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Undergraduate Certificate inSecurity and Risk Analysis

Program summary

Learn to secure systems, evaluate and measure risk, and maintain proper levels of privacy by using the latest tools and techniques in this online security and risk analysis undergraduate certificate program.

100% Online

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

Application deadline

Apply by August 18 to start August 26

Credits and costs

15 Credits$626/$671 per credit

Gain Security and Risk Analysis Skills

  • Protect people, information, and assets from man-made and natural threats.

  • Understand the role of data in protecting individuals, organizations, and our nation.

  • Use your problem-solving skills to make the world a safer place.

  • Make informed strategic decisions that help to defend critical infrastructures that support our daily lives.

Online Security and Risk Analysis Courses

As a student in this certificate program, you will examine case studies related to cyber terrorism, bioterrorism, and critical infrastructure protection and explore the requirements for security needed in government agencies or businesses.

Your courses will broadly address the areas of security, risk, and analysis, as well as more specific topics such as: 

  • social and legal issues as they relate to security, particularly identity theft and social engineering 
  • risk analysis and risk mitigation 
  • crime intelligence and forensics 
  • information warfare and assurance 
  • threats posed by terrorists and criminal activity, and strategies to combat those threats 
  • fundamentals of information security, security architectures and models, worms and viruses, and other Internet-secure applications 

Additionally, the course work addresses these questions: 

  • How can we use technology to organize and integrate human enterprises? 
  • How can technology help people and organizations adapt rapidly and creatively? 
  • What can we do about information overload? 

The online certificate in security and risk analysis is a five-course, 15-credit program of study. To earn this certificate, you must successfully complete each course with a grade of "C" or higher.

Prescribed Courses (12 credits)

  • 3

    The use, analysis, and design of information systems and technologies to organize, coordinate, and inform human enterprises.

  • 3

    This introductory course spans areas of security, risk, and analysis covering contexts in government agencies and business organizations.

  • 3

    Provides overview of nature, scope, and seriousness of threats to security as a result of terrorism and crime.

  • 3

    Provides an understanding of the overview of information security including security architecture, access control, and internet secure applications.

    • Prerequisite

      SRA 111 and (CMPSC 101 or IST 140 or CMPSC 121)

Prescribed Course (select 3 credits)

  • 3

    Fundamentals of computational thinking, including reasoning about problems at multiple levels of abstraction, and analyzing code for its behavior, efficiency, and correctness.

    • Prerequisite

      2 entrance units in mathematics

  • 3

    Introduction to programming techniques design and implementation of algorithms. Structured programming. Problem-solving techniques. Introduction to a high-level language, including arrays, procedures, and recursion

    • Prerequisite

      MATH 110 or prerequisite or concurrent MATH 140

  • 3

    A first course in concepts and skills for application development.

    • Prerequisite

      C or better in MATH 21 or placement above the level of Math 21 in the mathematics placement test.

    • Recommend preparation

      MATH 22

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 Career

A software engineer coding at a computer

Our government and private industry data-sharing infrastructures — connected both physically and digitally — face increased vulnerability. To address and prevent those vulnerabilities, governments and industries need qualified candidates to fill important positions.

Career Opportunities for Graduates

The certificate in SRA was designed so the skills learned can be applied to a variety of industries, including government, health care, financial services, criminal justice, and more. With the certificate in SRA, you can prepare for positions such as:

  • information security analyst
  • crime or forensic analyst
  • telecommunications engineering specialist
  • computer network support specialist

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 undergraduate certificate?

Apply by August 18 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

Undergraduate Tuition

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.

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?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$626 per credit$671 per credit
12–19$7,602 per semester$8,206 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

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?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$632 per credit$678 per credit
12–19$7,678 per semester$8,288 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

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.

Who Should Apply?

This online certificate is designed to give busy professionals the opportunity to quickly develop essential skills in the area of security and risk. The certificate is an excellent way to augment your existing skills, expand your career opportunities, or change careers altogether. 

Head Start toward a 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 bachelor’s degree.

This certificate is an excellent stand-alone credential, but if you choose to continue your education, credits in this program can often be applied toward either an Associate in Science in or a Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences and Technology from Penn State. Contact an academic adviser for more information.

Develop practical IT skills through hands-on projects and an internship. This online degree program is designed for working professionals without formal IT training who want to pursue a career in technology management.

