CEDARVILLE — Cedarville University recently announced the formation of a cyber operations major, the first of its kind in Ohio. The Cedarville University Board of Trustees approved the new major during its meeting on Jan. 24.
Students will be enrolled into the new major beginning this fall.
The cyber operations major will consist of eight new courses, along with other required computer science and computer engineering courses. A unique aspect to the major is a required nontechnical class.
“We want our cyber operations major to be interdisciplinary because cyber touches so many different areas,” said Dr. Seth Hamman, director of the Center for the Advancement of Cybersecurity. “Because cyber operations requires highly specialized skills, the bulk of the major will be technical, but it will also incorporate public policy, business, ethics and law.”
The National Security Agency (NSA) named Cedarville University a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations in 2018, a designation that only 21 other schools in the United States currently hold.
Cedarville University’s computer science specialization in cyber operations received the prestigious Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) cybersecurity accreditation. Cedarville’s program is one of only seven worldwide with the accreditation.
“Creating a stand-alone major is a way for us to continue to invest in our cyber program,” Hamman said. “We want to lead in this area as many other cyber-related majors will be springing up across the country in the near future.”
Along with new classes, Cedarville University will also add a new faculty member with experience in cyber operations.
Hamman hopes Cedarville can offer a nontechnical cybersecurity minor in the future, so that other majors such as business, information technology management and criminal justice students can take cyber classes. As a first step toward this, the new major will include an intro to cybersecurity course.
“This will allow us to extend our reach,” Hamman said. “Right now, all of our cyber courses have a technical prerequisite chain. Our new introductory class is designed for first-year students in any major, and will provide an overview of the entire cybersecurity spectrum.”
Computer science is one of the fastest-growing majors at Cedarville. The new cyber operations major is grounded in computer science, and Hamman anticipates the programs will complement one another and continue to grow together.
“It’s imperative that every computer science graduate understands cybersecurity, because they are the ones responsible for building cyberspace — a world we all increasingly depend upon to be safe and secure,” he said.