VCU named National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense education

The Centers of Academic Excellence program promotes higher education and expertise in cyber defen...
The Centers of Academic Excellence program promotes higher education and expertise in cyber defense to reduce vulnerability in the national information infrastructure. (Photo VCU College of Engineering)

Virginia Commonwealth University has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. 

The Centers of Academic Excellence program promotes higher education and expertise in cyber defense to reduce vulnerability in the national information infrastructure. Institutions are designated based on their degree programs and close alignment to specific cybersecurity-related knowledge units, validated by top subject matter experts in the field. 

VCU was recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence based on the College of Engineering’s Bachelor of Science degree in computer science with a concentration in cybersecurity, which teaches students all 326 knowledge units required for this designation.

This designation speaks to the vast expertise of the College of Engineering faculty and staff who educate and mentor students and who work tirelessly to ensure students graduate from VCU prepared to enter the workforce and ready to make the world a safer, more secure place through science and practical solutions,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D.

“VCU Engineering is dedicated to preparing its students for careers in the 21st-century digital economy,” said Barbara D. Boyan, Ph.D., the Alice T. and William H. Goodwin Jr. Dean of the VCU College of Engineering. “We are grateful to our industry partners for their support in establishing these critical programs to ensure the technology talent needed to address the challenges of the future.”

VCU Department of Computer Science covers all fundamental areas of computer science with a focus on data science and cybersecurity. Undergraduate computer science majors can earn certificates in cybersecurity and/or data science by taking three upper-level technical electives. The department also offers post-baccalaureate certificates in both cybersecurity and data science. 

“The designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense education reflects our commitment to cybersecurity education,” said Krzysztof “Krys” Cios, Ph.D., professor and chair of the VCU Department of Computer Science.

VCU’s computer science faculty have received grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Security Agency, and industry for research in different areas of cybersecurity, which provides strong support for the center’s academic programs.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 217 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Thirty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit www.vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.