Computer and Network Security

Whether you want to uncover a security breach, follow a trail of illegal activity, or discover ways corporations and government can keep critical data more secure, St. Ambrose has the program for you.

Our graduates work at Booze, Allen, Hamilton and the National Security Agency.

Ambrose Advantages

  • Full Engagement
  • Hands-on Experience
  • A Comprehensive Education


students at computers

CS Classroom

Our faculty are up-to-date on technologies and innovations in computer and network security. They work side-by-side with you as you learn to translate theory, build technical proficiency, and apply your skills in computer science and criminal justice in the real-world.

Read Our Computer and Network Security Fact Sheet (pdf)

More Information on the Computer and Network Security Program

What will I learn?

Our curriculum focuses on computer science and criminal justice, giving you the skills to recover lost or deleted data, identify a timeline of illegal activities, and perform an in-depth investigation when a server is compromised.

Courses include programming; network and data communications; forensics; legal and ethical issues; law enforcement; law procedure; evidence; and investigation.

Internships give you quality, hands-on experience. SAU students have worked side-by-side with network, technology, and security experts at a number of regional and national corporations, including the National Security Administration, Deere & Company, Arconic (formerly Alcoa), and Genesis Health Systems.

If you want to pursue an advanced degree, you'll be exceedingly prepared for graduate school, and many choose to continue their education at SAU. Our Master of Science in Information Technology Management prepares IT professionals to effectively analyze, create, and manage information systems that meet the needs of your organization.

What are some possible job outcomes?

As a security analyst, your job is to prevent data breaches, protect information stored on a system, and create new solutions to prevent future attacks. Computer and network security graduates also work in digital investigations and forensics.

In this age of cyber attacks, hacking, and database infiltration, computer and network security is critical. The field is expected to add almost 15,000 jobs by 2025, and your educational investment will pay off. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the annual median wage is about $90,000 (2016).

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Computer and Network Security

CIS Department majors/minors must pass CSCI 140 and CSCI 270 with a C or better.

Computer and Network Security Courses (24 credits):
CSCI 140 Foundations of Computer Science
CSCI 185 Script Programming
CSCI 270 Networks and Data Communications
CSCI 365 TCP/IP Fundamental
CSCI 375 Network Forensics
CSCI 415 Computer and Network Security
CSCI 425 Computer Forensics
CSCI 435 Legal and Ethical Issues in Computing

Criminal Justice Courses (15 credits):
CRJU 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice
CRJU 102 Introduction to Law Enforcement
CRJU 221 Criminal Law and Procedure
CRJU 342 Criminal Evidence and Investigation
CRJU 411 The Constitution and Criminal Justice

Select from the following electives (6 credits):
CSCI 281 Discrete Structures
CSCI 450 Network Operating System Topics (may be repeated with different topic)
CSCI 480 Special Topics in Computer Science
CSCI 490 Independent Study in Computer Science
CSCI 499 Internship in Computer Science

Read course descriptions in the online Course Catalog

Minor in Computer and Network Security (24 credits)

CIS Department majors/minors must pass CSCI 140 and CSCI 270 with a C or better.

Computer and Network Security Courses:
CSCI 140 Foundations of Computer Science
CSCI 270 Networks and Data Communication
CSCI 365 TCP/IP Fundamentals
CSCI 375 Network Forensics
CSCI 415 Computer and Network Security
CSCI 425 Computer Forensics
WI-CSCI 435 Legal and Ethical Issues in Computing

Select one of the following courses:
CSCI 185 Script Programming
CSCI 450 Network Operating System Topics (may be repeated with different topic)
*CSCI 480 Special Topics in Computer Science
*CSCI 490 Independent Study in Computer Science
*CSCI 499 Internship in Computer Science

*Applicable only if security-related.

Recommended Electives:
CRJU 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice
CRJU 221 Criminal Law and Procedure

NOTE: CNA majors must complete at least three courses (9 credit hours) above the CNA major to receive the CNS minor.

Click here to read course descriptions for Computer and Network Security

Plan to Graduate

This is the suggested plan of study to graduate in four years with a degree in Computer and Network Security. This plan assumes the student has not satisfied the foreign language requirement (three years of foreign language in high school).

Year One

†CSCI 140 Foundations of Comp. Sci. 3 †CSCI 270 3
CSCI 101 3 Humanities 3
†COMM 129 Intro to Public Speaking 3 IL 101 Information Literacy 1
†ENGL 101 English Composition 3 KIN 149 Wellness Concepts 1
Creative Arts 3 PHIL 100/200 Level 3
Natural Science 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 14

Year Two

CRJU 101 Intro to Criminal Justice 3 CRJU 221 Criminal Law & Procedure 3 CRJU 101
CSCI 185 3 CSCI 450 3 CSCI 270
THEO 100-200 Level 3 Elective, non-CIS 3
Foreign Language 101 3 Foreign Language 102 3
KIN Activity 1-2 THEO, PHIL, Catholic Studies, Justice 3
Elective, non-CIS 3
Total Credits 16-17 Total Credits 15

Year Three

CSCI 365 3 †CSCI 270 ‡CSCI 450 or CSCI 499 3 †CSCI 270
CRJU 102 3 CSCI 415 3 †CSCI 140 and CSCI 281
CRJU 411 3 Electives 6
Electives 6 Electives, non-CIS 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Four

