Networks connect computers and other devices so they can share information. The Networks and Security concentration involves designing, building, and maintaining networks and protecting them from cyberattacks.

Network and security technology is vitally important to almost every modern field of human endeavor including biology, physics, agriculture, medicine, defense, and more.

There is explosive demand for professionals who can understand the underlying principles of networks and security, incorporate them into products and practices, and provide defensive capabilities against cyber threats.

The Networks and Security concentration provides students core and elective courses on computer networking, systems security (including the latest trends and technologies in cyber-security), ethical hacking, operating systems, databases, and software. Students will develop fundamental skills in security architecture and analysis, cryptography, system vulnerabilities and attack vectors, malware analysis and defense, intrusion detection and protection, network architecture, engineering and network software development. The CSU Cyber-Security Center of Excellence expands upon these course offerings with lab equipment, research topics, and certification opportunities.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will be able to:

  • Work effectively in teams to develop computational solutions to complex problems.
  • Develop products and technologies that provide network/cyber-security solutions or incorporate these technologies into products that require security or network capabilities.
  • Analyze technologies and situations for cyber vulnerabilities to develop improvements to attack and defense methodologies.
  • Communicate technical ideas effectively in writing and verbally.
  • Confidently pursue graduate studies or professional employment in networks and security and computer science.

Potential Occupations

In addition to the career opportunities open to all computer science graduates, the networks and security concentration opens career paths that include:

Software developer, software architect, network security analyst, software project manager, computer systems security analyst, computer and information systems manager, and R&D jobs for both cyber-security attack and defense.

Employers in a wide range of fields recognize the need for network and cyber-security architecture and implementations within their domains, which creates R&D and management opportunities across a wide job market.

Effective Fall 2020

A minimum grade of C (2.000) is required in CO 150 and in all CS, DSCI, MATH, STAT and departmental Technical Elective courses which are required for graduation.

CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)1A3
CS 165CS2--Data Structures 4
MATH 160Calculus for Physical Scientists I (GT-MA1)1B4
Select one course from the following: 4
CS1---No Prior Programming Experience  
CS1--Prior Programming Experience  
Select at least two courses totaling a minimum of 7 credits from the following (one course must be or include the sequenced laboratory): 7
Introduction to Astronomy (GT-SC2)3A 
Human Origins and Variation (GT-SC2)3A 
Principles of Animal Biology (GT-SC2)3A 
Principles of Plant Biology (GT-SC1)3A 
Fundamentals of Chemistry (GT-SC2)3A 
General Chemistry I (GT-SC2)3A 
Exploring Earth - Physical Geology (GT-SC2)3A 
The Blue Planet - Geology of Our Environment (GT-SC2)3A 
Geology of Natural Resources (GT-SC2)3A 
Physical Geology for Scientists and Engineers3A 
Honors Seminar: Knowing in the Sciences3A 
Attributes of Living Systems (GT-SC1)3A 
Biology of Organisms-Animals and Plants (GT-SC1)3A 
Introductory Genetics: Applied/Population/Conservation/Ecological (GT-SC2)3A 
Introductory Genetics: Molecular/Immunological/Developmental (GT-SC2)3A 
Fundamentals of Ecology (GT-SC2)3A 
Oceanography (GT-SC2)3A 
General Physics I (GT-SC1)3A 
General Physics II (GT-SC1)3A 
Physics for Scientists and Engineers I (GT-SC1)3A 
Physics for Scientists and Engineers II (GT-SC1)3A 
Arts and Humanities3B3
Diversity and Global Awareness3E3
Elective 2
 Total Credits 30
CS 201/PHIL 201Ethical Computing Systems (GT-AH3)3B3
CS 220Discrete Structures and their Applications 4
CS 253Software Development with C++ 4
CS 270Computer Organization 4
Select one course from the following: 3-4
Linear Algebra for Data Science  
Linear Algebra I  
Select one course from the following: 3
Introduction to Applied Statistical Methods  
Introduction to Biostatistics  
Intro to Theory and Practice of Statistics  
Historical Perspectives3D3
Social and Behavioral Sciences3C3
Electives 2-3
 Total Credits 30
CS 314Software Engineering4A,4B3
CS 320Algorithms--Theory and Practice 3
CS 356Systems Security 3
CS 370Operating Systems 3
Any CS course numbered 300- or above, excluding 380-399 and 480-499  3-4
Technical Electives (see list below) 6-8
Advanced Writing23
Electives 3-6
 Total Credits 30
CS 456Modern CyberSecurity4C4
CS 457Computer Networks and the Internet4C4
Select one course from the following: 4
Database Systems  
Blockchain Principles and Applications  
CS course numbered 400- or above, excluding 480-499 4
Electives1 14
 Total Credits 30
 Program Total Credits: 120

Technical Electives (6 credits minimum)

Select a minimum of 6 credits, of which 3 credits must be upper-division. 

