What Berkeley courses and labs are focused on cybersecurity?

Many faculty members at Berkeley teach privacy and cybersecurity related courses. Because there is no one single source for course information, you may have to do some digging to find the right match for you. We recommend that you focus on faculty members and investigate their webpages. Keep in mind that in addition to their courses, these professors may also have opportunities in their labs.

School of Information

The School of Information offers a perfect intersection between technology and human factors, with identified concentrations in security and privacy. Known as the I School, it offers an online masters degree in cybersecurity, and some of that degree’s courses have migrated to offline, on-campus versions. For instance, Daniel Aranki offers his Introduction to Privacy Engineering on campus. Jennifer Urban and Chris Hoofnagle offer Cybersecurity in Context.These and other faculty often have open research projects in privacy and security. The School of Information is also home to the Center for Long Term Cybersecurity (CLTC), which sponsors programming and research with an explicit focus on future security issues. CLTC offers the Cybersecurity Citizen Clinic, which provides direct advice to NGOs and other organizations to anticipate security risks and mitigate them. Enrollment is open to all students (there is an application process). Also fascinating are CLTC’s AI Security Initiative and Daylight Security Research Lab. Individual faculty also have research agenda on security issues. For instance, Professor Hany Farid performs cutting edge research in digital forensics technologies. Professor Deirdre Mulligan is author of Doctrine for Cybersecurity, a classic article proposing a public health approach to security challenges. Professor Steven Weber is the executive director of CLTC and leads research projects on technology, international relations, and cybersecurity.  Professor Doug Tygar, a pioneer in usable security, machine learning, and computer science, passed away unexpectedly in 2020. Tygar’s 1999 article with Alma Whitten, Why Johnny Can’t Encrypt, is widely regarded as one of the most important papers in computer science; it is perhaps the most important paper on human factors and security.

EECS

UC Berkeley’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department has the leading technical security research group in the country. The SEC group’s website lists seven lead faculty focusing on security, over a dozen secondary leads, relevant courses, and relevant research centers. The International Computer Science Institute is a Berkeley-affiliated research center with many ties to EECS faculty. Many Berkeley students have had excellent research experiences with ICSI, particularly in the network security and usable privacy groups. ICSI has too many security projects to list, but one you might find immediately relevant is Teaching Security, a set of lesson plans for high school students.

Law

The Law School’s Berkeley Center for Law & Technology offers a suite of courses on privacy and security, taught by Ken Bamberger, Chris Hoofnagle, Paul Schwartz, and Jennifer Urban. The Future of Cybersecurity Reading Group and Cybersecurity in Context are both housed at the Law School. The School’s Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic provides among the richest opportunities to engage with clients on technology matters. Note that undergraduates may not take law courses, and graduate students need special approval. Graduate students should plan ahead to request access if you are interested in a law class. UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Center is affiliated with the law school and undergraduates may participate in its programs. HRC’s Technology & Human Rights Program, specifically its Human Rights Investigations Lab, is directly relevant to cybersecurity (open source investigations and digital forensics), and there are often opportunities for grad students to contribute to HRC research projects for law school credit – some of these projects intersect with digital security. 

Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society

CDSS’s innovative, popular Data8 plays a key role in introducing data science to students. This course is now available on EdX.

Political Science

Berkeley’s political science department offers courses in security and international relations and has many faculty experts focused on different dimensions of security. We suggest that you do a search for security on their site.

Public Policy

The Goldman School for Public Policy’s international relations group and security experts have expertise in cybersecurity. 

Public Affairs

The Public Affairs department offers a course on policy making in the fourth industrial revolution.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) is among the most important cybersecurity actors in history. Clifford Stoll’s The Cuckoo’s Egg, a classic cybersecurity text (article here), was based on Stoll’s careful investigation of computer intrusions while he was a LBNL scientist. Cybersecurity efforts are coordinated through the Cybersecurity R&D for Science and Energy at the Berkeley Lab.

UC Berkeley Extension

Extension offers a cybersecurity bootcamp.