NSA again designates TU as national Center of Academic Excellence

By Megan Bradshaw on June 3, 2019

TU is the only Maryland institution recognized as a CAE

Female student at a computer

Towson University has once again been named a National Security Agency (NSA) Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) in cyber operations, making it one of just 20 institutions in the nation to earn the designation. 

TU has been designated as a center of excellence for the last five years and recently passed a rigorous, five-year review for recertification.  

Towson University was first designated an NSA CAE in cyber operations in 2013; the institution is also an NSA CAE in cyber defense education. 

“The Cyber Operations designation is very hard to get and to maintain,” says David Vanko, dean of the Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics. “Our team submitted an extensive application, followed up by an intense campus site visit. Only the highest-quality programs that meet very strict technical criteria earn the CAE designation, and I am very proud that our cybersecurity program has done so.”

Other institutions to earn the distinction include Auburn University, Texas A&M, and the United States Air Force and Military academies.

TU’s computer and information sciences department, which has over 40 faculty members and 1,200 majors, started one of the first undergraduate cybersecurity tracks in the nation and the first in Maryland.

The faculty works on cutting-edge, federally funded cybersecurity research on the smart grid, wireless networks, cyber-physical systems and social networks. One of the first textbooks on cyber operations was written by mathematics professor Mike O’Leary.

Towson University's program has drawn praise for delivering quality and value to students. A TU degree in the program opens doors to a world of career opportunities in the cybersecurity industry in the public and private sectors.

The Department of Computer and Information Sciences offers three degrees exclusively focused on cybersecurity: 

TU’s computer security track in the computer science bachelor’s program has also received accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), making it one of the first four ABET-accredited cybersecurity programs in the world.

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson University: TU Matters to Maryland.