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Cyber Defense and Analysis

Bachelor of Science (BS)

*online and in-person options - availability is limited

CyberDefense

 

Applying for our Fall 2025 Cohort? Review the Program Prerequisite Coursework

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Application for Fall '25 Opens 10/15/2024


Program Information

On January 23rd, 2023 the California Community Colleges Board of Governors affirmed approval of San Diego City College’s Baccalaureate Degree Program (BDP) in Cyber Defense and Analysis, helping to further train the state’s workforce and giving more Californians an opportunity to earn a four-year degree from a community college. The program expansion (AB 927) will benefit California by awarding more advanced degrees in high-demand workforce industries and putting Californians on a path toward employment in their field of study and in industries of greatest need for the state’s economy.

"The bachelor's degree program in Cyber Defense and Analysis will provide a pipeline that not only leads to an above-livable wage career in an industry that is clearly in demand, but will also help diversify the cyber security workforce by allowing more women, military veterans, and people of color to find good jobs." said City College President Ricky Shabazz. "Social justice and educational equity are at the core of our mission at San Diego City College, and the bachelor's degree program in Cyber Defense and Analysis aligns perfectly with that mission."

The Cyber Defense and Analysis (CyDA) program, recognized by the Department of Education as a STEM-designated program, develops advanced skills to interpret business risks, proactively defend computer networks, identify and analyze cyber threats, and maintain cybersecurity resilience. The baccalaureate curriculum prepares students for careers in cyber-workforce operations. 

*Limitation on Enrollment: Must be admitted into the Cyber Defense and Analysis program.


Description and Goals

The Bachelor of Science in Cyber Defense and Analysis follows the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Cybersecurity Workforce Framework and the Department of Defense (DoD) Cyber Workforce Framework (DCWF) with the common goal of developing critical knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) to perform real-time defensive cyber operations. Program emphasis is on architectural, analytical, and strategic application of advanced techniques and technologies to actively monitor and defend core operational and emerging technology, network hardware and systems, and supply chain and critical infrastructure. Additionally, students explore the ethical and societal impacts of the development and use of cyber technology.

This pathway includes preparation for multiple industry-recognized certifications geared toward preparing students to be job-ready for a successful career in cyber-workforce roles that impact an organization’s ability to analytically assess and respond to modern cybersecurity threats while managing risk and maintaining business continuity.

Upon successful program completion, our graduates will: 

  1. Be poised to enter professional positions in a cybersecurity related occupation or continue to a graduate study in cybersecurity or a related field of interest. 
  2. Be informed, active individuals engaged in the global community, social justice advocacy, and the highest level of professional ethics. 
  3. Pursue lifelong learning opportunities to improve and expand their technical and professional skills. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful program completion, students will be able 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, taking into account legal, ethical, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility principles consistent with the mission of the institution.
  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.

Career Options

Careers in cybersecurity are dynamic and vital in today's digital age, where the constant evolution of technology brings both opportunities and threats. Professionals in this field play a crucial role in safeguarding sensitive information and networks from cyberattacks. Cybersecurity careers encompass a wide range of roles, from ethical hackers and penetration testers who identify and address vulnerabilities, to security analysts who monitor and respond to incidents in real-time. Incident responders, cybersecurity consultants, and security architects work to develop and implement comprehensive security strategies. Additionally, there are roles focused on policy and compliance, ensuring that organizations adhere to regulatory standards and best practices.

With the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats, cybersecurity professionals are in high demand across various industries, making it a dynamic and rewarding field for individuals who are passionate about protecting digital assets and maintaining the integrity of online systems. Continuous learning is essential in cybersecurity, as the landscape evolves rapidly, requiring professionals to stay abreast of the latest technologies and threats to effectively mitigate risks.

