Cybersecurity & Information Systems

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Department Chair
Gregory Laidlaw, DMIT, CISSP
laidlags@udmercy.edu
313-993-3337

Are you a graduating high school junior or senior?

Learn more about our undergraduate programs and the University at these events.

Admissions Events

Your Career in Cybersecurity Starts at Detroit Mercy

If you love computers and technology but want to focus on the big picture of how technology is used in business and in protecting the national infrastructure, rather than on coding and programming, University of Detroit Mercy's Cybersecurity & Information Systems department has degree options designed with you in mind.

Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

As an undergraduate student, you could earn a Bachelor of Science in Computer & Information Systems with a major in cybersecurity, select from a range of plans that allow you to go from a bachelor's degree to master's degree in only five years or even opt to minor in cybersecurity as a great adjunct to a different major.

For graduate students, we offer a Master of Science in Information Assurance with a major in cybersecurity and a Master of Science in Computer & Information Systems with a major in software management. Both graduate programs are available online for added convenience and flexibility.

A National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense

University of Detroit Mercy is recognized by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD). Having held designation as a Center of Academic Excellence for Cyber Defense since 2004, University of Detroit Mercy has more than a decade of expertise behind each class that drives you as a professional to be the best in your field.

You will receive an outstanding and well-rounded education that will not only teach you the foundations of the field but also will hone your ability to think critically and analytically, adapt to change and communicate effectively.

Cybersecurity careers

  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • IT Auditor
  • Vulnerability Analyst / Penetration Tester
  • Cyber Security Consultant
  • Cyber Security Engineer
  • Cyber Security Manager / Administrator
  • Cyber Security Specialist / Technician
  • Network Engineer / Architect
  • Software Architect

Cybersecurity Jobs are in High Demand

computer and information systems managers job outlook much higher than average 2021-31.jpg
Information Security Analysts job growth for 2021-31 much faster than average
IT Auditors earn on average $76,000 with one to three years of experience

Featured Faculty

Gregory Laidlaw
Gregory Laidlaw, DMIT, CISSP

  • Department Chair of Cybersecurity & Information Systems
  • Lecturer

Anne Kohnke
Anne Kohnke, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor of Cybersecurity
  • Director, Detroit Mercy's Center of Cyber Security & Intelligence Studies
  • Principal Investigator, Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Program
 

Daniel Shoemaker
Daniel Shoemaker, Ph.D.

  • Professor
  • Director of the Master of Science in Information Assurance Program

Student & Alumni Testimonials

Daniel Okunawo
Daniel Okunawo

"Coming to Detroit Mercy was one of the best decisions I've made thus far. Everyone I come across from students to professors on campus have done nothing but reassure my success. One professor that sticks with me is Gregory Laidlaw, whom I've had the pleasure to work with. He said 'your time will come, just keep moving on the path you're on right now and continue applying your energy.' I've spent countless hours and Zoom calls with Dr. Laidlaw in his office doubting myself, trying to make sure I was doing great, so I'm thankful to him for his support. One thing Detroit Mercy has that makes me happy is resources. With resources comes the ability to learn more than you thought you could."

Thomas Mueller
Thomas R. Mueller '21

University Honors 2021 Presidential Scholar

"I am thankful for the work of Dr. Laidlaw and Dr. Kohnke for helping me to find my passion for cybersecurity. They are knowledgeable and helped me with any questions I had, as well as guided me as I wrote my thesis."

Nathan Wodwaski
Nathan J. Wodwaski '22

Cybersecurity & Information Systems Undergraduate award recipient,
2021 College of Liberal Arts & Education

Nathan Wodwaski earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Systems and a certificate in Legal Studies. Wodwaski served as Cybersecurity Club Co-president, Pre-Law Student Association eboard member, Student Government Association Senator and eboard member of the national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. Read more about this amazing alumnus on Campus Connection.

Lucas Otten
Lucas Otten '19

Chief Information Security Officer for Munson Healthcare; previously Manager of Information Systems

"For my cybersecurity career, the Information Assurance M.S. program at [Detroit Mercy] provided the academic mortar to the raw foundation of work experience. Every class provided new 'ah ha' moments and shed light on how to improve program effectiveness. Today I'm the head of the cybersecurity and privacy program for my organization."

