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At the Forefront of Cybersecurity

Chestnut Hill College's  undergraduate cybersecurity degree program is among the first in Philadelphia. Thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), CHC has designed the Cyber Sentinels Program, the first of its kind in this area.

“We are so fortunate to have received this grant and to work with this group of subject matter experts,” says Pamela King, instructor in the Computer Science and Information Technology Department. “The Cyber Sentinel Program at CHC will be a wonderful opportunity for students to begin careers in a cutting-edge field with high job growth and good salary potential.”

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What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is a professional field that focuses on the protection, prevention, monitoring, and investigation, of unauthorized access of computer and network systems.  This can include the theft of data such as personal or proprietary information, damage to  software or hardware systems,  and  the disruption, interception or misdirection of technology services. 

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Program Information

CHC has partnered with cybersecurity experts from both industry and government agencies to develop and implement the new cybersecurity curriculum. These experts will also serve as adjunct professors and help develop the students’ understanding of cybersecurity through hands-on experience. This will allow cybersecurity students to receive training in today’s technology laden environment by interacting not only with real-world experts, but with the actual hardware and software that is being used daily in the workplace.  In the program, students will also be afforded the opportunity to obtain industry certifications after certain courses, and to engage in service work using cybersecurity skills. 

Our program was developed using standards recommended by the NSA/DHS Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) and National Infrastructure for Cyber-Security Education (NICE) framework.  The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) program. The goal of the these programs is to increase the capacity of the United States to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and producing professionals with cyber defense expertise for the nation.

Career Opportunities

Demand for cybersecurity experts is very high. Government and businesses in the United States need skilled workers to defend digital assets, infrastructure and privacy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of growth for jobs in information security is projected at 37 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is much faster than the average for all other occupations. It is predicted that there will not be enough skilled workers to fill all positions. Entry level salaries with a four-year degree are $50-60K and senior/management salaries are well over $100K.

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Major Requirements
• CMSC 190: Introduction to Python Programming
• CMSC 279: History Trends & Ethical Issues
• CMTC 190: Introduction to Computer Hardware
• CMTC 230: Introduction to Data Communications
• CMTC 260: Applied Operating Systems
• CMTC 284: Database Design & Development 
• CMDF-105: Introduction to Digital Forensics
• CSEC-140: Legal Issues in Cyber Security
• CSEC-235: Introduction to Cyber Security 
• CSEC-275: IPv6 Networking & Security
• CSEC-270: Linux Operating System in Security
• CSEC-280: Investigating Network Artifacts 
• CSEC-285: Applied Cryptography
• CSEC-361: Security & Defense I
• CSEC-362: Security & Defense II
• CSEC-311: Research Methods (WI)
• CSEC-401: Internship OR CSEC-375: Simulated Workplace Lab
• CSEC-384: Database Security
• CSEC-498: Senior Seminar
Math 227: Introduction to Probability and Statistics,
Sample Four Year Plan
Course Descriptions

CMDF-105 Introduction to Digital Forensics   Credits: 3

Provides an introduction to Cyber Security from a theoretical and practical perspective and an introduction to investigative tools and techniques used in the field. Personal computer operating system architectures and disk structures are reviewed and the proper use of available computer forensic hardware and software tools are examined. Other topics include the importance of digital evidence controls, the method of processing crime and incident scenes, the details of data acquisition, and the requirements of an expert witness. The course provides a range of laboratory and hands-on activities and assignments that emphasize both the theory and the practical application of computer forensic investigations. Pre-Requisite: CMTC-190

CMSC-190  Introduction to Python Programming  Credits: 3

Students learn the concepts related to most languages including variables, assignment statements, branches, loops and subprograms. Students also concentrate on the logic required to design a program before it is coded. Students are introduced to the programming language "Python."

CMSC-279  History, Trends and Ethical Issues  Credits: 3

This course provides an in-depth study of the history of computer science, explores current and future developments in computer science, and examines ethical issues that challenge society as a result of computer technology. Pre-Requisite: CMTC-190 or permission of the Instructor.

CMTC 190 -  Introduction to Computer Hardware/Peripherals  Credits: 3

Provides a challenging introduction to technology for students interested in a major or minor in computer and information technology or related fields. Topics include elements of computer architecture and peripherals. Upon the completion of this course students should be prepared to take the A+ Certification Examination.

CMTC 230 - Introduction to Data Communications  Credits: 3

Provides an introduction to computer networks and data communications, data and signals, using conducted and wireless signals. Students consider local information exchanged through global networking. Additional topics incorporate the study of communications hardware and software and the ethical and moral issues emanating from the communications explosion.

CMTC-260  Applied Operating Systems  Credits: 3

Provides a hands-on introduction to various operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Macintosh. Students are introduced to the fundamental concepts underlying all operating systems and learn how to implement these concepts on each  system. An emphasis is placed on overall ethical and legal issues regarding ownership and use of operating systems.

CMTC-284 -  Database Development and Design Credits: 4

Introduces students to the fundamentals of database programming using Microsoft SQL Server, from simple applications through database programming and Structured Query Language. This course is recommended for students planning a career in business and information sciences.