Course Catalog

Click here for course description from Catalog

Bachelor of Science - Cyber Defense and Analysis

(Related: Associate of Science - Cybersecurity)

Minimum Requirements for Baccalaureate Degrees

All baccalaureate degrees offered by a California Community College must meet the minimum requirements outlined in this section. These requirements are designed to ensure the baccalaureate degrees are equivalent or superior to other baccalaureate degrees offered by other community colleges or universities throughout the United States. Each degree program must include the following:

  1. A combination of lower division and upper division coursework totaling a minimum of 120 semester or 180 quarter units that are applicable to a baccalaureate degree as defined within these guidelines.
  2. Completion of the CSU General Education Breadth or Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum pattern.
  3. Completion of a minimum of 24 semester or 36 quarter units of upper division courses, including a minimum of six semester or nine quarter units of upper division general education.
  4. An identified major that includes a minimum of 18 semester or 27 quarter units of lower division courses and 18 semester or 27 quarter units of upper division courses.

Program Prerequisites (subject to change)

Applicants may apply to the CyDA BDP after successfully completing the following prerequisites, each with a grade of "C" or better:

  1. San Diego City College's A.S. Cybersecurity, or equivalent (if transferring from another college, see course equivalencies agreements on the program webpage);
  2. MATH 119 - Elementary Statistics or equivalent;
  3. CISC 246 - Discrete Mathematics for Comutper Science or equivalent;
  4. Credit for a prior learning assessment, military transcript evaluation, and/or professional license or certification review (if applicable, may be accepted for course credit upon approval of the program director);

General education requirements must meet one of the following general education options:

  1. California State University General Education (CSUGE)* Breadth pattern, or
  2. Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)* pattern listed on pages ###-### of the college catalog;

Notes:

  1. Additional coursework may be required based on current curriculum content.
  2. Certain prerequisites may be completed during the summer or junior semester-one upon approval from the program director.

General Education Information

The IGETC pattern is accepted by all CSU campuses and most UC campuses and majors. It is also accepted by some private/ independent or out of state universities.

The CSU GE pattern is accepted by all CSU campuses and some private/independent or out of state universities. It is not accepted by the UC system.

It is strongly recommended that students consult with a counselor to determine which general education option is most appropriate for their individual educational goals.

Course Catalog

Click here for course description from Catalog

Course List and Descriptions

*GE BUSE 440: Cyber Law and Ethics

48-54 lecture hours, 3 unit Grade or Pass/No Pass

Typically Offered: Spring

Recommended Sequence: Spring 1 (FT/PT)

This course is a study of various technical and administrative aspects of cybersecurity as it relates to law, computing, and ethics. Emphasis is placed on ethical theory and professional ethics in cybersecurity. Topics include relativism, utilitarianism, and deontological theories; methods and tools for analysis in ethical arguments; legal bases for the right to privacy and freedom of expression; and various legislation and regulations that impact the Internet and cyber technology. This course is designed for students in the Cyber Defense and Analysis program.

*GE CISC 450: Security Analytics and Visualization

36-40.5  lecture hours, 36-40.5 lab hours, 3 unit Grade or Pass/No Pass

Prerequisite: CISC 179 with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent Corequisite: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in: MATH 119 with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent

Typically Offered: Fall

Recommended Sequence: Fall 1 (FT)/Fall 2 (PT)

This course is a study of the process of using data collection, aggregation, and analysis tools for security monitoring and threat detection. Emphasis is placed on essential technical knowledge used for predictive analytics and the visualization of information to detect behaviors that indicate malicious activity. Topics include predictive modeling, data analytics, machine learning, automation, and understanding data through graphical representation. This course is designed for students in the Cyber Defense and Analysis program.

*GE ENGL 402: Advanced Technical Writing

48-54 lecture hours, 3 unit Grade or Pass/No Pass

Prerequisite: ENGL 205 with a grade of "C" or better, or equivalent

Typically Offered: Fall

Recommended Sequence: Fall 1 (FT)/Fall 2 (PT)

This course is a study of the tools and techniques used in technical documentation and editing. Emphasis is placed on the application of effective communication in technical writing. Topics include effective workplace writing; composing formal reports, presentations, and proposals; intercultural communication and collaborative writing; synthesizing data for representation; creating instructions, procedures, or manuals; and critical reading of technical publications for editing policies. Other topics include research writing in APA format and grant writing. This course is designed for students in the Cyber Defense and Analysis program.

CYDA 400: Emerging Technology and Cybersecurity

48-54 lecture hours, 3 unit Grade or Pass/No Pass

Typically Offered: Fall

Recommended Sequence: Fall 1 (FT/PT)

This course is an exploratory study of new, emerging, and developing technologies in cyber defense operations. Emphasis is placed on both operational theory and designing and deploying technological solutions to combat evolving cyber threats. Topics include Zero Trust and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) architectures, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), Automation, 5G networks, and Internet of Things (IoT). This course is designed for students in the Cyber Defense and Analysis program.

CYDA 410: Modern Cryptography

36-40.5  lecture hours, 36-40.5 lab hours, 3 unit Grade or Pass/No Pass

Typically Offered: Fall

Recommended Sequence: Fall 1 (FT/PT)

This course is a study of the theoretical foundations of cryptosystems used in the real world. Emphasis is placed on common cryptographic objects to get a better understanding of various cryptographic primitives, algorithms, attacks, and protocols. Topics include an introduction to classic cryptography, properties of private key (symmetric) and public key (asymmetric) cryptography, hashing, and digital signature schemes. This course is designed for students in the Cyber Defense and Analysis program.

CYDA 420: Applied Network Security Monitoring

36-40.5  lecture hours, 36-40.5 lab hours, 3 unit Grade or Pass/No Pass

Typically Offered: Fall

Recommended Sequence: Fall 1 (FT/PT)

This course is a study of the process of ingesting, storing, and interpreting data collected and generated by computer network systems. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of data and practices associated with management of system information and event logs from a security perspective. Topics include network security monitoring (NSM), security information and event management (SIEM) technology, logging implementation, management, and retention, continuous monitoring (CM) and threat modeling as well as data analysis for identifying, responding to, and preventing attacks. This course is designed for students in the Cyber Defense and Analysis program.

CYDA 430: Applied Intrusion Detection and Analysis

36-40.5  lecture hours, 36-40.5 lab hours, 3 unit Grade or Pass/No Pass

Typically Offered: Spring

Recommended Sequence: Spring 1 (FT/PT)

This course is a hands-on study of methodologies used to analyze network traffic in order to identify intrusions. Emphasis is placed on the theoretical and practical analysis of network activity to deem if it is noteworthy or a false indication of breach. Topics include common application protocols, analyzing network behavior to detect breaches, strengths and limitations of intrusion detection systems (IDS) and other monitoring tools as well as visualizing data traffic to identify patterns and anomalies. This course is designed for students in the Cyber Defense and Analysis program.

CYDA 440: Deconstructing Malware

36-40.5  lecture hours, 36-40.5 lab hours, 3 unit Grade or Pass/No Pass

Typically Offered: Spring

Recommended Sequence: Spring 1 (FT)/Spring 2 (PT)

This course is a hands-on study of methodologies used to reverse-engineer malicious software (malware). Emphasis is placed on the analytical ability to examine inner workings of malware in the context of forensic investigations, incident response, and systems administration. Topics include data files and browser scripts analysis, fundamental behavioral analysis of memory forensics and malware code, and concepts for reverse engineering common malware. This course is designed for students in the Cyber Defense and Analysis program.

CYDA 450: Network Forensics

36-40.5  lecture hours, 36-40.5 lab hours, 3 unit Grade or Pass/No Pass

Typically Offered: Spring

Recommended Sequence: Spring 1 (FT)/Spring 2 (PT)

This course is a hands-on study of methodologies used in network forensics examinations. Emphasis is placed on building practical experience through virtual lab exercises simulating real-world scenarios covering investigation and data recovery in networks. Topics include physical interception, traffic acquisition and analysis, and wireless attacks. This course is designed for students in the Cyber Defense and Analysis program.

CYDA 460: Digital Forensics

36-40.5  lecture hours, 36-40.5 lab hours, 3 unit Grade or Pass/No Pass

Typically Offered: Spring

Recommended Sequence: Spring 1 (FT)/Spring 2 (PT)

This course is a theoretical and practical study of methodologies used to conduct forensics examinations of digital and mobile devices. Emphasis is placed on comprehensive knowledge of digital forensics and adherence to the law. Topics include techniques used in digital investigations, root cause analysis, collection and documentation of relevant information, and legal compliance. This course is designed for students in the Cyber Defense and Analysis program.

CYDA 500: Cyber Incident Response

36-40.5  lecture hours, 36-40.5 lab hours, 3 unit Grade or Pass/No Pass

Typically Offered: Fall

Recommended Sequence: Fall 2 (FT)/Fall 3 (PT)

This course is a hands-on study of methodologies used in responding to cyber incidents. Emphasis is placed on the analytical ability to identify assets and resolve network and host cybersecurity issues by applying knowledge and skills required of a cybersecurity first responder. Topics include asset identification, security control implementation, event detection and response execution, and incident and disaster recovery. This course is designed for students in the Cyber Defense and Analysis program. (Prep for CFR - DoD 8140/8570.01-M)

CYDA 510: Disaster Response and Recovery

48-54 lecture hours, 3 unit Grade or Pass/No Pass

Typically Offered: Fall

Recommended Sequence: Fall 2 (FT)/Fall 3 (PT)

This course is a project-based study of methodologies used to ensure business continuity and protect vital operations, facilities, and assets. Emphasis is placed on the skills needed to identify mission-critical continuity needs and develop a disaster recovery plan (DRP) to protect an organization from constant risk of disruption from cyber threats. Topics include evaluating risks and conducting business impact analysis (BIA), developing and implementing a DRP, crisis management and emergency operations as well as critical infrastructure and vital records recovery. This course is designed for students in the Cyber Defense and Analysis program.

CYDA 520: Cyber Threat Intelligence

48-54 lecture hours, 3 unit Grade or Pass/No Pass

Typically Offered: Fall

Recommended Sequence: Fall 2 (FT)/Fall 4 (PT)

This course is an interactive study of data an organization uses to understand the previous, current, and future threats targeting an organization. Emphasis is placed on theoretical and practical skills to conduct a threat intelligence program. Topics include organizational strategy and planning; data collection, analysis, and threat extractions; and informational sharing and situational awareness. This course is designed for students in the Cyber Defense and Analysis program.

CYDA 530: Advanced Security Implementation and Management

36-40.5  lecture hours, 36-40.5 lab hours, 3 unit Grade or Pass/No Pass

Typically Offered: Fall

Recommended Sequence: Fall 2 (FT)/Fall 4 (PT)

This course is a hands-on study of methodologies used in the assessment and management of risk to data and information systems. Emphasis is placed on deep technical and managerial knowledge and skills to design, develop, and manage an organization’s overall security posture. Topics include security and risk management, asset security, security architecture and engineering, communication and network security, identity and access management (IAM), Security Assessment and Testing, and Security Operations as well as software development security. This course is designed for students in the Cyber Defense and Analysis program. (Prep for CISSP - DoD 8140/8570.01-M)

CYDA 540: Critical Infrastructure and Supply Chain Protection

48-54 lecture hours, 3 unit Grade or Pass/No Pass

Typically Offered: Spring

Recommended Sequence: Spring 2 (FT)/Spring 3 (PT)

This course is a study of theories and foundations used to achieve and assess the protection of critical infrastructure and supply chain operations. Emphasis is placed on the optimization of resources to protect key infrastructure components of a nation. Topics include network science, complexity theory, risk analysis, modeling and simulation, and individual sectors. This course is designed for students in the Cyber Defense and Analysis program.

