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Certificate in Cybersecurity

The Certificate in Cybersecurity is a 4-course, affordable option for professionals who need to upgrade their IT skills to meet current market demands.

Technology is playing a significantly increasing role in our society. Organizations are becoming more dependent on sophisticated information systems, mobile technologies, Internet of Things, machine learning and cloud computing. All of these technologies and systems, however, are vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks.

Cybersecurity is one of the fastest-growing fields, and is projected to expand by 28% through 2026*. The number of cybersecurity positions that need to be filled is skyrocketing, and there is a large demand for IT professionals that specialize in cybersecurity who can devise strategies to protect organizational assets from cyberattacks.

* via the Bureau of Labor Statistics



Application Process

  1. A completed application and non-refundable application fee
  2. Evidence of an interview with an admission counselor
  3. Official transcripts showing a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. Normally, a grade point average of approximately 3.0 or higher in upper division undergraduate work is expected


Specifically, by completing the certificate program in Cybersecurity, students will be able to assess information security risks and develop and implement solutions to protect organizational systems from cyber threats through offensive and defensive planning and incident response.

Typical positions that students could apply to include:

  • Cybersecurity Analyst
  • Threat Analyst
  • Cybersecurity Auditor
  • Cybersecurity Risk Manager
  • Cybersecurity Manager
  • Cyberforensics Analyst

Program Completion Time

The certificate can be completed in as little as six months, and is based on a sequence of four 3-unit graduate courses for a total of twelve credits. This requires enrollment for at least two terms, based on 11-week term schedules. The completion time does not account for any pre-requisite courses a student may need. 

Admission Requirements

All students who have completed a Bachelor’s degree or higher are eligible to apply. In general, a strong background in the fundamentals of information technology, gained either through academics or work experience, will be required to ensure student success.


Students will be required to take the following course:

IT 513. Information Security

Security of informational assets has become a keenly debated issue for organizations. Effective information security management demands a clear understanding of technical as well as socio-organizational aspects. The purpose of this course is to prepare students to recognize the threats and vulnerabilities present in current information systems and how to plan for such risks. The course covers a broad range of topics including data classification, cryptography, network and application security, risk management, threat and vulnerability analysis, computer forensics, and policies and architecture designs. Students will have the opportunity to try real security and attack tools to understand how they work and how they might be used and counteracted.

Students will also select three courses from the following options:

IT 540. Digital Forensics

Modern technologies have created a myriad of ways that data can be stored and communicated – and hidden. Digital forensics is the science of finding those data after the fact. This course presents an overview of the principles and practices of digital investigation and prepares students to conduct a cyber forensics investigation in an organized and systematic way. The course allows students to develop skills in collecting, seizing and analyzing suspect devices, creating forensics images, recover deleted data from various file systems and damaged media, apply digital forensics techniques to e-mail and other electronic communications and describe incident and intrusion response approaches among other topics.

IT 542. Ethical Hacking

Ethical hacking or penetration testing is the act of breaking into a system with the permission and legal consent of the organization or individual who owns and operates the system, with the purpose of identifying vulnerabilities to strengthening the organization's security. This course introduces students to the principles and techniques of the cybersecurity practice known as penetration testing and covers various tools and methods commonly used to compromise and control access to information systems. As part of this course, students will conduct hands-on penetration tests in a controlled lab environment, discover how system vulnerabilities can be exploited and learn how to avoid such problems in order to better secure organizational data and systems.

IT 544. Cloud Security

Cloud computing services (whereby distributed resources are rented, rather than owned) are being adopted across a variety of organizations yet many security challenges exist. This course introduces students to various cloud computing architectures and delivery models followed by a review of the security and privacy issues related to various types of cloud computing environments. The course covers aspects related to cloud security design, implementation, architecture, operations, controls, and compliance with regulatory frameworks for both cloud platforms & infrastructure security and cloud application security.

IT 546. Cybersecurity Risk Management

Protecting organizational assets against increased numbers of cybersecurity threats is of critical importance in all modern organizations. Having a cybersecurity plan and a governance structure in place for dealing with cybersecurity risks is a more successful strategy than recovering organizational systems after a cyberattack has occurred. This courses introduces students to risk management approaches for identifying, analyzing and responding to cybersecurity risks, governance mechanisms, human resource security and business continuity. This course provides students with necessary skills required to formulate and implement a cybersecurity plan.

IT 531: Data Mining & Machine Learning

Data mining is the process of discovering patterns and associations in large data sets. It supports decision making by detecting patterns, devising rules, identifying new decision alternatives and making predictions. This course provides an overview of leading data mining methods and their applications to real-world problems. It is designed to provide students with the skills to conduct data mining and statistical analysis for dealing with analytical tasks such as prediction, classification, decision trees and clustering. Students will use available software to conduct various data mining analyses and understand the application of a wide range of modern techniques to specific managerial and analytical situations, and on model interpretation.

IT 533. Big Data Technologies

More and more organizations are collecting large amounts of data, much of it unstructured. Big data technologies can be used to store, process and analyze large amounts of data using a distributed environment. This course introduces students to the world of big data and associated technologies. The focus of the course is Apache Hadoop, which is an open source software project that enables, distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of commodity servers. The objective of this course is to provide students a foundation for understanding big data technologies and Hadoop in particular. Topics include Hadoop system architecture, Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), MapReduce programming model and design patterns and technologies surrounding Hadoop ecosystem such as Pig, Hive and Oozie. The course will also introduce big data science concepts and NoSQL database technologies.

  • IT 582: Special Topics
  • Cybersecurity internship (IT 590) or IT Project (IT 599), with the approval of the program director

Tuition & Fees

Fall 2020 - Summer 2021
Tuition Alumni: $450 per credit
Non-Alumni: $555 per credit
Technology Fee $55 per term
$275 maximum per academic year
Application Fee $25 online
$50 paper
Late Registration Fee
for registration submitted after the add/drop deadline
Late Transaction Fee
for employer reimbursement applications
received after the second week of the semester
Transcript Fee $5.00 minimum
Additional fees may apply, refer to the Registrar's site

All fees are subject to change without notice. The University reserves the right to change, delete or add to this pricing schedule as deemed appropriate. Transcripts and diploma will not be released for any student who has an outstanding balance owed to Cal Lutheran.