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), Two-Year Education (CAE-2Y) and Research (CAE-R) programs. The goal of these programs 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 and CAE-R 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.

Program Development & Application Assistance


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.

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We are currently working on updating the application process and requirements for Centers of Academic Excellence applications.

CAE-CDE Program Eligibility and Summary

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