CYDA 550: System and Network Auditing

48-54 lecture hours, 3 unit Grade or Pass/No Pass

Typically Offered: Spring

Recommended Sequence: Spring 2 (FT)/Spring 3 (PT)

This course is an interactive study of the application of a risk-based approach to planning, executing, and reporting on audit engagements. Emphasis is placed on the skills needed to audit, control, monitor, and assess an organization’s information technology (IT) and business systems. Topics include information systems (IS) auditing process; IT governance; IS acquisition, development, and implementation; operations and business resilience; and protection of information assets. This course is designed for students in the Cyber Defense and Analysis program. (Prep for CISA - DoD 8140/8570.01-M)

CYDA 560: Operational Security Architecture

48-54 lecture hours, 3 unit Grade or Pass/No Pass

Typically Offered: Spring

Recommended Sequence: Spring 2 (FT)/Spring 4 (PT)

This course is an in-depth study of methodologies used to design advanced security solutions using risk-based analytics. Emphasis is placed on the alignment of security architectures within the organizational context. Topics include governance, compliance, and risk management; security architecture modeling; infrastructure security; identity and access management; application security; and security operations. This course is designed for students in the Cyber Defense and Analysis program. (Prep for CISSP-ISSAP - DoD 8140/8570.01-M)

CYDA 570: Cyber Defense and Analysis Capstone

48-54 lecture hours, 3 unit Grade or Pass/No Pass

Typically Offered: Spring

Recommended Sequence: Spring 2 (FT)/Spring 4 (PT)

This project-oriented capstone course allows students to demonstrate their capability to detect, respond, and recover from a cyber incident. The instructor-approved project challenges students to integrate skills and knowledge from all program domains into one project that deals with a significant real-world cybersecurity incident. Students present their projects to a panel. This course is designed for students in the Cyber Defense and Analysis program.

Estimated Cost of Enrollment (CA Residents)

 

Required Units

Cost Per Unit

Estimated Total

CSUGE (IGETC)

*36 (34)

$46

$1,656 ($1,564)

AS - Cybersecurity

*35

$46

$1,610

BS – Cyber Defense and Analysis

*54

$130

$7,020

Full Program

*125 (123)

 

$10,286 ($10,194)

 

*Some students may need additional units to meet general education, associate degree, and/or baccalaureate degree program requirements. Unit requirements subject to change. Please check with a counselor to determine the appropriate education plan.

For a full estimate of the total cost of attendance for residents and non-residents - including enrollment, books and supplies, food, housing, and transportation - visit the Financial Aid Office.

Need help paying for college? Everyone, no matter your financial situation, should fill out a FAFSA to determine what types of financial aid you may be eligible for.

Accepting Applications: Fall '24 CLOSED | Fall 2025 10/15/2024

Admission/Selection Criteria

Admission to a community college hosting the baccalaureate degree program does not guarantee admission into the program. Students who wish to declare a major in the baccalaureate degree program may need to meet minimum criteria in order to be admitted into the program. Admission into the program may be selective due to availability of practicum sites, limitations in the number of students who can be accommodated in the program and/or other limitations. Students admitted to the baccalaureate degree program must be able to meet the essential elements of the courses and programs.

San Diego City College uses a multicriteria screening process to evaluate applicants for admission. This process may include, but shall not necessarily be limited to, all of the following:

  1. Academic degrees or diplomas, or relevant certificates, held by an applicant.
  2. Grade-point average in relevant coursework.
  3. Any relevant work or volunteer experience.
  4. Professional licensing and/or state/national certification.
  5. Life experiences or special circumstances of an applicant, including, but not necessarily limited to, the following experiences or circumstances: disability, low family income, first generation of family to attend college, need to work, disadvantaged social or educational environment, extenuating circumstances, refugee, or veteran status.
  6. Proficiency or advanced level coursework in languages other than English.

