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Cybersecurity is critical to every aspect of our technologically connected society. It’s about protecting not just computer systems and mobile applications, but businesses, and governments, along with individuals’ privacy and life savings. The ubiquitous use and critical importance of these systems make them targets for cyber criminals, who invade and manipulate computers for financial or political gain.

Faculty and student researchers at WPI are working together to make the world safer from all kinds of increasing and imminent cyber threats. And our faculty members are working to train the next generation of professionals who will defend our cyber systems.

Safeguarding our Networked World

Just as the need for cybersecurity has spread throughout our lives, teaching cybersecurity at WPI is integrated throughout our curriculum. As it affects so many aspects of our society, it can’t just be taught in the confines of computer science. Cybersecurity concepts are interwoven into several disciplines, including engineering, social sciences, business, and management. Designated by the National Security Agency as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research, WPI is advancing cybersecurity research and education in software security, cryptography, analysis of security policies and protocols, network security, embedded system security, online privacy, and more.

With an expected 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity-related jobs in the U.S. by 2021, this is a pivotal time for students to ready themselves to enter the field and set themselves up for an important and lucrative career. Students in this program become skilled professionals who safeguard the online systems and data upon which our society depends.

Finding Your Path at WPI

Undergraduate students interested in this field can pursue a cybersecurity concentration within their BS degree in Computer Science. Graduate students can pursue an MS in Cyber Security or an MS or PhD in Computer Science with a cybersecurity specialization. The Computer Science concentration and specialization focus the student’s research projects and elective coursework on security topics taught by our interdisciplinary faculty.

Hands-On Experience

Through WPI’s project-based curriculum, students study cybersecurity cases and other technical issues within real companies and organizations. They gain experience working on interdisciplinary teams and applying their skills to solve real problems. Both Interactive Qualifying Projects (IQP) and Major Qualifying Projects (MQP) take our students beyond the classroom and provide collaborative experiences. Prospective employers value the teamwork experience, research skills, and ability to work in a self-structured manner that our students learn through these projects.

CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service

WPI is one of only three universities in Massachusetts that participate in the federal Scholarship for Service program funded by the National Science Foundation. This competitive scholarship provides full tuition for up to three years of a recipient’s full-time study of cybersecurity at the graduate or undergraduate level.

Degrees & Certificates

Area of Study Bachelor Minor Certificate Master PhD
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Center of Excellence

WPI has been recognized as an NSA/DHS Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Research. This recognition is a testament to the diverse and extensive research and other academic efforts by our security-related faculty.

CyberCorps: Scholarship For Service

The National Science Foundation has partnered with WPI on the CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service initiative. This prestigious program funds cybersecurity education for undergraduate and graduate students in exchange for a period of government employment after graduation.

Media Coverage

Forbes interviewed Michael Ahern, director of corporate and professional education, on the cybersecurity training programs he and his team have been creating for several ‘critical’ industries, for this article. “I was an engineer in the power industry for 30 years, and I know that some of these companies are being attacked thousands of times a day,” Ahern said. “There are not enough cybersecurity workers at a time when the trend is that more and more hacks are successful.”

This Reuters’ article included comments from Susan Landau, professor of cybersecurity policy. In the article, Landau stated that “the new bill was an effort to put the process ‘into civilian control.’”