Mar 24, 2023  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Cybersecurity B.S.C.Y.S.


The Cybersecurity major focuses on technology, people, information, and processes to enable assured cyber operations in the context of adversaries. The program is built on a technical foundation of computing and information technology. Students in this program acquire a background in cybersecurity related to information, software, systems, users, and organizations including aspects of policy, human factors, risk management, ethics, and impact on society.

Mission Statement

In keeping with the mission of the College of Engineering, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering strives for excellence in teaching, research, and public service. Specifically, the Department aspires to:

  1. Lead the advancement of computer science, computer engineering, information technology, and cybersecurity through internationally recognized research and education, as well as technology transfer.
  2. Prepare students for full and ethical participation in a diverse society and encourage lifelong learning.
  3. Educate students in the best practices of the field as well as integrate the latest research into the curriculum.
  4. Foster the development of problem solving and communication skills as an integral component of the profession.
  5. Provide quality learning experiences through effective classroom practices, active learning styles of teaching, and opportunities for meaningful interactions between students and faculty.

Program Educational Objectives and Student Outcomes

The Department has established the following program educational objectives for the Cybersecurity graduates.

Objective 1: Our graduates will apply their knowledge and skills to succeed in their careers and/ or obtain an advanced degree.

Objective 2: Our graduates will function ethically and responsibly, and will remain informed and involved as full participants in our profession and society.

Objective 3: Our graduates will creatively solve problems, communicate effectively, and successfully function in multi-disciplinary teams.

Objective 4: Our graduates will develop and apply principles and practices of cybersecurity to protect computing equipment, data, process, and people from adversaries and exposure.

The following are the Student Outcomes. Graduates of the program will have an ability to:

  1. Analyze a complex computing problem and to apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions.

  2. Design, implement, and evaluate a computing-based solution to meet a given set of computing requirements in the context of the program’s discipline.

  3. Communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts.

  4. Recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgments in computing practice based on legal and ethical principles.

  5. Function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in activities appropriate to the program’s discipline.

  6. Apply security principles and practices to maintain operations in the presence of risks and threats.

Student Enrollment Data

Student enrollment data is posted on the Department website.

University Admissions

Admission to the University is based on the University’s Undergraduate Admission Requirements that may be found by clicking on the following urls:

For Admission information specific to the College of Engineering, see the information at College of Engineering .

Cybersecurity Minimum Requirements for Progression into the Upper Division

Cybersecurity students who have fully met the below requirements and are in good standing may progress into the upper division for the major. Prior to progression into the upper division, a student may be permitted to take no more than two Departmental courses. The department may have continuation requirements, which specify minimum performance standards in core major courses which must be met before further registration in the department is granted.

  1. Completion of with a minimum acceptable grade for each of the courses is C (grades of C- are insufficient).
    • MAD 2104  - Discrete Mathematics
    • STA 2023  – Introductory Statistics
    • PHY 2020  – Conceptual Physics
    • MAC 1147  – Pre-calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry 

All students must complete the equivalent of USF Discrete Mathematics (MAD 2104 ), Introductory Statistics (STA 2023 ), Conceptual Physics (PHY 2020 ), and Pre-calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry (MAC 1147 ) with minimum grades of C in each course (grades of C- are insufficient). The minimum overall average GPA in these four courses required for progression to the upper division is between 2.0 and 3.5 for any given year. The minimum acceptable average GPA will be posted on the Department’s website one year prior to the Fall Semester that the revised GPA is applicable. The computed GPA is based on the best attempts in these courses. These requirements must be met with a maximum of two attempts allowed for each course. 

     2. A minimum overall GPA of 2.0.
     3. A minimum USF GPA of 2.0.
     4. Completion of CGS 1540  with a minimum grade of B (grade of B- is  insufficient) or another introductory database course with a minimum grade of B (grade of B- is insufficient).

Departmental Policies

In addition to the College’s graduation requirements, the Department has the following policies:

  1. Mandatory academic advising and/or mentoring of students.
  2. Exit interview and/or survey as a graduation requirement.

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites

Students wishing to transfer to USF should complete an A.A. degree at a Florida College System institution. Some courses required for the major may also meet General Education requirements thereby transferring maximum hours to the university.

If a student wishes to transfer without an A.A. degree and has fewer than 60 semester hours of acceptable credit, the student must meet the university’s entering freshman requirements including ACT or SAT test scores, GPA, and course requirements.

Transfer students are also required to comply with the immunization, foreign language, and continuous enrollment policies of the university.

Students should complete the following prerequisite courses at the lower level prior to entering the university. If these courses are not taken at a Florida College System institution, they must be completed before the degree is granted.

The minimum acceptable grade in state mandated prerequisite courses is a C or higher (C- is insufficient).