CSCI 425 3 †CSCI 270 CSCI 375 3 CSCI 365
WI-CSCI 435 3 †ENGL 101 and
Jr. or Sr. Standing
CRJU 342 3 CRJU 101
# Humanities 3 Elective, non-CIS 3
THEO/PHIL/CATH 300+level 3 Electives 6
Elective 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

WI=writing intensive
† CIS Department majors/minors must pass this course with a C or better
‡ This course may be repeated for credit provided the programming language is not repeated
# Must be taken from two different departments


Scholarships and Grants

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

Institutional scholarships (2018-19)

To receive an institutional grant or scholarship students must meet specific criteria, and some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible. There is no need to apply for these; students automatically are eligible if they meet the criteria.

The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Ambrose Scholar
For First Year, on-campus residents only. Straight As on high school transcript and a minimum 30 ACT score. Applicants who meet Ambrose Scholar criteria will be invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship for $@{17-18-Tuition}.

Trustee Scholar
$22,000/year - For First-year, on-campus residents only. Unweighted 3.8 GPA, 28+ACT. May be offset by state and/or federal aid if eligible.

Academic Scholarship
$14,000-17,000/year - Based on GPA and ACT/SAT score

University Grant
$12,000/year - Based on high school GPA and ACT/SAT score

Additional Awards

If you want to apply for any of the scholarships below, contact the Admissions Office.

Fine Arts Scholarships
Award based on performance and ability in art, music, or theatre. Includes the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required.

Athletics Scholarships
Award varies. Based on performance and ability. Marching Band scholarships available. See below.

Freeman Pollard Minority Scholarship
$1,000 for on-campus students; $500 for off-campus. For accepted minority students.

Diocese of Davenport Catholic Parish Scholarship
Award varies. For First Year students only who are recommended by their parish pastor in the Diocese of Davenport. Recommendation to be completed by your pastor available here (pdf).

Father Welch Alumni Scholarship
$1,000/year. For on-campus students only whose parent is a St. Ambrose graduate.

Athletic Scholarships

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) awards millions of dollars annually to student-athletes at more than 250 colleges and universities. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at

Award Terms

FAFSA forms must be filed every year.

  • To be considered for an Iowa Tuition Grant, the filing deadline is July 1.
  • The St. Ambrose priority deadline is March 15 for some institutional funds. 
  • The Financial Aid Office has the right to adjust your award at any time due to changes in your financial, academic, enrollment, or housing status. 
  • Awards offered from State and Federal programs are contingent upon legislative allocation of funds and maximum limits allowed.
  • You must report any assistance you receive from outside sources – including assistance from your employer – to the Financial Aid Office.

Institutional Aid

Undergraduate level students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours per semester to receive Institutional money. All students, undergraduate or graduate, must be enrolled at least half-time per semester to be eligible for student loans. (Half-time for Undergraduate level = 6 credits; Graduate level = 5 credits)

There is no institutional aid for summer sessions. Federal Loans may be available if you are enrolled at least 1/2 time.

You are eligible for institutional financial aid for up to eight semesters, including semesters taken at other schools, before or after time spent at the university (i.e. if you transfer in as a junior, you will receive 4 semesters of institutional aid; or you attended St. Ambrose, left to attend another school, and then returned). This means that if you continue into a fifth year of classes, you will not be eligible for any institutional funds you may have received previously. (Institutional funds are those awarded by the university, not state, federal, or outside based scholarships or grants.)


All financial aid awards, including loans, are disbursed in two disbursements: one for the fall term and one for the spring term. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. Once the loan funds have been applied to your account and if you have awards in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. Any other questions regarding your financial aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office.

Work Study

If you are receiving assistance under the work study program, you must understand that the amount shown on your award letter is the amount we expect you to earn during one academic year if you work all your allotted hours. Any additional earnings must be approved by your department supervisor and taken into consideration in your financial award package.

Endowed Scholarships

Part of the financial aid funds that St. Ambrose awards come from monies provided through the generous support of St. Ambrose University benefactors. Most endowed scholarships are meant to provide financial support for St. Ambrose University's academic and need based awards. Due to this, in some cases you may see a portion of your Academic Scholarship, for example, being replaced by a named endowed scholarship. The total dollar amount you receive between the two awards, however, will remain unchanged.

Recipients are chosen based on the criteria established by the donor, which include, but are not limited to: major, class rank, GPA, performance in a fine art, or residency. You may be contacted by the Advancement Office to write a thank you letter to the donor.

What happens if I withdraw or need to drop a class?

  • If you drop a class, it may affect the amount of aid you can receive. It is very important to visit your Financial Aid counselor if you are planning on dropping a class.
  • If you are going to withdraw completely from all your classes, your financial aid awards will be prorated according to the amount of time you were actually enrolled. It is possible that you may end up owing the University for a portion of your expenses incurred.
  • More information regarding this policy is available in the University catalog.
  • Please contact your Financial Aid counselor if you are considering dropping classes or withdrawing from the University.

Apply Visit Info


Kevin Lillis, PhD, Chairperson

Computer and Information Sciences
Ambrose Hall 429
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

So, what's next?

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