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Highline College Bachelor of Applied Science in Cybersecurity and Forensics
Highline College

Bachelor of Applied Science in Cybersecurity and Forensics

Des Moines, USA

4 Years


Full time

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USD 20,700 / per year



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The new Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Cybersecurity and Forensics expands on Highline's already strong Computer Science and Computer Information Systems Department. It gives you a chance to build on your technical degree with upper-division coursework in a high-tech, high-demand area. Earning an applied bachelor's degree may help you make higher wages and prepare you for higher-level specialized technical positions. The skillset may also prepare you to later move into a managerial position.

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Top-Notch Faculty

One of the lead instructors in the program is Dr. Amelia Phillips, who is a nationally recognized expert in the field of computer forensics and the author of one of the standard textbooks in the field.

Phillips is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has worked for more than 30 years in government, private industry, and academics. She is Chair of the Pure and Applied Science Division at Highline, and a Fulbright Scholar.

Joining Highline as a faculty member in this program is Chun Yu, who has completed his degree work toward a Ph.D. and works with business leaders in the region. A graduate of Highline who immigrated to the U.S., Yu has more than 10 years of teaching experience and brings the perspective of an ESL student to the program. In addition to a master's degree in Information Security, he is a Cisco Certified Academy Instructor, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Cisco Certified Networking Associate.

Phillips and Yu, along with the other outstanding instructors, will provide you with an up-to-date curriculum that is modified to meet technological advances; coursework includes computer forensics, network intrusion detection, cloud computing, and web application hacking.

Advanced CS/CIS Department

In Highline's Computer Science and Computer Information Systems Department, you can prepare for a variety of information technology–related careers. Offering advanced topics and training, the department offers you the opportunity to become a computer programmer, network specialist, website/database developer, or data recovery and computer forensics specialist.

Dedicated Computer Labs

With isolated labs in the Higher Education Building, you can do full installations of functional networks on real hardware, not just virtual machines. These dedicated computer labs give you hands-on experience in creating networks, securing networks and operating systems, practicing disaster recovery, and more.

Did You Know?

Demand Is Growing

There's a growing need for professionals who protect computer systems from outside access by hackers, malware, and viruses. Between 2012 and 2022, EMSI* estimates cybersecurity jobs will grow 28.8 percent, from 47,356 to 61,007, in King and Pierce Counties.

Highline Is Connected

Highline offers student internships and job shadowing with major international companies such as Cisco, Microsoft, and Boeing.

Highline Is Leading

Highline is a leader in the cybersecurity field. Among its many high-profile connections with local industry, Highline's program is a member of CyberWatch West and a perennial host of the Pacific Rim Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

Learning Outcomes

A student earning a Bachelors of Applied Sciences in Cybersecurity and Forensics will be able to:

  • Secure the commonly used operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Apple at the small office/home office (SOHO) level to the enterprise level.
  • Securely install, configure, program, and maintain routers, switches, and hubs for the SOHO to enterprise-level operation.
  • Evaluate, plan and implement cloud security for the variation of cloud environments including public, private and hybrid.
  • Evaluate, implement and maintain mobile security for SOHO to enterprise-level operation.
  • Securely install and maintain the popular database products - such as MySQL, MS SQL Server, and Oracle - while being able to evaluate the appropriate operating system for the situation, perform security audits, and apply the knowledge to new technology such as big data installations and analytics.
  • Design, install and maintain a secure database using one or more of the popular database products on various operating systems to industry standards.
  • Evaluate, implement and use big data architectures such as Cloudera, Hortonworks, or Map-R to utilize Hadoop Distributed File Systems.
  • Able to effectively perform the tasks related to penetration testing on various platforms, applications, and network designs including pre-evaluation, setting of parameters, evaluate/report results, and give recommendations on remediation of findings.
  • Plan, conduct, and report on the digital analysis of networks, cloud deployments, desktop and mobile devices using proper forensics techniques and determining the appropriate legal parameters that should be adhered to.
  • Design and conduct an e-discovery investigation, while applying the appropriate legalities such as litigation holds, HIPAA standards.
  • Apply knowledge of professional ethics when dealing with sensitive and confidential information or when making a decision on what path or methodology to use.

Program Eligibility

To qualify for admission to Highline’s BAS Cybersecurity and Forensics Program, eligible applicants must have:

  • Completed or within 30 credits of completion a regionally accredited AAS degree (or its equivalent), in one of the following Web Developer, Web Design, Network Security Engineer, Digital Forensics & Investigation or related fields. Other associate degrees will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Official transcripts from an accredited college or university, and
  • A cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or better.

Application Process

To be considered for the bachelor of applied science program prospective students must submit the following:

  • Completed Highline bachelor application form;
  • Students who have completed a related AAS degree or within thirty credits of completion of an AAS degree. Other associate degrees will be considered on a case-by-case basis;
  • Nonrefundable application fee;
  • Official transcripts from a regionally accredited college.

About the School


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