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Cybersecurity Major

Study cybersecurity at SBU

Today's society has become increasingly dependent on technology, creating a significant need for professionals well-versed in the skills related to cybersecurity and ethical hacking.

  • Increasing numbers of technical and security failures threaten America's energy grid, personal data, financial institutions, government and more.
  • Demand for professionals with these skills is significant. According to Forbes, more than 200,000 cybersecurity jobs went unfilled in 2015 in the U.S., and 1.5 million cybersecurity jobs are expected to be unfilled globally by 2020.
  • The National Security Agency (NSA) has established a program for recognizing excellence in cybersecurity at universities.

SBU's cybersecurity degree program is unique in that you will be equipped with coding and software engineering skills that will enhance your versatility in the cybersecurity industry. While most cybersecurity degrees approach data security from an information technology approach, SBU’s program approaches data security from a software-engineering perspective.  

Studying cybersecurity and taking ethical hacking courses at SBU will equip you to be on the digital frontlines in the ongoing cyber battle between forces of good (innocent individuals, small businesses, corporations, government) and forces of evil (digital thieves, corporate saboteurs, terrorists).

The Cybersecurity degree is offered through SBU's College of Professional Programs

ABET Accreditation

SBU's cybersecurity program received national recognition as one of the first in the nation to receive prestigious accreditation from ABET.


Degree Plan

of its kind
in the area

(SBU is the first school in the greater Springfield, MO area to offer an undergraduate degree in cybersecurity.)

A-Bet logo

SBU students working on laptop outside

The SBU Advantage

  • Learn from expert faculty including Dr. Jim Cain, who is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and is a published researcher in the secure coding area, and Meilani Conley, who worked for Booz-Hamilton as a security specialist and held a classified federal security clearance.
  • Study in a unique degree program developed with advisement by data security professionals.
  • SBU CIS graduates have achieved 100% job placement within six months of graduation 5 out of the last 6 years.
  • SBU is home to a dedicated cybersecurity lab.
  • Graduates from the SBU CIS programs typically earn starting salaries ranging from $50,000-$75,000.

Faith Integration

SBU's cybersecurity program is dedicated to the intentional integration of Christian faith and academic discipline. For example, each year at least one senior project is chosen that has an intentional spiritual focus. In the past, these senior projects have benefited companies and organizations such as Global Media Outreach, New Tribes Mission and IMB missionaries in Thailand.

Psalm 15 — SBU's College of Professional Programs and the Robert W. Plaster College of Business have a Psalm 15 initiative, which provides intentional integration of faith and academic discipline. Using Psalm 15 as a basis, the Colleges have identified eight character traits that should be the hallmark of the students and graduates. These character traits are emphasized in coursework and in a special lecture series. The highlighted character traits are: Integrity, Service, Respect, Charity, Faithfulness, Truthfulness, Humility and Perseverance.

Ethics and Professional Development — As part of an intentionally Christian education, students in the Robert W. Plaster College of Business take a senior-level course in Ethics and Professional Development. The course teaches Christian personal and professional ethics and equips students with life skills such as career development, etiquette, and servant leadership, with the goal of producing ethical business leaders who will be servant leaders in the workplace.

Callen Dye
"The faculty have been so helpful in choosing this degree and preparing for my career. They host career fairs for us and have answered any questions I have had about this new career field."
Callen Dye
Cybersecurity major from Blue Springs, Mo.

Clubs and Organizations

Competitive Programming Teams

SBU is home to one of Missouri's top competitive programming teams, with more than 20 top-10 national awards in the last five years. Additionally, SBU is the 2017 CCSC Mid-South Regional Champion Competitive Programming Team! Use what you're learning in the classroom to compete in various regional and national competitions throughout the year.

Collegiate Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)

SBU’s FBLA team competes nationally in various categories. The team has produced five national champions and 15 top-10 finishes at FBLA nationals in the past 10 years.

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

Join SBU's chapter of Association for Computing Machinery, the world's largest scientific and educational computing society.


Select programs within the College of Professional Programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The Computer Science and Cybersecurity programs are accredited by ABET's Computer Accrediting Commission.

SBU's computer science program is the only ABET-accredited program at an evangelical Christian college within a 500-mile radius of Bolivar, and is one of just six evangelical Christian institutions nationwide to receive this accreditation. SBU's cybersecurity program is the only ABET-accredited program at an evangelical Christian college within a 800-mile radius of Bolivar, and is one of only two evangelical Christian institutions nationwide to receive this accreditation. SBU's Division of Computing & Mathematics is the only department at any evangelical Christian institution in the U.S. to house programs accredited by both ABET and ACBSP.

Competitive programming

SBU is home to one of Missouri's top competitive programming teams with more than 20 top-10 national awards in the past five years.

  • CCSC Central Plains Regional Champion seven times in past 10 years
  • AITP National Collegiate Conference national top three or higher 13 times in past 10 years
  • Top-20 team in the Mid-Central United States region at the International Collegiate Programming Contest each year since 2005

Research lab

SBU CIS students benefit from the CIS Research Lab, a Windows 7 100 base TX Ethernet networked lab housing three parallel processing platforms, including a multi-hundred NVidia system. Lab is primarily used for senior projects, work study and research projects.


You will have the opportunity to apply for several privately funded scholarships. Select incoming freshmen receive a CIS award for their first year.

Taylor Center

The College of Professional Programs is housed in the Gene Taylor National Free Enterprise Center. The Taylor Center was expanded and renovated to provide the following benefits for our students:

  • Increased number of dedicated study areas and presentation rooms that can be reserved in advance
  • Keycard access for certain majors increases building security while allowing you to access space and equipment after hours to effectively study and work on group projects
  • Student lounge and open spaces to study, relax and hang out

Program Objectives and Outcomes

Student Outcomes

Graduates of the cybersecurity program will have an ability to:

  • Analyze a complex computing program and apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions
  • Design, implement, and evaluate a computing-based solution to meet a given set of computing requirements in the context of the program's discipline
  • Communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts
  • Recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgments in computing practice based on legal and ethical principles
  • Function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in activities appropriate to the program's discipline
  • Apply security principles and practices to maintain operations in the presence of risks and threats

Educational Objectives

Within a few years of graduation, graduates the cybersecurity program at Southwest Baptist University will be able to:

  • Communicate effectively with their peers, clients, supervisors and other professional work constituents using both written and oral communication
  • Understand how to make rational decisions when faced with social, ethical and legal issues inherent to the computing field
  • Apply the theoretical framework in the computing disciplines to the analysis, design and implementation of problem solutions and systems
  • Employ the use of computing technology from a Christian perspective as technological servant leaders within their chosen careers
  • Pursue continued professional development, advanced degrees, research, and technical certifications where appropriate.

Enrollment and Graduation Data for Cybersecurity Degree

  2017-18 2018-19
Number of students enrolled 10 15
Number of students graduated 0