  • PSY X012 Intro to Psychology - 3 credit hours
  • ECO X013 Macroeconomics - 3 credit hours
  • STA X023 Introductory Statistics I or STA X122 - 3 credit hours
  • MAC X147 or (MAC X140 and MAC X114) - 3 credit hours
  • PHY 1000 - PHY 2999 Any Physics course - 3 credit hours
  • MAD X104 Discrete Math - 3 credit hours
  • CGS X540 or CGS X540C or CGS X545 or COP X710 Intro to Databases for Information Technology - 3-4 credit hours
  • COP X512 or COP X210 or COP X270 or COP X006 or COP X272C or COP X500 or COP X220 or COP X360 or COP X800 Programming Fundamentals for Information Technology - 3-4 credit hours
  • COP X513 or COP X551C or COP X000 or COP X224 or COP X250 Object-Oriented Programming for Information Technology - 3 credit hours

Total Major Hours: 105

Major Core (87 Hours)

Math and Science (16 Credit Hours)

Basic Engineering (3 Credit Hours)

Composition and Technical Writing (9 Credit Hours)

Major Electives (15 Credit Hours)

Note: The Department website undergraduate section contains the most up-to-date list of Departmental Electives. These posted lists also describe the required pre-requisites for the electives. Additional electives may be available with a Special Topics course number (e.g., COP 4931 ). Consult with the Department Undergraduate Advisor to learn more about available electives. A maximum of nine (9) hours combined of COP 4900  Independent Study and CIS 4947  Industry Internship for Information Technology are allowed as Department Elective credit, with no more than 3 hours in any one given company for CIS 4947  credit. 

College of Engineering – Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Please see advisor for a list of applicable courses. 

College of Arts and Sciences – School of Information

Muma College of Business – Department of Information Systems Decision Sciences

College of Education – Department of Teaching and Learning

Industry Internship

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the College of Engineering recommend that BSCYS students complete an industry internship. Students may earn up to nine credit hours, as elective, for CIS 4947  Industry Internship for IT, no more than three credit hours in any one given company. Internships for CIS 4947  must be in the area of Cybersecurity.

GPA Requirements

Students must have and maintain a minimum 2.0 semester GPA, 2.0 Math and Science GPA, 2.0 Engineering GPA, 2.0 Specialization GPA, 2.0 USF GPA, and 2.0 overall GPA.

Grading Requirement

Unless otherwise stated, the minimum acceptable grade in all major required math, science, and engineering courses is a C or higher (C- in insufficient). The minimum acceptable grade in state mandated prerequisite courses is a C or higher (C- is insufficient). The minimum acceptable grade in specialization courses is a C-, expect as stated in the program progression and continuation requirements.

Residency Requirement

Transfer students must complete a minimum number of approved major core courses in the major at USF. The minimum number of USF major core credit hours required is established by the respective academic department. In no case will this be less than 18 hours. Basic engineering courses are not considered specialization courses. The University residency requirement must also be met.

A concurrent degree (dual degree) student must meet the requirements of each major and have a minimum of 18 approved specialization hours taken in the degree granting department beyond those specialization hours required for the first degree.

Other Requirements

Currently, a student pursuing the Cybersecurity major may not pursue a second major while simultaneously enrolled in the Cybersecurity undergraduate major.

Research Opportunities

Undergraduate students in any degree program are able to participate in undergraduate research. Several options exist to show mentored undergraduate research activity on a student’s official transcript. Those who wish to enroll in an undergraduate research course should consult with their academic advisor to understand how the credit will apply towards the degree requirements. If no credit is needed, students may be eligible to enroll in the 0-credit IDS 4914  course. This course will not impact degree credits or GPA but will show on an official transcript and document the experience. The Office of Undergraduate Research is able to assist with further inquiries.

Advising Information

Department Undergraduate Advisor:

4 Year Plan of Study - Cybersecurity B.S.C.Y.S.


Potential Entry Level Job Titles:

  • Cybersecurity Specialist
  • Information Technology Security Specialist
  • Cybersecurity Consultant
  • Information Security Analyst
  • Penetration and Vulnerability Tester

Potential Entry Level Salary Range:

$45,000 - $75,000

Year 1

Semester 1 (Fall)

Total Credit Hours: 13

Semester 2 (Spring)

Total Credit Hours: 15

Semester 3 (Summer)

Please consider pursing High Impact Practice opportunities this semester such as Education Abroad, Internship Opportunities, Community Engagement, or Research Opportunities.

Questions about opportunities? Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor.

Year 2

Semester 4 (Fall)

Total Credit Hours: 12

Semester 6 (Summer)

Total Credit Hours: 9

Year 3

Semester 8 (Spring)

Total Credit Hours: 16

Semester 9 (Summer)

Total Credit Hours: 0

Year 4

Semester 10 (Fall)

Total Credit Hours: 15

Semester 11 (Spring)

Total Credit Hours: 13

2 Year Plan of Study - Cybersecurity B.S.C.Y.S.



Year 1

Semester 1 (Fall)

Total Credit Hours: 15

Semester 2 (Spring)

Total Credit Hours: 13

Semester 3 (Summer)

Please consider pursing High Impact Practice opportunities this semester such as Education Abroad, Internship Opportunities, Community Engagement, or Research Opportunities.

Questions about opportunities? Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor.

Year 2