Computer Science

Computer Security Concentration

In the past, computer systems have been thought of as a combination of computers and networks, where the primary role of technology was to handle information efficiently to realize one or more objectives (for example, a customer relations management system helping an organization support and manage customers to achieve increased sales). However, the world has moved from a clear separation between people and technology to a network of systems that provide critical resources to modern living. In fact, today's world is comprised of systems and systems of systems where we see interactions at local, regional and global levels. Unfortunately, this cyberspace also allows for the connections among international organized crime, terrorists, hackers, foreign intelligence agencies, military and civilians including families and children. Furthermore, such connections enable threats to and invasions of privacy.

Specialists are needed who can work within cyberspace to help secure, defend against, respond to, and in some instance, even initiate preemptive attacks. These individuals must have detailed knowledge of the systems they protect, an understanding of the cyber-environment and physical environment in which they operate, and an understanding of the ethical expectations and legal surroundings of their field.

The Computer Science concentration in Computer Security is designed to supply graduates with the skills needed to prepare them for a wide range of opportunities. It gives students the ability to design and implement computing security and privacy processes, software and systems. Students use mathematical foundations, algorithmic principles, and computer science theory in the modeling and design of such systems.

Additional Information

For more information about this concentration, visit the College of Computing & Informatics' web site.

Computer Security Concentration Program Requirements

Students in the Computer Security Concentration should follow the below concentration requirements in addition to the core degree requirements for the BS in Computer Science program. For any questions regarding your plan of study, please contact your Undergraduate Advisor.

The concentration in Computer Security follows the requirements of the B.S. in Computer Science except as noted below.

Computer Science Requirements64.0
The following courses must be taken as the 6 CS track courses and 1 of the 2 CS electives:
Algorithmic Number Theory and Cryptography
Concurrent Programming
Operating Systems
Software Security
Security and Human Behavior
Computer Networks: Theory, Applications and Programming
Computer and Network Security
Human-Computer Interaction II
Computing & Informatics Requirements15.0
Mathematics Requirements25.0
MATH 410 is required for the concentration.
The following course must be taken as the Mathematics elective:
Multivariate Calculus
Science Requirements26.5
Arts & Humanities Requirements46.0
The following course must be taken as the Social Studies elective:
General Psychology I
The following course must be taken as the Business elective:
Principles of Microeconomics
University Requirements3.0
Free Electives7.0
Total Credits186.5

Computer Security Concentration

Sample Plan of Study

Term 1Credits
CI 101Computing and Informatics Design I2.0
CS 164Introduction to Computer Science3.0
MATH 121Calculus I4.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
UNIV 101The Drexel Experience1.0
Science lab4.5
 Term Credits17.5
Term 2
CI 102Computing and Informatics Design II2.0
CS 171
or 175
Computer Programming I
Advanced Computer Programming I
MATH 122Calculus II4.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development0.0
Science lab4.5
 Term Credits17.5
Term 3
CI 103Computing and Informatics Design III2.0
CS 172
or 176
Computer Programming II
Advanced Computer Programming II
MATH 123Calculus III4.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
UNIV 101The Drexel Experience1.0
Science lab4.5
 Term Credits17.5
Term 4
CS 265Advanced Programming Tools and Techniques3.0
CS 270Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science3.0
PSY 101General Psychology I3.0
Science elective3.0
 Term Credits12.0
Term 5
CS 260Data Structures3.0
CS 275Web and Mobile App Development3.0
MATH 221Discrete Mathematics3.0
ECON 201Principles of Microeconomics4.0
Science elective3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 6
CS 281Systems Architecture4.0
CS 350 [WI] Software Design3.0
MATH 201Linear Algebra4.0
COM 230Techniques of Speaking3.0
Arts & Humanities elective3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 7
CS 283Systems Programming3.0
CS 360Programming Language Concepts3.0
Arts & Humanities electives3.0
Free Elective3.0
Science elective4.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 8
CS 303Algorithmic Number Theory and Cryptography3.0
CS 361Concurrent Programming3.0
MATH 410Scientific Data Analysis I3.0
INFO 310Human-Computer Interaction II3.0
PHIL 311Ethics and Information Technology3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 9
CS 451Software Engineering3.0
CS 370Operating Systems3.0
Arts & Humanities elective3.0
Writing & Communications Elective3.0
Math Elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 10
CI 491 [WI] Senior Project I3.0
CS 467Security and Human Behavior3.0
CS 472Computer Networks: Theory, Applications and Programming3.0
Writing & Communications elective3.0
Arts & Humanities elective3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 11
CI 492 [WI] Senior Project II3.0
CS 475Computer and Network Security3.0
Arts & Humanities elective3.0
Free Elective7.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 12
CI 493 [WI] Senior Project III3.0
CS 377Software Security3.0
Science Elective3.0
Arts & Humanities Elective3.0
 Term Credits12.0
Total Credit: 186.5

Co-op and Career Opportunities

Co-Op Options

Three co-op options are available for this program:

  • 5-year/3 co-op
  • 4-year/1 co-op
  • Accelerated Degree (BS & MS): 5-year/2 co-op

Career Opportunities

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics confirmed the need for a larger and more dynamic network security workforce. In its Occupational Outlook Handbook, the agency predicts that the demand for cybersecurity experts, including Computer Network Architects, is expected to increase at a faster than average rate (2014 to 2024) as the world responds to imminent security threats.

While government might have the most immediate need for cybersecurity professionals, market observers see tremendous growth in other organizations for cybersecurity professionals where they can have a variety of rules working on vulnerability research, antivirus software design, reverse engineering, and mobile code analysis and design.

Infrastructure security is another area requiring experts in computer security. As information technology has become more available, critical infrastructures increasingly rely on it and have become so interconnected that intrusions and disruptions in one infrastructure can potentially cause failures to others. Critical infrastructure includes airports, rail transport, hospitals, bridges, network communications, the electricity grid and power plants, seaports, oil refineries, and water systems. Infrastructure security experts work to limit the vulnerability of these systems to sabotage, terrorism, information warfare, and natural disasters.

Industries with high cybersecurity demand include:

  • Computer systems design services
  • Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences
  • Instrument manufacturing
  • Consulting services
  • Engineering services
  • Computer and computer peripheral equipment and software merchant wholesalers
  • Custom computer programming services

Visit the Drexel Steinbright Career Development Center page for more detailed information on co-op and post-graduate opportunities.

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