About the Programs

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CD) Education (CAE-CDE). The goal of the program is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense (CD) and producing a growing number of professionals with CD expertise in various disciplines. Students attending CAE-CD schools are eligible to apply for scholarships and grants through the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program. Designation as a Center does not carry a commitment for funding from NSA or DHS. CAE-CD institutions receive formal recognition from the U.S. Government as well as opportunities for prestige and publicity for their role in securing our Nation’s information systems.

Institutions wishing to earn the Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CDE) Designation 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-CDE Program Eligibility and Summary

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