Ryan Winn
Ryan Winn '17

Vice President & Chief Information Security Officer at MultiCare Health System; Previously System Director of Technology & Chief Information Security Officer at Munson Healthcare

"I would recommend the Master of Science in Information Assurance and University of Detroit Mercy to any information security practitioner not only curious about the 'how,' but also the 'why' of our work. Understanding the underlying research and evolution of information security allows a student to make decisions based on a fuller picture of the discipline. Personally, the program has helped me take a more holistic and inclusive approach for building enterprise scale security programs."

Undergraduate Programs

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    Major - Cybersecurity

    Degree: Bachelor of Science in Computer & Information Systems
    Major: Cybersecurity

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 33% increase in the demand for information security analysts between 2020 and 2030—an increase of 47,100 jobs. According to Cybersecurity Magazine, the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs grew by 350 percent, from one million positions in 2013 to 3.5 million in 2021.

    To fulfill this gap, in an effort to develop the required talent, academic departments across the spectrum of computing disciplines are launching initiatives to establish new cybersecurity programs or courses of study within existing programs.

    University of Detroit Mercy is recognized by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense from 2004 to present.

    Detroit Mercy's cybersecurity major consists of 14 required classes (42 credits) and 2 electives (6 credits) for a total of 16 courses or 48 credits. To obtain this undergraduate degree, you must fulfill the requirements of the University Core Curriculum, the requirements for the 48-credit-hour program major and have completed a minimum of 120 credit hours.

    Course topics will include:

    • Foundations of Cybersecurity
    • Enterprise Architecture
    • Introduction to Human Factors in IT Security
    • Software Requirements and Design
    • Software Testing and Quality Assurance
    • Introduction to Digital Forensics
    • Software Project Management
    • Database Design
    • Networks
    • Information and Society
    • Ethical Hacking
    • Introduction to Incident Response
    • IA Risk Management
    • Technical Writing

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    Accelerated 5-Year Bachelor's to Master's Programs

    Where could you be in five years?

    For ambitious, driven and career-minded incoming freshmen, University of Detroit Mercy offers two options to increase your knowledge and skills as a full-time student for 10 semesters (5 academic years) before entering the workforce:

    5-Year Accelerated Computer & Information Systems curriculum and course information

    • Bachelor of Science in Computer & Information Systems (major: cybersecurity); Master of Science in Information Assurance (major: cybersecurity)
    • Bachelor of Science in Computer & Information Systems (major: cybersecurity); Master of Science in Intelligence Analysis

    In order to complete both the bachelor's and master's degrees in five years, you must:

    • Be very well prepared as an incoming freshman or transfer student;
    • Satisfy all the admission criteria (see below); and
    • Maintain a cumulative 3.25 GPA at Detroit Mercy, in order to take graduate-level courses while still an undergraduate.

    This program allows incoming freshmen to complete both the bachelor's and master's degrees by being a full-time student for 5 academic years (10 consecutive semesters). Juniors at Detroit Mercy may be admitted into the program with the permission of the department and Dean’s Office.

    Requirements for Transfer Students

    Students transferring in from a community college require permission from the Dean's Office.

    In order to complete the bachelor's and master's degrees entering as a transfer student you must:

    • Have 60-63 transferable credits.
    • Meet the requirements for the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA).
    • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25 throughout the entire undergraduate portion of the program, and a minimum GPA of 3.0 for graduate courses.
    • Maintain full-time status. This is typically 15-18 credit hours per semester, for a total of 102-108 credits for students entering as a senior.
    • Finish the bachelor's degree by the end of the fourth year and master's degree by the end of the fifth year. During your senior year, you can take up to two graduate level courses for each term with a maximum of four.
    Note:
    • Students can take summer courses if needed to catch up or advance.
    • Students are not required to apply for the graduate portion or take any exams such as GRE if they have met and maintained all accelerated program requirements.

