About the Programs

The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) program is managed by the National Cryptologic School at the National Security Agency.  Federal partners include the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/National Initiative on Cybersecurity Education (NICE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense Office of the Chief Information Officer (DoD-CIO), and US Cyber Command (CYBERCOM).

The mission of the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE) program is to create and manage a collaborative cybersecurity educational program with community colleges, colleges, and universities that

Academic institutions may choose from three designations. The designation process is a combination of elements related to the institution focused on outputs for determining academic achievement. This combination assures that the institution meets the desired characteristics of a CAE institution, and that the academic delivery to students is producing the qualified workforce needed by the nation.
CAE designated institutions must complete validation of a Program of Study (PoS) which is a series of courses and experiences that a student can reasonably accomplish in the course of attaining a degree or completing a certificate.

Institutions wishing to be designated a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CD) or Cyber Operations (CO) for a particular program of study will apply in two parts

Part 1: Program of Study (PoS) Validation:  The process will begin with the submission of elements pertaining to the academic program of study, including curriculum, faculty profiles and qualifications, maturity of the program, and so on.  An institution may opt to have multiple programs of study validated before pursuing designation, or may achieve designation with one PoS and return to have additional programs of study validated.

Part 2: CAE Designation:  Once one program of study has been validated, the institution may pursue a designation. To be eligible for designation, the academic institutions must hold a current regional accreditation as outlined by the Department of Education (https://www.ed.gov/accreditation). While multiple PoS validations per academic institution is allowed, no duplicates of any Institutional designation type is allowed.
 

Program Development & Application Assistance

Program Development -  Applicants who are assessed to require more than one year to be ready for designation will be assigned to Program Development.  In this phase, the applicant will have access to workshops, seminars and an advisor to help in their preparation for designation.  Schools in this phase will also be invited to programs and events hosted by the CAE in Cybersecurity Community (caecommunity.org) and have access to other resources offered by the Program Office only for the CAE audience.

Application Assistance -  Applicants who are assessed to be within one year of readiness for designation will be placed in Application Assistance and be assigned a mentor.  In this phase, the applicant will be invited to programs and events hosted by the CAE in Cybersecurity Community (caecommunity.org) and have access to other resources offered by the Program Office only for the CAE audience.

Webform Applications cannot be saved or stored if incomplete. Should you navigate away from the Webform Application, all progress will be lost. A downloadable PDF application checklist is also available below, this will allow you to collect all needed information for the Webform Application before you start.

CAE-CD Program Eligibility and Summary

The CAE-CD Program is open to current regionally accredited:

CAE-CO Program Eligibility and Summary

The CAE-CO Program is open to current regionally accredited:

CAE-R Program Eligibility and Summary

The CAE-R Program is open to current: