Information Security

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
    • Emphasis

    Get Involved

    A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

    • Independent Projects: Students have worked on projects such as facial recognition software, a gesture-controlled quadcopter, machine learning, Android apps, an online guided tour, commercial websites and self-guiding vehicles.
    • Information Technology Services: Many Computer Science students work for the Western IT Department, keeping student and university computers and networks running smoothly.
    • Internships: Students have gotten internships with Lockheed Martin, Amazon, Raytheon, Dell, Northrop Grumman and other companies large and small. Computer Science internships pay well and very often lead directly to a permanent job.


    Program-Based Scholarships

    John Peterson Memorial Scholarship In Computer Science


    • Students majoring in Computer Information Science
    • Completed a minimum of 12 credit hours at Western, 3 of which can be applied toward their majors
    • Must have minimum 3.0 GPA
    • Plan on enrolling in at least nine credits


    This scholarship is provided by Stephen Watson.

    Amount: $500

    Selected by: Math and Computer Science Scholarship Committee


    Contact the Mathematics & Computer Science Department for application and deadline information.

    970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

    Institutional Scholarships

    Common Scholarships

    Western offers approximately 70 common scholarships for which a wide variety of students are eligible (e.g., locals, veterans, transfers). Apply for any number of these common scholarships using Western’s Common Scholarship Application, which is due April 1. For more information, visit

    Early Action Credit

    If a student is accepted to Western by Nov. 1 and qualifies for a merit scholarship, the student will receive an additional $500 for the first year. Use our Net Price Calculator to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

    Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

    Western Colorado University alumni can nominate prospective students for a $500 scholarship ($250 per semester) for first year only. Application deadline is typically June 1. For more information, visit

    Neighboring States Program

    Students with a permanent address from one of the seven contiguous neighboring states to Colorado who have demonstrated financial need are automatically considered for a special $1,000 per year grant, totaling $4,000 over four years.

    The Western Neighboring States program can be added to WUE, CP or merit scholarships. So, if you are a permanent resident of one of those seven states—and show financial need—you are eligible.

    For more information about the Neighboring States program, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Presidential Promise

    The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

    For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential promise, visit

    Tuition Discount Programs

    Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

    For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Western Merit Scholarship

    Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship. 

    For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit

    Faculty & Staff


    Erik Kjosness, M.S. headshot
    Lecturer of Mathematics
    Phone: 970.943.2127
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 108
    Doug MacGregor, Ph.D. headshot
    Adjunct Professor of Computer Science
    Phone: 970.943.2069
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 105
    Marc Rubin, Ph.D. headshot
    Assistant Professor of Computer Science
    Phone: 970.943.2802
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 212
    Daniel L. Schuster, Ph.D. headshot
    Professor of Computer Science, Mathematics
    Phone: 970.943.2999
    Office Location: Hurst Hall 214


    FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a sample of courses offered by Western Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the university course search.

     CS 170 - Information Security and Hacking (3 credits)

    An introduction to the principles and concepts of information security and hacking. The course uses real world examples to illustrate attacks on computer systems and networks. Topics include vulnerabilities, threats and attackers, data protection and encryption and the nature of malware. Basic hacking concepts are introduced along with defensive measures and counterattacks.

     CS 235 - Computer Networks (3 credits)

    An investigation of the transmission of data and information between computer systems. Topics include simple data communications, protocols, error control, local-area networks, wide-area networks such as the Internet packet-switching networks, and several networking models. Various data communication hardware and software are also examined. Prerequisites: CS 191 with a minimum grade of ÒC-Ó.

     CS 330 - Operating Systems and Architecture (3 credits)

    A study of how hardware and operating systems work in a multiprocessing computer system. The Intel architecture including the instruction set, memory hierarchy, and exception handling are covered. The Windows and Linux operating systems functions and programming interfaces are studied to understand modern computing environments. Prerequisite: CS 191

     CS 360 - System Security (3 credits)

    A study of system level hacking. Topics include workstation and server vulnerabilities, security and protection mechanisms. The nature of system attacks combined with standard intrusion detection systems will demonstrate the challenge of correctly preventing, diagnosing and responding to attacks. Prerequisite: CS 330

     CS 450 - Ethical Hacking and Malware (3 credits)

    Application of computer hacking principles to determine vulnerabilities in computer systems and to design preventative processes. Each stage of the attack process from reconnaissance to final objective will be used to analyze attack methods and determine the best method to detect and remediate an attack using an incident response process. Prerequisite: CS 330

     CS 460 - Network Security (3 credits)

    A study of network and web hacking. Topics include web vulnerabilities, cryptographic tools, web security and protection mechanisms. The nature of network attacks using sample data sets combined with standard intrusion detection systems will demonstrate the challenge of correctly diagnosing and responding to attacks. Prerequisite: CS 235 and CS 330

     MATH 380 - Introduction to Cryptography (3 credits)

    A presentation of the mathematical background to modern cryptography. Topics include symmetric and asymmetric cryptography, block ciphers, hashing, digital signatures, RSA and discrete-logarithm-based systems, and error correction. The course emphasizes rigorous mathematical formulations as well as programming algorithms. Prerequisite: MATH 151 or CS 191 with minimum grade of “C-“.

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
    • Emphasis


    Information Security (also referred to as “Cybersecurity”) is an emphasis within the Computer Science major that prepares students for entry-level cybersecurity positions. The “internet of things” has created a high demand for cybersecurity specialists, and graduates can expect to enter a constantly evolving field that is a force for good, with challenging work and great career opportunities.

    The Program

    The Information Security emphasis is built upon a computer science foundation of programming, computer architecture, operating systems and networking courses. As students enter the Information Security core, they tighten their focus on network and web security; computer system and database security; and ethical hacking and malware analysis.

    Computer scientists must also be more than technically proficient. Reading, writing, critical analysis and presentation skills are essential for those who wish to do more than develop software. Western’s liberal arts education complements students’ computer science courses, giving them the hard and soft skills necessary to manage people and projects, which is what many people in the field progress toward.

    Careers & Opportunities

    There is great demand for Information Security graduates: Seventy percent of job openings are going unfilled, entry salaries range from $51,000 to $125,000 and the industry is hungry to hire women and minorities. Graduates will be well qualified for an entry-level cybersecurity positions at business, computer companies, consulting firms and financial companies. 

    Learn More

    Reach out to Doug MacGregor, Ph.D. for more information.