    Sample Program for Incoming Freshmen

    (Note: Full-time status must be maintained in all semesters)

    First Year: 30-36 undergraduate credits
    Second Year: 30-36 undergraduate credits
    Third Year: 30-36 undergraduate credits
    Fourth Year:
    • First Semester: 9-12 undergraduate credits, 6 graduate credits
    • Second Semester: 9-12 undergraduate credits, 6 graduate credits
    Fifth Year
    • First Semester: 6-12 graduate credits (depending on program)
    • Second Semester: 6-12 graduate credits (depending on program)

    Sample Program for Transfer Students

    (Note: Full-time status must be maintained in all semesters) 

    Third Year: 30-36 undergraduate credits
    Fourth Year:

    • First Semester: 9-12 undergraduate credits (6 graduate credits)
    • Second Semester: 9-12 undergraduate credits (6 graduate credits)

    Fifth Year:

    • First Semester: 6-12 graduate credits (depending on program)
    • Second Semester: 6-12 graduate credits (depending on program)
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    Minor - Cybersecurity

    University of Detroit Mercy's 18-credit minor in cybersecurity is designed to provide you with a foundation in database, networking and cybersecurity principles. This minor focuses on theoretical principles rather than on specific software or particular network components. Topics covered include network security, software security and information security.  This minor is a strong addition to many majors including criminal justice, health information management, nursing, digital media and education. 

Cybersecurity Courses Campus & Online

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    Sample Rotation of Classes for Undergraduate Courses

    Sample Course Rotation

    Please note that course availability is subject to change each semester.

    Fall

    • CIS 1010 Foundations of Cybersecurity
    • CIS 4070 Software Testing and Quality Assurance
    • CIS 4450 Introduction to Digital Forensics
    • CIS 4560 Database Design
    • CIS 4710 Ethical Hacking
    • CIS 4850 IA Risk Management
    • ENL 3030 Technical Writing

    Winter

    • CIS 2075 Enterprise Architecture
    • CIS 3350 Introduction to Human Factors in IT Security
    • CIS 4505 Software Project Management
    • CIS 4561 Database Management
    • CIS 4570 Networks
    • CIS 4650 Information and Society
    • CIS 4720 Introduction to Incident Response

    Refer to the current catalog for degree requirements and course descriptions for each class.

Graduate Programs

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    Information Assurance (Cybersecurity)

    Degree: Master of Science in Information Assurance
    Major: Cybersecurity
    Credits: 30

    University of Detroit Mercy's Master of Science in Information Assurance with a major in cybersecurity will provide you with comprehensive knowledge of the field.

    You will learn all of the basic cybersecurity principles, technologies and processes and then take seven elective classes tailored to your interests. These elective classes are designed to prepare you to step into specific roles in the cybersecurity workforce and are geared to the National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework (NICE 2.0), which is the commonly accepted definition of the various jobs in this arena.

    Our successful graduates work in government, private and corporate settings including the U.S. Department of Defense and major automotive companies.

    The University is recognized by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense.

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    Computer & Information Systems

    Degree: Master of Science in Computer & Information Systems
    Major: Software Management
    Credits: 30

    Gain a Competitive Edge in a Digital, Global World

    University of Detroit Mercy's Master of Science in Computer and Information Systems with a major in software management is an opportunity for you to advance your career and shine as an information technology leader.

    The curriculum conveys comprehensive professional knowledge and best practices with regard to IT work. Its content is derived from and fully conforms with recommendations for programs of this type established by the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). It offers the most up-to-date, industry based, knowledge of best practices in IT process development, leadership and program management.

    Specific knowledge areas include: IT portfolio and project management, system requirements elicitation and specification, comprehensive program construction concepts, assurance and business alignment processes and information assurance, audit and control. Upon graduation, you will be able to create and oversee productive and continuously improving management control infrastructures for large, complex and diverse businesses. Upon graduation you will be able to create and oversee productive and continuously improving management control infrastructures for large, complex and diverse businesses.

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    Dual Degree: MBA/MS CIS

    Dual Degree: Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Computer & Information Systems

    University of Detroit Mercy offers a dual degree option where students can earn a Master of Science in Computer & Information Systems and a Master of Business Administration. This degree option is designed to help business professionals expand their knowledge of the business environment along with the rapidly changing world of information technology. The dual degree option is not available as an online course of study.

Department Chair

Laidlaw picture

Gregory Laidlaw
Lecturer
* Department Chair, Cybersecurity & Information Systems
313-993-3337
laidlags@udmercy.edu

Faculty

Kohnke picture

Anne Kohnke
Associate Professor of Cybersecurity
Director, Detroit Mercy Center of Cyber Security & Intelligence Studies
Principal Investigator, Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Program
313-993-3338
kohnkean@udmercy.edu

Shoemaker picture

Daniel Shoemaker
Professor
Director of the Master of Science in Information Assurance Program
313-993-1053
shoemadp@udmercy.edu


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