Cybersecurity


Massive data breaches or dangerous cyber attacks are becoming more frequent. Why not fight on the front line in defense of cybersecurity and data integrity? The St. Ambrose Cybersecurity program, one of eight foundational members of the Facebook Info Security program, will prepare you for this mission.

Our tenacious faculty stay versed on the latest tools and trends and built a strong curriculum to provide the tools, skills, and resolve you'll need to win the day (plus a great job.)

You can also earn degrees in Computer Science and Computer Network Administration. And our 4+1 program allows you to earn your undergraduate degree and a Master of Science in Information Technology Management in five years, saving you time and tuition.

Our graduates work at Booz Allen Hamilton, National Security Agency, RSM McGladrey, John Deere, and others.


Ambrose Advantages

  • Hands-On Learning and Internships
  • Facebook Info Security Program
  • Engaged Classmates and Student-Focused Faculty
  • Faculty With Backgrounds in Cybersecurity Research

professor with students

student using computer

CS Classroom

Our cybersecurity faculty have a background in industry research and will work side-by-side with you as you translate theory, build technical proficiency, and practice the latest techniques in cyber attack prevention.

Read Our Cybersecurity Fact Sheet (pdf)


Worker Bee
Tim Yara '18

Tim is living his dream. It wasn't always easy, but at SAU, he never journeyed alone. Today he is an enterprise systems engineer for SAP, a leading global software company.


More Information on the Cybersecurity Program

What will I learn?

Our curriculum focuses on computer science and criminal justice, giving you 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. Courses from the other computer majors – Network Administration and Computer Science – can complement your Cybersecurity degree.

Facebook's Info Security program sanctions SAU to teach a hands-on cybersecurity class developed by CodePath, and we are one of only eight college and university science programs across the U.S. to offer this unique opportunity. There's also a special topics course on creating new kinds of code to defeat hackers.

Beyond invaluable professional training, the Facebook Info Security Program is an opportunity to participate in all-expense paid trips to several of the biggest cyber conferences with many of the world's largest digital corporations. More significantly, students who excel in the CodePath course can earn front-of-the-line access to internships with Facebook itself.

Click here to read a story about why SAU was chosen and how this unique opportunity benefits you.

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. In fact, you will have your pick at regional internships since they often have more positions available than students.

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. Our 4+1 program allows you to earn both degrees in five years, saving you time and tuition. 

All of our programs are strengthened by our CIS Alumni Advisory Council. These 15 alumni are well-established, successful IT professionals and industry leaders from across the U.S., and they are invested in the university and care about our students. They provide input and feedback on our curriculum and advise us on industry trends, which helps ensure your education is relevant, strong, and gives you the skills to succeed now and in the future.

What are some possible job outcomes?

A leading info security advisory firm predicts there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021. The same firm predicts the global cost of cybercrime will reach $6 trillion, doubling the cost in 2015. You are ethical, tenacious, and smart. You are needed!

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. Cybersecurity graduates also work in digital investigations and forensics.

In this age of cyber attacks, hacking, and database infiltration, cybersecurity is critical for nearly every kind of company.

What are alumni doing today?

Timothy Yara '18 is an enterprise systems engineer for SAP, a leading global software company. "SAU offers outstanding majors that are specifically driven to the technology field," Tim said. "Within the industry, you will be using the skills you learn in the courses. That's what helped me get where I am today, working for the leading software company in the world."

David Bloom '08 is a software engineer at Apple, Inc., and previously has worked for Cue and Google. As an undergraduate at St. Ambrose, he found himself searching for glitches in programming, and one discovery led to an internship at Google, which ultimately led to a job. He also interned overseas at Opera, one of the oldest internet browser services.

Faculty

Kevin Lillis, PhD, Chair and Professor

Gary Monnard, PhD, Professor
Ning Zhang, PhD, Assistant Professor

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Cybersecurity

All courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

CIS Department majors/minors must pass CSCI 140, 250, and 270 with a C or better.

Required Computer and Network Security courses (30 credits):
CSCI 140 Foundations of Computer Science
CSCI 185 Script Programming
CSCI 250 Introduction to Cybersecurity
CSCI 270 Networks and Data Communications
CSCI 365 TCP/IP Fundamentals
CSCI 375 Network Forensics
CSCI 415 Computer and Network Security
CSCI 425 Computer Forensics
CSCI 435 Legal and Ethical Issues in Computing
CSCI 475 Capstone Seminar

Required Criminal Justice courses (9 credits):
CRJU 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice
CRJU 221 Criminal Law and Procedure
CRJU 342 Criminal Evidence and Investigation

Choose two (6 credits):
CSCI 281 Discrete Structures
CSCI 335 Cybersecurity and Hacking
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

Exit Survey
During the last semester before graduation, Cybersecurity majors are required to complete a CIS Department Undergraduate Exit Survey.

