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Information Systems Security Essentials

Undergraduate Certificate

The undergraduate certificate in Information Systems Security Essentials focuses on protecting information assets by ensuring availability, confidentiality, integrity, authenticity, and non-repudiation of information systems. This program concentrates on five key aspects of information security: hardware, software, networks, people, and policies. Security threats increase in number and severity at a faster rate than qualified security professionals can fill the necessary gap. Knowledgeable security professionals are needed even in a troubled economy, as businesses are forced to prioritize to invest in a secure digital environment.

Courseware in this online program is designed to prepare you for the Security+ certification. It meets the topical requirements of the DoD Directive 8570.1M Information Assurance Management (IAM) Technical III, Management II and Management III categories. Additionally, the National Security Agency (NSA) Information Assurance Courseware Evaluation (IACE) has certified some courses for this program.

Program Courses

The curriculum for this program follows industry trends to help ensure relevancy to today's marketplace. View all courses.

Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Evaluate information security strategies, architectures, and plans to counteract intruders in an information system.
  • Appraise national and federal laws, policies, and guidance related to information assurance; also develop an awareness of the social, psychological, ethical, and legal policies and requirements in the field of information assurance.
  • Examine and profile the various types of security attacks and exploits; also appraise various security technologies, such as: packet filtering, Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI), proxy technology, Network Address Translation (NAT), Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) authentication, and encryption.
  • Analyze the concept and the functionality of firewalls, routers, Virtual Private Networks (VPN), and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS).
  • Appraise the role of security assessments, penetration testing, and security plans in establishing network security; also evaluate the components of a network security assessment methodology.
  • Investigate methods to mitigate risk by minimizing the exposure of information to hackers, and the techniques hackers use to avoid detection and to cover their electronic footprints.
  • Develop an assessment methodology that identifies, attacks, and penetrates IP based network systems.
  • Define public key cryptography, the purpose of digital certificates, and risk analysis & explain ways to securely manage operations.

Degree at a Glance

Admission Requirements

  • All APU undergraduate programs require a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent (i.e. GED).
  • Please read all undergraduate admission requirements before applying to this program and be prepared to submit the required documentation.
  • There is no fee to complete the APU admission application. View steps to apply.

Need help?

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an APU admissions representative at 877-777-9081 or info@apus.edu.


Undergraduate Tuition Rates 

Per credit hour: $270 | $250 with military grant*

View Tuition and Fees Details  

*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, APU offers a tuition grant for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, Guard, Reserve, military spouses and dependents, and veterans that caps undergraduate tuition at the military TA limit. See all military-affiliated student benefits.

Paying for School

Because our university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), (the same as the Ohio State University, Univ. of Chicago, and U.S. Air Force Academy, to name a few), we can accept the following forms of financial aid and payments:

Ways to Save

Undergraduate Book Grant

Ebooks are provided at no cost if you are enrolled in undergraduate courses for credit. The undergraduate book grant is estimated to save $250 per academic semester if you are registered as a full-time student.

Transfer Credits

Accelerate your degree completion by taking full advantage of our transfer credit options, including credit for your previous college courses, military service schools, American Council on Education (ACE) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and prior learning experiences.  

Employer Contributions

APU has educational partnerships with many employers and associations. Be sure to accurately enter your employer information when you complete our admissions application. Your employer might also offer a tuition reimbursement plan as one of your benefits.

School of Science, Education and Math


School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math

This program resides in the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) where more than 57 degree and certificate programs are available for students to find their area of interest ranging from space studies to environmental studies to IT and cybersecurity. American Public University is one of the few online colleges where you can work fully online to earn science and math bachelor’s degrees. Two of our bachelor’s programs (Natural Science and BSEE) are set up with full lab kits that are mailed to you to use at home. You won’t sacrifice hands-on experience with our online science programs! In addition, many of our STEM professors work to innovate their classroom, including Danny Welsch who uses video for you to learn from his virtual field trips.

The APU STEM program directors work with industry advisory councils to ensure that our students are prepared for the real world. APU also works with industry certifying bodies to ensure that our courseware meets the requirements of agencies such as the National Security Agency (NSA) Information Assurance Courseware Evaluation (IACE) and the DoD Directive 8570.1M Information Assurance Management (IAM).

At APU, we understand your need for flexibility because most of our students are working adult learners who balance school around work and other life commitments. This is why we offer 8-week or 16-week online courses that start monthly. Through an online virtual classroom, you’ll communicate with students and professors in forum communities as you work to complete your weekly written assignments on your own schedule from anywhere in the world. And with our mobile application, you can even work offline and upload your assignments when you reconnect.

We encourage you to browse the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math webpage to learn more about our what’s happening in the school and to find a program that’s right for you