MOSCOW - The University of Idaho College of Engineering is launching Idaho's first bachelor's degree program in cybersecurity, open to students this fall.

“The University of Idaho has long been a leader in cybersecurity research through partnerships with industry and government that date back more than two decades,” U of I President Scott Green said. “The addition of the state’s first bachelor’s degree program in cybersecurity continues that trend. Our students are already in high demand, and this new cybersecurity program will provide a focused curriculum that will further arm them with the crucial skills needed to protect our digital infrastructure.”

As one of the National Security Agency’s first seven National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense, U of I is a leader in advanced cybersecurity education and research, spanning more than two decades.

Students have access to the College of Engineering’s global network of leading industry partners, including Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Power, POWER Engineers and Avista Utilities.

Using state-of-the-art equipment, labs and resources, students in the new degree program pursue a set of courses to become cybersecurity professionals with the most current knowledge and skills. They also have opportunities to participate in lab-based research aimed at strengthening cybersecurity protocols and developing inherently cyber-secure industrial control systems.

“We continue to see security challenges in industry and government,” said Larry Stauffer, dean of the U of I College of Engineering. “Idaho needs graduates specifically educated to meet these challenges. Whether these challenges are to protect personal information, financial data, critical infrastructure or everyday devices, these concerns will be with us for a long time.”

Global power systems protection leader SEL and the College of Engineering began a $2.5 million partnership in April. The five-year agreement will support the cybersecurity program through ongoing research projects and faculty and graduate student assistance.

With support from the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission and the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, the College of Engineering developed a distributed testbed connecting cyberattack response research infrastructure in Moscow, Idaho Falls and Coeur d’Alene.

Work is being done to build a network between U of I’s Reconfigurable Attack-Defend Instructional Computing Laboratories in Idaho Falls and Moscow to allow students to simulate cyberattack and defense protocols within isolated labs.

Since 2002, the U of I Center for Secure and Dependable Systems has awarded nearly $9 million in undergraduate tuition to students participating in the CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program.

Funded through the National Science Foundation, the SFS program provides tuition stipends of up to $25,000 for an undergraduate and $34,000 for a graduate student for cybersecurity training for positions at the federal, state, local and tribal levels.

Learn more about this new degree program at uidaho.edu/bs-cybersecurity.