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TU earns NSA designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations

Cook LibraryThe National Security Agency (NSA) and the United States Cyber Command have designated Towson University a National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in Cyber Operations for 2014-2019.

TU is one of only 13 such designees and the only Maryland institution on the list.

The university’s Bachelor of Science in computer science with a track in computer security satisfied the NSA’s rigorous academic and programmatic requirements. The program provides a comprehensive approach to advanced study in computer science and prepares professionals who are capable of holding a variety of positions in specialized intelligence, military and law enforcement cyber operations.

The three-year-old CAE-Cyber Operations Program supports NICE – the President’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education: Building a Digital Nation and furthers the goal of broadening the pipeline of skilled workers capable of supporting a cyber-secure nation.

The program identifies institutions offering a curriculum that is deeply technical, interdisciplinary, and firmly grounded in computer science, computer engineering and/or electrical engineering, with extensive opportunities for hands-on applications via labs/exercises. It complements NSA’s existing CAEs in Information Assurance Education and Research Programs and provides a particular emphasis on technologies and techniques related to specialized cyber operations (e.g., collection, exploitation and response) to enhance our nation’s security posture.

In addition, the NSA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have re-designated Towson University as a Center of Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Security Education for academic years 2014 through 2021.

TU first received the designation in 2002 and has been re-designated continuously since.

This NSA/DHS-sponsored program is intended to reduce vulnerabilities in the national information infrastructure by promoting higher education in information assurance/cyber security with the goal of producing more professionals with expertise in various disciplines. Centers of Academic Excellence have enabled government, academia and industry to recruit students to meet their specific requirements.

TU offers both M.S. and D.Sc. degrees in applied information technology with a concentration in information assurance. These programs provide graduate IT education for students preparing to enter academic or research institutions, as well as the high-tech workforce. They also provide opportunities for those already in the workforce to update and enhance their skills.

TU also offers an M.S. in computer science with a computer-security track, as well as an M.S. in integrated homeland security management, which addresses the need for broad-based multidisciplinary education in information assurance and homeland security. This program, with its embedded graduate certificate in security assessment and management, offers applied graduate education for personnel in various areas of homeland security, risk protection and management, emergency response and crisis communications.