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Carnegie Mellon University Launches Program to Strengthen Cybersecurity Leadership in Washington, D.C.

Carnegie Mellon University, a national leader in cybersecurity education and research, will offer a new professional master’s degree to address 21st century cyber challenges in the nerve center of U.S. national security: Washington, D.C. 

CMU’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy has added a new D.C.-based, security-focused track to its established Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) program. The new track centers on building expertise in risk management, information security, and data privacy along with key skills in operations, strategy, and analysis.

The D.C-based track, “MSIT: Information Security and Assurance (Cybersecurity-DC),” features a cohort model and will be delivered in a hybrid format with both onsite and online classes. Students will complete the majority of coursework online and will convene at Heinz College’s D.C. location for in-person group sessions, seminars, and exams. During these sessions, cohort members will have the opportunity to develop a tight-knit community and create lasting peer networks.

The Cybersecurity-DC program will be taught by leading security practitioners and researchers—including retired Brigadier General Gregory J. Touhill, appointed by President Obama as the first Federal CISO of the United States government and currently serving as the president of the AppGate Federal Group—and experts from the CERT Division of CMU’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI). The Cybersecurity-DC program combines an interdisciplinary curriculum blending technical and leadership training with hands-on experiential learning to provide practical experience to students. As part of the program, student teams will solve real security problems for a National Capital area-based organization or government agency.

“Cybersecurity-DC will create a robust pipeline of highly skilled mission-ready security professionals where it’s needed most—in the heart of the National Capital area region,” said Touhill. “Federal agencies and private companies need creative leaders with the blend of skills we teach to better manage risk while defending their organizations and stakeholders against emerging threats. Our graduates will emerge from the program best positioned to have an immediate positive impact as leaders in their organizations.”

Carnegie Mellon University has been ranked #1 in Information and Technology Management by U.S. News & World Report since 2001. CMU is considered a national asset in cybersecurity research as well as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency (NSA) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The addition of the Cybersecurity-DC program further bolsters CMU’s presence, both in the nation’s capital and in the cybersecurity industry.

“We’re excited to offer this program, which is unique in the field,” said Andy Wasser, associate dean at Heinz College. “Cybersecurity-DC brings together professionals to collaborate and form close bonds with their cohort. It effectively combines the convenience of online learning with our ethos of experiential learning and practical experience, which is crucial to success in the security context.”

The first cohort of Cybersecurity-DC will begin in August 2020.


About Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy: The Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy is home to two internationally recognized graduate-level institutions at Carnegie Mellon University: the School of Information Systems and Management and the School of Public Policy and Management. This unique colocation combined with its expertise in analytics set Heinz College apart in the areas of cybersecurity, health care, the future of work, smart cities, and arts & entertainment. In 2016, INFORMS named Heinz College the #1 academic program for Analytics Education. For more information, please visit

Learn more about Cybersecurity-DC