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Press Release | May 5, 2004

NSA Announces the Designation of Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education

The National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security jointly announce the designation of the following universities as National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education for academic years 2004 through 2007:

  • Boston University (MA)
  • Dakota State University (SD)
  • Kennesaw State University (GA)
  • Pace University (NY)
  • University of Detroit, Mercy (MI)
  • University of North Texas (TX)
  • University of Pittsburgh (PA)
  • University of Texas, Dallas (TX)
  • University of Washington (WA)
  • West Chester University of Pennsylvania (PA)

The addition of the ten universities brings the total number of Centers to 59 in 27 states across the country. Designation as a Center is good for three academic years, after which a university must successfully reapply in order to retain the designation.

The following universities were initially designated as Centers during the year 2001, reapplied and were successfully evaluated against strengthened criteria:

  • Drexel University (PA)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (GA)
  • Mississippi State University (MS)
  • Norwich University (VT)
  • Syracuse University (NY)
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County (MD)
  • University of North Carolina, Charlotte (NC)
  • U.S. Military Academy, West Point (NY)

Several additional universities submitted applications and many demonstrated strong potential as future Centers. They are applauded for their efforts and are encouraged to continue to develop their information assurance programs and to reapply.

Presentations will be made to the universities on 8 June 2004, during the annual conference of the Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education. The conference will be held at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY. Information on the Colloquium and the annual conference may be found at

During April of 2004, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Security Agency (NSA) formalized an agreement to co-sponsor the Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education Program and change the name to National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education. This partnership recognizes the importance of the program and responds to Priority III of the President's National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, 14 February 2003, which directs the Federal government to foster training and education programs to support the Nation's cybersecurity needs, and to increase the efficiency of existing Federal cybersecurity programs.

The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education Program retains the goal of reducing vulnerabilities in the national information infrastructure by promoting higher education in information assurance and producing a growing number of professionals with information assurance expertise in various disciplines.

Universities designated as Centers are eligible to apply for scholarships and grants through both the Federal and Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Programs.

The President's National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace refers to cyberspace as the nervous system of our Nation's critical infrastructures, and indicates that the healthy functioning of cyberspace is essential to our economy and our national security. Securing cyberspace presents a difficult strategic challenge, and information assurance education is a critical component in successfully meeting that challenge.