Photos by Craig Schreiner | Written by Dana Krems
Beginning fall 2020, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater will offer one of the first online Master of Science in Cybersecurity programs in the state of Wisconsin. This unique program has been designed to help meet regional demand for protection against cybersecurity attacks.
“From the theft of personal data to threats against critical infrastructure systems, cybersecurity is a national concern impacting businesses as well as government agencies,” said John Chenoweth, dean of the College of Business and Economics. “Because of these rapidly growing threats, there is a shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals.”
Drawing on faculty from both the information technology and the computer science programs at UW-Whitewater, this interdisciplinary degree will allow students to develop deep expertise in current cybersecurity issues. All courses in the program are focused on cybersecurity, and the curriculum has been designed to align with the National Centers of Academic Excellence program, which is jointly sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency. The goal of the CAE program is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and expertise in cyber defense.
Beyond theoretical knowledge, UW-Whitewater’s new online cybersecurity program will provide extensive hands-on learning. Collaboration with the Cyber Security Center for Small Business at UW-Whitewater will offer opportunities for students to work with businesses and learn from real-world case studies.
“The core requirements of the program include five courses that provide the critical operational knowledge required in cybersecurity careers,” said Frank Goza, dean of the College of Letters and Sciences. “Students will also select an emphasis in either cyber resilience or security engineering.”
Students can complete the 30-credit program online in as little as 18 months full time or in about 24 months on a part-time basis.
“We anticipate the program will be quite successful,” said Chenoweth. “Our highly qualified faculty are fully committed to cybersecurity and have numerous industry contacts. UW-Whitewater has also been a pioneer in online graduate education for more than 20 years, and we have a breadth of support resources and dedicated staff on campus to assist students.”
Goza added, “With our faculty’s expertise and commitment to cybersecurity research, the close association with the Cyber Security Center for Small Business, the strength of our existing programs and the new Master of Science in Cybersecurity, UW-Whitewater is poised to lead cybersecurity education activities in Wisconsin.”