.

Our online courses typically follow a 12- to 15-week semester cycle, and there are three semesters per year (spring, summer, and fall). If you plan to take a heavy course load, you should expect your course work to be your primary focus and discuss your schedule with your academic adviser. 

To Finish Your Certificate in One Year

  • Take 2 courses each semester 

To Finish Your Certificate in Two Years

  • Take 1 course each semester


Convenient Online Format

This program's convenient online format gives you the flexibility you need to study around your busy schedule. You can skip the lengthy commute without sacrificing the quality of your education and prepare yourself for more rewarding career opportunities without leaving your home.

A Trusted Leader in Online Education

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Penn State has a history of more than 100 years of distance education, and World Campus has been a leader in online learning for more than two decades. Our online learning environment offers the same quality education that our students experience on campus.

Information for Military and Veterans

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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, and application instructions.

How to Apply to Penn State

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Apply by July 1 to start August 26

Application Instructions

Deadlines and Important Dates

Complete your application and submit all required materials by the appropriate deadline. Your deadline will depend on the semester you plan to start your courses.

  • Fall Deadline

    Apply by July 1 to start August 26

Steps to Apply

  1. For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

    GPA  — For admission to the certificate program, a 2.75 undergraduate grade-point average (GPA), either overall or of the last 60 credits, is needed. A 3.0 GPA must be obtained in order to successfully complete the certificate. A minimum of 5 years relevant work experience is recommended.

  2. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:

    Official transcripts from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State, but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.

    Test Scores — GRE test scores are not required and will not be accepted as part of your application.

    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 Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

    Program-Specific Questions/Materials

    Current Résumé — should highlight any IT experience and/or certifications you have completed.

    Reference (1) — You will need to initiate the process through the online application by entering the name, email address, and mailing address of a reference from an academic or professional source. Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to each recommender requesting they complete a brief online recommendation regarding your commitment for success in an online program.  Please inform all recommenders they must submit the form in order for your application to be complete.

    Program-specific questions — Please submit your responses with your application.

    Statement of Interest — Please include a written personal statement in your application to share information that you deem important to your candidacy. Be sure to include why you are a qualified applicant and how this degree will assist you in meeting your future career goals. You may wish to describe aspects of your background and interests — intellectual, personal, and/or professional — and how you will uniquely contribute to the IST community and/or the related professions. As a suggested length, limit your statement to one or two pages, double-spaced. At the top of each page, please indicate "STATEMENT OF INTEREST," along with your name, numbering each page.

  3. To begin the online application, you will need a Penn State account.

    Create a New Penn State Account

    If you have any problems during this process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

    Please note: Former Penn State students may not need to complete the admissions application or create a new Penn State account. Please visit our Returning Students page for instructions.

  4. You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials.

    • Choose Enrollment Type: "Certificate Admission"
    • Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus

    Checking Your Status 
    You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form. 

    Technical Requirements  
    Review the technical requirements for this program.

  5. 5. Complete the application.

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected].

Contact Us

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Have questions or want more information? We're happy to talk.

For questions related to the Graduate Certificate in Information Systems Cybersecurity, please contact:  

Chrissie Fitzgerald
Graduate Programs Manager
College of Information Sciences and Technology
The Pennsylvania State University
E108 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802
[email protected]

For general questions about Penn State World Campus, please contact: 

World Campus Admissions Counselors
Phone: 814-863-5386
[email protected]

Learn from the Best

This program is offered in partnership with the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from the same dedicated educators who teach on-campus courses in Penn State's highly regarded IST programs.


  • Michael R. Bartolacci

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Industrial Engineering, Lehigh University
    • Degree
      MBA, Lehigh University
    • Degree
      B.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.

  • Edward J. Glantz

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State
    • Degree
      MBA, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania
    • Degree
      B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.A., General Arts and Science, Penn State

    Dr. Edward J. Glantz, P.E., has been with the College of IST faculty since 2009. Prior to joining IST, Dr. Glantz served 10 years as a faculty member of Penn State's Smeal College of Business. His career spans more than 20 years of managing technology, research, and marketing in the manufacturing and telecommunication industries, including startup work.

  • Mohamed Meky

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, City University of New York Graduate Center
    • Degree
      M.Sc., Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Alexandria University, Egypt
    • Degree
      B.Sc., Electrical Engineering, Egypt

    Dr. Mohamed Meky has been teaching for more than 25 years in the U.S. and abroad. He also has more than 22 years of industrial experience in IT fields with AT&T. He is currently conducting research in the IT security field, and his areas of teaching interest are networking, cybersecurity, system administration, computer language programming, wireless communication, electronics, and other technology courses.

  • Mahdi Nasereddin

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Industrial Engineering, University of Central Florida
    • Degree
      M.S., Industrial Engineering, University of Central Florida
    • Degree
      B.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.

  • Syed Rizvi

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Computer Science and Engineering, University of Bridgeport
    • Degree
      M.S., Computer Engineering, Old Dominion University
    • Degree
      B.S., Computer Engineering, Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology

    Dr. Syed Rizvi is an associate professor in information sciences and technology at the Penn State Altoona campus. His research interests lie at the intersection of computer networking, network security, and machine learning. Dr. Rizvi teaches cybersecurity, risk analysis, and IST courses such as fundamentals of information security, networking and telecommunications, secure software engineering, security risk assessment, network security, incident response handling, and capstone projects. He is a member of the IEEE Communications Society and ACM.

Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State graduate certificate?

Apply by July 1 to start August 26. How to Apply