Read course descriptions in the online Course Catalog

Plan to Graduate

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

Year One

FallCreditSpringCredit
†CSCI 140 Foundations of Comp. Sci. 3 †CSCI 270 Networks and Data Comm 3
CSCI 250 Intro to Cybersecurity 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

FallCreditSpringCredit
CRJU 101 Intro to Criminal Justice 3 *CRJU 221 Criminal Law & Procedure 3
CSCI 185 Script Programming 3 *CSCI 450 Network Operating System Topics 3
THEO 100-200 Level 3 Elective 3
Foreign Language 101 3 Foreign Language 102 3
KIN Activity 1 THEO, PHIL, Catholic Studies, Justice 3
*CSCI 499 Internship 3
Total Credits 16 Total Credits 15

Year Three

FallCreditSpringCredit
*CSCI 365 TCP/IP Fundamentals 3 *CSCI 415 Computer and Network Security 3
*CSCI 335 CodePath Cybersecurity and Hacking 3 THEO/PHIL/CathStudies/Justice 300-400 level 3
WI-Course, non-CIS 3 Electives 9
Electives 6
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Four

FallCreditSpringCredit
*CSCI 425 Computer Forensics 3 *CSCI 375 Network Forensics 3
*WI-CSCI 435 Legal and Ethical Issues in Computing 3 *CRJU 342 Criminal Evidence and Investigation 3
# Humanities 3 *CSCI 475 Capstone Seminar 3
Elective, non-CIS 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
# Must be taken from two different departments
* Needs Prerequisite

Minor in Cybersecurity (24 credits)

CIS Department majors/minors must pass CSCI 140, 250, and 270 with a C or better.

Required Computer and Network Security Courses (21 credits):
CSCI 140 Foundations of Computer Science
CSCI 250 Intro to Cybersecurity
CSCI 270 Networks and Data Communication
CSCI 365 TCP/IP Fundamentals
CSCI 375 Network Forensics
CSCI 415 Computer and Network Security
WI-CSCI 435 Legal and Ethical Issues in Computing

Choose one (3 credits):
CSCI 185 Script Programming
CSCI 425 Computer Forensics
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 Cybersecurity minor.

Click here to read course descriptions for Cybersecurity

MSITM 4+1

The MSITM 4+1 is an accelerated program that allows you to earn your undergraduate and advanced degree in only five years, saving your time and money. You can start earning credits toward the MSITM your junior year and up to 18 graduate credits may be applied to both the undergraduate and graduate degree requirements.

Admission Requirements

You can apply to the MSITM program in the spring of your sophomore year. Accepted students will be allowed to register for MSITM graduate classes the following semester. Current St. Ambrose students, as well as new transfer students, are eligible to apply provided they have met the following:

  • Currently enrolled at St. Ambrose University as a CS, Cybersecurity, or CNA major
  • Have a faculty advisor from the Department of Computer and Information Sciences
  • Will have completed 60 credit hours by the end of the term in which the application is submitted
  • Have a GPA of 3.2 or greater

Academic Performance

If you earn a "C" in any graduate course, or your cumulative GPA drops below a 3.0, you'll be required to meet with your academic advisor and the MSITM program director to evaluate your standing in the program and plan of study.

Course Restrictions

The following pairs of graduate/undergraduate courses include content that overlaps significantly and cannot both be taken for undergraduate credit:

  • CSCI 300 Systems Analysis and Design
  • CSCI 600 Systems Analysis in the Enterprise
  • CSCI 415 Computer and Network Security
  • CSCI 515 Computer and Network Security
  • CSCI 435 Legal and Ethical Issues in Computing
  • CSCI 640 Legal and Ethical Issues in Information Technology Management
  • CSCI 470 Advanced Computer Networks and Data Communications
  • CSCI 570 Advanced Computer Networks and Data Communications

Courses for Computer and Network Security majors:

Required Computer Network Security courses:

  • CSCI 140 Foundations of Computer Science
  • CSCI 185 Script Programming
  • CSCI 270 Networks and Data Communications
  • CSCI 365 TCP/IP Fundamentals
  • CSCI 375 Network Forensics
  • CSCI 415 Computer and Network Security (MSITM 4+1 students take CSCI 515 Computer and Network Security)
  • CSCI 425 Computer Forensics
  • WI-CSCI 435 Legal and Ethical Issues in Computing (MSITM 4+1 students take WI-CSCI 640 Legal and Ethical Issues in IT Management)

Required Criminal Justice courses:

  • 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

-- MSITM 4+1 students can substitute any 2 CSCI graduate courses for any two courses in this section.

