Students enrolled in the ACES Minor Program are required to abide by policies set by the University of Maryland, the Honors College, and the ACES Program.
Students must complete at least 16 credits to earn the ACES Minor in cybersecurity. These credits are composed of foundational courses (HACS201, HACS202, and HACS318A), seminars (HACS408 and related academic department seminars) and at least 3 credits of experiential learning (HACS479 or HACS498). All classes must be completed with a “C-“ grade or better. Students must have a 3.2 cumulative GPA in order to be granted the minor upon graduation.
HACS201 is required for any student entering the ACES Minor who does not have previous experience with the UNIX operating system. It must be taken in the student’s first fall semester in the minor and in the same semester as HACS 202. HACS201 is a 1 credit class that takes place in the first third of the semester.
HACS202 is required for any student entering the ACES Minor who was not part of the ACES LLP. This is a project-based course where students participate in group-based research using honeypots. This course must be taken in the student’s first fall semester in the minor.
The ACES Minor also requires students to complete a program exit survey.
Different seminar courses (408’s) have different expectations of previous experience. You can meet with ACES leadership to discuss the course requirements if you are unsure if your background is a match for that course, but ultimate selection of the course resides with the student.
With permission from ACES leadership, ACES minor students are eligible to take courses listed as 208 seminars. This permission will depend on the background of the student and the availability of seats in that course. These courses will not count toward the courses leading to the minor.
For the experiential learning requirements, see the policy statement specifically addressing those program requirements.
The Honors College Course Repeat Policy applies to all courses across the Honors College programs. The ACES Leadership may grant an exception allowing a course to be repeated in rare, extenuating circumstances after consultation with the Honors College Executive Director. In this case, the University Repeat Policy regarding how both final grades will be calculated in to the GPA will prevail. There are guidelines regarding GPA calculations based upon when the original course was taken and for how many credits. Students are advised to consult the undergraduate catalog for their matriculation year or meet with an academic advisor for more information. Course catalogs can be accessed online via the Office of the Registrar and clicking on Catalog-Undergraduate.
Honors College Warning and ACES Probation
Students who fall below a 3.0 cumulative GPA anytime while completing the ACES Minor are placed on Honors College warning. Students placed on Honors College warning are also considered to be on probation with the ACES Minor. If a student’s cumulative GPA remains below a 3.0, the student will be denied registration access to ACES seminars (HACS408 courses) in future semesters’ registration. It is possible for the ACES Leadership to grant registration overrides for students on probation, on a case-by-case basis.
Students placed on probation will be required to meet with ACES Leadership within the first two weeks of the next semester and as scheduled throughout the semester. After two semesters of probation, students who have not raised their cumulative GPA to a 3.0 will be dismissed from the ACES Minor.
The ACES Minor follows the University of Maryland's academic policies regarding satisfactory progress in a program of study. Earning a grade lower than a "C-" in any of the ACES courses will result in a student being dismissed from the program.
The ACES Minor also reserves the right to dismiss a student found in violation of the University's Student Code of Conduct and/or the Code of Academic Integrity. The Honors College is an intellectual community that engages high-achieving undergraduates to pursue knowledge in an atmosphere of honesty and trust. Students found responsible for a violation of the Code of Academic Integrity by the Student Honor Council, receiving an "XF" or worse, will be dismissed from the Honors College and therefore dismissed from the ACES minor.
In addition, we expect that students are good citizens of the ACES Minor. This means that we expect that students will attend extracurricular opportunities when possible, including talks and events outside the classroom, arranged by ACES and the Honors College. Many of these courses are part of the HACS318A. HACS 318A is required for each student to take during one spring semester, but students are encouraged to attend these events outside of that one semester also. These events are essential to the students’ intellectual and professional development and provide opportunities to network, make connections with industry professionals, and interact with the larger cybersecurity community.
Students will be officially dismissed from the ACES Minor if they have not made adequate attempts to complete the ACES Minor. If students have not made adequate attempts to complete the academic minor by raising their GPA to the 3.2 minimum and/or finishing the total 16 credit requirement they will enter a two-semester probationary period. Upperclass students not working towards finishing the minor after two consecutive semesters will be withdrawn from the program. ACES staff will prompt students with emails twice a semester during the two-semester probationary period regarding their commitment to finishing the program. An exception will be made for students who stay in contact with the program staff and are committed to finishing the minor. Exceptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis.
A student can withdraw from the ACES Minor at any time. When a student has determined that it is necessary to withdraw from the program the student should:
- Contact the ACES Leadership
- Withdraw from all registered ACES Minor courses
- Complete the ACES LLP Exit Survey
- Notify their academic advisor of their withdrawal from the ACES Minor
- Students who withdraw from the University of Maryland are automatically withdrawn from the ACES Minor.
Students who either withdraw from the University of Maryland or transfer to another institution are also withdrawn from the ACES Minor. If a student withdraws or transfers to another institution but then re-enrolls at the University of Maryland in a future semester, the student is eligible to return to the ACES Minor.
Students who take a leave of absence from the university in good standing may return to the ACES Minor upon their return to the University of Maryland.