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Business Essentials and Information Technology Qualification Courses

Students need to have two courses totaling at least six credit hours. It is recommended that a student complete these before taking graduate CYB courses, but it is not a requirement. The two courses must be:

Business Essentials Courses

  • One course in statistics, such as QMB 500
  • One additional business course in either economics, finance or accounting (ACC 500, FIN 500 or ECO 500

These may be waived if the student has completed a business degree in the past seven years from an AACSB-accredited school and earned a grade of “B” or better in the course.

Information Technology Qualification Courses

Students are required to have a minimum of nine credit hours of IT courses from three key areas. It is recommended that students complete these before starting graduate work, but they may be taken concurrently with CYB 610 or CYB 620:

  • One course in programming or application development fundaments (ITM 251 or similar course)
  • One course in network, IT Infrastructure or data communications (ITM 280 or similar course)
  • One course in information security principles or foundations (ITM 350, ITM 650 or similar course)

Work Experience and Professional Certification Substitutes

Candidates may use certifications and work experience to substitute for some or all of the IT courses. Each substitute will be evaluated on an individual basis.


Professional certifications can be used as substitutes for the IT qualification courses. A single certification can substitute for only one course. For example, to substitute for three courses, three different certifications would be required. Each certification must be verifiable. The Cybersecurity Program Director will maintain a list of acceptable certifications. Below are examples of some acceptable substitutions for each of the required IT qualification courses:

  • Programming language or application development certification (e.g., C/C++, Python, Java, Visual Basic, MCSD) may substitute for the programming course requirement.
  • A networking certification (e.g., Network+, CCNA, CCNP) may substitute for the networking and data communication course requirement.
  • A security certification (e.g., Security+, CISSP, SSCP, CISA, CISM, GIAC Security Essentials) may substitute for the information security principles course requirement.

Work Experience

Professional work experience may be used as a substitute for a maximum of one of the three IT courses. The work experience must be full-time, paid, within the last ten years, directly relate to the substituted course and be verifiable. At least two years of full-time work experience is necessary to substitute for the specific course. To be verifiable, the experience must be described on a document from an employee's place of work as part of the candidate's admissions package.