Select six credits from the following electives:

  • 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

-- MSITM 4+1 students can take any 2 CSCI graduate courses to satisfy this section.

Ready to apply? Click here for the MSITM application.

Scholarships and Grants

First-Year

St. Ambrose offers excellent scholarships and grants, work-study and other financial aid options! Full-time students may be eligible based upon your strong academic performance in college, your talent in fine arts or athletics or your demonstrated financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code for the FAFSA is 001889.

First-Year Scholarships and Institutional Aid 2022-2023

There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria. The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using unweighted high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Please note, while St. Ambrose University has a test-optional admissions policy, standardized test scores are required for both admission to specific programs and/or eligibility for top academic scholarships. Scholarships and grants are renewable for four years of undergraduate study. 

Your scholarship will automatically renew each year of your undergraduate studies - up to four years - as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree, achieve certain GPA requirements (see below), and remain a full-time student. 

Download helpful PDFs of this information here: First-Year Iowa Resident or First-Year Out of State Resident


IOWA RESIDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

Iowa Resident On Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Trustee Scholar
Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score. Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA in successive years.
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for an Ambrose Scholar full-tuition award

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $15,000-$21,000/year

University Grant
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000/year

Iowa Resident On Campus Additional Institutional Aid

Ambrose Advantage
Criteria: Iowa resident, Federal Pell Grant eligible, 2022 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.5, admitted to SAU, and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15. To remain eligible in subsequent years, students must maintain 2.5 GPA and qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
Award: Full tuition

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

Menke Parish Scholarship
Criteria: Diocese of Davenport parishioner, additional application required
Award: $1,000/year



IOWA RESIDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Iowa Resident Off Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000-$16,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000/year

Iowa Resident Off Campus Additional Institutional Scholarships

Ambrose Advantage
Criteria: Iowa resident, Federal Pell Grant eligible, 2022 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.5, admitted to SAU, and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15. To remain eligible in subsequent years, students must maintain 2.5 GPA and qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
Award: Full tuition

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $500/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year



OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

Out of State On Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Trustee Scholar
Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score. Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA in successive years.
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for an Ambrose Scholar full-tuition award

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $17,000-$23,000/year

University Grant
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000/year

Out of State On Campus Additional Institutional Aid

Athletic Scholarships
Critieria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Critieria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

Menke Parish Scholarship
Criteria: Diocese of Davenport parishioner, additional application required
Award: $1,000/year



OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Out of State Off Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $14,000-$17,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000/year

Out of State Off Campus Additional Institutional Scholarships

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $500/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

State and Federal Grants, Work Study

Grants are money that you don't repay, and they can come from government or private sources. SAU receives all financial aid funds directly - including loans and grants - then applies them to your account: once in the fall term and once in the spring term. Grants can be used to cover your tuition, books, and housing costs. You must apply for grants each academic year. If you have any loan funds in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. For all of these grants, you must complete the Free Application Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1.


Iowa Tuition Grant
To be eligible for the Iowa Tuition Grant, you must be a resident of Iowa as defined by the State Board of Regents and currently enrolled or planning to enroll in an undergraduate degree program at an eligible Iowa college or university (SAU is eligible). Iowa College Aid administers need-based college financial aid for Iowans, such as the Iowa Tuition Grant. FAFSA deadline is July 1.
Award: $6,800

Federal Pell Grant
Awarded to students of the highest need based on how much your family can contribute to your education. The U.S. Department of Education sets a Expected Family Contribution (EFC) threshold. Then, when you file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), it computes where you land within that threshold and determines if you qualify for the grant and for how much.
Award: $6,345 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
To qualify, you must file a FAFSA by the priority deadline of March 15 and you must qualify for a Pell Grant. This grant is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to students who have submitted all required documents for review and in time for the review to be complete. If you are eligible for a Pell Grant or SEOG, the awards will appear on your financial aid award letter. Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study
Criteria: based on financial need. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $1,850

Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant 
Provides aid to students intending to teach in a high-need field at a school that serves low-income families (as determined by the U.S. Department of Education or a state education agency). Review criteria and all details here.
Award: up to $4,000

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.


Timothy Yara

Timothy Yara

Bachelor of Arts in Computer Network Administration and Computer Network Security,Enterprise Systems Engineer,Class of 2018


Tim is living his dream. It wasn't always easy, but at SAU, he never journeyed alone. Our faculty challenged him to examine every aspect of the field and build new skills, and they supported Tim when he struggled. His holistic education, drive, and academic success led to a highly-exclusive internship in Chicago and post-graduation, a full-time position. He is an enterprise systems engineer for SAP, a leading global software company.

See My Story

Apply Visit Info

Contact


Kevin Lillis, PhD, Chairperson

Computer and Information Sciences
Ambrose Hall 423
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-6429
LillisKevinM@sau.edu

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