Transferring to a 4-Year Institution

Are you considering transferring to a 4-year college or university upon graduating from Palomar College?

If you answered yes to the above question, then you will want to continue reading this page. This is written for students in the Palomar College cybersecurity degree program, however, any student wanting to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Cybersecurity will benefit as well. This blog does not include graduate-level programs, boot camps or any programs only offered through an institution’s Extended University or Continuing and Professional Education program. The A.S. Cybersecurity degree program at Palomar College is a general Defense and Operations focused curriculum. This means that the knowledge and skills gained in our program can be used to move on to a 4-year university with a similar objective or find a position defending or auditing an organization’s cybersecurity posture. Our program is not heavy on math or programming concepts (other than Python) so you will need to review your general education pathway (e.g. Calculus, CA History, Foreign Language requirements) if you are considering a traditional 4-year computer science program.

If you are looking at a potential 4-year college or university to continue your studies in cybersecurity, there are a variety of options and it is important to know that not all cybersecurity programs are identical. First, there are few comprehensive cybersecurity Bachelor’s degree programs out there as of 2020. There are, however, 4-year degrees that include cybersecurity courses, but are primarily computer science or business programs (see the CSU section below). These programs have a primary focus such as computer science or business information systems and they have integrated cybersecurity courses into their degree programs either offering a blended Bachelor’s degree program or have included a program minor that students can earn.

I’ll address the comprehensive 4-year B.S. Cybersecurity programs first. These are programs that offer a B.S. Cybersecurity degree. This meaning that most, if not all, of the 300 and 400 level courses are cybersecurity-specific courses. Other programs that have cybersecurity components may only offer 3 to 5 courses in cybersecurity so that students can earn a minor or add an emphasis to their computer science, business, or information systems/technology degree.

National University (NU)

National University is a local private university right here in San Diego that offers both face-to-face and online classes. They offer monthly courses where students engage in one course at a time rather than in a traditional semester format. This format works well for active-duty military and those that like to focus on one class at a time. The following flyer provides information on their program and the courses that you will need to take to complete your 4-year degree at National University. There are 2 concentrations that National University offers – Computer Network Defense and Digital Forensics. As a Palomar College cybersecurity graduate (with an A.S. degree), there are 3 cybersecurity courses that you will have taken that will transfer over and not have to be repeated at National University. There are 3 additional lower-division and 14 upper-division cybersecurity courses to complete your Bachelor’s degree (21 courses if you choose to earn a concentration in Computer Network Defense or Digital Forensic). The lower-division Palomar courses that have a direct transfer are:

  • CSNT 111 Networking Fundamentals (-> CYB 212 Introduction to Networking)
  • CSNT 181 Hacker Prevention & Security (-> CYB 200 Introduction to Cybersecurity)
  • CSIT 175 Python Programming (-> CYB 216 Programming for Cybersecurity)

(All information is subject to change and should be verified by a counselor at National University prior to transferring. It is recommended to consult with an academic counselor to get a comprehensive overview of your total cost of attendance.)

University of Arizona (U of A)

The University of Arizona offers face-to-face and online courses for their Bachelor’s of Applied Science in Cyber Operations. U of A has 3 track options – Engineering; Defense and Forensics; and Cyber Law & Policy. Students at Palomar College will most likely find the Defense and Forensics track more closely aligned to the Palomar curriculum. In this program, you can transfer with your A.S. Cybersecurity degree with no additional math requirements, however, make sure you are following the UC GE requirements on the IGETC advising form to minimize the number of lower-division courses you have to take at U of A. There will be 4 courses of upper-division GE courses you will have to take (as with most institutions) in addition to the 14 upper-division (300-400 level) cybersecurity courses.

(All information is subject to change and should be verified by a counselor at the University of Arizona prior to transferring. It is recommended to consult with an academic counselor to get a comprehensive overview of your total cost of attendance.)

Arizona State University (ASU)

Arizona State University has 4 different options for earning a degree with a cybersecurity focus. I wouldn’t put ASU in the comprehensive cybersecurity category, but the nice thing about ASU is that they allow students to learn cybersecurity from the career perspective that the student is interested in. For instance, if a student wants to learn about cybersecurity from a business perspective, they can do so without a lot of programming and calculus requirements. If a student wants to be a systems engineer with knowledge of cybersecurity, they have that option as well. Not all of them are online so you will have to make a determination on which program works for you if ASU is a consideration. I will list them out individually here.

B.S. Applied Computing (Cybersecurity) (degree overview)

B.S. Computer Science (Cybersecurity) (degree overview)

B.S. Computer Systems Engineering (Cybersecurity) (degree overview)

B.A. Business (Cybersecurity) (degree overview)

(All information is subject to change and should be verified by a counselor at Arizona State University prior to transferring. It is recommended to consult with an academic counselor to get a comprehensive overview of your total cost of attendance.)

The California State University (CSU) System

There are multiple campuses within the CSU system that offer cybersecurity programs, but not necessarily a B.S. Cybersecurity degree. To transfer to a CSU, make sure you follow the IGETC Advising guide and follow any advice of Palomar College academic advisors regarding transferring to a CSU campus. For most majors, is a great resource that reports the exact courses needed to transfer, however, it won’t be very helpful for cybersecurity majors. Here is an overview of CSU campuses that offer cybersecurity degree programs. I don’t include any certificates (4+ courses) that are offered here, only 4-year degree programs.

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (degree overview)

B.S Business Administration with an emphasis in Information Security and Forensics

B.S. Computer Science – Cyber Security Career Focus (fact sheet)

California State University, Fullerton (degree overview)

B.S.  Computer Science with Concentration in Cybersecurity

California State University, Sacramento (degree overview)

B.S Computer Science with a minor in Information Security and Computer Forensics

California State University, San Bernardino (overview for each degree program)

B.S. Information Systems & Technology Cyber Security

B.A. Administration Information Security

B.S. Information Systems & Technology National Security

California State University, Stanislaus (degree overview)

B.S. Computer Science with a Cybersecurity concentration

The University of California System

Cybersecurity programs in the UC system are primarily Master’s and Ph.D. programs. If I come across a Bachelor’s degree program in the UC system, I will post it here.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) (degree overview)

B.S. Computer Science with an Information Assurance concentration

University of Nevada, Reno (degree overview)

B.S. Computer Science and Engineering with a Cybersecurity minor

Graduation from Palomar College

Before transferring, don’t forget to apply for graduation from Palomar College. Something many students don’t realize is that our programs can only continue if we graduate students. There is a “Completion” metric that all academic programs are accountable for demonstrating a successful program. Degree programs with low completion rates can be canceled. Additionally, funding from the State is also tied to this completion metric so please keep your favorite faculty employed by graduating with your Associate’s degree and/or Certificate of Completion. All this to say that it is extremely important that you graduate from Palomar College even if you plan on transferring to a 4-year university. To graduate, make sure to turn in your Petition for Graduation before the due date. The Petition for Graduation deadlines are:

  • Fall graduation deadline – September 30th
  • Spring graduation deadline – February 28th
  • Summer graduation deadline – June 30th


This personal blog post is not an official Palomar College page for advising students. This blog post is meant to provide cursory information for students in the Cybersecurity degree program at Palomar College and does not constitute an official guide. The information contained here is my own personal view and understanding based on my own research and experience in higher education. All information on this page is assumed to be accurate at the time of this writing and corrections/updates may occur at any time. I encourage all students to work with academic advisors at both Palomar College and the institutions where you are planning on transferring to for the most updated and accurate information as curriculum changes occur often and may not be reflected here right away.