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CSU unveils new bachelor degree in Cybersecurity

Marketing and Communication // 11.18.2016


Charleston Southern University has announced it will offer a new Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity starting next fall.

The degree program is the result of a team effort from CSU’s Computer Science and Criminal Justice departments with support from the university’s computer science industry advisory board.

“I am encouraged to see focus placed on developing industry-prepared, qualified graduates in the area of Cybersecurity,” said Todd Lant, Vice President of IT at Blackbaud. “As a technology innovator, security is a key differentiator for Blackbaud. Our customers trust us to provide secure solutions for them as well as ourselves. This degree program is an important step in developing critical talent to support the growth of competitive businesses in our region.”

CSU will be the only college or university, locally, to offer a BS in Cybersecurity. The degree is pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College and is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2017. However, currently enrolled CSU students may begin taking courses in the spring which will be available as a hybrid curriculum with courses offered both online and on campus.

The curriculum will focus on teaching students the fundamentals of Cybersecurity.

“We want students who graduate from CSU to still be relevant in this field 30 years later,” said Dr. Valerie Sessions, chair of the computer science department.

Sessions said the program will be more than a trendy response to a burgeoning career opportunity. To create this major, the department will combine core courses from the computer science and criminal justice curriculums. CSU also plans to offer specialized courses in competitive security, network penetration and securing software.

“Charleston Southern’s integration of cybersecurity and criminal justice programs is an insightful and exciting response to future needs of our commercial industry, government and our military,” added Rich Nelson, a cyber professional and president of the Palmetto Roost, a local chapter of the AOC dedicated to education in electronic and cyber warfare.

Charleston’s reputation and nickname as the Silicon Harbor certainly appears a well-timed fit for the specialized education CSU’s Computer Science students will receive. 

As more and more large companies and small-to-medium businesses make Charleston their home, there will be an increased need for information security specialists.

For more information on CSU’s Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity, contact Dr. Valerie Sessions at 843-863-7529 or email her at

Founded in 1964, Charleston Southern University is a private, four-year liberal arts college. CSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. The university's vision is to be a Christian university nationally recognized for integrating faith in learning, leading and serving.