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2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Cybersecurity (Undergraduate)

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing section in this catalog.


Degrees Offered

Undergraduate and graduate computing programs at Grand Valley are offered by the School of Computing. Computing programs prepare students for a rewarding career that is in high demand.

One of the strengths of the computing programs at Grand Valley is flexibility. We offer B.S. degrees in computer science, cybersecurity, information systems, and information technology. All programs share faculty, courses, and laboratory resources. Also, by choosing electives and minors in related subject areas, students can further tailor their degrees to fit their individual needs and career goals. We offer minors in computer engineering, computer science, data science, health care information systems, information security systems, information systems, and information technology.

The cybersecurity degree will prepare students to design and implement defenses for a wide variety of cybersecurity threats. Students will be prepared to identify threats and vulnerabilities, identify, and implement appropriate controls, and recover from security breaches. A wide range of cybersecurity application areas are covered including software security, network security, data security, and system security, as well as human and organizational issues, in order to prepare students broadly to address a variety of threats.

GVSU's cybersecurity program contains hands-on lab activities throughout the program to prepare students with the practical skills to deal with today's cybersecurity issues. Cybersecurity theory is also emphasized, to prepare students to recognized and address the security problems of tomorrow. Cognate courses emphasize analytical reasoning and legal issues.


The mission of the School of Computing is to provide the GVSU student community with the intellectual foundations and experiences necessary to use information technology effectively in their chosen careers.

To enable students to attain this goal, the School of Computing faculty have two primary responsibilities. First, we offer a solid conceptual foundation required for a career in computing. Second, we provide direct, experiential knowledge of technology necessary to be a productive user/producer of information technology.

To achieve these goals, we

  • work continuously to keep our curriculum relevant to our mission;
  • ensure that work-relevant experience is part of every class;
  • establish and nurture industrial contacts;
  • establish an integrated, supported co-op experience for computing majors; and
  • provide all students, regardless of their major interests, fundamental knowledge of computers and information processing.

Cybersecurity Program Goals

By the time of graduation, cybersecurity students will demonstrate the ability to perform the following:

  • Analyze a complex computing problem and to apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions.
  • Design, implement, and evaluate a computing-based solution to meet a given set of computing requirements in the context of the program's discipline.
  • Communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts.
  • Recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgments in computing practice based on legal and ethical principles.
  • Function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in activities appropriate to the program's discipline.
  • Apply security principles and practices to maintain operations in the presence of risks and threats.

Three years after graduation, our typical alumni are expected to be computing professionals who:

  • use technical, communication, and teamwork skills to apply cybersecurity principles and to protect systems and data from a variety of threats.
  • continue to develop their professional knowledge and skills.
  • behave ethically while contributing to their profession and to society.

Advisory Board

The School of Computing Advisory Board (CISAB) is composed of the school's director and leading computing experts in West Michigan. The board meets twice each year and advises the school on curriculum development and continuing education. It serves as an important interface between the school and the computing community.


Admission to major standing in cybersecurity (CBS) is competitive and requires an application for admittance into the major. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Overall GPA of 2.5 or above in all Grand Valley State University coursework.
  2. Completion of each course in the CBS foundation with a grade of C or above (C- is not sufficient).
  3. GPA of 2.5 or above in the CBS foundation.

The CBS foundation includes CIS 162 and CIS 258; MTH 225; STA 215 or STA 312; and COM 201. Completing the CBS foundation courses require programming, analytical reasoning, and communication skills. These skills are important to excel in the computing field.

The CBS foundation GPA is calculated on no more than one repeat per course. Achievement of the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the major. The School of Computing will also consider internship availability and the applicant's suitability for internships before granting admission. Transfer students must complete at least six hours of CIS coursework before applying, but should consult with a School of Computing advisor before scheduling their first semester.

Note: While admission to major standing in cybersecurity may be achieved with completion of the computer science foundation, information systems foundation or information technology instead of the CBS foundation, it is still necessary to complete all the required courses in the cybersecurity major.

Program Requirements

The following programs are available:

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