NSA redesignates UMSL as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education

by | Jun 12, 2023

Associate Professors Vijay Anand and Shaji Khan from the Department of Information Systems and Technology led the redesignation process.
Vijay Anand, Shaji Khan

Associate Professors Vijay Anand and Shaji Khan, from the Department of Information Systems and Technology, led the process to get UMSL redesignated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. (Photos by August Jennewein)

The National Security Agency has once again designated the University of Missouri–St. Louis as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CD).

The renewed designation for UMSL’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity Program will cover the next five academic years, until 2028.

The CAE-CD designation is awarded to regionally accredited academic institutions offering cybersecurity degrees and/or certificates at the associate, bachelor’s and graduate levels. UMSL was the first university in St. Louis to receive the prestigious designation.

“The CAE-CD designation is the highest standard for the quality of cybersecurity programs and qualifies UMSL’s students for cybersecurity jobs in government agencies, the military and industry,” said Dinesh Mirchandani, professor and chair of the Department of Information Systems and Technology in UMSL’s College of Business Administration. “This designation places UMSL amongst an elite group of institutions to have access to cybersecurity scholarships, grants for curriculum development and the authorization to use the official NSA and NCAE-C seals on its program materials and website.”

Steven J. Berberich, UMSL’s vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost, commended the faculty members who have made UMSL’s cybersecurity program a recognized leader in St. Louis and far beyond.

“In addition to the CAE-CD designation, the cybersecurity programs at UMSL have also earned top-10 national accolades for quality and affordability, making them extremely attractive to prospective students,” Berberich said. “Faculty in the departments of Information Systems and Technology and Computer Science are to be commended on renewing the NSA designation in cybersecurity. Their dedication to excellence in this crucial field is commendable, and this recognition is a testament to their expertise and commitment to preparing the future cybersecurity workforce.”

The UMSL Cybersecurity Program is a joint effort of the Department of Information Systems and Technology in the College of Business Administration and the Department of Computer Science in the College of Arts and Sciences. This collaborative, multidisciplinary approach allows students to explore different avenues of information security while adapting to the evolving nature of the field.

Vijay Anand and Shaji Khan, both associate professors in the Department of Information Systems and Technology, led the redesignation effort.

“It shows the commitment of our university towards the cybersecurity program,” Anand said. “At the same time, we strive for excellence so that our students have the best skills they can take to the industry. Our program has a pathway for the students to acquire skills that are marketable. For us to spend time doing this shows commitment from our faculty towards the students in their careers. When you go out, how you are labeled and branded matters. This provides good branding for our students when they come out of our program.”

At the time UMSL first received the designation in 2017, the cybersecurity program only offered certificate programs but has since expanded to include both BS and MS degrees with emphasis areas in information systems and technology or computer science.

Along with excellent academic curriculum and instruction, students in the UMSL cybersecurity programs will be able to access career fairs created specifically for designee schools.

The designation renewal will be presented to institutions in the fall in an NSA ceremony at a location to be announced.

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Wendy Todd

Wendy Todd

Eye on UMSL: The flavor of homecoming
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Senior business major Jalen Walker-Wright gets a cup of southwest chili from Vanessa Loyd and Erin Schaeffer during last Thursday’s homecoming Chili Feed.

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Senior business major Jalen Walker-Wright gets a cup of southwest chili from Vanessa Loyd and Erin Schaeffer during last Thursday’s homecoming Chili Feed.

Eye on UMSL: The flavor of homecoming

Senior business major Jalen Walker-Wright gets a cup of southwest chili from Vanessa Loyd and Erin Schaeffer during last Thursday’s homecoming Chili Feed.