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Cybercrime is one of the most significant threats faced by modern-day businesses and individuals. With the in-demand technical skills needed to counter cyberattacks, you’ll be well-prepared to secure a position safeguarding corporate, financial and personal data.

Program Overview

Learn how to protect informational infrastructure and fight cybercrime.

The Information Security emphasis (also referred to as “Cybersecurity”) will introduce you to principles and concepts of information security and hacking. Coursework uses real-world examples to illustrate attacks on computer systems and networks and teaches you basic hacking concepts with defensive measures. As a computer scientist, you’ll also need to be more than technically proficient. Reading, writing, critical analysis and presentation skills are essential for those who wish to do more than develop software. The dynamic blend of Western’s liberal arts and computer science courses will provide you with the hard and soft skills necessary to manage people and projects.

To start building your resume, you can apply for competitive, paid internships with Lockheed Martin, Amazon, Northrup Grumman and more. For opportunities on-campus, you can work for the Western IT Department and help protect the university’s cyber network. Due to the increasing demand for this skillset, you’ll enter the workforce prepared for challenging work and great career opportunities.

A force for good

Information Security students use their passion for computers and an interest in coding to work towards high demand careers in cybersecurity.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 57 credits is required, including the 30-credit Computer Science Core:

Computer Science Core
CS 190Computer Science I3
CS 191Computer Science II3
CS 195Database Management Systems3
CS 250Web Applications Development I3
CS 280Data Structures3
CS 330Operating Systems and Architecture3
CS 370Systems Programming in C3
CS 412Software Engineering3
CS 470Algorithms3
CS 495Senior Project3
Total Credits30

And the following:

CS 170Information Security and Hacking3
CS 235Computers Networks3
CS 360System Security3
CS 450Ethical Hacking and Malware3
CS 460Network Security3
MATH 140College Algebra (GT-MA1)3
Three of the following:9
CS 220
Data Analytics
CS 303
Machine Learning
CS 310
Programming Projects with X
CS 317
Genome Analysis (with laboratory)
CS 320
Programming Languages
CS 340
Computer Graphics
CS 350
Web Applications Development II
CS 380
The Internet of Things
CS 390
Software Entrepreneurship
CS 415
Software Engineering II
CS 435
Mobile Development
CS 499
Internship or Field Experience in Computer Science
MATH 380
Introduction to Cryptography
Total Credits27

Capstone Course Requirement

The following course fulfills the capstone course requirement in the Computer Science Major: CS 495 SENIOR PROJECT.

Graduation Requirements

Undergraduate programs require a minimum of 120 semester credits for graduation.  Of those 120 credits, 40 credits must be in upper-division courses (those marked 300 and above).  Fifteen of these 40 upper-division credits must be earned in courses that are part of the standard or comprehensive major program being pursued. 

Students are expected to review all graduation requirements, which can be found in the Western Undergraduate Catalog: Graduation Requirements

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
CS 170 Information Security and Hacking 3
CS 190 Computer Science I 3
ENG 102 Academic Writing (GT-CO1) 3
HWTR 100 First Year Seminar 1
MATH 140
or MATH 141
or MATH 151
College Algebra (GT-MA1)
or Precalculus (GT-MA1)
or Calculus I (GT-MA1)
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities 3
CS 191 Computer Science II 3
CS 195 Database Management Systems 3
Elective Elective or minor course 3
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities 3
Year Two
CS 280 Data Structures 3
CS 330
or CS 250
Operating Systems and Architecture
or Web Applications Development I
Elective Elective or minor course 3
Gen Ed Natural Sciences w/lab 4
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
COM 202 Academic Writing and Inquiry (GT-CO2) 3
CS 412 Software Engineering 3
Elective Elective or minor course 6
Gen Ed Natural Sciences w/lab 4
Year Three
Choose 1 Pair based on the year of program start: 6
Pair 1 CS 250 AND upper division CS Elective
Pair 2 CS 330 AND CS 235
Gen Ed Social Sciences 3
Elective Elective or minor course 6
Choose 1 Pair based on the year of program start: 6
Pair 1 CS 360 AND upper division CS Elective
Pair 2 CS 450 AND CS 460
CS 370 Systems Programming in C 3
Elective Elective or minor course 3
Gen Ed Arts & Humanities 3
Year Four
CS 235 Computers Networks 3
CS 470 Algorithms 3
CS Upper division CS elective 3
Elective Elective or minor course 3
Elective Upper division elective or minor course 3
Choose 1 Pair based on the year of program start: 6
Pair 1 CS 450 AND CS 460
Pair 2 CS 360 AND upper division CS Elective
CS 495 Senior Project 3
Elective Elective or minor course 3
 Total Credits120


Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.



  • 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

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 1 for 2022. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.


Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.


Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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 our scholarships page.


The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming first-year students.

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.

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 western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Maximize your educational experience at Western.

Pursue your passions, manifest your ideas and get hands-on experience in your field by participating in the wide variety of extracurricular activities Western offers.

  • 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.

Apply your skills to the real world

The newly constructed Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science & Engineering offers students state-of-the-art, technologically advanced facilities to put their knowledge into practice through hands-on projects that enhance both their understanding of coursework as well as their resumes.

News & Research

Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science and Engineering

Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science & Engineering Building Construction Timelapse

Read More about Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science & Engineering Building Construction Timelapse

Program Director

Jenifer Blacklock, Ph.D.

Director of the Western-CU Boulder Partnership Program

Department Chair

Jeremy Muskat, Ph.D.

Chair of the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science

Contact Information



Campus Location

1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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