Admissions Pathways for New Applicants

There are three pathways into the Cyber Defense and Analysis bachelor's degree program depending on your past college credit completion. View all three pathways to find the one that is best for you.

*Limitation on Enrollment: Student must be admitted into the Cyber Defense and Analysis program.

Track 1 - Entering as a Freshman (1st Year)

The first pathway is designed for students enrolling in the Cybersecurity associate degree program, who are interested in continuing to earn a bachelor’s degree in Cyber Defense and Analysis. Students in this track will enter as freshmen.

Students on this track do not need to apply to the baccalaureate degree program until finishing the associate degree program.

In addition to the required courses for the major, students pursuing this track must complete the following requirements to complete the bachelor's degree program:

  • CSU or IGETC General Education Pattern
  • Transfer level Math Courses
  • Transfer level English Composition Course

In order to proceed into the baccalaureate program, students must complete the Cybersecurity associate degree program from San Diego City College.

Track 2 - Entering as a Sophomore (2nd Year)

The second pathway is designed for students with previous AS/BS degrees in fields other than Cybersecurity. This track allows students to complete the major prerequisites (non-GE) in one year.

Students on this track do not need to apply to the baccalaureate program until finishing the associate degree program.

Students pursuing this track must complete the following requirements prior to earning a bachelor's degree (if they have not already been completed):

  • CSU or IGETC General Education Pattern
  • Transfer level Math Courses
  • Transfer level English Composition Course
    OR
    Completion of previous college degree (AA/AS/BA/BS)

In order to proceed into the baccalaureate program, students must complete the Cybersecurity associate degree program from San Diego City College.

Track 3 - Entering as a Junior (3rd Year)

The third pathway is designed for students who have completed an approved two-year associate degree program in Cybersecurity and are interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree in Cyber Defense and Analysis. Students in this track will enter directly as juniors.

Students pursuing this track must complete the following requirements prior to earning a bachelor's degree (if they have not already been completed):

  • CSU or IGETC General Education Pattern
  • Transfer level Math Courses 
  • Transfer level English Composition Course

In order to proceed into the baccalaureate program, students must possess a Cybersecurity associate degree from San Diego City College, or an equivilent associate degree from another college or university.

Careers in the cybersecurity workforce or information security field include: cyber defense analyst, information security consultant, security administrator, security analyst, security engineer, security auditor, incident responder, penetration tester, vulnerability assessor, support technician, systems administrator, network administrator, and network specialist.

It is recommended to attend one of our information sessions prior to applying to our bachelor's degree program.

Virtual Info Session - 8/16/2024

Virtual Info Session - 9/18/2024

Virtual Info Session - 10/11/2024

General Information Covered

  • Program Details
  • Program Requirements
  • Application Process
  • Acceptance and Enrollment
  • Questions & Answers

Video: Prerecorded Information Session Fall 2023 (CC) | (audio transcript)

BDP PowerPoint Presentation

Video: Prerecorded Application Walkthrough (CC) | (audio transcript)

Program Prerequisites (subject to change)

Applicants should consider the following supplemental questions when applying:

  1. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later successes. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you? What did you learn from the experience?
  2. SDCC fosters a multi-cultural community committed to equity, inclusiveness, and diversity in all manifestations. What do you see as the most challenging aspect of a diverse academic environment? How would you respond to a conversation between students that was clearly offensive to others?
  3. Committing to a future career in a field as complex as cybersecurity requires careful consideration and self-reflection - lifelong learning is essential to success and not optional. What values and experiences have led you to believe that becoming a cyber defense analyst is the right fit for you?

Supplemental question responses may be in typed or video format. There is a 250 word or 5-minute video limit for each question.

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