Cybersecurity and Privacy

The Cybersecurity thread is where computing meets malicious actors who exploit it for nefarious purposes. This thread deals with securing computing systems against various kinds of threats. It instills a security mindset that focuses on threats people and systems may face, how their vulnerabilities may be exploited, and how to detect, prevent or mitigate attacks that target information systems. In addition to building technologies that provide improved security, students also learn the broader context for cybersecurity and privacy by understanding how they impact people, organizations and society.

The student who pursues the cybersecurity thread  can combine it with Information and Internetworks thread to build and manage real-world networked systems that enable access to sensitive information securely. It can be combined with Systems and Architecture thread to develop secure systems that resist, detect and mitigate attacks and respond to them. It can also be combined with the People thread to build human facing systems that must function securely. 

The new thread will be available later this summer with the release of the 2024-5 catalog.


Early Preparation

  • Data structures and programming skills
  • Computer organization
  • Basic Operating Systems and Communication Networks
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Basic Algorithms (e.g., sorting, searching) and Algorithmic techniques (e.g., greedy search, divide and conquer)
  • Probability and statistics


Knowledge Goals

  • Data security and data privacy
  • Threat modeling
  • Software security
  • Cryptographic protocols and their usage
  • Network and web security
  • Building trustworthy systems
  • Security strategies and policies
  • Privacy


Skills Outcomes

  • Able to apply threat modeling and examine systems in adversarial settings
  • Able to discover and address vulnerabilities in software, communication protocols, applications and services
  • Able to utilize cryptographic schemes to secure data in transit and during storage 

Required Courses:

  • CS 1301 Introduction to Computing and Programming, 3
  • CS 1331 Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming, 3
  • CS 1332 Data Structures and Algorithms, 3
  • CS 2050 or CS 2051 Introduction to Discrete Math for CS, 3
  • CS 2110 Computing Organization and Programming, 4
  • CS 2200 Computer Systems and Networks, 4
  • CS 2340 Objects and Design, 3
  • CS 3235 Introduction to Information Security, 3
  • CS 3237 Human Dimension of Cybersecurity: People, Organizations, Societies, 3

 Pick 3 of Society and Systems

  • CS 4117 Introduction to Malware Reverse Engineering, 4
  • CS 4238 Computer Systems Security, 3
  • CS 4239 Enterprise Cybersecurity Management, 3
  • CS 4262 Network Security, 3
  • CS 4263 Psychology of Cybersecurity, 3
  • CS 4265 Technical Introduction to Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, 3
  • CS 4267 Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience, 3
  • CS 4725 Information Security Strategies and Policies, 3
  • CS 4726 Privacy Technology, Policy and Law, 3

Elective Courses: 

Free Electives (6 hours)