CSEC-140 - Cyber Security: Legal Issues I  Credits: 3

Provides students with an introduction to national and international laws and regulations pertaining to cyber security and the collection of personal data.  Students will examine case law, statutes, and regulations related cyber security, online financial transactions, crypto-currencies, and other topics. Pre-Requisite: None

CSEC-235 – Introduction to Cyber Security  Credits: 3

Students will build on their previous skills and knowledge of networks and expand it into security specific concerns. Students will use various software tools to detect network vulnerabilities. Students will learn how to investigate and gather evidence of security breaches, as well as better secure networks from attack. The course prepares students for CompTIA’s Security+ certification test. Pre-requisites: CMTC-230

CSEC-270: Linux Operating System in Security  Credits: 3

In this course students will learn applied fundamentals of the Linux Operating System, including program execution from a terminal window, basic file structure, drive management, networking, and access controls.  Students will use a number of security programs on the Linux platform to assess data security, and conduct basic penetration testing, and execute vulnerability detection.  This course will include both theoretical knowledge and hands on practical exercises.  Pre-requisites: CMTC 190, CMTC 230 and CMTC 260. A grade of C- is required in each of the prerequisites.

CSEC-275: IPv6 Networking and Security

This class will explore the new TCP/IP network architecture IPv6. IPv6 networks, which can run concurrently with, and has been replacing, IPv4 networks. The course will look at implementing and managing IPv6 networks such as address construction, protocols, host and router configuration, DNS records, network transition, and cyber security. This class will include practical exercises.


CSEC-280: Investigating Network Artifacts  Credits: 3

In this course students will learn how to extract network artifacts from network hosts and devices to identify then trace the origin and owner of Internet Protocol and Domain Name addresses.  Students will look at network artifacts found in logs, browser history, email headers, and the Windows Registry, among others. Course will stress proper evidence handling, preservation, and documentation of network data.  Prerequisites: CMTC 190, CMTC 230, CMDF 205. A grade of C- is required in each of the prerequisites.

CSEC 285 - Applied Cryptography

The course will teach students the fundamentals of cryptographic systems.  They will be able to recognize the differences between symmetric and asymmetric algorithms. The will be able to select the appropriate cryptographic protocols, tools and techniques are appropriate for a given technology.  The course will explore the strengths and weaknesses, modes, and issues to address in implementation

CSEC-361 - Security & Defense I  Credits: 3

In this course, student will learn network mapping and enumeration. Students, in practical exercises, will learn to find and exploit vulnerability on a network.  This course focuses on ethical hacking and attacking the network.

Pre-Requisite: CSEC 235

CSEC-372 - Security & Defense II   Credits: 3

In this course, student will learn about network attacks and how to defend the infrastructure. They will monitor networks for breaches and respond to intrusion incidents. They will practice improving network defenses based on attack anatomy.  CSEC361 and CSEC372 collectively prepare students for several industry certifications, including CEH.  Pre-Requisite: CSEC 235, CSEC 361

CSEC-311 - Research Methods in Cyber Security  Credits: 3

This course provides an examination of research methods in computer science, and a review of research in cyber security. Students select a possible seminar topic and complete a research literature search and review. This course is intended to be completed second semester of Junior year. A grade of C or better is required to successfully complete this course.

CSEC 375: Simulated Workplace Lab  Credits: 3

In this course, students will explore current work positions in their field of study through online research and activities that will enable them to engage professionals in the field. Throughout this course, students will also teach themselves the skills necessary to complete a semester-long project. Students will report their progress to the instructor as they would to their employer in the workplace. Learning independently, as professionals in this field need to do throughout their lifetime is a critical component of this course.

CSEC-384 - Database Security  Credits: 3

Database security requires knowledge of database implementation and management, and computer security.  For this reason, the specific topics covered in the course are database basics, access control policies, database vulnerability with an emphasis on inference and SQL injection, and application security models. The assignments and labs included in the course are designed to integrate the topics, be hands-on, and best used with relation databases. The course assumes students have basic knowledge of database concepts and an understanding of SQL.  Pre-Requisite:  CMTC 284

CSEC-401 - Internship in Cyber Security  Credits: 3

An internship provides the Cyber Security major with the opportunity to experience the role of an information resource person in a business or other organization. Open to students with Junior or Senior status.

CSEC-498 - Senior Seminar: Cyber Security   Credits: 3

Students further develop the area of research that was begun in CSEC-311 to design and implement a research project and presentation. Students also discuss current topics which were not covered in structured courses. The Senior Seminar is usually taken in fall of the student's senior year. Students register for this course upon approval of the academic advisor.

MATH-262: Probability/Statistics

Organizing and describing data, general probability theory, standard distributions, significance tests, confidence intervals, regression and correlation. Pre-Requisite: MATH-204 or MATH- 212


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Contact Information

Professor Pamela King
Computer Science and Information Technology Department
Instructor for Digital Forensics Program

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