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Department of Political Science and International Relations

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political science and International relations

Intelligence and Cyber Operations B.A.

building landscape

Combining Scholarship in International Relations Together with Technical Expertise in Information Technology

How have nation-states and other actors used cyber technology to collect information and to spread misinformation? How can we protect against it? Dornsife College and the Viterbi School of Engineering have collaborated to create a major that can help prepare students to engage these timely challenges and opportunities.

Program Overview

This interdisciplinary major requires 51-54 units in total: 12 at the lower-division level and 39-42 at the upper-division level.

During Spring 2020, INCO students presented their cyber crime knowledge to perspective employers across the globe in a virtual mock trial.  Read more about it on USC News.

Lower Division Required Courses (12 units)

Lower Division Required Courses (12 units)

Upper Division Required Courses (14 units)

Upper Division Required Courses (14 units)

IR 304 National Intelligence and the Shaping of Policy  Units: 4

IR 320 Technology and International Relations  Units: 4

ITP 325 Ethical Hacking and Systems Defense  Units: 3

ITP 375 Digital Forensics  Units: 3

Security and Violence (4 units)

Security and Violence (4 units)

Choose one:

IR 313 Religions and Political Violence  Units: 4

IR 315 Ethnicity and Nationalism in World Politics  Units: 4

IR 318 Violent Conflict  Units: 4

IR 319 Human Security and Humanitarian Intervention  Units: 4

IR 342 The Politics and Strategy of Weapons of Mass Destruction  Units: 4

IR 381 Introduction to International Security  Units: 4

IR 386 Terrorism and Counterterrorism  Units: 4

IR 387 Strategic Studies  Units: 4

International Finance (4 units)

International Finance (4 units)

Choose one:

ECON 452 International Finance  Units: 4
(Prerequisite: ECON 305)

ECON 457 Financial Markets  Units: 4
(Prerequisite: ECON 303)

IR 328 The Evolving Global Economic Architecture-Capital Mobility  Units: 4

IR 329 The Global Finance and Monetary Regime  Units: 4

IR 431 Commercial and Financial Globalization-Trends, Challenges  Units: 4

Cyber Law, Policy Management (3-4 units)

Cyber Law, Policy Management (3-4 units)

Choose one:

DSCI 429 Security and Privacy  Units: 4

ITP 370 Information Security Management  Units: 3

ITP 479 Cyber Law and Privacy  Units: 3

Technical Elective (6-8 units)

Technical Elective (6-8 units)

Choose two:

ITP 303 Full-Stack Web Development  Units: 4

ITP 357 Enterprise Network Design  Units: 3

ITP 365 Managing Data in C++  Units: 4

ITP 425 Web Application Security  Units: 4

ITP 446 Cyber Breach Investigations  Units: 3

ITP 457 Network Security  Units: 4

ITP 475 Advanced Digital Forensics  Units: 4

Regional Electives (8 units)

Regional Electives (8 units)

Choose two courses, each from a different category:

The Middle East

HIST 384 Popular Culture in the Middle East  Units: 4

IR 362 The International Relations of the Contemporary Middle East  Units: 4

IR 463 Islam and Arab Nationalism  Units: 4

MDES 340 The United States and the Middle East  Units: 4

REL 402 Cultural Heritage, Religion, and Politics in the Middle East  Units: 4


Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia

IR 345 Russian and Post-Soviet Foreign Policy  Units: 4

IR 346 Communism and Post-Communism: Eastern Europe and the Balkans  Units: 4

IR 438 Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict after Communism  Units: 4

IR 439 Political Economy of Russia and Eurasia  Units: 4


East Asia

HIST 366 The People’s Republic of China  Units: 4

IR 333 China in International Affairs  Units: 4

IR 340 The Political Economy of China  Units: 4

IR 360 International Relations of the Pacific Rim  Units: 4

IR 384 Asian Security Issues  Units: 4