Any CS, CT, DSCI, IDEA, MATH, or STAT courses numbered 300- or above, excluding 380-399 and 480-499
BZ 350Molecular and General Genetics4
BZ 360Bioinformatics and Genomics3
CIS 320Project Management for Information Systems3
CIS 350Operating Systems and Networks3
CIS 360Systems Analysis and Design3
CIS 413Advanced Networking and Security3
CIS 455Advanced Database Management3
ECE 452Computer Organization and Architecture3
ENGR 422Technology Entrepreneurship3
JTC 372Advanced Web Design and Management3
MATH 161Calculus for Physical Scientists II (GT-MA1)4
or MATH 255 Calculus for Biological Scientists II
MGT 330Creativity, Innovation, and Value Creation3
MGT 340Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship3
MGT 420New Venture Creation3
NR 322Introduction to Geographic Information Systems4
PHIL 410Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems3
PHIL 411Logic in Philosophy and Beyond3
PHIL 415Logic and Scientific Method3
PSY 252Mind, Brain, and Behavior3
PSY 352Learning and Memory3
PSY 452Cognitive Psychology3
PSY 454Biological Psychology3
PSY 456Sensation and Perception3
PSY 458Cognitive Neuroscience3

Distinctive Requirements for Degree Program:

To prepare for first semester: The curriculum for the Computer Science major assumes students enter college prepared to take calculus. Entering students who are not prepared to take calculus will need to fulfill pre-calculus requirements in the first semester. All students must maintain a C (2.000) or better in CO 150 and in all CS, DSCI, MATH, STAT and departmental Technical Elective courses which are required for graduation.

Semester 1CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
MATH 160Calculus for Physical Scientists I (GT-MA1) X1B4
Select one course from the following:   4
CS1---No Prior Programming Experience X  
CS1--Prior Programming Experience X  
Department Approved Science (See list on Concentration Requirements Tab)  3A3
Arts and Humanities  3B3
Electives   1
MATH 124 and MATH 126 may be necessary for some students to fulfill pre-calculus requirements.X   
 Total Credits   15
Semester 2CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CO 150College Composition (GT-CO2)  1A3
CS 165CS2--Data Structures X 4
Department Approved Science with Lab (See list on Concentration Requirements Tab)  3A4
Diversity and Global Awareness  3E3
Elective   1
CO 150 must be completed by the end of Semester 2 with a grade of C or better.X   
CS 163 or CS 164 must be completed by the end of Semester 2.X   
 Total Credits   15
Semester 3CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CS 220Discrete Structures and their Applications X 4
CS 270Computer Organization X 4
Select one course from the following:   3
Introduction to Applied Statistical Methods    
Introduction to Biostatistics    
Intro to Theory and Practice of Statistics    
Historical Perspectives  3D3
 Total Credits   14
Semester 4CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CS 201/PHIL 201Ethical Computing Systems (GT-AH3) X3B3
CS 253Software Development with C++ X 4
Social and Behavioral Sciences  3C3
Select one course from the following:   3-4
Linear Algebra for Data ScienceX   
Linear Algebra IX   
Electives   2-3
CS 165 and CS 220 and CS 270 must be completed by the end of Semester 4.X   
MATH 160 and MATH 369 or DSCI 369 must be completed by the end of Semester 4.X   
 Total Credits   16
Semester 5CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CS 320Algorithms--Theory and Practice X 3
CS 370Operating Systems X 3
Technical Elective (See list on Concentration Requirements Tab)   3-4
Advanced Writing  23
Electives   2-3
CS 253 must be completed by the end of Semester 5.X   
 Total Credits   15
Semester 6CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CS 314Software Engineering  4A,4B3
CS 356Systems SecurityX  3
CS course numbered 300- or above, excluding 380-399 and 480-499 X 3-4
Technical Elective - Upper Division (See list on Concentration Requirements Tab)   3-4
Elective   1-3
CS 314 and CS 320 and CS 370 and CS 356 must be completed by the end of Semester 6.X   
 Total Credits   15
Semester 7CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
CS 456Modern CyberSecurity  4C4
CS 457Computer Networks and the Internet  4C4
At least two Upper-Division CS classes must be completed by the end of Semester 7.X   
Electives   7
 Total Credits   15
Semester 8CriticalRecommendedAUCCCredits
Select one course from the following:X  4
Database Systems    
Blockchain Principles and Applications    
CS course numbered 400- or above, excluding 480-499X  4
ElectivesX  7
The benchmark courses for the 8th semester are the remaining courses in the entire program of study.X   
 Total Credits   15
 Program Total Credits:   120