University of Memphis Recognized as a National Center of Excellence in Cyber Defense

NSA and U.S Department of Defense designation awarded through the 2027 academic year

The University of Memphis has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD) through the 2027 academic year. Official letters of notification were sent to the Honorable Bill Lee, Governor of the State of Tennessee, members of Congress, appropriate Congressional Committees, as well as to University of Memphis leadership. As part of this designation, the UofM will be listed as a CAE-CD on the CAE Institution Map and listed on the CAE Community website. CAE-designated institutions must complete the validation of a Program of Study (PoS), which is a series of courses and experiences a student can reasonably accomplish in the course of attaining a degree or completing a certificate.

Dr. Dipankar Dasgupta, Hill Professor in Cybersecurity, and director for the Center for Information Assurance (CfIA), led this effort for recertification, with the help of Dr. James McGinnis, CfIA co-director and associate professor (Engineering Technology), Dr. Kan Yang, assistant professor (Computer Science), and Dr. Myounggyu Won, assistant professor (Computer Science), as the associate directors of the center.

“Achieving this CAE designation, and approval of our cybersecurity program of study (PoS), provides national level accreditation of University of Memphis Cybersecurity education” according to Dasgupta.


About National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity

The National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) leads the U.S. Government in cryptology that encompasses both signals intelligence (SIGINT) insights and cybersecurity products and services and enables computer network operations to gain a decisive advantage for the nation and our allies. NSA/CSS are referred to collectively as NSA. NSA is part of the U.S. Department of Defense serving as a combat support agency. Supporting our military service members around the world is one of the most important things that we do. NSA analysts, linguists, engineers, and other personnel deploy to Afghanistan and other hostile areas to provide actionable SIGINT and cybersecurity support to warfighters on the front lines.


The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) program is managed by NSA's National Cryptologic School. Federal partners include the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/National Initiative on Cybersecurity Education (NICE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense Office of the Chief Information Officer (DoD-CIO), and U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM).


NCAE-C program aims to create and manage a collaborative cybersecurity educational program with community colleges, colleges, and universities that:
  • Establishes standards for cybersecurity curriculum and academic excellence,
  • Includes competency development among students and faculty,
  • Values community outreach and leadership in professional development, 
  • Integrates cybersecurity practice within the institution across academic disciplines,
  • Actively engages in solutions to challenges facing cybersecurity education.

Academic institutions may choose from three designations. The designation process is a combination of elements related to the institution focused on outputs for determining academic achievement. This combination assures that the institution meets the desired characteristics of a CAE institution, and that the academic delivery to students is producing the qualified workforce needed by the nation.


For additional information on this recognition, email CAEPMO@nsa.gov. For additional information on cyber security research and education at the UofM, contact Dasgupta at dasgupta@memphis.edu.