The cybersecurity program is designed for students who seek to defend against cyber threats in industry and public service. Cybersecurity majors are trained to be the “good guys,” defending individuals, customers, and the public against today’s ever present cyberattacks. Courses familiarize students with information assurance, server and network environments, cryptography, cyber-related public policy, and cyberwarfare. Majors in cybersecurity typically pursue careers in industry for a wide variety of companies, in a security operations center, or in local, state, or federal government service.
This is an interdisciplinary major that emphasizes hands-on experiential learning by incorporating cybersecurity tools throughout the courses. The core concepts are taught in an applied environment, allowing students to immediately see the applications of the material that they are learning.
Why is our cybersecurity major right for you?
- Our program is interdisciplinary, designed to produce graduates with not only the best technical skills, but also a deep understanding of the national security landscape of attacks, as well as excellent communication skills due to a liberal arts education.
- The curriculum is aligned with the NSF’s Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education guidelines.
- The cybersecurity major at Anderson University is intentionally designed to cover all five of the Core Technical Knowledge Units as well as all five of the Core Non-Technical Knowledge Units, with other interdisciplinary topics included. Most other universities focus on EITHER the technical core OR the non-technical core. Our interdisciplinary curriculum is distinctive in that it covers both areas.
- Our program develops a strong foundation of professional ethics from a Christian faith perspective. People working in the security/intelligence field have the ability to profoundly affect people’s lives; we need graduates who recognize this responsibility and do their jobs ethically and with integrity.
Our program has amazing resources. The AU National Security Fellows program, established by President John Pistole, former Deputy Director of the FBI and Director of the TSA, provides our majors with a Beltway experience in Central Indiana, connecting students with leaders in the National Security field. The Cybersecurity Engineering Lab was established through the support of Ascension Technologies, Integration Partners, Extreme Networks, and Dell EMC. This facility allows students to gain hands-on experience with top of the line servers, routers, and switches.
Start your AU story
Complete your cybersecurity degree in 3 or 4 years.
The cybersecurity major can also be paired with other majors as a double major over 4 years, including Computer Science, Criminal Justice, National Security Studies, and Accounting. It can also be paired with complementary majors in Business Administration or Computer Science.
What courses will I take?
- introduction to cybersecurity and national security studies
- system administration
- homeland security
- intelligence and security studies
- applied cryptography and security
- computer networks and network security
- ethics and morality for professionals
The 56-hour BA in Cybersecurity includes 8-9 credit hours of interdisciplinary electives, chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor to best prepare the student for their desired career path.
What kind of jobs can I anticipate after graduation?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cybersecurity job growth is projected to be 28% for 2016-2026, much faster than the average for computer occupations (13%) or the average for all occupations (7%). The (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study states that there is a shortage of cybersecurity professionals of approximately 3 million globally, with nearly half a million openings in North America.
With a degree in cybersecurity, you can work in positions such as penetration tester, cybersecurity consultant, security analyst, cybersecurity engineer, and other jobs in the areas of cyberdefense, information assurance, server and network administration, and cyber-related public policy. Majors in cybersecurity typically pursue careers in industry for a wide variety of companies, in a security operations center, or in local, state, or federal government service.
Tech talks provide a glimpse of industry and research to our undergraduate students. We bring in 5-6 guest speakers per semester in areas related to computer science and cybersecurity.
Fall semester tech talks included:
● Jim Ostrognai, VP of Engineering, Salesforce, "LifeHacks (Things I wish someone would have told me when I was at AU)"
● Bob Huba, Former System Security Architect and team lead for the Security Incident Response Team at Emerson Automation Solutions, "Critical Infrastructure CyberSecurity - Using the internet to make things go boom"
● James Weaver, Quantum Developer Advocate, IBM, "Quantum Party Tricks: An entertaining introduction to quantum computing"
● And presentations of their internship work by interns working at our on-campus internship centers: Genesys and the Ontario Systems CUBE, which are located on the 3rd floor of Decker Hall.
National Security Studies Fellows
The Anderson University National Security Studies Fellows connects students to professionals with current or recent experience in national security who visit campus, network with students, and provide insight to classroom study.
The Situation Room gives students classroom space to respond to mock crises and a video conferencing setup to allow more opportunities to hear from National Security Studies Fellows and other experts. The generous donor for this project is Charles R. Carroll ‘77, senior vice president for Identity Services and NorAm at IDEMIA.
National Security Studies Fellows
- Matthew Olsen: American prosecutor and the former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Born in Fargo, North Dakota, Olsen is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Harvard Law School
- Lloyd Rowland: Appointed in 2006 as the Deputy Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) after serving in numerous leadership positions throughout NGA. Rowland is a 24-year veteran of the United States Air Force, and now is a private national security consultant.
- David Shedd: Retired U.S. intelligence officer whose final post was acting Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He also served in senior positions in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and at the White House.
- Juan Zarate: Senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, chairman and cofounder of the Financial Integrity Network, and a visiting lecturer in law at the Harvard Law School. Zarate served as the deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for combating terrorism from 2005-2009. Zarate is a former federal prosecutor who served on terrorism prosecution teams prior to 9/11.
Security Guest Speaker Series
- Eric Holder, former U.S. Attorney General (Video)
- John Brennan, former director of CIA
- Matthew Olsen, former director of National Counterterrorism
- Robert Mueller, former director of the FBI
- James Clapper, former director of National Intelligence
- Alice Hill, senior director for Resiliency, National Security Council (Video)
- Representative Pete Hoekstra, former House Intelligence Committee Chair
- Alejandro Mayorkas, deputy secretary of Homeland Security
- Chuck Rosenberg, acting administrator for the Drug Enforcement Agency
- Dr. Paul Stockton, managing director of Sonecon and former Assistant Secretary of Defense
Each student is required to have a reliable laptop capable of running computer science software (provided by the university) such as Microsoft Visual Studio, JetBrains IDEs, Wireshark, and other software compilers and related programs.
The following minimum requirements for a laptop are strongly recommended:
Operating system options:
- Windows 10+ (64 bit)
- Mac OS X
Note that virtual machines using VirtualBox, Bootcamp, or other VM software can be used when necessary to access software designed for a different operating system. The department can assist students in setting up virtual machines.
- RAM: 8 GB (16 GB recommended)
- CPU: modern 64 bit processor such as i5 or i7 with at least two physical cores
- Storage capacity: 200 GB (400 GB for Mac or Linux operating systems because students will need to create a 200 GB partition for Windows)
- Connectivity: 2x USB2 or USB3 ports and 1000 Base-T ethernet (adaptors acceptable for both)
- WiFi (IEEE 802.11n with WPA2)
- Graphics card needs to support at least one external display via HDMI (preferred) or VGA (adaptor acceptable) to be able to use the classroom projectors for presentations.
Note that these requirements can change without notice (but within reason) due to changes in the system requirements from the vendors of the software used within the major. The minimum cost for a new Windows machine that meets the requirements is approximately $900 and for a Mac it is approximately $1500. About half the students use Mac and the other half use Windows, plus a few Linux users.
Facilities and Extracurricular Activities
Earn Your Master's in 4 Years
Accelerate your career
Want to earn both your bachelors and masters degrees in just 4 years? Anderson University and Ball State University have an agreement to facilitate your accelerated program of study. You can earn your BA in Cybersecurity here at AU, and then transition to BSU to earn your Master’s of Science in Information and Communication Sciences. Most of our AU students gain placement in the BSU graduate assistantship program, which makes grad school tuition very affordable.