Master's program draws cyberstudents

Master's program draws cyberstudents

A master's degree program in information security management and policy at Carnegie Mellon University will focus on government needs.

The university's H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management will offer the intensive one-year program next fall in Pittsburgh and at an undetermined site in the Washington area.

'A lot of the issues are organizational, not technology-specific,' said Donald J. McGillen, director of the school's CIO Institute. The federally funded CERT Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon's Software Engineering Institute will contribute to the courses.

McGillen said the university already had a five-course concentration in information security as part of its master's degrees in public policy and management, information technology and networking.

'We started talking seriously a year ago about developing a full-blown master's' in security, he said.

The Heinz School is establishing a Center for Information Security to oversee the master's program, administer federal grants and scholarships, and promote cybersecurity research.

The National Security Agency has designated Carnegie Mellon a center of excellence in information security, making it eligible for scholarship and grant programs.

An NSA grant will fund a month-long faculty development program this summer for security instructors from Howard University in Washington, Morgan State University in Baltimore and the University of Texas at El Paso. Some of the university's graduate students have received scholarships from the National Science Foundation's Cyber Corps program, which requires them to work in government for a period after graduation.

Standing room only

'We weren't sure what kind of response we would get,' McGillen said of the Cyber Corps program. 'We expected to give out two or three scholarships. As it turned out, we gave nine the first year, and people already are lined up for next year.'

Areas covered in the master's program are cybersecurity, telecommunications and Internet security, security management, security assurance and security policy.

About the Author

William Jackson is freelance writer and the author of the CyberEye blog.

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