Brand New B.S. Degree in Cybersecurity @ RIC

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Did you know cybersecurity experts are in demand across the country? With a cybersecurity degree, you will become uniquely qualified to serve the security needs of businesses, government and other agencies that make up the nation’s infrastructure.

While the demand for cybersecurity experts is high, the number of qualified professionals is low. In Rhode Island alone, there are currently 2,700 job openings for cybersecurity-related positions. Nationwide there are more than 600,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions.

Rhode Island College’s new B.S. degree in cybersecurity is an expansion of an academic program that began in 2020 as a minor. It launches alongside RIC’s new Institute for Cybersecurity & Emerging Technologies that is being led by former congressman and RIC alumnus James Langevin ’90, a national leader in the cybersecurity field. Both the institute and the new major will be housed within the School of Business.

Uniquely, RIC’s degree program is the first business-oriented undergraduate cybersecurity degree program in Rhode Island “because cybersecurity is ultimately a business problem,” says RIC Chair and Associate Professor of Computer Science Suzanne Mello-Stark. “Security breaches put businesses and their clients at risk.

With a business-focused degree, not only will students be prepared to become information security analysts, helping organizations protect sensitive data from cyber attacks, they will be taught important business skills and become uniquely qualified to serve the security needs of Rhode Island businesses and beyond.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to plan, implement and monitor security processes; master the usage of security software, tools and cryptography; analyze the security needs of an organization; evaluate and identify security breaches in systems and networks; design and deploy defense solutions to ensure safety and reduce risk; and understand the legal, ethical and compliance issues related to information security.

Mello-Stark was the impetus behind the new major. Winner of the 2019 Innovations in Cybersecurity Education Award and a member of former U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin’s cybersecurity advisory board, Mello-Stark has long been a proponent of increasing the number of professionals in the cybersecurity sector.

She initiated the minor in cybersecurity in 2020, initiated the major and has led RIC’s GenCyber Camp for the past five years – a free, fully online cybersecurity experience for high school students funded by the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation.

“Be it a major in cybersecurity or just exposing students to cybersecurity on a small scale through our minor in cybersecurity and our GenCyber Camp has resulted in amazing opportunities for our students,” says Mello-Stark. “Some of our students are now in graduate school at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the University of Rhode Island, or they are working in start-ups or government agencies. It’s my passion to keep growing this field of study for students at Rhode Island College.”

Under the leadership of RIC Professor of Information Systems Lisa Bain, in Fall Semester 2023, seats in two courses are being offered to high school students for college credit: CIS 252: Introduction to Information Systems and CSCI 102: Computer Fundamentals for Cybersecurity.

For more information on RIC programs in cybersecurity, visit Cybersecurity B.S. and Minor or contact Associate Professor and Chair Suzanne Mello-Stark at

Also see:

WANTED: More Than Half a Million Graduates in Cybersecurity

RIC Prepares High School Students for Tech Career Paths

Governor McKee, Congressman Langevin and RIC President Warner Announce Proposal for Institute for Cybersecurity & Emerging Technologies at Rhode Island College