Learn more about the Associate in Science in Information Sciences and Technology

This online bachelor’s IT degree program explores how we can strengthen the power of information and technology and use it to increase human potential. The course work focuses on creating innovative systems and technology solutions in a wide range of industries.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences and Technology

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 August 18 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 August 18 to start August 26
  • Spring Deadline

    Apply by December 22 to start January 13
  • Summer Deadline

    Apply by May 5, 2025, to start May 11, 2025

Steps to Apply

  1. To apply for this program, you must be a high school graduate, or have completed your GED.

  2. 2. Complete the application.

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, email [email protected] or call 814-865-1146.

Contact Us

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

For questions about admissions and applications, please contact World Campus Central:

World Campus Central
Phone: 814-865-1146
[email protected]

Learn from the Best

Learn from expert faculty who are leaders in the field. Our courses are taught by distinguished faculty who have special training and experience teaching in an online environment. You can expect the same caliber of academic quality that you associate with Penn State.


  • 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.

  • Megan Costello

    • Degree
      J.D., University of New Hampshire
    • Degree
      B.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.

  • James (Jim) Farrugia

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Spatial Information Science and Engineering, University of Maine
    • Degree
      M.S., Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • Degree
      B.A., Mathematics, East Stroudsburg University

    Dr. James (Jim) Farrugia is an assistant teaching professor of information sciences and technology. His areas of interest include programming, software development, data synthesis, and design and development.

  • Marc Friedenberg

    • Degree
      J.D., Columbia Law School
    • Degree
      M.S., Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.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.

  • Katherine Hamilton

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Penn State
    • Degree
      M.S., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.A., Psychology, Florida International University

    Dr. Katherine Hamilton, an assistant teaching professor of information sciences and technology, teaches statistics and research methods. She conducts research on team effectiveness, particularly in the areas of virtual teams, team cognition, and team conflict.

  • Steven Haynes

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Information Systems, London School of Economics
    • Degree
      M.S., Information Systems, London School of Economics
    • Degree
      B.S., Management Information Systems, University of Massachusetts

    Dr. Steven Haynes worked at Apple Computer, Adobe Systems, and several start-up software companies in the United States and Europe prior to undertaking his doctoral studies. He has been involved in the development of commercial and custom software solutions as a programmer, designer, analyst, and application development project manager.

  • David M. Hozza

    • Degree
      MPS, Information Sciences (Cybersecurity), Penn State
    • Degree
      B.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

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.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.

  • Jeffrey Rimland

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Information Sciences, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.S., Computer Science, Penn State

    Dr. Jeffrey Rimland is an assistant teaching professor of information sciences and technology. His areas of interest are software development, vocal synthesis techniques, information fusion, assistive mobile device technology, and human-centric information.

  • Maryam Roshanaei

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Computer Networks, Kingston University London
    • Degree
      B.Sc., Joint Honor Degree in Mathematics and Computing, Kingston University London

    Dr. Maryam Roshanaei is an assistant professor of cybersecurity and IST at Penn State Abington. She teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in security and risk analysis, information security and cybersecurity, mobile technologies, and digital forensics and crime. She is an active researcher with expertise in AI, cyber trust, cyber hygiene, critical infrastructure protection, future networks (FN), cybersecurity, digital forensics and crime, Internet privacy, and surveillance. She is an active member of BSI, ISO, and ITU-T standards committees.

  • Don Shemanski

    • Degree
      J.D., Georgetown University
    • Degree
      B.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.

  • Greg Thomas

    • Degree
      Ph.D., Administration and Leadership Studies, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
    • Degree
      MPA, Penn State
    • Degree
      B.S., Criminal Justice, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

    Dr. Greg Thomas has more than 25 years of hands-on law enforcement and educational experience in intelligence. He has developed operational intelligence concerning criminal activities and selected, trained, and supervised analysts in a criminal intelligence center. He has extensive experience teaching intelligence and analytical techniques to college students as well as intelligence analysts and law enforcement personnel.

  • Steve Tomasko

    • Degree
      M.S., IT, Capella University
    • Degree
      B.S., Professional Studies, Mount Aloysius College
    • Degree
      A.A.S., Electronics Technology, Penn Highlands Community College

    Steve Tomasko has spent more than 29 years working in networking, communications, program management, and cybersecurity. He has dozens of professional certifications in these fields. His experience includes many years of cybersecurity research in support of the DoD and IC. His current professional work and research focus on cybersecurity for 5G and satellite systems.


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

Apply by August 18 to start August 26. How to Apply