This major prepares students to assess the security needs of computer and network systems, recommend safeguard solutions, and manage the implementation and maintenance of security devices, systems, and procedures. The curriculum includes instruction in programming, databases, and systems analysis; networking; cryptography; penetration testing and network defense, security system design; applicable law and regulations; risk assessment and policy analysis; contingency planning; user access issues; investigation techniques; and troubleshooting. This program was developed to meet the curricular recommendations for the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense (IA/CD) Education, a joint effort of the NSA and DHS.
About the curriculum
View the classes you will be attending in the College Catalog.
Accreditation & Industry Connections
- This program was developed to meet the curricular recommendations for the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense (IA/CD) Education, a joint effort of the NSA and DHS.
- Operates on an A,B,C,F grading scale for all major courses.
Special Purpose Labs
Our IT majors are supported by four special purpose computing labs (networking, IT security, GNU/Linux, and Mac OS), with advanced video cards and industry standard software packages. Our lab coordinator also maintains a Linux-based Apache Web server, an Oracle database server, and several GNU/Linux servers.
This major prepares students for positions that may include systems administrators or analysts, information systems administrators, network administrators, information and cyber security specialists, information technology auditors, penetration testers, risk analysts, antivirus software managers, and related positions.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for information security analysts was $98,350 in May 2018. The top 10 percent earned more than $156,580.
Industries with the highest published employment for this occupation are:
|Industry||Employment||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage|
|Computer Systems Design and Related Services||28,410||$51.17||$106,430|
|Management of Companies and Enterprises||10,670||$47.00||$97,750|
|Credit Intermediation and Related Activities (5221 And 5223 only)||8,710||$50.54||$105,130|
|Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services||5,690||$53.41||$111,090|
Statistics reported in May 2018
Special Admissions Requirements
Special Considerations: Many jobs in information security will require background checks and/or security clearances. Ethical behavior is necessary if a student expects to succeed in this field. Additionally, due to the rigorous math requirements of this program, prospective students should consider applying early and remediating needed classes (such as Algebra or Pre-Calculus) prior to entering your first semester at Penn College.
Students must complete all required courses in the Information Assurance and Cyber Security major (those with the alpha-designators CIT, EET, IAS, LAS, and MTH) with a grade of "C" or higher. Additionally, any course approved for use as the IAS elective must also be completed with a grade of "C" or higher.
Students seeking entrance through transfer should strive to take courses at their respective institutions that provide competency in the following areas; programming, two semesters minimum (same language); database; networking, two semesters minimum; UNIX and/or Linux; and calculus for engineering or math majors. Students transferring from institutions that have articulation agreements with Penn College should seek advisement from their respective institutions.
Tools, Uniforms & Supplies
LAPTOP REQUIREMENT: laptop/notebook computer required for enrollment in major courses. Specifications
Clubs & Activities
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Student Chapter
Association of Professional Programmers (APP)
Information Security Association
Information Technology Advisory Committee
- Mr. James R Ankers, CISSP, CISA, IT Specialist (INFOSEC), United States Navy
- Mr. Daniel J Clarke, '07, Senior Solutions Architect, Arraya Solutions
- Mr. Peter Codispoti, '73, Senior Systems Analyst, Furniture Division, Brodart
- Mr. Jonah P Gregory, '03, Chief Technology Officer, Euro Optic LTD
- Dr. Todd W Griffith, Chief Technology Officer, Discovery Machine Corporation
- Mr. Daniel F Grim, Regional Director, Program Management, Johnson Controls
- Mr. Brandon J Howe, '01, Sr. IT Analyst, Anadarko Petroleum Corp.
- Dr. Karl M Kapp, Assistant Director, Institute for Interactive Technologies, Bloomsburg University
- Dr. Krish Pillai, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Lock Haven University
- Mr. Mark J Watson, '85, Administrative Director, Corporate Information Technology, Susquehanna Health
- Mr. Benjamin Wright, Attorney, Instructor at SANS Institute
Advisory committees, which act as recommending bodies to the faculty and administration, consist of in-field professionals who act as partners in the development of curriculum. Their curricular and equipment advice as well as their industry connections and internship opportunities are invaluable to our students and to the growth of our institution.