The Bachelor of Science in Security and Risk Analysis is intended to familiarize you with the general frameworks and multidisciplinary theories that define the area of security and related risk analyses. Courses in the major will engage you in the challenges and problems associated with assuring information confidentiality and integrity (e.g., social, economic, technology-related, and policy issues), as well as the strengths and weaknesses of various methods for assessing and mitigating associated risk. 

To acquire the B.S. in SRA, you are required to successfully complete a minimum of 120 credits, including:

  • 77–85 requirements for the major credits (47–49 credits are common requirements; the remaining 30–36 credits are required for the Information and Cyber Security option)
  • 45 General Education credits (15 of the 45 credits are included in the prescribed, additional, or supporting requirements for the major)
  • 5–13 elective 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.

Course List - Bachelor of Science in Security and Risk Analysis 

A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better in all courses required for the major.

Requirements for the Major (77–85 credits)

(This includes 15 credits of General Education courses: 6 credits of GQ courses; 6 credits of GS courses; 3 credits of GWS courses, 3 credits of GH, and 4 credits of GN courses)

Prescribed Courses (26 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Information, People, and Technology IST 110 The use, analysis, and design of information systems and technologies to organize, coordinate, and inform human enterprises. 3 credits
Organization of Data IST 210 Introduction to the concept of databases, including the storage, manipulation, evaluation, and display of data, and related issues. 3 credits
Legal and Regulatory Environment of Information Science and Technology IST 432 Legal environment of information technology, constitutional/political issues, intellectual property, management, e-commerce, privacy, access, computer contracting, cyberspace regulation.

Prerequisite: IST 301 or SRA 231
3 credits
Internship IST 495 Supervised off-campus, nongroup instruction including field experiences, practica, or internships. Written and oral critique of activity required.

Prerequisite: prior approval of proposed assignment by instructor

Internships provide valuable experience for students; however, we recognize that situations vary and some students, due to work or other commitments, are unable to adjust their schedules. You are encouraged to contact your adviser to make arrangements for suitable activities in lieu of an internship.
1 credit
Introduction to Security and Risk Analysis SRA 111 This introductory course spans areas of security, risk, and analysis covering contexts in government agencies and business organizations. 3 credits
Threat of Terrorism and Crime SRA 211 Provides overview of nature, scope, and seriousness of threats to security as a result of terrorism and crime.

Prerequisite: SRA 111
3 credits
Overview of Information Security SRA 221 Provides an understanding of the overview of information security including security architecture, access control, and internet secure applications.

Prerequisite: SRA 111, IST 110; CMPSC 101 or IST 140 or CMPSC 121
3 credits
Decision Theory and Analysis SRA 231 Provides an overview of decision theoretical and analytical concepts and tools in the security risk analysis field.

Prerequisite: SRA 211, STAT 200
3 credits
Elementary Statistics STAT 200 Descriptive statistics, frequency distributions, probability, binomial and normal distributions, statistical inference, linear regression, and correlation.

Prerequisite: 2 units of algebra
4 credits

Additional Courses (21–23 credits)

Additional Writing Courses (select 3 credits)
Title Abbreviation Credits
Effective Writing: Technical Writing ENGL 202C 3 credits
Effective Writing: Business Writing ENGL 202D 3 credits
Additional PSYCH/SOC Courses (select 3 credits)
Title Abbreviation Credits
Introductory Psychology PSYCH 100 3 credits
Social Problems SOC 5 3 credits
Additional Economics Courses (select 3 credits)
Title Abbreviation Credits
Economic Principles of Agribusiness Decision Making AGBM 101 3 credits
Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy ECON 102 (formerly ECON 002) 3 credits
Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy ECON 104 3 credits
Additional Math Courses (select 3-5 credits)
Title Abbreviation Credits
College Algebra II and Analytic Geometry MATH 22 3 credits
Plane Trigonometry MATH 26 3 credits
Techniques of Calculus I MATH 110 4 credits
Calculus With Analytic Geometry I MATH 140 4 credits
Additional GEOG or PL SC Courses (Select 3 credits)
Title Abbreviation Credits
Geography of International Affairs GEOG 128 3 credits
Introduction to American National Government PL SC 001 3 credits
International Relations PL SC 14 3 credits
Additional Statistics Courses (select 3 credits)
Title Abbreviation Credits
Statistics for Security and Risk Analysis

SRA 365

Prerequisite: STAT 200

3 credits
Intermediate Applied Statistics

STAT 460

Prerequisite: STAT 200, STAT 240, STAT 250, STAT 301, or STAT 401

3 credits
Additional Programming Courses (Select 3 credits)
Title Abbreviation Credits
Introduction to Application Development IST 140 3 credits

Introduction to Programming


3 credits
Introduction to Programming Techniques CMPSC 121 3 credits

Requirements for the Option (30 credits)

Requirements for the Information and Cybersecurity Option (27 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Networking and Telecommunications IST 220 Introduction to digital network topologies: transmission media, signal modulation, digital packet switching and routing, systems integration, communications management, and security.

Prerequisite: IST 110
3 credits
Risk Analysis in a Security Context SRA 311 Assessment and mitigation of security vulnerabilities for people, organizations, industry sectors, and the nation.

Prerequisite: SRA 231
3 credits
Network Security IST 451 Fundamental issues and concepts of network security, network security technologies and protocols, and emerging technologies in network security.

Prerequisite A grade of "C" or better is required in: IST 220 and SRA 221
3 credits
Computer and Cyber Forensics IST 454 Fundamental issues and concepts of computer forensics; aspects of computer and cyber crime; methods to uncover, protect, exploit, and document digital evidence; tools, techniques, and procedure to perform computer and cyber crime investigation.

Prerequisite: A grade of "C" or better is required in: IST 220 and SRA 221
3 credits
Information Security Management IST 456 Contemporary Security Issues; security management processes, architecture and models; risk analysis and management; security planning, analysis and safeguards; security policies development and administration; contingency planning, incidence handling and response; and security standards and certification processes.

Prerequisite: A grade of "C" or better is required in: IST 220 and SRA 221
3 credits
Supporting Courses and Related Areas TBD Choose from college-approved list in consultation with an adviser. At least 3 credits must be at the 400-level. 12 credits
Additional courses for the Information and Cybersecurity Option (select 3 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Information Sciences and Technology Integration and Problem Solving IST 440
Problem-based approach to technology integration by focusing on real-life problems faced by an organization.

Prerequisite: ENGL 202C or ENGL 202D seventh-semester standing (this course is intended for seniors)

3 credits
Security and Risk Analysis Capstone Course SRA 440W The Security and Risk Analysis Capstone course is designed to provide IST students enrolled in the SRA major to experience a semester-long security and risk problem-solving experience, providing realistic security dilemmas requiring a solution process that is well suited for teamwork and collaboration.

Prerequisite: SRA 221 and SRA 311; ENGL 202C or ENGL 202D seventh-semester standing (this course is intended for seniors) and the five common course requirements plus at least three of the required courses in an option 
3 credits

General Education and Elective Requirements (45 credits)

General Education (45 credits**)
Description Credits
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
Quantification – GQ* 6 credits
Integrative Students (6 credits)***

*A student enrolled in this course must receive a grade of C or better.

**15 credits are included in the requirements for the major.

***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. 

Electives (5–13 credits)
You can choose your electives from the World Campus Course Catalog.


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.